I saw some very disturbing news story on www.newschannel5.com this morning.
Donald Woods, an algebra teacher at a Tennessee high school, was escorted from the classroom in handcuffs after having a meltdown when a group of students started laughing during class and wouldn’t stop. Woods threw two tables, a garbage can, and a chair, breaking a window in the process. School officials stated they were grateful that no students were injured by the flying shards of glass.
Woods’ outburst was caught on video by a student–presumably–who had a cellphone in the classroom. On the video, the altercation begins as Woods telling a group of students laughing during class to “shut up.”
During his outburst, Woods also claimed to have started a fire at the school.
Woods had taught at area schools for 17 years.
I am horrified to see this sort of thing happening in a classroom. And it seems that increasingly more of these kind of antics are being caught on tape…which is the one good part in all of this. At least there is some real, genuine, irrefutable evidence as to what’s happening rather than it being simply one person’s word against another’s.
I wounder how much of this sort of thing has been going on for many years, and we simply never heard about it. The Internet certainly increases the spread of news of whatever sort. If this is not the case, and teacher violence in the classroom is actually increasing, I would really like to know why. I have heard many teachers say that their job is much more dangerous than it used to be, due to violence from students. I also know, from my experience as a substitute teacher, that the teachers often have few options for dealing with disrespectful students, and there seem to be relatively few consequences.
Whatever the case, I do fear for my child’s safety at school. School is supposed to be a place to learn, not a place where children are afraid to go. Who can learn when they’re scared? The whole situation really needs to be looked into at greater depth to figure out what’s going on.