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Teenage girl dragged into the pool by a teacher


mommybee
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One thing that surprises me is that usually you get exempted from PE if you play a varsity sport, so school competitive cheer should qualify. My experience is that schools, in general, really bend over backwards for the high profile sports, and cheer tends to be fairly high profile (although usually not nearly so well funded as football or Basketball).

 

As far as cheer hair, it's usually either a french braid or a ponytail, sometimes curled. It's a pain because you have to have it so it won't fall out but, ideally still move (for my DD, that means a TON of gel and spray on everything but the tail. Most of the Black girls on her team use falls because it's such a pain to get the softer, looser curls that are desired (it would require, for most of them, straightening the hair and then curling it, and often that can really, really be damaging to the hair). My DD has waist-length, straight hair, and to get it to the curled ponytail that her coach wants usually means that we put it in curlformers the day before because if it doesn't have a long time to dry, it doesn't. Even if it was just slightly damp when we put it up. Swimming the day of a cheer competition, is simply not in the cards if she is going to have the hair that her coach wants. In her case, she's homeschooled so we can put them up the day before and leave them in, but if she were in PS, we'd probably end up going the fall route because I doubt she would want to go to school in curlers. French braids are a little easier to manage at the last minute, but you rarely see them for competition.

 

 

 

 

 

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People are only discussing the girl's behavior in a general sense because several people have stated that they see nothing wrong with refusing to participate in gym class. .

But *this* student DID participate by swimming and doing laps!

 

That makes many of the comments in this thread inaccurate and reactive.

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For all we know she was about to go sing in a funeral.

 

It doesn't say she had a "date" or anything else. It simply says she didn't want to get her hair wet. We don't know if she had to leave right afterwards or what.

 

There are some circumstances in which I would not have cared if she participated. I also would have provided a note saying she wasn't going to be swimming that day.

 

The teacher ought to be fired IMO.

 

 

If I go swimming I am definitely going to need time to wash my hair, apply hair product, and let it dry or I would not be fit to be seen.

 

And I agree that the teacher should be fired and possibly arrested. No if, ands or buts there, IMO.

 

A different article said she had a cheer competition later.

 

 

One thing that surprises me is that usually you get exempted from PE if you play a varsity sport, so school competitive cheer should qualify. My experience is that schools, in general, really bend over backwards for the high profile sports, and cheer tends to be fairly high profile (although usually not nearly so well funded as football or Basketball).

 

I wonder about this too after reading the second article. I mean, I didn't have to take gym because I was in marching band. I wonder if it is required or if she took it because it was an easy extra credit? But, that's obviously pure speculation either way.

 

 

But *this* student DID participate by swimming and doing laps!

 

That makes many of the comments in this thread inaccurate and reactive.

Many of the comments (including my initial comments) came before the other article that stated she did swim while trying not to get her hair wet.

 

I don't get why she didn't have her coach write a note, if there was a reason involving a school sport?

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I didn't realize she did swim just without getting her hair wet.

 

I have no support whatsoever for the teacher. I was a swimmer and I am well aware one can swim reasonably enough to fulfill PE requirements without getting one's hair wet.

 

If she had a cheer competition then she would have  to have dried and maybe curled her hair. Cheerleading competitions have requirements for that sort of thing.

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There are some assumptions and generalizations that are probably regional. So, off on a tangent about some of these generalizations. ..

 

There are also lots of schools that do not exempt varsity athletes from PE. Mine didn't. The districts in my area do not. My college did, but not my high school.

 

Is there anything that suggests the competitive cheer is a school team. My dd spent two years in the world of competitive cheer. The public schools around here have cheer competitions, but they do not compete at the levels of club cheer. There's a good chance the girl was not on a school team. When we did see school teams at cheer competitions, they had the simplest (and most practical for competing) hair.

 

"most schools bend over backwards for varsity athletes" again not in my district. About 8 years ago one of the relays on the girls swim team was on track to break a state record. One of the girls was at the school science fair very late the night before the regional competition. She was tired and missed her alarm and arrived at school 30 minutes late. Rule is unexcused tardy you cannot participate in any extracurricular events in the school district that day. Sleeping late is unexcused. It doesn't matter that the girl was at a school event late the night before. End result the athletic director called in the the unexcused tardy and the girl was not permitted at the regional competition. With a replacement, the relay team did not advance to the state meet so they had no opportunity to break the record. It a very disappointing way to end their last season in high school. My district does not bend rules for athletes.

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I do not, but I have a daughter with VERY curly hair.

