This makes me so sad...

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by ami6880, Apr 3, 2011.

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  1. ami6880

    ami6880 Companion

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    Apr 3, 2011

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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    It doesn't make me sad; it makes me very angry.

    And I have to disagree with a line from the article:""This was a good teacher, but this was a case of poor judgment," CPS spokeswoman Monique Bond told the Chicago Tribune. "It will warrant disciplinary action.""

    Good teaching STARTS with respecting the children in your charge.
     
  4. anthrogirl

    anthrogirl Rookie

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    I don't get how anyone would even think it would be okay to post a picture of a student on their Facebook and then make fun of them. That is the stuff we teach students NOT TO DO in class.
     
  5. jwteacher

    jwteacher Cohort

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    I agree. A good teacher gets off by making fun of her 7-year-old student on the Internet? That is a slap in the face to all the real, good teachers out there.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    It always amazes me that there are some teachers who expect and demand respect from their students without feeling that they need to give it in return.
     
  7. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Wow, what an idiot. The only type of thing I say about work on facebook is stuff like "First day of school!" or "Christmas concert today...Love watching the kiddos sing." Even if I thought a child's hair looked silly, I wouldn't talk about it for the world to see.

    She shouldn't be teaching children if she thinks it is ok to do something like that...
     
  8. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    You don't even want to know what I want to do with this person that did this.....You don't make fun of children!!!! I hope to God she never HAS any!!!
     
  9. timsterino

    timsterino Comrade

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    I agree with your statement very much. However, I also wonder when was the last time that someone posted a positive article in this forum about what a teacher is doing very well in the classroom? This day and age we are portrayed in such a bad light in general, I do not like perpetuating the situation with only negative news stories.
     
  10. doubletrouble

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    I am amazed more and more at things people do!
    This makes me very angry! Also, it makes me very sad because people like this are teaching when there are lots of us who really, really care about children do not have a job.
     
  11. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    So, I first agree that the action was stupid and in poor taste. However, throwing out some more food for thought to the forums, there are a couple of other thoughts to consider as well.

    First, while in poor taste, how many times have teachers made fun of kids' names, hairstyles, clothes, etc. - yes, it's in poor taste, and yes, it's on the internet, but - as much as I may disagree with it, this isn't the case of an isolated teacher's viewpoints. Has anyone visited the teachers lounge recently? Not saying it's right, but I'm saying its common.

    Second, what's wrong with a society where an action like this is met with an immediate demand for a lawsuit, termination, and blasting the girl's face all over the news? Yes, it was stupid, and depending on the teacher I might fire her as well, but we have ceased being a society where conflict is resolved, and become a society where fights and conflict are promoted. This culture - of antagonism - is one reason why teachers are in the news in a negative light - as a society, we run to the schoolyard whenever a fight breaks out, circle up, and start waving our fists in the air. We become angry, and we look for the tiniest infraction to justify a lynching of the person at all costs to the victims and bully. We don't look for common ground, seek to build an understanding from all sides about why something like this may have happened in the first place, or seek understanding of how we can do better next time.

    Over the past few years, I've gotten more into a topic called Restorative Justice, which has its roots in the criminal justice system, but has been used everywhere from political arenas to classrooms. Without trying to do the concept true justice, it essentially calls for all sides (and relevant authorities) to stop focusing on assigning blame and revenge-oriented punishment toward offending parties, and start moving toward a future-oriented beliefs of resolving conflict, meeting the underlying needs all sides that led to the situation, strengthening relationships damaged in the process, etc. - essentially, rebuilding bridges and moving forward.

    Not just as teachers, but as a society, we would be much better off not becoming immediately outraged and angry whenever something bad happens, but seeking an understanding as to what led to such a sad incident, and hoping that all sides can learn, grow, and be restored to a full sense of being. This may very well involve consequences, and may not necessarily involve the teacher keeping her job depending on other variables, but whatever happens should be a process of working towards rebuilding peace, not assigning blame and winning wars.
     
  12. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    My issue with this case is a privacy one. A minor's picture was posted on a public website (if the mother was able to find it, the teacher had her page pretty searchable) without parental permission. That is a major no-no. The mockery with the picture just takes it further down the tubes.
     
