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Weird situation in nursing class...WWYD?


Alenee
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We're two weeks into nursing school and all of us are struggling with one of our teachers.  At first, we thought she was unprepared because she is new so we were giving her the benefit of the doubt, allowing her time to get into it.  On that part, she seems to be getting better.  However, twice now, she's crossed a line and we're all not quite sure what to make of it.

 

Yesterday, she started telling us about the Healthy People 2010 project by the DHHS.  And the lecture began...  Hooooooooo boy!  She went for an hour on a political and religious rant!  She gave us all of her opinions on government and what's happening in our country based on her understanding of Islam.  She had the gall to say that all Muslims are Jihadists and followed that up by saying, "Oh, if there are any Muslims in the room, you know I'm right."  She was also doing this all in the name of Christianity.  :cursing: :svengo:

 

At one point I knew if I didn't walk away, I'd lose it so I left the class and took a walk for about ten minutes.  I returned to finish the class and by that time, she had moved on.  At the break, the class broke off into their groups but at each one, they (we) were all talking about how badly she crossed the line and people were talking about reporting her to the administration.  During our next class, someone came to me and told me that they DID report her, and later I saw the teacher in the Asst. Dir. office. 

 

In my opinion, she crossed a major line but because of my history of allowing my mouth to get me into trouble, I stayed quiet.  I'm hoping to see something change over the next week and then if it doesn't, I'll speak up.  But WWYD?

 

I have to add, I am SO grateful for this board because of the diversity.  When she started talking about the Muslims in the way she did, I immediately thought of this board and the wonderful people here.  :)

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I'd report her for that incident and not wait for another. You are paying for the class and not to hear some uninformed person spurt off hatred. She crossed the line and no one should have to sit through that nonsense but sadly when grades are involved many feel forced to sit quietly and just suck it up

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How uncomfortable and unprofessional!  Yeah, I would talk to a guidance counselor or someone in administration about it.  That is just awful and unacceptable behavior. 

 

(And the fact that she said she was doing it in the name of Christianity.  :banghead:   )

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Report her. I had a prof. exactly like this in grad school. We all just rolled our eyes and talked amongst ourselves. She ended up getting weirder and weirder and when her outlandish demands weren't met, accused the director of sexual harassment. It got thrown out after years of turmoil for the director. Last I heard, she had tried to murder her husband.

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She's been reported, right? I'd wait until the next class to see if anything changes. If not, I would hope I'd have the brains, compassion for others and  morality to report her, regardless of how much I hate confrontation and that sort of thing. I may even take someone with me from the class for support and to really make a statement.

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She's been reported, right? I'd wait until the next class to see if anything changes. If not, I would hope I'd have the brains, compassion for others and morality to report her, regardless of how much I hate confrontation and that sort of thing. I may even take someone with me from the class for support and to really make a statement.

Situations like this are taken more seriously when multiple people report it in my experience, ive worked in administration at a university. If only one person reports something as bad as OP claims happened they are more likely to just assume the student is overreacting and barely address the issue with the teacher

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I think, in your shoes, I would share my concerns with the administration.  I would want them to know that the other classmate was not the only one who had these concerns (as they may be in a he said/she said type situation if only one person raised the issue).  You do not actually know whether the admin has said anything to the teacher at this point.  And I would want to know what the admin's plan was to keep the focus on the academics so that you can get the educational content that you have paid for (and that you may be held responsible for knowing in higher-level classes).  

Take some time to think through the situation and clarify the issues that concern you.  She was disrespectful to a particular religious group (and there may have been members of that group in the class).  She made you so uncomfortable you left the room - this is completely unacceptable as you have presumably paid a pretty penny to attend.  She spent precious class time on something completely irrelevant to the subject matter of the class.  She behaved unprofessionally, in a way that may have you questioning whether she is even qualified to teach the class.

It is possible to discuss your concerns with admin in a way that is respectful of all those involved and their collective desire to provide a quality education.  So approach them not from anger or "reporting", but from concern.  Behave politely and professionally, not with an accusing or complaining attitude.  The admin needs to know your concerns so they can make it right. You do not need to make it into a big huge deal. They are already aware of the basics.  A brief conversation in which you share a few specific concerns will be all that's needed to back up the other student's story and urge them to take the situation seriously.