She learned at some point to ignore "socially acceptable" hair (what a strange concept!) because it is a ridiculous waste of life time to spend hours daily to try to make one's hair conform some stereotype that does not come naturally.

 

She eventually accepted HER hair and body and beauty.

 

This society's obsession with appearance is sad.

I'm not sure why whenever a girl wants to look her best, someone insists that she is obsessed with her appearance.

 

Sometimes, people just want to look nice, and if that means spending time on their hair, clothing, or makeup, I don't see anything wrong with that.

 

There is a huge difference between wanting to put your best face forward and being obsessed with your appearance.

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The question "but why wasn't the child perfect" is basically what my brain is hearing.  Regardless of this or that mitigating fact, 14yo girls are not going to make perfect choices.  It would make as much sense to say "but why was she a 14yo girl?"

 

Honestly, I would worry about a 14yo girl who never crossed the line.  I expect it.  I almost want it.  (Remind me of this in 6 years.)

 

The girl was asserting her independence.  Good!  What should have happened is that she found out there was a price to pay.  Not that she would be attacked physically by an apparent lunatic.

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I didn't realize she did swim just without getting her hair wet.

 

I have no support whatsoever for the teacher. I was a swimmer and I am well aware one can swim reasonably enough to fulfill PE requirements without getting one's hair wet.

 

If she had a cheer competition then she would have to have dried and maybe curled her hair. Cheerleading competitions have requirements for that sort of thing.

My son would not swim with his head in the water. No way. Now, I know this and would have made previous arrangements but there is nothing in the world that would convince him to put his head in the water. If someone felt he had to put his head in water to get PE credit, that person would have to modify their opinion or he'd have to take a zero in swimming.

 

It's a win he can wash his hair at home, head wet in a pool is way beyond him.

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Ok just as not all hair is the same, not all curly hair is the same. For anyone with curly hair or a daughter with curly hair who can just swim and be ready to leave 5 minutes out of the pool, that's fabulous. Believe me when I say though that there are heads of hair where it is just not that simple. And no, telling my adolescent niece to just get over it wouldn't be a reasonable or caring solution. You would be hard pressed to find a gal less worried about hair and makeup than me but short of clipping her hair to a close afro, which she really doesn't want, there is nothing that would make her hair swim ready in the middle of the day without assistance and special product to recover her hair.

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Ok just as not all hair is the same, not all curly hair is the same. For anyone with curly hair or a daughter with curly hair who can just swim and be ready to leave 5 minutes out of the pool, that's fabulous. Believe me when I say though that there are heads of hair where it is just not that simple.

 

IMO someone would need more time to prepare for a cheerleading competition regardless of the curliness of their hair.

 

My hair is curly. I would look like this if I didn't wash and apply hair products after swimming.

 

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SP6GM_Ark5M/ThqLD7iKX5I/AAAAAAAAA48/TlLbQvNR4VI/s1600/8.jpg

 

I don't know what is going on with that photo.

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Ok just as not all hair is the same, not all curly hair is the same. For anyone with curly hair or a daughter with curly hair who can just swim and be ready to leave 5 minutes out of the pool, that's fabulous. Believe me when I say though that there are heads of hair where it is just not that simple.

Oh, no, I definitely did not mean to imply that my hair could be competition ready after swimming in a pool without a shower and a few hours for my hair to dry. That DEFINITELY would not be the case, lol! Again, both the information that she DID swim AND the information that she had a competition came later in the thread than my first comments. I think swimming IS participating, regardless of whether or not she got her hair wet. If she didn't want to swim at all due to the competition, then I would expect a note from another authority figure to the teacher. EITHER WAY, that doesn't excuse his behavior in any way, shape or form. I already said that I think he should have been arrested.

 

My earlier statements were general ones in reaction to the early posts. If my kids were in PS, then I *would* expect my kids to participate in whatever was happening in class or face *reasonable* disciplinary actions (which the gym teacher's WERE NOT). That is all that *I* (I can't speak for others) meant to say.

 

Note: caps only for emphasis. :)

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Okay, this thread is nuts. I love you all and have enjoyed reading through this but.......

Talking about what the student did wrong in this case, is just like talking about what a murder victim did wrong. The only way to prevent a murder is to address the murderer. This man has a rage problem. That was assault. Who the student was and what she did and her history is entirely irrelevant.

The minute any one even partially blames the girl (she was disrespectful, she is a brat, disruptive, vain.. Whatever) it takes the focus away from the crime.

