Accused of assault

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by newbie12, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. newbie12

    newbie12 Rookie

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    Hi,

    I recently started teaching at a new school. As a high school teacher I teach a range of students, most of whom are quite nice. Unfortunately a few days ago I was told that one of my students is accusing me of physically assault. She claims that I pushed and slapped her in class, so hard that it actually left a bruise.

    Since then I've been having panic attacks and difficulty sleeping. I've called in sick because I'm so overwhelmed with stress that I cant even go to work. I just feel powerless. And whilst everyone at work says they are supportive, there is a definite sense of suspicion and distrust. Unfortunately mud sticks, especially when it involves something as serious as assault.

    I am on contract until the end of the year at which point they are almost certainly going to let me go. I would have loved to have stayed at this school permanently, but its looking unlikely now. I'm even thinking of leaving teaching altogether. Advice?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Did you touch the student? Does the student have any witnesses to back up her claims?

    I'm not sure I could continue working at a place where a rumor like this about me was circulating. I think that it would be too difficult to overcome. I'd probably look for a clean slate elsewhere. This is assuming that the claims are 100% false and I have the option to look elsewhere.
     
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  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    If you have not yet contacted your union (it should have been your first call), do it today.
     
  5. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

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    Agreed! I would definitely find another job because I would not want to be treated differently than everyone else at the place where false rumors were circulating. Several years ago, I worked in a school that went from average at best to downright toxic. Most of us moved on because of the student body and the new administration. This administration would always blame teachers who weren't in the administrators' clique for students' delinquent and defiant behavior.

    Students would invent stories just to get teachers in trouble and the administrators would automatically take the students' side. Now that most of us have moved on, we actually love our new schools.
     
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  6. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

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    Yes, definitely call your union to put everything on record. You should write down everything that you remember about the day in question and give a copy to your union rep. Also give this information to your union attorney if you have one. Don't answer any questions from the school officials without a union rep or attorney present. If you don't have a witness, school officials who are corrupt are likely to make up stories regarding what you said.
     
  7. newbie12

    newbie12 Rookie

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    I absolutely didn't touch the student. Not sure why she is saying it.

    Luckily I was team teaching that day and there was another teacher in the room. He didn't see anything however he admits he wasn't watching me the whole time. I would like to get more witnesses but the student reported it three weeks after it was supposed to have happened. Recollections are now quite blurry.

    I will contact the union. I'm not sure I can leave as I have no other job. I feel devastated.
     
  8. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
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  9. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    1st-I am so sorry what you are going through. I hope this student gets expelled to the fullest extent. This is unfair to teachers. Kids can make things up, even if they don't like the teacher, or anything else and teachers get put on investigation. We do absolutely need cameras. I'm not understanding why there aren't. We we go to a grocery store there are cameras, when we go to most government offices there are cameras, cops have cameras. I don't get this. I wouldn't mind if there was a camera in my class.
     
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  10. phillyteacher

    phillyteacher Comrade

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    I agree, I liked having a camera in my room last year. It helped me feel protected.
     
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  11. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
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  12. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Your union representative should help with the legal side of this. In our district, if something like this happened, you may be eligible to for a mandatory transfer, meaning you have to be transferred out of that school and another school in the district has to take you, before all of the other transfers happen. The union should be involved ASAP! Something similar happened to me my first year at a new school, and my union (well, professional organization) was very helpful!

    Just in general, I am somewhat appalled by the tone of many of the posts in this thread. It seems like when we devolve into name calling and belittling, we lose the ability to be supportive of each other. When we dismiss the ideas and thoughts of others, we fail to consider all perspectives. I find myself visiting these forums less and less and the people here become meaner and meaner. I do not always agree with everyone, and I will certainly admit to losing my patience at times and being short with people, but I've learned to just walk away from those discussions. Let it go!
     
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  13. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I was accused of pushing a student during my first year. The entire class was watching the incident and so I had about 30 witnesses that could attest that I didn't.

    But I didn't even need to call on them. In the meeting between the principal and the student, I calmly stated what happened from my perspective and no one questioned it (other than the student--but the student had a history of pulling stuff like this, so no one believed him). If you are calm, assertive, and don't make a big deal out of it, you'll get through it fine.