"Admin, I understand that Susie shared some concerns about Teacher's last class, in which she veered into some comments that were way off topic.  I just wanted to let you know that I was very uncomfortable with what Teacher said, so much so that I left the room for a bit.  I assume Teacher's comments don't reflect the views of the administration, and I know she has the right to hold these views privately.  I am concerned that she may be creating a hostile environment for any student that does not share her views, and I am concerned that, with a lot of subject matter to cover, she is using class time for unrelated topics.  All of my other courses are going great, and the teachers have been very knowledgeable and professional.  Does the school have a policy about this kind of thing?"  At this point, the admin will hopefully reassure you that they have taken some steps to address the problem.  

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I am glad someone spoke up, but if it continues you will need to speak up too. I have a friend who took a C in a class because she acknowledged she was a Christian and it cut her because she had worked up the courage to go to school for years and was heat broken to get a C in anything, but she didn't report him. I've always felt bad that she didn't, because since he was an atheist he is probably shorting the grades of ANY religious person and that just isn't right.

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everyone who thinks she crossed a major lines needs to report her.  then the school will get the message they need to take this seriously.  sometimes it can be a rock and a hardplace for the school (they have to have a teacher for the class), but they will be on notice they need to find a replacement.  (which might not happen before next term. - and depends upon what kind of contract she has.  my dd had a woefully incomptent teacher they had to put up with for the entire year because of contact and teacher availability.)

 

every time she crosses that line - she needs to be held accountable.  everyone needs to report her so the message is clear she *really* went over the line and it's not just one or two people complaining.

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Situations like this are taken more seriously when multiple people report it in my experience, ive worked in administration at a university. If only one person reports something as bad as OP claims happened they are more likely to just assume the student is overreacting and barely address the issue with the teacher

 

This has been my experience as well, both as a student and as a teacher.

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I am glad someone spoke up, but if it continues you will need to speak up too. I have a friend who took a C in a class because she acknowledged she was a Christian and it cut her because she had worked up the courage to go to school for years and was heat broken to get a C in anything, but she didn't report him. I've always felt bad that she didn't, because since he was an atheist he is probably shorting the grades of ANY religious person and that just isn't right.

 

my nephew had a professor who prevented him getting his MA because he's christian.  she bragged about it to his sister's friend (when she found out they knew each other.).  he really should have reported the woman, and he had a witness to her own confession.

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I had a situation like that in graduate school, though it was more about gender bias/abuse than is your situation. I ended up reporting it anonymously on the end of semester teacher evaluation. The prof was so mad that the next fall, when I had to take him again, he began the class ranting at all the students about whomever had had the balls to accuse him of such a thing. Proved my point exactly, but it was hard to listen to and have to live through. No avoiding the guy, not if I wanted to graduate!

 

If I had to do it over again, I'd do exactly what I did or more. Just wanted to warn you, though, that it can be traumatic. It was for me...still remember exactly how I felt. The more of you who do it, the better, and yes...it should be done. :(

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Don't wait! You need to report this. The more people who report, the more likely action will be taken. That was completely unacceptable behaviour on her part and the school needs to know as much as they can about the incident so they can decide the appropriate action to take.

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I would report her.   You don't actually know that the instructor was in that office because of what she said in your class- it might have been something not related to that at all. And even if that was the case, you don't know what she told the administrator.  She might have said that the student who complained was just a complainypants because of a bad test score or something. 

 

If you file a complaint, then you can go back to the dean (or whoever you file it with) a week later and ask how they handled it. 

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Report her. Just imagine if she'd had a rant about 'The Jews' or 'The Blacks' or whatever other minority group. She is free to believe whatever she wants. But if she brings her bigotry to her students in a lecture format, she does not deserve to be teaching.

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I would report her but not mention I left the room.  Otherwise, she will know that it was you who reported her.  My reason for saying that is some bad apple teachers will take advantage of that information and use it to make you suffer during the class.

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Report and record the lectures if your college allows this. Don't mention that you took a break from the classroom because if they read the complaint to her or give her a copy (should be without any student identifying information), then she'll know who made the complaint. Someone with that attitude might be the kind of person who would have it out for you the rest of the semester.

 

Try to get other classmates to report her as well. The school needs to take this seriously and it is a liability to them legally if she discriminates against Muslim students. If that's what she will say out loud, imagine what she might say in the privacy of her office with a student that doesn't have a witness or in the margins of a test or paper!

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Do you have a student union? Or an equal rights person or something? Also do you have to. Do feedback surveys at some point.