 

I would have immediately fired this man and seen him hauled away in hand cuffs, and locked in jail. That is how you reduce the incidence of assault, not by focusing on what the victim should have done, but by punishing the crime instead of blame shifting, and excusing.

 

I am all for a thread on entitled students, disrespectful teens, and whatever else but in my opinion, this is the wrong place. This is what we do as a society and it is so wrong.

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I don't think expecting students to participate in a class they are present for is at all equal to stating that it nullifies one's right to be treated with dignity. I think that is a pretty inflammatory frame that doesn't fit what most people are saying.

 

If students were reading out loud in English class and students refused to participate, then what? I think sending them to a detention style classroom for the period and/or giving a zero for the day would both be completely reasonable. NOBODY has stated in any way shape or form that the teacher in the video acted in a reasonable manner.

What *I* have taken away from more than one post is the idea that the teacher was wrong BUT >insert statement that manages to paint the student as culpable in the incident<.

 

And while I will concede that my statement was hyperbolic, I find the idea that this incident is in any way predictive of this young women's future educational and vocational prospects equally so.

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There is a school district just south of where I live that requires students to pass a swimming class in order to graduate.  A student who refused to participate would not be allowed to graduate.

 

No, I don't think what the teacher did was appropriate, but I also don't understand a student refusing to participate in a required class.

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Okay, this thread is nuts. I love you all and have enjoyed reading through this but.......

Talking about what the student did wrong in this case, is just like talking about what a murder victim did wrong. The only way to prevent a murder is to address the murderer. This man has a rage problem. That was assault. Who the student was and what she did and her history is entirely irrelevant.

The minute any one even partially blames the girl (she was disrespectful, she is a brat, disruptive, vain.. Whatever) it takes the focus away from the crime.

 

I would have immediately fired this man and seen him hauled away in hand cuffs, and locked in jail. That is how you reduce the incidence of assault, not by focusing on what the victim should have done, but by punishing the crime instead of blame shifting, and excusing.

 

I am all for a thread on entitled students, disrespectful teens, and whatever else but in my opinion, this is the wrong place. This is what we do as a society and it is so wrong.

 

 

What *I* have taken away from more than one post is the idea that the teacher was wrong BUT >insert statement that manages to paint the student as culpable in the incident<.

 

And while I will concede that my statement was hyperbolic, I find the idea that this incident is in any way predictive of this young women's future educational and vocational prospects equally so.

Only speaking for myself. My OWN statements were general ones about expectations about participating in class. They didn't say anything about this specific girl. But, I DID talk about participating in class ONLY because a number of people said they would be fine with their child not participating in gym for any old reason. I would not. That's all I was trying to convey. I do NOT think the student was in any way at fault for *this* teacher's behavior. Once again, I think he should be arrested and fired.

 

ETA quoting my first post:

I do think it's rude not to do as the teacher says. I do think it's disrespectful not to participate in class. Yes, we might skip something like swim, if we had something else to attend. But, we *homeschool*. I think when you choose to participate in a traditional school, then you should participate in class. I *absolutely* agree that it should NOT have been handled physically. Back when I was in high school (long, long ago), students who misbehaved in class and/or refused to participate in class were sent to talk to the principal, then put in "In School Suspension."

And yes, some people earlier in the thread thought that I was being unreasonable for those statements, which don't say anything about this specific girl.

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Side question: am I truly the only one that sees swimming - an activity which requires being immersed in water perhaps over your head - an intimidating situation to mandate in a public school setting? To me it's inherently different than land-based exercise. It could send students into an anxiety episodes, and not just from messed up hair. Many people truly fear the water. Forcing their hand in a situation that may, as in the linked video, even lack sufficient lifeguard qualified supervision, seems rather foolish.

 

And yes I think everyone should learn to swim but this seems a not-beat way to go about it.

 

Am I truly the only one who feels this way? Did ALL the rest of you have swimming as required as PE?

Spent most of my life terrified of water, luckily my parents religious beliefs kept me from swimming (so no suit or shorts allowed). I no longer  have an "unreasonable" fear of water, but would not be so well adjusted if made to swim in Jr High/ High School.

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Spent most of my life terrified of water, luckily my parents religious beliefs kept me from swimming (so no suit or shorts allowed). I no longer  have an "unreasonable" fear of water, but would not be so well adjusted if made to swim in Jr High/ High School.

Generally speaking, if you had a strong fear of water, couldn't you just get a note from your doctor/parent/therapist?