    Freaking out and skipping work may make it look like you're guilty, though I totally understand the feeling and the desire to do so. In my opinion it's just one of those moments, where you need to put on your calm professional face (even if you don't feel calm) and be as matter-of-fact as possible.

    Even if you lost your composure before, regaining your composure now will at least put things to rest soon enough. All teachers know kids accuse teachers of ridiculous things (their parents do too). Especially new teachers. If you have a supportive admin that's all that matters. Don't let the noise affect your life.
     
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  14. TechnoMage

    TechnoMage Companion

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    It has slowly happened over time, the inmates are finally running the asylum. Do a Google search and you will find many cases of bragging students detailing how they got rid of an undesirable teacher. Its a fact! Blueprints on how to ruin a teacher or employer. And the Admins are buying it.
    What a world we now live in. It happened to me this past semester. I had to prove I did not call a student a B@$$t@rd. I have NEVER used profanity in my classroom, not EVER. And some Admin bought into this. I was placed on Admin leave immediately and prohibited from going to any district resources or others while it was being determined what took place. Sucks to work in a right-to-work state. Two weeks later I was faced with dismissal and a pile of papers to sign. At this point I reiterated my innocence and told them again I had PROOF that this had not taken place. I also said my attorney wanted copies of everything used to determine my guilt and that charges would be brought against the slandering and libeling participants. They quickly took back the forms, demanded my proof, and said they would get back to me. Months went by, nothing was sent or said to me. They paid me through my contract and never provided any evidence other than to say "several" other students said they heard the event. My evidence was recordings of every day all day of myself at school. There was no evidence of even an altercation, nothing. I live in a single party state where it is quite legal for you to record any conversation you are present for. I think all teachers should make this a habit for self preservation, and self defense. What a world we now live in!
     
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  15. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
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  16. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I'm all for cameras in the classrooms.
     
  17. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    I couldn't agree more!! Camera's should be everywhere except changing rooms and bathrooms. It's not right that they are not. One word against the other and it makes the teacher look bad.
     
  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Do you think that mandatory cameras everywhere might contribute to the perception that we cannot be trusted to do our jobs and to keep kids safe?
     
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  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Agree! I have no interest in cameras everywhere.
     
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  20. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    We have cameras in hallways and common areas but not in classrooms. I don't mind the cameras, people who have nothing to hide hide nothing. we have used evidence from the cameras as evidence in fights (who was the instigator/perpetrator, who was a witness, who else joined in etc.) or if students entered a room and something went missing from that room or cheating in tests. Students usually own up pretty quickly because they know we have solid evidence and parents (cops, when needed) accept the evidence.
    But it was a deliberate decision to exclude cameras in the classroom because the P trusts us to do our jobs right and that trust is nice.
     
  21. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    Absolutely not in any way. It's very unlikely that students will say one thing to destroy a teachers career, but I think it's safe to have them so these very few mad cases of a student don't ruin someone's career. I don't think someone should be hired to monitor at all, including principals or security officers, but it should be kept on record if needed to look back. Then that way, a student could say, "well so and so pushed me Thursday afternoon" Then when the student says, "well I don't know when", then we will have a better idea that the student may be lying and there is no proof. However, if a student said, "so and so pushed me against my desk about halfway through 3rd period", then they could have someone go back and check to see if it's true. But I don't in anyway think someone should sit there and constantly "look" and monitor. That would make us look untrustworthy.
    If anyone doesn't like camera's, here is a something that happened when I was younger.
    This is a TRUE story. When I was 17 years old, some random person tried to accuse me and my brother of breaking into a car at on a Saturday afternoon in a grocery store parking lot. My brother and I worked at the grocery store and went to say our goodbyes to a manager we liked since we were off work that day. We were both there when someone called the cops on us, the police looked at the evidence from cameras and showed that no one tried to break into any car whatsoever. You don't ever want to know the anxiety, fear, and embarrassment we felt being held and questioned by cops when we did nothing. At the time, a cop called our parents saying what we were being accused of and we might being going to jail. The guy who filed the report had to be taken in because of false evidence and they thought guy was pretty much insane. The cops called our parents the next day and apologized for making the accusation. Reporting false crime is a felony, that can last a lifetime, even for teenagers. I also found that that guy was charged and never allowed back to the grocery store property thankfully. It's always better to have proof, especially now days, since we have the technology is available. We unfortunately now days, have to protect ourselves from the few insane, maybe less than 1 in a 1000 people that could destroy someone's career and reputation forever. It may be rare, but hope it never happens to any of us. If it were like 1970, the school district would brush it off, but now, everyone in the district will take these accusations seriously.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
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  22. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    I've started to notice more an more your antagonistic view of anyone on this forum, Ceasar. There was a post back saying why more and more people are not posting anymore. Is it because you've been here since 07 from your icon? I haven't logged on very much for a month because you tend to bring general darkness from any thread. I know it's good to be true but you're rude and comments are not thought out. Well maybe because it's posts like this you put out. It seems as though you like to disagree with everyone for the sake of it. I mean you really want trust, not to have cameras?? Then what is there to hide if someone is recording? I would rather have a record of me than to have someone trying to wrongly accuse me of something. I get it Ceasar, we shouldn't have to have camera's or anything, but our administrators/district more than likely have to have us go on leave and would make us go through a lengthy trial of wrongful guilt in process while we wait to see if we have our position back. That's the way it is now days, extremely rare, but can happen. It's unfortunately not longer, "the teacher is correct". If it were 40 years ago, people would trust the teacher. Now we hear everything about the RARE wrong things a teacher does on the news and it makes us prone to being culprits. Recordings are the way to go. It's unfortunate but true these days. Don't get me wrong, Ceasar, you say some good things but have made many others mad to the point where they left. You seem rather angry.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
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  23. TechnoMage

