LOSER: Constructive Relating or Destructive Criticism

March 26, 2010 by  
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teacher calls student loser

Last week, a 6th grade teacher in a North Carolina Middle School, deemed one of his students a ‘Loser’ and put his comments on her school paper. The teacher, Rex Roland, insisted that he was ‘just joking,’ and used this kind of language to ‘relate to the students.’ His supporters said that he likes to joke with students and that’s part of his teaching style. Well, writing ‘loser’ on a student’s paper is no joke. In fact, the mother of this girl had previously complained to the administration and was assured that the teacher would stop using the word. He didn’t.

And now, the girl is paying the consequences. She has reportedly been staying home from school due to student response to their teacher being side-lined for the next two weeks. She has been getting angry Facebook and text messages threatening her, saying that she did a “bad thing” and for that she must be punished. Other messages called her names such as ‘freak’ and used gay slurs and many obscenities. The family says that some threats were serious enough that the girl and her family fear for their safety.

Well, hasn’t Rex Roland been a great teacher? He has been a stellar model for using name-calling, demeaning remarks and derogatory comments as ways to deal with his students. And, guess what? The students seem to have learned their lessons well. They are now using his techniques to bombard their classmate with name-calling, threats and obscene messages. Their parents, the supporters of this teacher, should be so proud.

All because this girl didn’t want to be called a “loser.” No child—ever—should be demeaned by anyone, especially an adult. Kids can joke around, gesturing an “L” for loser on their foreheads. When they all agree it’s funny, then it’s playful. When kids do it in an effort to degrade another kid…it’s not funny…it’s bullying. It was bad enough that Mr. Roland thought it was funny to write ‘loser’ on the girl’s paper the first time. However, to have been requested to stop—and then to purposefully do it again is bullying. Plain and simple.

We rely on teachers to be good role models, set the example, and treat kids with dignity and respect. Those who do should be thanked and appreciated. Those who don’t, do not deserve to be in the classroom. Those who bully, do not deserve to be around kids. And, the kids who are feeding off of Mr. Roland’s example of demeaning and denigrating their fellow student need to see what happens when those kinds of messages are delivered. Their teacher, Mr. Roland, needs to be fired from his position and sued by the family. These ensuing events need to occur for two reasons. One is to show him who the loser really is. And the second, and more important reason, is to teach his students, his ‘followers,’ that this kind of behavior is totally unacceptable.

Comments

2 Responses to “LOSER: Constructive Relating or Destructive Criticism”
  1. Reading this has stirred a nerve inside me. I have sadly seen this too many times, witnessed children being torn apart with words, threatened, bullied. No teacher should ever label a child a *loser*. No child deserves to be treated in this manner. In all honesty, it makes me very angry to see a so-called adult, let alone, teacher act in this way. He is literally teaching students to be mean to others, to tear them apart with any amount of bad words, trying to get a rise or action out of them. I have worked with children my entire life, teaching in our local school system and sadly seen some teachers do this type of thing. I have also seen the staff, principal, vice principal belittle and ridicule, purposely try to embarrass and humiliate a child, thinking this will make them act better. To me, that is pure crazy thinking. I have schooled my own children, David, 20, now about to go into his third year of college for Medicine. I am schooling my two youngest still. Years back, I put the kids into public school and went back to work full-time. My youngest, Sarah was in Kindergarten, but we had already done that grade the year before, she has been reading since she was 3 yrs old. Her teacher literally tore her apart on a daily basis, she did this to a couple other girls as well. She left the boys alone for the most part. The principal said the teacher was under stress because her husband had left to Iraq. So what? It never gave her a right to attack innocent five yr old children. Any teacher or person who tries to lash out at children in this way or the way the teacher in this article did, they deserve to lose their job. No way should they be working with children. It is our job and responsibility as adults to lead kids down a right path, help them set positive goals for themselves, treat them with respect and at times, there will need to be discipline, but we should handle that in a respectful way as well. No way can we raise decent children with character, integrity if we have none ourselves. This teacher needs to GO! And you notice my capitalization? The other students have indeed learned very well from this BULLY of a teacher, if we can call him that. Our world can be so ugly at times. It is HIS job to not allow students to do this, to teach them right vs wrong, it is wrong to bully anyone. He makes me sick and is a total disgrace to society. He is using his own sick sarcasm to bully students. No school system should allow this to happen. I also hold the school system liable. See, I have personally witnessed how messed up school systems can be. Not all are bad, there are some great, caring teachers out there, some great administrators; however I have seen some bad ones too. My heart goes out to this child, to all the children in our world who are bullied, mistreated, torn apart, hurt, abused. To me, this teacher has abused this student. He needs to pay a price and find a different job away from working with children. Thank you for letting me voice my opinion.

  2. Dr. Vicki Panaccione says:

    Thank you for your very passionate comments. I agree that teachers need to raise our kids up and not beat them into the ground. And, they need to know when it’s OK to use our kids’ lingo and when it’s not. Enjoy your kids!

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