SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Duct Taping Michelle Rhee

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Duct Taping Michelle Rhee

Sorry if I am late for the party. At least here on the blog. I think back in September I posted on Twitter about how Michelle Rhee mimicked and mocked the speech patterns of her African-American students when she was the greatest teacher ever in Baltimore. According to audio made by Rhee at the Columbia Heights Education Campus, and reported by Alexander Russo and the Washington Post, Rhee, "I took little pieces of masking tapes and put them on everybody's lips." At this point in her story the crowd laughs. She goes on to explain that, "their skin is coming off and that they are bleeding," and the crowd still is laughing. This is just demented.

So why after three months or so of this being reported am I finally sharing my two cents? I guess it is seeing the launching of Seeing how Oprah is scheming to replace Gayle with Rhee as her new best friend. Watching someone has intelligent as Steven Colbert inviting having Rhee as his guest. Or just knowing in my heart of hearts that I need to do what is right in my corner of thew world to stop this evil, nasty, mean spirited woman.

But what has gotten me most riled up, gotten my gander up, has bunched up my Froot of the Looms is that a close, close person to me in another state has been reassigned because he dared to joke about taping students mouths. Now don't get me wrong, it was stupid to joke in this way. No doubt about it. But it should not involve a police investigation.

I decided to google past transgressions of teachers taping students mouths and wondered if these teachers were able to skate by as did Michelle Rhee. The names are not meant to "out" these teachers in no shape or form. These names, the accusations are widely available. It is only meant to "out" Michelle Rhee for what she truly is.

In 2008, Pamela Dahnke was terminated for taping a student's mouth shut. She was an eighth-grade health and nutrition teacher at Battle Ground Middle School in West Lafayette, IN. Did she get the same treatment as Michelle Rhee?

In 2009, Laura Gatlin a 1st grade teacher in Cleveland County, Arkansas was accused of taping students mouth and to the chair. Her lawyer's comment is here. Has she been afforded the same accolades and laughter as Michelle Rhee?

In 2006, in Katy, Texas, Jennifer Silva reportedly taped some the mouths of several students. When the superintendent got wind, he notified her he would recommend she was terminated. Why was she recommended for termination yet, Michelle Rhee is seen as the savior of education?

Just earlier this year, a teacher was accused of duct taping a student's mouth in Mishawaka, IN. This student has Asperger's syndrome. The website, said, "There are certainly many creative things that people do with duct tape. But using it on a child's mouth, and on the mouth of a child on the autism spectrum, is (serious understatement) not one of them." Does this website feel has vehement about what Michelle Rhee did and will lead the charge to make sure that Michelle Rhee is no longer near students?

And in January 2008, a well-liked Driscoll School, Brookline, MA, science teacher, Christopher Huggins , is out of a job last week after allegedly duct-taping a 12-year-old girl’s mouth during class. Michelle Rhee is not well liked. Why isn't she removed from the entire scene?

In 2009, a first grade teacher at Spaulding Elementary School, Emily Metcalfe, in Townsend, MA, used duct tape on several students' mouths. The principal was quoted as, "The superintendent went on to say that the teacher may have thought at first this was a joke, but that there was a lack of professional judgment." Didn't Michelle Rhee show poor judgment?

I am in no way condoning, nor condemning what these teachers had done. They have every single right to be proven guilty, not to prove their innocence. That is how the American system works. But, does the punishment fit the crime? Especially in light of Michelle Rhee's acknowledgment of what she has done and the education deformers sweeping it under the rug? Do these teachers not deserve the same benefit of the doubt and second chance that Michelle Rhee has received?


summer said...

Re: "Do these teachers not deserve the same benefit of the doubt and second chance that Michelle Rhee has received?"

I think you're asking the wrong question. How about this question:

"Should Michelle Rhee have been fired and perhaps reported for child abuse to Social Services? (And maybe done some jail time?)"

I think that is a more appropriate question. A teacher placing any kind of tape on the mouths of students indicates a severe lack of professional judgment.

Anonymous said...

DC voters threw out Rhee, probably the best hope for DC schools in a long time, and the most honest and competent mayor, Fenty, the city has EVER had ... in favor of the same ol' same ol' inferior performance ... good luck DC residents!! you will get what you have voted for, a continuance of substandard education. People vilify Rhee because she had the guts to stand up to public opinion, and try to make real reforms in a FAILED school system. DC teachers and their union are the problem, and the teachers union. What an embarrassment for all Americans. She may not have been right to mock those students for poor speech patterns, or to tape their mouths ... but please lets focus on the real issue here: DC residents wanted to keep their expensive incompetent school system in place. Have you no shame?

Anonymous said...

It is sad to think that this blog was posted by a teacher. It is filled with grammatical errors. I am glad my children don't go to this school. I think I agree with Ms. Rhee, I expect more from teachers.

Anonymous said...

It's not just the tape-on-the-mouth issue: By her own account, she was ineffective in her first year, and the test scores of her students dropped significantly. That alone should have prompted the district to remove her from the classroom.