Tuesday, May 01, 2012

You Think YOUR Teachers Are Mean

In many parts of the world today, as was the case in America until just a few short decades ago, students are routinely subjected to terribly abusive treatment from their teachers. The severe humiliation suffered recently by a student in China drove her to suicide, and recently forced the Chinese government to consider enacting laws to forbid abusive punishment in the classroom.

My wife, Komang, was raised in Indonesia, and has recounted to me several similarly sad stories from her own first hand experience, including being forced to stand outside and look at the sun, because she gave an incorrect answer in class.

Certainly, no teacher has the right to abuse or humiliate students in his or her charge. Fear and pain are NOT the best ways to motivate students to learn, to say the least.

Neither do students have the right to disobey or threaten their teachers, who must be able to enforce authority and discipline in their classrooms through common sense means such as reseating, docking grades, or expulsion from class.

Abuse, humiliation, cruelty, and violence are features of a sick, dysfunctional culture. Thankfully, we may finally be seeing significant changes occurring throughout much of the world that make such abusive behavior unacceptable and punishable by law.

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