This story comes out of the high school I graduated from –
By Cameron Easley MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) -
Students, former students, and others are rallying around a Wando High School teacher recently placed on administrative leave after reportedly showing scenes from the move “Jackass Number 2″ to some students in Latin class.
Many of 36-year-old Christopher Derek Poston’s supporters say he is one of the best teachers that Wando High School employs. One senior, Rebecca Powell, was so moved that she went to the website change.org on Monday night and filed a petition defending the teacher.
Rebecca writes, “Poston has changed hundreds of lives. However, the media and certain people have begun to tarnish his name and character. He does not deserve to have his job taken from him or his name ruined.”
The high-schooler woke up Tuesday morning to find that the petition had already been signed over 1,000 times. The petition holds more than 1,100 signatures.
“There’s teachers here that are like, we don’t get anything out of, but Poston actually is the only teacher that we’ve actually learned something for like later in life,” Powell said.
Powell says she started the online petition to bring Poston back to school.
“He admitted that he did wrong, but it should be a slap on the wrist and allow him to come back because he’s probably one of the most inspirational teachers here at Wando,” Powell said.
Powell doesn’t think it is fair that Poston’s in trouble for showing a video most high schoolers could find on the Internet.
“I think just about everyone I know has seen the movie,” said student Alex Myers. “I don’t know anyone that’s really offended by it.”
Along with the signatures, many supporters left messages expressing their gratitude for having learned from Poston. One woman, Carly Sparano, writes, “He is the best teacher I’ve had and has impacted the students more than any other teacher has or will at Wando.”
Poston was placed on leave after a parent told school administrators that her daughter was uncomfortable about an incident that happened in her Latin class where Poston, a full-time teacher at Wando, was covering for another teacher.
According to the parent, Poston was watching inappropriate videos on the Internet and put them on the Smart Board for the entire class to see.
On Feb. 15, Poston wrote a statement in reference to the incident and confirmed the allegations made. He stated that his actions were unexcusable.
Poston said that while the students were working, he began watching “Jackass 2″ from the computer. Poston said that when the students heard the noise, they asked Poston what he was watching.
According to Poston’s statement, he told them what he was watching and then placed the video on the Smart Board. Poston said when he saw how inappropriate it was becoming, he quickly turned it off.
He said he showed about 2 to 3 minutes of movie footage. According to Poston, he then opened up a PowerPoint called the “People of Walmart.” He said it showed people in Walmart in various forms and used it to express what society expects of people and how people break norms.
When school officials questioned Poston about the incident, Poston said that “Jackass 2″ got on the Charleston County computer laptop through his Amazon.com account.
This seems pretty ridiculous that pretty much every student is sticking up for this teacher, saying that he is one of the best teachers they’ve ever had, but one silly mistake puts him in hot water… and now he may lose his job??
I’m sorry, but these “kids” in his class are going to be going on to college shortly… I’m pretty sure they can handle an inappropriate video or two. Yes, he shouldn’t have been watching “Jackass 2″ while acting as a substitute teacher, but he turned it off after he realized how vulgar it was and he apologized for his mistake. I’m also pretty sure that every one of those students has watched this movie in the past or has access to this movie outside of school. They aren’t in elementary school anymore (gasp!).
Also, I had teachers (at this high school, even) who would show YouTube videos for fun at the end of class… and I can guarantee you that some of them were not G rated. They weren’t vulgar, but they weren’t exactly Disney clips either. And I’ve had teachers that told jokes that were a tad inappropriate… and I turned out just fine, thank you.
This teacher, Mr. Poston, made a mistake, but clearly he is a postive influence on all of his students, a very influential teacher, and a great asset to the high school. I had my fair share of terrible teachers (even at Wando) who were ineffective teachers who didn’t seem to care at all about their students outside of the classroom. Mr. Poston seems to be one of the few teachers that truly makes a lifelong impact on the teens he teaches, and Wando High School would be truly foolish to let him go.
One of his students has created a petition site to show support for Mr. Poston — click here to sign!