Thursday, January 26, 2006

Protect us from this kind of character-molding

The local news has been carrying this story all week about a Beaver Falls high school student who was harassed by his teacher John Kelly during a mid-term examination because he wore a Denver Broncos jersey.
When a reporter questioned Mr. Kelly about the incident on Monday, he replied: "We won the game [Sunday] night, didn't we? That's all I was worried about."
So the superstitious belief that the fans rather than the players control the outcome of a football game has now been used to justify a teacher's decision that the outcome of a game in which he was not a player was more important than his duty as an instructor in the school where he was employed.
[School Principal] Mr. Karczewski, the first person Joshua complained to, said what happened was "intended as a joke" and that it was "getting out of hand."
What makes the principal think it was not already out of hand when the harassment was going on?
Comments posted on an online alumni forum for Beaver Falls High School are largely in support of Mr. Kelly, who many former students describe as a favorite teacher who shaped their minds and molded their character.
Teachers are indeed influential for the young lives they touch, but this begs the question of what kind of character has been formed.

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Anonymous said...

It is ridiculous that a student is so "sensitive" that a teacher can't tease him or joke about a football game and people like you make the kid think he is "wronged". All this sensitivity has to stop. Give it a rest.

Stewart said...

Sorry, anonymous. I'm not going to give it a rest. Anyone who has been following this story knows that the teacher's appalling behavior happened while administering a mid-term examination. That is not an occasion appropriate for a circus atmosphere.

In the civilized world an examination proctor is expected to maintain an environment in which each person taking the test has an equal opportunity to perform to his or her best.