On a National Public Radio story about violence against teachers, a male high school teacher who suffered permanent injuries from an attack by a student reflected back on the experience and mused that he should have displayed better “classroom management.” The host of the program concurred in those oh-so-sympathetic, all-understanding tones that make me want to punch my radio.
And anyone tuning in to cable news in recent weeks has seen the video of the Baltimore high school girl on top of her art teacher, pummeling her. The segment was videotaped for students’ entertainment, as they cheered their classmate on.
Here in Atlanta, at Southside High School, Sequita Thornton, and her mother were finally arrested this week for the beating of Sequita’s teacher on February 28. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, “The attack against Williams is among several violent acts against metro Atlanta teachers this year.”
A friend of mine whose heart drips blood, like many liberals after 9/11, decided she needed to make an effort to “do more for society.” So she gave up her position as a professor of education and went into the classroom to teach. But she could not handle the behavior problems—of kindergartners. She went back to teaching future teachers. When I had another friend guest teach a couple college classes for me, she too expressed surprise and dismay at the students’ lack of manners. I hear such expressions of shock repeatedly from liberals and want to tell them, well, what did you expect?
I want to tell these people who have come of age from the 1960s and on that this is what your ideology has wrought. Did you think that by coddling children, by constantly asking their opinions and treating them like natural-born geniuses that you’d make good citizens of them? Rousseau’s notion of the Noble Savage has come true—only without the adjective appended to it. The video of the teacher beating provides evidence that what we have produced is anything but “noble.”
One of the colleges where I teach now gets many of its students from places like Southside. I had a colleague who had visited a high school classroom relate a story of how her expression of dismay at seeing a group of boys in the back of the classroom playing cards was met by the high school teacher’s response. She was happy to have the boys being relatively quiet and not disturbing other students.