This entire scandal surrounding a teacher playing 2 minutes of “Jackass 2″ is just ridiculous to me. Even more ridiculous are the comments on the Post & Courier’s website, the P&C article itself, and the actions of the Wando High School administration.
I generally just read the Charleston-area news, but sometimes there are stories that I just cannot refrain from commenting on. Years ago I contacted Lucy Beckham, Principal of Wando, through a detailed letter and later a phone conference regarding the high school’s lack of suicide prevention education and the school’s overall poor job of teaching students about bullying, depression, emotional distress, available counseling, and teen suicides. Prior events in the high school (regarding student suicides) had gotten me so worked up that I had to speak up.
This is another story that I just cannot sit by and watch unfold without speaking up. I highly doubt that a phone call or letter to the school would do much at this point (afterall, the administration didn’t change anything for the better years back after I contacted Mrs. Beckham, though I was told that my letter would prompt a change in school protocol…), so my thoughts will just have to be public when it comes to the story of Christopher Poston.
I guess you could say this is my “comment” underneath the P&C article:
I am an alumna of Wando High School, and though I did not have the pleasure of having Mr. Poston as a teacher, I have a sister, as well as many other friends, who did.
Mr. Poston has been described to me as the nicest, most caring teacher at Wando – someone who would take his students to low income schools so they could mentor young kids, someone who taught academic material as well as the value of character and community service. He was described to me as “the kindest person I’ve ever known – Every day I left his classroom wanting to be a better person.” My sister, in college now, says that Mr. Poston is the most influential teacher she has ever had – and that’s even in comparison to her university professors. She said this is because Mr. Poston taught his classes in nontraditional ways that actually got through to students, and he truly cared about the material he was sharing with the high schoolers. He knew everyone’s name, he always checked in with every one of his students, and he genuinely cared about the kids. He helped students who were bullied or having a difficult time, which is MUCH more than I can say about many of the other teachers.
Yes, he made a mistake. Yes, he shouldn’t have been watching “Jackass” on his computer and he shouldn’t have shared it with the class. But you know what? It’s really not that big of a deal. I had plenty of teachers (at Wando and at other schools I attended) who played YouTube videos at the end of class or told jokes that could be considered a bit risqué… and I’m pretty sure that I (and all of my fellow classmates) turned out fine. I’m sorry but these students are going to be going off to college soon and I’m sure they will experience A LOT more than viewing 2 minutes of an inappropriate video filled with sophomoric humor. Sorry, parents… continue plugging your ears and closing your eyes if you want to stay in denial.
The student who felt uncomfortable should not feel bad about telling her parents – she should be commended for speaking up. But the complaint was taken too far. This should not have been something reported to police, and this one small error in judgment does not merit termination from a job. The school should have been notified, disciplinary action should have been taken, and this would be over with. Additionally, I’m disappointed in both Wando and the Post and Courier for making this story into a much bigger deal than it should have been. “Sexually explicit video clips”? Come on. You’d think the guy set up a projector in the auditorium and aired graphic pornographic films to children by the P&C’s verbiage.
And to all the parents who think this one small inappropriate action should result in the firing of Mr. Poston: you truly need to open your eyes. Of all the problems in America’s public school systems, this is not high on the list of priorities. I’d much rather have my tax dollars support teachers such as Mr. Poston as opposed to ineffective, detached teachers that do not make any notable influences on our children. Every student that has known Mr. Poston absolutely adores him. Mr. Poston would never have garnered the incredible amount of support that he has from his students if he wasn’t an outstanding public servant. Everyone makes mistakes. Firing this man was not the proper way to handle this situation.
Additionally, many parents act appalled that a substitute teacher was not teaching the class or studying about education. I’m pretty sure the Mount Pleasant school district doesn’t have random Latin or German teachers sitting around just waiting to be called in to sub for an hour and a half. And I’m also sure that if you look at any other classroom with a substitute teacher, they aren’t doing much of anything at their desks either. Just saying…
And just to clear up a few things:
1. There is no comparison between this story and the Skip ReVille “pedophile” story. At this point you are just grasping at straws and trying to find a reason to bash this man.
2. This is not “x-rated” material, as some readers described it as. If this is considered “x-rated” in your book, maybe you shouldn’t open up any magazines or turn on the 5 o’clock news from now on… you may be exposed to something that isn’t quite “PG” rated.
3. For those of you calling Mr. Poston an “idiot,” “sexual predator,” and so forth: you do not know this man and you are publically dragging his name through the mud. Some of these comments are absolutely appalling. You would think from reading them that no one on this site has EVER made a mistake & feels entitled to judge anyone and everyone after reading ONE article.
I truly hope that this doesn’t drag on for longer than it needs to & that readers will take the time to realize what a small story this is in comparison to everything else going on in the world. The man made a mistake. But one error in judgment cannot overshadow the amazing things that he’s done for this community. Think about it: have YOU positively influenced as many lives as this man has? I doubt it.