How Much Freedom Should Teachers Have With Students?

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When do Teachers Cross The Line?

(When do Teachers Cross The Line)

Teaching in America is oftentimes an underappreciated job. Educators are put in charge of handling the education of our youth. Often times, they don’t get the support they need from their students’ parents, but these parents entrust these teachers with their kids. Teachers’ jobs aren’t just about educating; parents entrust teachers with the safety and total well-being of their children. Teachers are in a unique position; they can leave imprints on kids lives that will last a lifetime rather positive or negative.

My favorite teacher of all time is Mr. Kobayashi; he was my English teacher in Seventh grade at Diamond Valley Middle School and helped develop my passion for writing. Mr. Kobayashi was definitely a strict teacher. He expected his students to be accountable, “I forgot” wasn’t an excuse that worked in his classroom. He gave us work and expected us to turn in our work completed and on time. Mr. Kobayashi would occasionally accept work late, but not often. 

Mr. Kobayashi was known around the campus for handing out detentions, yelling at students (military style), and being one of the stricter teachers on campus, but most of his students loved him. To this day, he is the only teacher I still talk to, and when my novel was published, I emailed him to let him know about it. Yes, Mr. Kobayashi was a strict teacher, but he left and imprint on my life as a teacher who actually cared about the success, lives, and future of his students. At the end of the school year, he even dedicated a whole class to teach us about credit scores and credit cards, how they work and how to make sure we don’t get caught in the trap.

Teachers make a significant impact on their students’ lives. That’s a fact, but when is it too much? Recently I read a post online about a teacher at Diamond Valley Middle School who told one of their students, “You shouldn’t wear sunglasses because your future isn’t that bright.” Is this a teacher using their position to better a child, harmless banter, or bullying? Should parents stand by and allow teachers to talk to their kids this way? How many times something like this can happen before the district takes action?

I once had a teacher tell me a similar thing, when I responded with, “I’m going to tell the principal about this,” she responded with, “I don’t care, I’m tenured.” why aren’t teachers who verbally/emotionally bully students held accountable like teachers who physically do?

In the last couple of years, talks of mental illness have exploded around the country, and often times it can be traced to some childhood trauma that is a result of some form of bullying. Many doctors and scientists have stated that emotional trauma can do just as much if not more damage to children than physical does.

So this week’s question to the community is – Should Teachers Be Accountable For What They Say To Students and How Far Is Too Far?

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