  13. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    EdEd - Interesting post. I agree we often spend more energy on assigning blame than fixing the problem. I will have to read more about this.

    I also agree that as human beings with normal human failures we do often talk about each other in not the kindest manner. I have to admit to being human. Right now we have a child in the preschool that everyone has taken a dislike to and so talk about how he drives them crazy. Last week I attempted to try to turn the conversation in another direction, saying we needed to change our attitudes in order to be better caretakers. I can't say my suggestion was accepted but I will keep trying and maybe it will rub off??

    Anyway, I continue to think FaceBook can be a trap for many indiscrete people, including teachers. Do I think the teacher was stupid - yes. Do I think she should be fired - no, depending on the clauses in her contract. Then again, if she doesn't have tenure there are a lot of excellent teachers looking for work. Do I wonder if this is a pattern of nonrespectful behaviors and wonder how she treats the children in her classroom - definitely.
     
  14. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    First of all, her hair is stinkin' CUTE! I love it!

    Second, the teacher apparently doesn't know much about her students' demographic, or else she would have known that hair? Is very important in the African American community (at least that's what my students tell me). The amount of time and effort to do all of those tiny braids (whether natural hair or weave), plus the care that they require is unbelievable. Some are so elaborate and time consuming... I can't believe she'd make fun of someone's time, effort, and care like that.

    Third, Facebook: Many teachers have it. And that's fine. Personally, my page is as protected as you can get. My name is unsearchable. I *still* don't talk about work on there very much, unless I state that I had a crazy day or such. An online, searchable forum is NOT place to be cruel or act like a bully - especially to a CHILD. Shame on her.
     
  15. TiffanyL

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    So true!!
     
  16. FourSquare

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    Dear 2nd Grade Teacher,

    If you get fired, I'd like your CPS job. THX.

    FourSquare

    hahaha
     
  17. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    I think all of us agree that it is a horrible thing but I don't think that the family should sue over it. I think the teacher should be disciplined and I feel the mom should focus on that more. When I hear the word "sue" I assume it is for money, which would not be effective in this case. Although maybe they are suing to get her fired?
     
  18. TeacherShelly

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    The girl's hair was so cute! Different strokes, I guess...

    The teacher is FB friends with parents in the class, but still found that a reasonable post. That was verrrrry bad judgment.
     
  19. ami6880

    ami6880 Companion

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    I rarely decide add new posts, but I found this article so sad. There are so many teachers out there who genuinely care and respect their students. When I see this it not just makes me sad, but angry as well. I thought it was so sad that the girls feelings were hurt by a teacher of all people, one of the few people that kids should be able to trust.

    It is also interesting what facebook is doing to our society. Yes, it may have been private, but as a teacher you should know it is possible it will get back to others. I also find it sad that others decided to join in and laugh about the picture. I work with a teacher where a parent posted something about her. Within hours it got back to the teacher and she was hurt and upset. People need to realize that Facebook is never really private. It only takes one person to spread what they see even if there is a private page.

    Anyway, I will get off my soapbox, I just happened upon the article this morning and thought I would share it.
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm sorry, but I don't think this is an issue about conflict resolution. It's not a two way street where both parties are a little right and a little wrong.

    I think this is an issue about respect, and for a child no less.

    It doesn't matter whether or not she liked the child's hair. Or who she talked about it with at home.

    What matters to me is that this woman posted her deragatory remarks on facebook for all the world to see. She made it obvious to the child and all her peers exactly what her teacher thought of her. She opened the door for others to join in the mockery. And that seven year old child is supposed to-- what??? -- be the adult in the scenario and turn the other cheek????

    Would she have been quite so brave had she disapproved of the hairstyle of her principal?? I'm guessing not.

    She's a bully. She used her power as an adult and a teacher to make a public joke out of a seven year old child. And I'm very tolerant of a lot of things. But I have no tolerance for bullies.
     