    TechnoMage Companion

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    You don't want cameras, until you need them! And did not have them.
    I had my own cameras in my classroom. The result was better classes. All parties are held accountable. I once had a principal who said "I can come into your class any day, any time, and find something to fire you over, its just a matter of time. I told him that when he did to smile, he was on candid camera. I told my students that it was not my word against their word, it was THEIR word against THEIR word. Five times in thirty years I have needed something to back up my story and I have had them. The Admin who took this last accusation asked me "why in the world do you need a recorder in your pocket?" I looked at her and said "why are you asking me that?" The result is it made me a better teacher and made them a better class. Title 1 kids can learn as well as any other and most of my career those are the kids I taught. It works until you get a PC maroon who really does not understand teaching preaching to you about the "trust" issues. But these are the same ones who would crucify you if you miss something or were out of the room when something happened (perhaps talking to a student in the hall). They CYA on the teacher at the first opportunity. Right, "cameras are bad", until you need them.
     
  24. DAH

    DAH Companion

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    That was one of the things I liked about working at Juvenile Hall---CAMERAS IN EVERY CLASSROOM!
     
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  25. DAH

    DAH Companion

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    You cannot be trusted, Ceasar! I don't trust you.
    I like what President Reagan said, "Trust, but verify." In other words, WATCH HIM!

    And, not trusting someone doesn't necessarily mean you have a foul attitude towards them. It just means, we need to make sure you're doing what you're supposed to do. Because we know human nature; the best of us are flawed.
    You will get MORE GOOD out of a person who is watched!:whistle:
     
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  26. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Please, let's ALL keep the personal attacks off this forum. This topic is a hot-button issue and there are strong feelings on both sides. If you feel one person is playing devil's advocate, either play along or don't.
     
  27. Kat.

    Kat. Companion

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    I like the idea of cameras. The way I see it, if I'm not doing anything wrong it really doesn't matter. It can only protect me/the kids. We're a Title 1 campus and rated IR so we have tons of people walking in and out of our classrooms anyway.

    There was a case of sexual assault at my campus (a few years ago before I was there) that could've ended much earlier than it did if we had cameras. It might've been avoided altogether if the teacher knew he was being watched.

    Side note: in elementary school (especially the younger grades) I'm able to tell a little white lie to my troublemakers and tell them I'll check the cameras and see if they really did do something that they aren't being honest about. It usually gets them to confess. :rolleyes: If only that would work for the older students so they couldn't make up stories like this.

    Good luck, OP. I really can't imagine...it's unfortunate that our careers can be so easily destroyed by something like this.
     
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  28. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Uh...I was asking a question. You know, to help further the discussion. On this discussion board. Where we discuss things. I'm not sure how I came across antagonistic here. I'm not an angry person. I'm actually pretty chill, believe it or not.