 

In fourth grade, I once had blisters on my hands and made my mom write a note excusing me from going back and forth on the monkey bars in gym class (a favorite activity of that teacher). My mom thought I was being silly, but I've never had any faith that people would just be reasonable.

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Spent most of my life terrified of water, luckily my parents religious beliefs kept me from swimming (so no suit or shorts allowed). I no longer  have an "unreasonable" fear of water, but would not be so well adjusted if made to swim in Jr High/ High School.

 

I was terrified of the water well into my teenage years, having a required class like this in HS would have been a nightmare.  I imagine having a teacher like that would have scarred me into never getting over my fear.

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Generally speaking, if you had a strong fear of water, couldn't you just get a note from your doctor/parent/therapist?

 

In fourth grade, I once had blisters on my hands and made my mom write a note excusing me from going back and forth on the monkey bars in gym class (a favorite activity of that teacher). My mom thought I was being silly, but I've never had any faith that people would just be reasonable.

 

My mom refused to write me a note to get out of basketball unit when I had torn my achilles playing soccer. She also wouldn't drive me to school. I think she was mad she'd had to take me to the ER and disgusted after watching me lay in the goal box crying in pain. So, after I hobbled to school, I went to the athletic trainer's office and showed off my foot. The trainer who was also a gym teacher told me gym teacher no way could I play basketball. So, I had to find a reasonable person at school and I did, since there was no reasonable person at home. Sometimes you can count on public school personnel to do the right thing.

 

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And no, we don't teach kids how to protest. It never occurred to me that we should. We already need to squeeze in academics, social skills, and other life skills (such as budgeting, buying houses and insurance, etc), do we really need to add protesting?

Randomly enough, I did learn non-violent protest skills in high school. We had workshops on campus and a variety of opportunties to put said skills to use. I can't say that I went to your average high school though. I would say that non-violent communication lessons are a very helpful skill builder (personally and professionally).

 

We have used this book with our younger son:

 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Kids-Guide-Social-Action/dp/1575420384

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My mom refused to write me a note to get out of basketball unit when I had torn my achilles playing soccer. She also wouldn't drive me to school. I think she was mad she'd had to take me to the ER and disgusted after watching me lay in the goal box crying in pain. So, after I hobbled to school, I went to the athletic trainer's office and showed off my foot. The trainer who was also a gym teacher told me gym teacher no way could I play basketball. So, I had to find a reasonable person at school and I did, since there was no reasonable person at home. Sometimes you can count on public school personnel to do the right thing.

It's good that you were proactive and found someone to advocate for you when your parent refused to do her job.

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One thing that surprises me is that usually you get exempted from PE if you play a varsity sport, so school competitive cheer should qualify. My experience is that schools, in general, really bend over backwards for the high profile sports, and cheer tends to be fairly high profile (although usually not nearly so well funded as football or Basketball).

 

 

This is not universal.  This was not the policy at my high school growing up, where athletics was king.  In our local school district, it is definitely not the case.  Some elite athletes are able to petition to be excused from PE (like elite level gymnasts, figure skaters, and tennis players) who spend hours each day training and lots of travel for their sport.  But just playing a sport in high school does not excuse you from daily PE.  If dd were to go to high school full-time, her competitive rock climbing would not excuse her.  The only reason I would want to excuse her would be time, because most of the PE classes at this school are very well done - focusing life-long fitness, not just give an easy A to the jocks. 

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I'm stunned how ill prepared these kids are for protest.

 

She was pretty good but the others?

-Try to make a protective circle around the protester

-don't grab legs if the cop is pulling arms

-Doggie pile on the person and link arms instead. A wall of arm linked people is much more solid.

 

Bystanders, don't yell or scream; singing or chanting is much more effective. "No, no, she won't go!" "Hands Off!"

 

Once the judge has signed the injunction, don't resist actively. You can be limp but you can also just walk off with the cops. If you're chained to something, make it easy for the person with bolt cutters to free you.

 

Do we teach kids nothing these days??

I love this! And yes I have discussed with my children how to "protest" (peacefully), not as well put though.  I will be borrowing your words next time we have the "what can we/they do about this" discussion (DS really got into the Ukraine protests, watching live feed and such).

 

As for discussing the girl.....

She is in no way at fault for that man's behavior, I don't care what she did or didn't do.

She as a HUMAN Being and IMO has the right to refuse anything she wants, minor or not.  She also has the right to be appropriately punished for the refusal.  I WOULD applaud my child's "disobedience"  if they felt they had a good reason, I would also support the  school's FAIR punishment of child.  I am teaching my children to become thoughtful, strong, independent adults who stand up for themselves and others when needed and to face the consequences of their actions.  