It will really depend on the college whether student evaluations mean anything or if they're even read. Sometimes feedback is so strange, it's just ignored. Best bet with a serious concern is a formal grievance.

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I agree with all the others, go ahead and report even if she was reported by others.  It will definitely be taken more seriously.  If issues come up again, report again, as quickly as possible, in writing, and make certain others do the same.  And yes, written complaints usually have more weight than a phone call.  But try, as others have mentioned, to keep the report as anonymous as possible so the professor cannot identify you.  Her actions are absolutely NOT acceptable or professional but she obviously feels she has the right and the need.  She needs to be told firmly, in no uncertain terms, to cease and desist. 

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:ohmy:

 

Where's the Rent-A-Hijab when you need one?

 

Just joking because I have nothing to add except I agree with those who say you should report.

 

It would be interesting to see what the teacher would do if everyone showed up to the next class wearing one....might even make national news...but that probably wouldn't help make this class productive and forward moving....:)

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I would report her but not mention I left the room.  Otherwise, she will know that it was you who reported her.  My reason for saying that is some bad apple teachers will take advantage of that information and use it to make you suffer during the class.

 

:iagree: :iagree: :iagree:  my dd had a woefully incompetent teacher - who also retaliated against anyone who complained about him.  (by his own admission, he was in his seventh "career".  he was 35.)  he actually asked dd how he could be a better teacher - smart girl she is, she refused to answer anything. (or ever ask him a question. she copied down the assignment and  read the book and did it.) she was good at keeping her mouth shut and was never victim to his retaliation, but she watched her friends (the top students in the class) get it.  I called the school counselor in October, and was so far down the list of parents complaining, all he could tell me was they'd already decided he wouldn't be back the next year.

 

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It would be interesting to see what the teacher would do if everyone showed up to the next class wearing one....might even make national news...but that probably wouldn't help make this class productive and forward moving.... :)

 

around here, stores are loaded with shawls/scarves than can be worn as head-covering.  2dd's muslim friend wore one in their school color for their college graduation.

I would imagine the technique for putting it on might take some practice - like putting on a sari.  (my aunt lived in india for 40 years, and still predominantly wears saris everywhere even though she's been back in the us for 10 years. she tried to teach me a few times.)

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I teach at a local college and there is always someone whining about a teacher or two (or three) who 'crossed the line' - either with religious references, the F-word, evolution, politics, something.  My answer to that is that everyone in the room is an adult and it won't kill them to hear alternate speech/opinions, so I am in the 'put on the big girl panties' camp and let it go.  It's not a matter of standing up for anyone; it's more a matter of accepting that everyone doesn't have the same opinions as you do.  Generally, at the college where I teach, instructors are well-insulated against these types of complaints and given free reign, regardless of the number of complaints.

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I teach at a local college and there is always someone whining about a teacher or two (or three) who 'crossed the line' - either with religious references, the F-word, evolution, politics, something.  My answer to that is that everyone in the room is an adult and it won't kill them to hear alternate speech/opinions, so I am in the 'put on the big girl panties' camp and let it go.  It's not a matter of standing up for anyone; it's more a matter of accepting that everyone doesn't have the same opinions as you do.  Generally, at the college where I teach, instructors are well-insulated against these types of complaints and given free reign, regardless of the number of complaints.

 

No. This isn't an algebra professor - it's someone teaching a group of students who will be be providing healthcare to people from diverse backgrounds.  It also sounds like this one goes far beyond a minor religious reference or swear word. Teaching students to be respectful towards people of all backgrounds is (or should be) an important part of nursing school, and this teacher is not in any way modeling that.

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I teach at a local college and there is always someone whining about a teacher or two (or three) who 'crossed the line' - either with religious references, the F-word, evolution, politics, something.  My answer to that is that everyone in the room is an adult and it won't kill them to hear alternate speech/opinions, so I am in the 'put on the big girl panties' camp and let it go.  It's not a matter of standing up for anyone; it's more a matter of accepting that everyone doesn't have the same opinions as you do.  Generally, at the college where I teach, instructors are well-insulated against these types of complaints and given free reign, regardless of the number of complaints.

 

I disagree and here's why.  In healthcare, as caregivers of any kind, we are NEVER to give our opinion on personal matters.  In fact, just the opposite.  Whether we agree or not, we are to support the patient in every way so that they are in an environment of comfort.  As a nurse, she KNOWS this, and in that way, she crossed the line.