  21. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Alice, I agree, that there is a big problem here. I think the question is how to move forward. There is a difference between conflict resolution, turning the other cheek, and concepts of Restorative Justice. Turning the other cheek suggests ignoring the situation, which I don't think would be appropriate. Conflict resolution suggests - as you have said - that there is a disagreement between the two that needs to be worked out, which is also clearly not appropriate in this situation. Restorative Justice, on the other hand, suggests a focus on restoring the victim to pre-offense well-being, rebuilding the community that was damaged, and helping the offender understand her impact in the situation to prevent further offenses. It's not a tolerance issue - no one would tolerate this, but the opposite of tolerance is not extreme punishment, lawsuits, media coverage, and outrage. It's about what can be done to make this situation right.

    Also, this really isn't bullying, which needs to meet 3 criteria - power differential, intentional harm, and repeated. Clearly the first criteria is met, but there is no evidence that the teacher acted with malice - that she was intentionally trying to hurt the child. She may have been rude, and may have actually caused harm, but there's nothing to suggest she did this to intentionally hurt the child. The "repeated" criteria was also not met - it was a one time occurrence.
     
  22. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Wait, so you're only a bully if the offense is repeated??? The first blow, no matter how malicious, is a free pass?

    And you have to intend harm?? So the college kids who taunted that young man into suicide a few months ago, are off the hook because they didn't intend for him to kill himself?????

    I think it's a question of semantics. I don't agree with your definition of "bully" but I'm OK with calling it something else for the sake of argument.

    But, at the very least, it was an abuse of power. The child was not in a position to defend herself; as I understand it, 7 year olds can't have facebook pages, right? It was an abuse of trust. It was mean spirited and disrespectful. It was WAAYYY beyond unprofessional.

    Simply put, it was wrong. She picked on a seven year old child, and opened her up to mockery from the entire world. I think it DOES fit the definition of cyber bullying, at least as I see it.

    It certainly does NOT fit the profile of anyone I would want teaching my children. And the apology, which apparently hasn't been offered yet, would do nothing to heal the heart of a 7 year old, or to restore her trust in next year's teacher.
     
  23. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    EdEd, I can only hope similar instances of the teacher's actions are not found. One stupid mistake may be corrected, but if there is, indeed, a pattern, then it does take the matter to a new level.
     
  24. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Not my definition Alice :) - pretty common criteria in the world of bullying research. I agree with you, though - just because it's not bullying doesn't mean it's right. No, she shouldn't get a free pass because it wasn't repeated or because she may not have meant harm, but it does mean that it is different from bullying, which might warrant a different approach. I do think the situation would be different if the teacher had repeatedly been posting FB pictures with derogatory comments, and clearly shown malice towards the child. Doesn't make the actual situation right, just different.

    I think I may not be expressing myself too well in this situation. I'm not trying to convey an acceptance for her behavior, or minimizing the affects of it at all. I'm really trying to comment on the response to the situation, rather than on how bad the situation was. Regardless of how bad a situation is, there are always different ways to approach the problem. I'm just advocating for a different approach.

    Also, not sure if your comments on the apology were in response to my thoughts as well, but I think we're in agreement - a simple apology wouldn't provide much to help the situation. May be part of it, but probably not much of it!
     
  25. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Agreed for sure.
     
  26. LUCHopefulTeach

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    :yeahthat:

    I agree with every word that Alice said.

    Sadly, I am not surprised either. I student taught in CPS and the teachers in the same building were offensive, cruel, demeaning and beyond their point of being effective anymore. I've seen more than once case of a teacher bullying a student. :(
     
  27. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    This is so true. This year I've been hearing teachers critize and talk about students' looks and attitudes more than I've ever heard before.

    This doesn't show profesionalism or respect for the students at all.
     
  28. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I know this isn't the issue at hand- but personally I'm wondering what in the world she was doing being facebook friends with parents?? To me, that just seems like you're asking for it! You never know what stupid thing someone will take offense to. What if she had pictures taken at a party or a bar? There are crazy people out there that think teachers have no right to drink or have fun in any type of adult way. Even if you're very careful about the pictures or information you share- you have no control over what friends might post or comment on your wall. I'm surprised she hasn't run into issues before! There is something to be said for keeping your personal life private-especially in teaching. I'm unsearchable on facebook and I also don't display my last name. I would never ever consider adding a parent or student (even former) as a friend. Anyway, as to the original issue, yes I agree posting the picture was stupid and wrong. Should the teacher be fired- I'm not sure. I'd have to know more about her personality as a teacher and more about the situation.
     