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This is not universal.  This was not the policy at my high school growing up, where athletics was king.  In our local school district, it is definitely not the case.  Some elite athletes are able to petition to be excused from PE (like elite level gymnasts, figure skaters, and tennis players) who spend hours each day training and lots of travel for their sport.  But just playing a sport in high school does not excuse you from daily PE.  If dd were to go to high school full-time, her competitive rock climbing would not excuse her.  The only reason I would want to excuse her would be time, because most of the PE classes at this school are very well done - focusing life-long fitness, not just give an easy A to the jocks. 

 

In my high school band and show choir got PE credit. It wasn't just the jocks, it was people who were involved in physically active programs. Of course, the band and show choir actually did well and the football team didn't but still.... :lol:

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In our district it isn't even just those who are physically active (including cheerleaders and band). It's also those in IB or AICE programs.

 

Oldest was exempt while in the IB program but she recently transferred to a magnet school for the arts so she can concentrate more on her writing. It's a competitive school (students have to audition) but they don't get the exemption the other two programs receive. They have to take one year of PE but she doesn't even have to dress out as it's more of a health class and they have no school sports there so no gym or track for exercise.

 

Our middle schools have a year long PE requirement all three years but it's not difficult, if you know what you're doing, to exempt them. I exempted dd this year and it ended up being a non-issue because of the classes she needed for the Honors program. There wasn't enough room in her schedule for PE. If she gets PE next year in 8th, I will exempt her again. It's a ridiculous class here and I have zero guilt working the system to get her out of it.

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Generally speaking, if you had a strong fear of water, couldn't you just get a note from your doctor/parent/therapist?

 

In fourth grade, I once had blisters on my hands and made my mom write a note excusing me from going back and forth on the monkey bars in gym class (a favorite activity of that teacher). My mom thought I was being silly, but I've never had any faith that people would just be reasonable.

I love my parents (I have to say this first ) but my mother "taught" me how to swim by throwing me in the deep end of the pool.  She had tried many other ways but became sure that if I had to swim I would..... so I don't think I would have been able to talk her into a note.  My sister was in gymnastics (competitive team) from 8yrs old to 12.  She had "blisters" what we referred to as "rips" on her hand 90% of the time, she still had to do the bars 3-5 times a weeks, blood and all.  She chose to be there so that was fine, in a P.S. situation those students aren't choosing to be there. 

I don't want to make my parents out to be worse then they were.  I was an exceptionally difficult child (sensory perception issues were highly misunderstood in the 80's) and they were very young and only doing what they thought was best.  One of the things my mom was really great about was letting us choose our own "path".  No she would not have written me a note, but if I had refused to swim she would have backed me up in my "actual" right to refuse and would have backed the school up in their right to punish me (so I probably wouldn't have had to swim but would have gotten detention).  She would not have heaped any additional punishment on me at home short of telling me I was being a "bit of a baby" about it.

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I was terrified of the water well into my teenage years, having a required class like this in HS would have been a nightmare.  I imagine having a teacher like that would have scarred me into never getting over my fear.

:iagree:  it made me physically ill to watch that video, I saw a bit of the video on the Yahoo homepage and had to scroll really fast past it.  I finally (after about an hour) clicked on it and couldn't watch more then a few seconds at first.  So yeah, if I'd been that poor girl I might never have recovered.  I know that if that had happened to my DD or DS I'd have been the equivalent of a raging mama bear.

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:iagree: it made me physically ill to watch that video, I saw a bit of the video on the Yahoo homepage and had to scroll really fast past it. I finally (after about an hour) clicked on it and couldn't watch more then a few seconds at first. So yeah, if I'd been that poor girl I might never have recovered. I know that if that had happened to my DD or DS I'd have been the equivalent of a raging mama bear.

(((So many hugs)))

 

:grouphug:

 

It is horrible what the girl went through and I totally understand why that video could be a trigger for quite a few people.

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Spent most of my life terrified of water, luckily my parents religious beliefs kept me from swimming (so no suit or shorts allowed). I no longer  have an "unreasonable" fear of water, but would not be so well adjusted if made to swim in Jr High/ High School.

 

No, you're not alone.  I am not scared of water, but ever since I started developing, I've been extremely uncomfortable showing skin that is usually covered.  Thankfully none of my schools had a pool and nobody was required to put on a swimsuit.  The school gymsuits were bad enough.

