Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

Kick education students out of school

I try to avoid commenting on K-12 education, mainly because I don’t have children and there’s something weird about a single guy with no kids being concerned with how the local schools are run.

When I lived in Vero Beach, there was this one fellow who had recently moved to town and found himself a cause: the way the school district was spending construction money.

Actually, he was onto something. In the good times, a lot of Florida school districts took school construction money and blew it on an administration building. Palm Beach County’s was so elaborate, locals resorted to calling it “the Taj Mahal” or simply “the Taj,” though the superintendent on whose watch it was built never liked that phrase for some reason.

Anyway, this fellow in Vero Beach used to get arrested at school board meetings for filibustering at the meetings, and eventually moved on to other causes.

I do have an opinion, though, on why I think so many teachers are engaging in sexual misconduct with students. The problem is not, as some local news media and teachers unions have said, the poor pay teachers get. 

I think it’s that colleges have a bad habit of assuming that everyone who wants to be a teacher should be a teacher. Let’s be realistic, there are some folks who just should not be around children or teenagers in any capacity, either because the prospective teachers lack maturity, judgment or intelligence, or because the prospective teachers are deficient in education or morality.

And that goes for other parts of public education as well. We’ve all heard of school resource officers, some barely out of high school themselves, who have had improper relationships with students.

So I think that colleges of education should periodically review each person seeking a degree in education, and those who are deficient in the above ways should be prevented from attaining such a degree. If a person manages to slip through, there is always a chance that a college of education could simply not recommend that person for a teaching job, saving the students from being around someone unsuited to teaching.

When I was at Palm Beach Community College, there was one person who I thought should not even be a student at the college, let alone one majoring in education.

She was in a high position at an academic fraternity of which I was an active member, and even I eventually stopped attending the meetings because of her.

I believe she was in her 50s at the time, she had had several children by several men, and she was in my view morally unfit to be around children. She treated the other members of the fraternity in a very high-handed manner and even roped one of her ex-husbands, a building contractor, into a project to fix a World War I veteran’s house that turned out to need far more work than she initially let on so she could get credit for helping the veteran.

When I found out that she was majoring in education, I was stunned because I could not picture a child encountering a teacher like that and not being damaged in some way.

My sharpest memory of her is an incident at a big convention at a hotel in northern Palm Beach County. She had had a car accident and had to wear a neck brace, but had left it somewhere, and I was told to bring it to the women’s bathroom to give to her. I refused because I would have to bring it to her, and I really didn’t care about her or her neck. I think they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, and when I relented and took her brace to the door, she answered in just a bra and slip.

I was furious and withdrew from the group after that. I later saw her at Florida Atlantic University, but ducked behind a tree so she didn’t see me.

I was not the only one who disliked her since the fraternity had elaborate ceremonies welcoming students who achieved a certain GPA, and very few attended after getting a blast of this woman’s attitude. I shudder to think of what she is doing now, and hope she has nothing to do with the education of children.

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October 1, 2008 - Posted by | Education | , , , ,

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