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  1. #101

    Lies, damn lies, and statistics

    Quote Originally Posted by Lid View Post
    Interesting article today on cnn.com about bullying via peanuts...
    That was a great article. I would have given the "study" more credence if they had compared peanuts to peanuts.

    Instead, they skewed their numbers (intentionally, no doubt) by
    A) interviewing parents, as opposed to the kids
    B) Comparing "bullying" to "bullying, teasing, or harassment."

    While bullying and harassment seem pretty close to me, there are LOTS of grey areas of teasing. In fact, one quoe from the allergymoms.com lady pointed out that she didn't know if it was good-natured teasing or bullying.

    This is why I don't trust special interest groups, especially when they have a statistical study. I know too much about statistics to know I could take the same data, hypothesize the exact opposite conclusion and prove it.

  2. #102
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Ash View Post
    Very, very interesting. Schools are an interesting place, because it is very few adults who are not related to the children who are responsible for all of them. It is a place of real group responsibility. Thanks for the article, Lid!

    Just an update on my autistic girl; we were reviewing her paperwork, and yikes. I am required to stand beside her to redirect her with non-verbal cues when she goes off topic, to write all directions on the board, review them orally, and write them on her paper, to keep a timer on a nearby desk (but not HER desk) to help her understand how much time she has, check her homework planner and initial assignments to ensure they are written correctly, give her extra time to complete tests and assignments, and move her seat as needed. Yet, there is no problem.

    And, if I fail to do this stuff, I can personally be sued for negligence.

    I honestly wonder sometimes if parents understand how much of our resources go towards special education or support of students who should be in special ed.
    Hmmm, IANAL, but it seems to me that the corporate veil would prevail here. If not, then you should consider specialized legal insurance for teachers - which is what I took out when I became a board member for my HOA. Since it's a volunteer organization, there's no corporate veil protection, but my HOA Director's insurance would have covered me if anyone had personally sued me.

    Seriously, though, the corporate veil should apply. Be careful, though. If you broke a law as an IBM employee, IBM would retro your employment termination back to the date of the alleged violation, essentially removing the corporate veil. You should discuss with a union attorney, if possible. Otherwise, find somebody here who doesn't preface their posts with IANAL.

    Because seriously, there's no way you should be personally open to litigation.

  3. #103
    Wouldn't being a teacher be like other licensed professions and the individual is open to legal action? The plaintiff may not be able to collect damages from you, but they could cause the expense of preparing to defend a lawsuit.

    Obviously, IANAL but the above seems logical to me - which probably means it's wrong. However, the insurance you recommend is worth consideration. It may be provided as part of union dues.

  4. #104
    Quote Originally Posted by DukieInKansas View Post
    Wouldn't being a teacher be like other licensed professions and the individual is open to legal action? The plaintiff may not be able to collect damages from you, but they could cause the expense of preparing to defend a lawsuit.

    Obviously, IANAL but the above seems logical to me - which probably means it's wrong. However, the insurance you recommend is worth consideration. It may be provided as part of union dues.
    Again, IANAL, but corporate veil takes precendence over "license." The teacher doesn't work for me - or you - either as an employee, contractor, or service provider. The teacher is an employee of the School System (county or state). They work for the school board, NOT the parents - or you and me.

    In contrast, if I hire a contractor to finish my basement, I can sue him for negligence, even if he's incorporated.

    Note, though, that I can't sue personally for $$ if the company owes money.

    If teachers were independent contractors licensed and compensated as a co-op of parents, then MAYYYYYYBE there's a cause for action.

    One more note. It seemed like a favorite hobby of some of my friends' parents in New York to get teachers fired. They took down two teachers at our junior high in NY - and 2 more in our Raleigh high school.

  5. #105
    Quote Originally Posted by cf-62 View Post
    Again, IANAL, but corporate veil takes precendence over "license." The teacher doesn't work for me - or you - either as an employee, contractor, or service provider. The teacher is an employee of the School System (county or state). They work for the school board, NOT the parents - or you and me.

    In contrast, if I hire a contractor to finish my basement, I can sue him for negligence, even if he's incorporated.

    Note, though, that I can't sue personally for $$ if the company owes money.

    If teachers were independent contractors licensed and compensated as a co-op of parents, then MAYYYYYYBE there's a cause for action.