 

When I first saw that video, I didn't have the "backstory" so I assumed it was a girl who was afraid to get into the water.  I don't think that is extremely rare.  And I thought, well that behavior is really gonna make her brave enough to face the pool next time.  :/

 

Yeah, I don't know what schools do to kids who fear the water.  I remember when I was in 11th and I was supposed to do a commercial on film.  I was so nervous that I could not speak or do anything with the video camera running.  I was excused (probably took a grade hit) because the teacher could see I wasn't able to comply.  But, that teacher was one of my favorites.  I don't know what other teachers would have done.

 

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I'm also completely confounded by the girl who came up and threw water on the girl being assaulted. My "hope" is that she is some longtime enemy being grabbed by the PE teacher and this is just one more hit in a long list of things these two girls do back and forth to each other in their "mean girl" games.

 

But if she's just an acquaintance or classmate and she's joining in the melee trying to get more of the student wet, she also needs some serious training in mob mentality, human rights principles and appropriate authority boundaries. I realize she's just 14, too, but wow! I hope a daughter of mine would be headed off going up the chain of command or at least lateral in getting help for the student being assaulted by the teacher.

 

We don't just stand there and we certainly don't just think it's a joke. Good for whoever got video of it. Document, document, document.

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Okay, this thread is nuts. I love you all and have enjoyed reading through this but.......

Talking about what the student did wrong in this case, is just like talking about what a murder victim did wrong. The only way to prevent a murder is to address the murderer. This man has a rage problem. That was assault. Who the student was and what she did and her history is entirely irrelevant.

The minute any one even partially blames the girl (she was disrespectful, she is a brat, disruptive, vain.. Whatever) it takes the focus away from the crime.

 

I would have immediately fired this man and seen him hauled away in hand cuffs, and locked in jail. That is how you reduce the incidence of assault, not by focusing on what the victim should have done, but by punishing the crime instead of blame shifting, and excusing.

 

I am all for a thread on entitled students, disrespectful teens, and whatever else but in my opinion, this is the wrong place. This is what we do as a society and it is so wrong.

 

Ok, still not getting this...whatever I think of the girl (and I've already stated I don't think she did anything really wrong) how does that change the fact that I think the teacher is a nut job who should be arrested and never allowed around children again?  Why is it automatically assumed I am not capable of holding both of those positions in my head at the same time?

 

The girl's behavior cannot even be discussed without it being blame shifting or excusing.  Even among those who thought she might have been inappropriate, I didn't see anyone excusing the teacher's behavior.  One does not automatically equal the other.

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As a further example, what if the girl had spit in the teacher's face?  Even then, his behavior was inappropriate.  He should still be arrested and fired.  But to say, wow, it was wrong for her to spit in his face does not equal it was OK for him to attack her.  They are two separate issues.

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But she didn't spit in his face.

 

And refusing to get in the pool is hardly the equivalent to spitting in a teacher's face anyway.

 

 

??  I was using an analogy to make the point that an opinion on her behavior - whatever her behavior - does not equal excusing the attacker.  A wrong on her part - or anyone's part - does not lessen the wrong of another person.  Hence, I don't think that discussing whether her behavior was ok or not means that everyone discussing that is blame-shifting or excusing.  People are capable of keeping the two issues separate.

 

Of course she didn't spit in his face and I wasn't trying to say it was equivalent.  I was saying that even if she did something that everyone agreed was wrong, would saying that "spitting in someone's face is wrong" still be considered blame-shifting, and why should it be that way?  

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Hey goldberry;

Because we are trying to explain his actions when we do this. And there is no justifiable reason. Like you said, no matter the girls behavior, he was 100% wrong. So why even go down that road when you are talking about a crime?

 

I get that you can think anything you want to of the girl and still not think the man acted appropriately. But why waste time discussing her character flaws? It shifts the focus off the real problem, it automatically implies she had some fault even when not intended that way.

 

Sorry I am not saying that's what you are doing. Just my opinion on how this whole thread reads out.

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Yeah - it's just eerie to see people talking about whether she had the wrong attitude about her hair when the teacher was acting insane.

 

I mean, when you hear about someone beating a 3yo to death for a potty accident, do you say "well, he was wrong, but she shouldn't have peed her pants"?

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That is one of the craziest things I've ever heard.

 

Can't graduate unless you swim 200 metres ?

 

Weird.

Me too. Once you finish high school you shouldn't be forced to do anything not related for your studies. I think the whole thing is crazy. But I object to the lawyer saying when a girl of women says no she means no - this does not mean disobeying a lawful instruction. That said there are appropriate ways to deal with disobedience which don't include that.