  29. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Count me in the camp that thinks the teacher should be fired. For some things, there are no second chances. Honestly, I'd rather have a former porn star who's turned her life around teaching my children than a teacher who disrespects and bullies the kids she's teaching to that extent.

    There are other professions that have similar situations, though the actual offenses are different. Right now, I work for a bank. The nature of my job means I view sensitive customer data. ANY breach of that trust can get me fired. It wouldn't matter if I was the best employee in my department, or had previously figured out a way to save the bank millions of dollars. The second I breach confidentiality I can kiss my job goodbye. I look at the kind of behavior exhibited by this teacher exactly the same way my employer views breaching customer confidentiality.
     
  30. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Are teachers the only professionals that really screw up when it comes to social media and not protecting the ones that they are supposed to serve? I've yet to hear about a doctor, social worker, police officer, nurse, lawyer or anyone else getting in trouble for a blog, or Facebook post regarding the population they are supposed to help and serve. In my city they had to have a huge meeting about 'Teachers and Social Media' to see if the school board had to put some policies in place because a teacher was found to be having inappropriate contact with students on Facebook.

    It just really seems like too many teachers are dropping the ball in so many areas, and the media jumps on it, rightfully so, because the situations are so shocking and disrespectful.

    I can't say that I'm surprised because I have been around many teachers that do speak horribly about students in private, but now they're taking it to the internet for the world to see.

    What is really going on when so many teachers don't love and respect kids, and then they take it to the public? It really makes teachers look unprofessional and really dumb.
     
  31. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Whenever abuse of power is discussed in terms of a teacher often others will come to point out those that haven't made the media for transgressions. However, one HUGE point everyone that does this dismisses is the difference between choosing your service provider and having a child MANDATED to that provider. The fact that children are MANDATED to school, they have little if any choice in which school and teacher they get, even when things go poorly at many schools they will not move students (not saying all). This difference increased the need to be trustworthy in your position even more than the other positions. Plus, doctors and lawyers can be sued for breach of confidentiality. In the past teachers had little accountability in transgressions. I'm thinking what we are seeing is the tides turning and requiring better of our teachers. Things that might have been acceptable or overlooked in the teachers lounge are not and will not be tolerated in the cyber teacher's lounge.

    A lawyer airs dirty laundry on a facebook account open to others, that lawyer will be sued. More likely it will be done civilly, privately, and for much money.

    It is horrendous for a teacher to do that to a student. There are some lapses of judgement that speak to the character of a person. This is one that should not be tolerated. While a school may be able to control the teacher's postings in the future, the teacher's thinking process is shown by her actions.
     
  32. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    One of my Kinders came in with a straight-up mohawk one day and said "don't you love my new haircut, don't I look tough now?"-even though personally, I did not like it-I smiled and said "yes". I never made a comment to anyone else about my opinion on it. Regardless of her opinion, that's what she should have done. Nothing in our job description says we're there to judge kids on anything but academics.

    Secondly, we did a Flat Stanley project early in the year and I was upset because my sister (who I had sent one of the cutouts to) had posted the paper version of one of my students and some of the pics she had taken (she was excited to be participating) and I made her take them down. This teacher had no right to post that picture on a public forum.

    I don't think that saying no teachers can go on Facebook is the answer. I just think that stupid teachers should stop doing it!
     
  33. 2ndTimeAround

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    I think a mountain is being created here. The teacher was wrong to post a photo of the child on FB. For a variety of reasons. She did not openly mock the child. She did not remove the comments that were mocking, however. I would suspect that she was posting the photo as a big eyeroll. I would inwardly eyeroll over the hairstyle too. I inwardly eyeroll over a lot of 'fashion' that I see at school each day. I do comment when the daily fashion shows come awfully close to violating dress code.

