I don’t know what’s more disturbing: the really creepy math problems (consisting of ants nesting in human brains, children choking on marbles and dying…) or the fact that teachers just download their worksheets and lesson plans from random websites. Maybe we can give this guy the benefit of the doubt and hope that perhaps he forgot to read the problems before passing them out to his third graders?
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.
This is the case in Buffalo, NY…
From FOX News:
Mona Lisa Tello, a-61-year-old former teacher at a Manhattan graphic arts public school, has been accused of faking a jury summons in order to get paid for absences over the course of several months, WNYW TV reports.
According to the station, investigators say Tello submitted the letter to school officials, saying it was issued by the Superior Court of New Jersey.
The report states the investigation started when the principal suspected something wasn’t right, and tallied the days Tello claims she missed for jury duty:
In the investigation, it was determined that Tello had told the payroll department that absences on Sept. 16, 2010, Oct. 19,2010, Nov. 30,2010, Dec. 7 and 8, 2010, Jan. 21, 2011, Feb. 10 and 11, 2011, May 4, 11, 17, 18, 26, 27 and 31, 2011 were all due to jury duty.”
The cause of the suspicion? According to the New York Post, the “court summons” misspelled “trial” as “trail,” “cited” as “sited,” and “manager” as “manger.”
Tello was arrested after the principal called the court and found out the actual letter was a deferral of jury duty, and she was charged with forgery in the second degree, criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree and offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree.
CBS New York reports Tello denied the accusations when confronted by a reporter.
“No, not true,” she told the station. “My handwriting is not on anything.”
Nevertheless, the station reports she signed an agreement that mandates she pay a fine and resign her from her position without losing her pension.
When someone sneezes, it’s common for a person in the vicinity to respond, “bless you.”
But for making that remark, students in Steven Cuckovich’s health class in Vacaville, Calif. lost 25 points off a test. The next day, someone used the phrase again when a student sneezed, and Will C. Wood High School student Erica Fagan told KXTV that Cuckovich docked points off everyone’s grades.
The punishment has nothing to do with religion, Cuckovich tells KTXL News in Sacramento. Rather, it’s about deterring students from being disruptive in class and interrupting learning time.
“The blessing doesn’t really make sense anymore,” Cuckovich told KTXL. “When you sneezed in the old days, they thought you were dispelling evil spirits out of your body. So they were saying ‘God bless you’ for getting rid of evil spirits. But today, what you’re doing really doesn’t make sense.”
Parents aren’t pleased, and the school’s principal agrees that the punishment doesn’t fit the offense. But Cuckovich says students will still face consequences for the act, just in a less severe way, The Christian Post reports.
Students also told KXTV that the sneezing-response rule isn’t in the syllabus for the class — a one-semester course required for graduation.
The Vacaville Unified School District issued a statement Thursday saying that it’s investigating “this reported classroom disruption,” as Cuckovich “believed that students were dramatically sneezing and responding in a repetitive fashion, ‘bless you,’” KGO-TV reports.
A federal appeals court in California ruled this month, in favor of a school’s decision, that a math teacher for Poway Unified School District cannot display banners proclaiming “In God We Trust,” “One Nation Under God,” “God Bless America” and “God Shed His Grace On Thee.”
Who is this evil Grinch of a teacher? Obviously he needs to be prescribed some serious meds for being so uptight. He’s probably that old guy that lives in the creepy house on the corner — you know, the one who the cops make fun of behind his back because he complains so much? The guy who is constantly calling the cops on the neighbors who walk on his grass or yelling at kids that are too loud on the playground? He probably needs a hug.
Who cares if saying “Bless You” to someone is a tradition based on old beliefs? Plenty of sayings have ancient origins — are you going to ban all of them too? I wouldn’ be surprised if the students will soon be failed out of the class for just sneezing. Or maybe coughing. That’s sooo disruptive.