 

I remember a teacher threw a typewriter at a kid once. No one liked the teacher much but most people privately admitted that her actions were quite understandable. I don't remember what happened to the teacher. Corporal punishment was legal but not for girls that age so maybe not much just some stress leave.

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Imagine these students in college.

 

The public ivy I attended required four semesters of nonacademic credit PE. The expectation to really participate (not whine and pretend to bounce a basketball or other stuff that often gets credit in high school) was set high. It was nonacademic credit so it didn't go in your GPA if you passed, but if you failed the F went into your GPA. But unlike high school did get to choose some fun classes if we wanted. If you had money you could ski over spring break with a "class" . You could take orienteering. Whatever. One of my good friends went to a university that required students to swim 200 meters in order to graduate.

 

 

That is one of the craziest things I've ever heard.

 

Can't graduate unless you swim 200 metres ?

 

Weird.

 

Washington and Lee University has a requirement that students have to be able to swim to graduate.  It was either the length of their Olympic sized swimming pool or a full lap in it.  I can't remember exactly, because DS is a pretty good swimmer so my brain registered it as a non-issue at the time.  Our guide said that a wealthy couple had donated millions to the school years ago, and that was the one stipulation they put on the money.  Apparently one of their sons had drowned, and they didn't want that happening to anyone else.

 

Here in our school district no high schooler is exempted from PE.  It doesn't matter if you're a top junior amateur athlete or someone at the school who participates in six zillion sports.  You still take PE.

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Once you finish high school you shouldn't be forced to do anything not related for your studies

How is a swimming requirement different from other general Ed requirements (other than the fact that it's pass fail and doesn't affect GPA)? At many universities in the US English majors have to take a math and a science class. Likewise, I had to take literature to get my chemistry degree.

 

If a school deems it part of their program, I don't see it any different than other requirements that don't have much context to the degree concentration. Since, you get to choose where you apply to college and you get to choose where you attend, it would be easy yo figure out these requirements and choose not to pursue such a school. However, my guess is every school has a requirement that students font think "fits" their education.

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As a further example, what if the girl had spit in the teacher's face? Even then, his behavior was inappropriate. He should still be arrested and fired. But to say, wow, it was wrong for her to spit in his face does not equal it was OK for him to attack her. They are two separate issues.

Spitting in his face would be an instigating criminal action on her part. She did not assault or batter him. She was the victim of a crime, and to me, discussing how "wrong" her behavior might have been minimizes her and minimizes her batterer's responsibility. The responsibility for this in no way should be shifted to the child. If this were a child abuse situation and instead of a teacher, a dad had dragged his daughter across the pool deck thusly, would anyone be discussing how messy her room probably is or how she likely is a spoiled brat who will never succeed in college? It's ludicrous.

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Me too. Once you finish high school you shouldn't be forced to do anything not related for your studies.

 

Not arguing with you here at all, just curious because you raise an interesting point. I think saying that post-high school you don't have to do anything not related to your studies opens up the question of what constitutes a liberal arts education and even what the purpose of college is. College is crazy expensive, so do you think we need to change our expectations and the purpose of college to provide only technical expertise in a particular field (and thereby making it more affordable)? Or is there value in taking classes outside your major? Is there benefit to that exploration? Why take an art or music class if you're not inclined to those areas? Personally, I think there is great value to having that exposure, but there may be good arguments for not forcing students to take these "unrelated subjects." This may be a whole different subject, however.

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We can safely conclude that the teacher was wrong by watching the video and reading the available reports. Do we really know what is going on with the student, though?

 

When I was in school, the approach to dealing with a student's refusal to participate in classes was similar to what you describe in the bolded sentence. I was that loud, obnoxious student with a bad reputation, among some teachers at least. 

 

I reached a point at which I refused to do math. It was a permanent refusal; I never did any formal math again. I told the math teacher he had two choices. I could either quietly engage in other activities like doing homework from other subjects or reading novels, or I could not be in class and help the school's manual staff with things like mopping floors, cleaning up lunch, or raking leaves. He did not like this and got very angry. My mother was called in many times. She only turned up a handful of times, because she had a job.

 

Sounds terrible, right? There was more to the story, however: I had dyscalculia and a serious math phobia after physically being punished for not "getting" math in primary school. I could not do simple addition and subtraction. What was I going to get out of  sitting in algebra classes or whatever it was they were doing that I didn't understand? I had spent YEARS working very, very hard to try to understand math, including in remedial classes. My refusal to engage in that any longer was a desperate act of trying to take charge of my own needs. 