    I seriously doubt the little girl was that upset about the ordeal. Everything about the video clip screamed that Momma was coaching the poor little defenseless girl on how sad and pitiful she was about her teacher's opinions.

    I think Momma is doing the girl a greater injustice than the teacher ever did. Mom isn't teaching her daughter how to stand up for herself against a tidal wave of injustice. She's teaching her daughter how to take advantage of bad decision and milk it for all she can.

    I don't know everything that led up to this incident. Given its face value I think the teacher should receive some serious coaching, make sure she did apologize to all parties and never ever post a photo of a child online. But not get fired.
     
  34. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    I think there are multiple things wrong in this situation. I think the teacher should get fired.

    BTW- Posting a picture online for everyone to see is as public as it gets so I don't see how she didn't openly mock the child.
     
  35. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Yes I agree, one time I had to cancel the news paper photographer because I had forgotten the "media permission slips. We were launch rockets that the students had made. A mother could be hiding from an abusive ex, there could be pedophiles surfing teacher pages, etc.
    Just how much is the daughter harmed? and if mom hadn't shown the facebook page to her, the child would have not known of it.

    Remember what happens on the internet does [-]not[/-] stay on the internet
    it is there like forever.
    This was truly foolish of the teacher.
    Filing the lawsuit looks opportunistic!


    There should be a mandatory class on the internet called Internet courtesy for teachers: the good, the bad and ugly I would gladly teach it. It needs to be taught during student teaching.
     
  36. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    We've had this conversation before in different forums. Basically, if you're posting something on a public online forum, you might as well be screaming your thoughts in the middle of your local mall for the community to hear. Wait, it's more like grabbing the mic out of Seacrest's hand and screaming your thoughts on the results show of American Idol.

    Don't stop communicating about your life and job. The world needs to hear about what we do. However, have a ton of common sense and some mental editing.
     
  37. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    I'm in agreement with you EdEd. If this kid was in my school or any school, the teachers in the lounge would be having a field day mocking it amongst themselves. (Now at this point, I'm sure we'll have everyone jump on my comment and say, "No no, John Lee. You're deluded. No teachers I know engage in this type of behavior.") It's not a question of "respect" for the child. I'm telling you, just putting aside the fact that she posted on FB about it... the opinion that this haircut was "ridiculous" would be shared by A LOT of teachers out there today.

    I also agree that it's silly, if you are worried about the public ridicule of your child, to file a lawsuit (though I do realize that I would want some form of redress in this case).
     
  38. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    I must quote two great men to express my feelings on how to deal with this teacher

    Martin Luther King Jr. said "The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind"
    Jesus Christ: "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth'. But I say to you, do not resist an evildoer. If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also."

    Will firing the teacher really do any "good?" wouldn't it be a better result if the teacher overcame this short fall and the student see that people can change? Does the teacher need to be punished? Does someone need to extract a pound of flesh?

    Could there be an issue of race too?
     
  39. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Actually she did. That was the reason for the post. She was making fun of the hairstyle chosen for "picture day".

    I agree I think the damage done was minimal and a lawsuit definitely isn't called for.
     
  40. 2ndTimeAround

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    while I don't doubt her intention was to bring attention to what she thought was a silly hairstyle, I don't think she openly mocked the child herself. More like the mean girl trick of setting someone up for other people to do it.

    Unless I read incorrectly. What I remembered was her stating "really. this was for picture day." The tone, adding inflection at the end, was added by the 'reporter" on the news report but I didn't see a question mark from the FB post.
     
  41. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm not on facebook.

    Are we to understand that she posted the headshots of the entire class-- all their "picture day" pictures?? Otherwise, I can see no other interpretation of the comment, other than to mock the child's choice of hairstyle.

    For what it's worth, I couldn't care less what my kids wear on picture day. My husband freelances as a photographer; our walls are COVERED with pictures of my kids. So picture day is no big deal.

    If my kids were openly mocked online by their teacher, you can bet your life it wouldn't be pretty when I found out.

    I've stated several times here that I have zero tolerance for bullying. (Or whatever you choose to call it when someone chooses to make a victim of someone, particularly someone not in a position to fight back.) That applies in particular to adults.
     
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