    For what it's worth, I have a camera in my room. I don't mind it, because it's there to provide extra monitoring for some special equipment and materials I have, not to Big Brother me.

    As for me making people so mad that they leave, meh. People here are grown-ups (mostly) and can do what they want. I am not responsible for how other people might respond to what I say here. I like to keep it a hundred. You can click the ignore button if you want.

    [​IMG]
     
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  29. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    [​IMG]
     
  30. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    We have cameras in our halls, but not in classrooms. A wise principal told us once, "Always conduct yourself as if you are on camera, because you never know when you might be."
     
  31. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    My post came across a bit rude and I apologize. There wasn't a need for me to say it the way I did. I guess we just have different views but I need to learn to accept others and not go full blown.
     
  32. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    LOVE when people acknowledge each other's viewpoints, even if they're completely different.
    [​IMG]
     
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  33. MathGuy82

    MathGuy82 Companion

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    That's a cool video of the green people!! Very creative! Love this forum and thanks for the forgiveness. It's a great place to post and thank all of you all again for all the support. We have it tough as teachers these days and it's good to be able to post. Ceasar posts a ton off good things on here and he's good. I'm sorry again I came across mean. I just like a place where I can talk and get support from others. I realize that Ceasar has put a lot of time and effort to this forum, as many others have. However.. We are a team together, Ceasar, it may help sometimes to give support when others are in need. We all have bad times in teaching, and the truth is good, but we need to also be supported at the same time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
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  34. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Caesar is a woman and offers a lot of support. Your apology seems a bit backhanded when accompanied by reprimand, IMO.
     
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  35. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    We already put cameras in the hallway because kids can't be trusted. Kids are in classrooms too. That is the spin that would be used. There will be those who see it as teachers can't be trusted, but there has been enough in the news that does show there are some around. There are probably a lot of adults who wish cameras were in the classrooms when they were kids to show what really went on.

    Gone are the day where one person's word is trusted without question. Cameras help protect all.

    Just think of the admin reviews where the claim is the teacher didn't do something they did. No more he said she said. It is all there.
     
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  36. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I see that you edited this post to add in the stuff at the end saying that I'm not supportive. I challenge you to PM me with specific examples where I have not been supportive. My support may be a little towards the "tough love" end of the spectrum, but it's definitely there.

    I do not coddle or placate or reassure people that the lies they hold onto so desperately are the truth. If those things are part of your definition of support then you just may be right.
     
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  37. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Please, EVERYONE, let's stop personal attacks on the forum. It makes the moderators very grumpy, especially when we might have slept very poorly the night before.
    [​IMG]
     
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  38. DAH

    DAH Companion

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    [QUOTE="catnfiddle,
    QUOTE]
    I enjoy a good game of tug-of-war:handfist:
     
  39. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Most of us don't have the luxury of being able to record conversations in the classroom. As a matter of fact, where I work, just doing the recording would be grounds for immediate dismissal. I just want anyone reading this thread to know that if you are NOT 100% certain of the school/district/state policy is on recording without permission, you better seek clarification before following suit. Saying, after the fact, that you didn't know it was illegal won't save you.
     
  40. DAH

    DAH Companion

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    That's true, Vicki. In the districts I've worked, cell phones are to be off and unseen, but the kids (middle & high school) break the rules and do it anyway. If you don't believe it, just go to YouTube and type in "Teacher," or "Substitute Teacher" if you really want some laughs. Talk about 'having no respect for rules and the law..it's RIFE among our kids.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
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  41. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Can I make sure that the students are being held to the same rules? No. Does that give me the right to also break the law? No. If the adults in the room don't play by the rules, we have welcomed rampant rule breaking and using the child's chant "he did it first." I KNOW the rules at my school and district. I am simply challenging everyone who might choose to record at will to make sure they KNOW the rules and regulations in their place of employment. This is a time when ignorance is not bliss, nor is it a valid excuse if you are dismissed for recording without permission. If you doubt this, simply ask to be informed of the school policy, and then ask what would be the outcome for recording without permission. If your school allows it, no harm, no foul. On the other hand, it might surprise you to find out that many schools would consider it grounds for dismissal. This is simply a public service announcement for those who need their jobs.
     
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