 

Yes, it meant I could not graduate high school. That was OK, because I was going to move to another country where math was not a graduation requirement the following year. All I needed was to not do math the rest of the year. I really, really couldn't take any more math. Of course, things like dyscalculia were not recognized on those days, but the fact is that I had a legitimate learning disability. Forcing a wheelchair user to run would be just as wrong.

 

In this case, too, we just don't know the rest of the story. ALL KINDS OF THINGS could be going on with the student.

 

How awful that you were put in that position. I'm sorry no one advocated for you.

 

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As an adult, you can choose to not fulfil the requirements for your institution's degree (I mean the general BA or BSc studies, where you pick and choose your courses, and build your own sched.) . You can float around, racking up credits you like and not getting the others. The registrar's office will eventually call you and say "hey, so what's the plan?' But there's nothing that says you must be working towards a degree. So long as you're in good academic standing, and keep paying the tuition, you do what you want. I knew plenty of people who did that and usually after a while,academic advising would say look, you're two courses away from a major in this, and one course away from a minor in that, and if you take these classes you've almost got another minor.... And offer some ideas on how to meet those requirements and if that's what the person wants, then they'd do it. But it's a choice.

 

In my prov, schooled kids have to have PE 10 to graduate. After that it's totally optional. You can also take PE 10 online and meet the requirements by doing reading, writing about fitness and health and logging physical activity.

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 She was the victim of a crime, and to me, discussing how "wrong" her behavior might have been minimizes her and minimizes her batterer's responsibility. 

 

Ok, sorry, that was not my intention in any way.  I think that either I am not communicating clearly or my thought process just is not normal.  Never mind! Continue on.... :)

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Ok, sorry, that was not my intention in any way. I think that either I am not communicating clearly or my thought process just is not normal. Never mind! Continue on.... :)

It's an interesting discussion. I think the teacher being in a position of authority affects perception somehow? Obviously he overreacted --> he must have been REacting to something SHE did. Instead of her being the victim of his uncontrolled rage. Even the school system has taken that approach!

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I was dragged down the hallway in 4th grade by a horrible teacher who claimed that I was wearing makeup when I cried (I didn't-my face turns very creepy blotchy when I cry) after he harassed me about my homework that was missing.  I have NO SYMPATHY for teachers who lay a hand on students. 

 

The worst that should have happened to the girl is that she would get a zero for the day, if she got mouthy send her to the office.  If it had been my child I would have had her in the ER for scrapes/cuts/bruises, to document the assault then pressured the police to arrest him immediately. But the small chance of something like that happening to my minor child is one of the many reasons I homeschool (DD is kind of mouthy so the chance might not be as small as I wish it were).   

 

ETA: I know I'm probably in the minority but I don't see a problem with her refusing to participate.  There are steps, getting a zero, for a non-participating student.  I would think that after it being explained she still chose to not swim, then okay she gets a zero.  Why is she spoiled for not wanting to get her hair wet when she had a function (mentioned in another article I read earlier) to attend after school?  As an adult If I had a function to attend then I would have just skipped swim class that day, same for my HS'ed child.

 

Exactly!  I refused to participate in PE a lot in high school.  I had knee arthritis (my doctor's excuse was ignored by the teachers) and severe dysmennorhea that ended in several surgeries for me and was debilitating.  You can bet I didn't tell my male gym teacher all about my bleeding issues and just sitting out was just fine.  I was given a zero for participation and life went on.  

 

Even if her real excuse was her hair-who cares?  I can't imagine forcing ANYONE into the water for any reason.  But maybe after having my ears rupture twice in the pool and a near drowning experience have influence on my decision. :p

I am anything but spoiled and vain. But my hair is an issue. An issue that is difficult to explain. And I would not expect my dd to have to defend her choice to any teacher on the issue.

Not participating in gym should be a place for age appropriate autonomy.

Oh, yes.  I have two kids who have hair like Alex Kingston's if she was electrocuted.  Swimming in a pool ends in about an hour of detangling and some rather interesting styles after that.  My hair was the same when I was a child.  Swimming is just NOT so easy for a lot of people.  Even those hair caps don't help-my kids used them for swim lessons. 

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To reiterate a point some may have missed, the girl did get in the water and swim laps. She didn't put her head in the water. The teacher was forcing her into the water to get her hair wet, not because she refused to participate. (He was not justified either way, but I wanted to pount that out.)

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