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Thank you for all of the responses.  I apologize for not coming back sooner.  It would appear that the administration is taking the complaints seriously.  There were several.  I could see the teacher bite her tongue when a potential political topic came up and she hasn't said another word regarding her own personal opinions of that nature.  We also had a few department personnel visit our class and sit in for a bit.  I think things are going to be okay but I know now that I will report her again if it continues. 

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I disagree and here's why. In healthcare, as caregivers of any kind, we are NEVER to give our opinion on personal matters. In fact, just the opposite. Whether we agree or not, we are to support the patient in every way so that they are in an environment of comfort. As a nurse, she KNOWS this, and in that way, she crossed the line.

This is true for most professions. It's being professional. I'd love to see more professionalism.

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I teach at a local college and there is always someone whining about a teacher or two (or three) who 'crossed the line' - either with religious references, the F-word, evolution, politics, something.  My answer to that is that everyone in the room is an adult and it won't kill them to hear alternate speech/opinions, so I am in the 'put on the big girl panties' camp and let it go.  It's not a matter of standing up for anyone; it's more a matter of accepting that everyone doesn't have the same opinions as you do.  Generally, at the college where I teach, instructors are well-insulated against these types of complaints and given free reign, regardless of the number of complaints.

 

I can see what you are saying but respectfully I disagree for reasons mentioned up thread.  This wasn't a casual remark in passing or a political debate among friends or an open discussion in a religious history class.  I have many relatives who are teachers, from elementary all the way up through University.  There is a time for open discussion, especially at University level.  That isn't what is happening and it isn't just one or two overly sensitive students.  It is a large percentage of the classroom.

 

Ranting on and on against other beliefs/view points while attempting to teach a class on healthcare, where the health of the patient should be the primary goal, is not putting the health of the patient as the primary goal.  While caring for other people, a healthcare provider should in no way discuss their personal beliefs.  That could very much be to the detriment of the patient.  She should very much be demonstrating that and the way she is handling the classroom shows that she is not.  You never know who you will be asked to provide health care for.  Tolerance and at least outward neutrality are also a part of a health care provider's job so that the health of the patient isn't compromised emotionally.  She is not demonstrating that tolerance.

 

Nor are the teacher's rantings helping the students to focus on the academics of the classroom that they are paying for.  It is someone abusing their position of authority to get on a political/cultural soap box and making a large percentage of her students exceedingly uncomfortable.  Not a good learning environment.

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No. This isn't an algebra professor - it's someone teaching a group of students who will be be providing healthcare to people from diverse backgrounds.  It also sounds like this one goes far beyond a minor religious reference or swear word. Teaching students to be respectful towards people of all backgrounds is (or should be) an important part of nursing school, and this teacher is not in any way modeling that.

 

Agreed. But even if it were an algebra professor, she would have absolutely no business even bringing up Islam because it is unrelated to the content she teaches and class time should not be wasted on her personal unrelated opinions. Students pay to be taught math, not listen to their instructors hold forth on unrelated matters.

 

 

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I teach at a local college and there is always someone whining about a teacher or two (or three) who 'crossed the line' - either with religious references, the F-word, evolution, politics, something.  My answer to that is that everyone in the room is an adult and it won't kill them to hear alternate speech/opinions, so I am in the 'put on the big girl panties' camp and let it go.  It's not a matter of standing up for anyone; it's more a matter of accepting that everyone doesn't have the same opinions as you do.  Generally, at the college where I teach, instructors are well-insulated against these types of complaints and given free reign, regardless of the number of complaints.

 

The bolded is sad. Instructors should not be allowed to contribute to a hostile learning environment for students belonging to certain religious or ethnic groups. At our school, even a hint of such behavior is taken very seriously by the administration.

This is not about "alternate opinions".

 

 

 

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Agreed. But even if it were an algebra professor, she would have absolutely no business even bringing up Islam because it is unrelated to the content she teaches and class time should not be wasted on her personal unrelated opinions. Students pay to be taught math, not listen to their instructors hold forth on unrelated matters.

 

I agree. And, even in an algebra class, a student who was Islamic (or one who simply disagreed) would be made uncomfortable and potentially fear for their grade in the class, which may be just as important to their academic and professional future as the nursing class is to the nursing student. I was just trying to make it clear that, in the case of nursing school, such behavior is not only inappropriate and irrelevant, but directly in opposition of what she should be teaching.

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