    One more note. It seemed like a favorite hobby of some of my friends' parents in New York to get teachers fired. They took down two teachers at our junior high in NY - and 2 more in our Raleigh high school.
    Perhaps a lawyer can chime in on this thread hijack. I thought the corporate veil kept plaintiffs from going after the assets of the owners of the corporation. So, if an employee does something that causes a lawsuit, the employee and company can be sued but any judgement against the corporation could only be paid from corporate funds. They couldn't go after the shareholders personal assets to get the funds.

    I hope the family friends got rid of bad apples when they got teachers fired.

  6. #106
    Quote Originally Posted by DukieInKansas View Post
    Perhaps a lawyer can chime in on this thread hijack. I thought the corporate veil kept plaintiffs from going after the assets of the owners of the corporation. So, if an employee does something that causes a lawsuit, the employee and company can be sued but any judgement against the corporation could only be paid from corporate funds. They couldn't go after the shareholders personal assets to get the funds.

    I hope the family friends got rid of bad apples when they got teachers fired.
    I should have been a little more explicit. The "hobby" was getting teachers fired - because they ticked off their kids - or the parents, not because they were bad. In fact, I know the two teachers in NY were very good teachers that happened to commit the egregious crime of criticizing their boys.

    I believe the conflicts with the teachers in Raleigh were over grades (in 10th grade).

  7. #107
    Quote Originally Posted by cf-62 View Post
    I should have been a little more explicit. The "hobby" was getting teachers fired - because they ticked off their kids - or the parents, not because they were bad. In fact, I know the two teachers in NY were very good teachers that happened to commit the egregious crime of criticizing their boys.

    I believe the conflicts with the teachers in Raleigh were over grades (in 10th grade).
    Wow. I don't think that is, ultimately, good for their kids. Thanks for the clarification.

    Teachers have way more headaches and hassles than most people know. Sometimes, parents should be checked at the door and not allowed to interfer.

  8. #108
    Hey guys!

    A few things;

    I don't know about the legal issues; however, I do know that teachers face a wide range of problems that non-public employees do not. The example I gave above has been very clearly spelled out for us; we can be personally sued for not following the plan. Teachers can also be fired for things such as posting negative political comments on Facebook and other bits; apparently we do NOT have first amendment rights, as we give them up by becoming teachers and "role models." It is fairly insane.

    Here is another one, speaking of parents...

    A kindergartener goes home and tells his mom that the teacher did not allow him to go to the bathroom for the entire day and didn't let him talk the entire day. Keep in mind, at that age you can literally watch a kid punch another kid, say "Why did you do that?" and the kid will respond "I didn't do anything," even if you SAY "I watched you do it."

    So, what does mom do? Does she send a nice email to the teacher asking what happened? Nope; she takes her five year old seriously and sends an email to the teacher, CCing the principal and the superintendent, demanding to know how she can come and sit in the class to observe for the week.

    Oh, and we also had the fifth grader who failed a math test, and whose dad promptly wrote the teacher an email that said "So and so will be retaking his math test. He will need three days to prepare. He will be ready on Friday."

    Seriously?

  9. #109
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Ash View Post
    Hey guys!

    A few things;

    I don't know about the legal issues; however, I do know that teachers face a wide range of problems that non-public employees do not. The example I gave above has been very clearly spelled out for us; we can be personally sued for not following the plan. Teachers can also be fired for things such as posting negative political comments on Facebook and other bits; apparently we do NOT have first amendment rights, as we give them up by becoming teachers and "role models." It is fairly insane.

    Here is another one, speaking of parents...

    A kindergartener goes home and tells his mom that the teacher did not allow him to go to the bathroom for the entire day and didn't let him talk the entire day. Keep in mind, at that age you can literally watch a kid punch another kid, say "Why did you do that?" and the kid will respond "I didn't do anything," even if you SAY "I watched you do it."

    So, what does mom do? Does she send a nice email to the teacher asking what happened? Nope; she takes her five year old seriously and sends an email to the teacher, CCing the principal and the superintendent, demanding to know how she can come and sit in the class to observe for the week.

    Oh, and we also had the fifth grader who failed a math test, and whose dad promptly wrote the teacher an email that said "So and so will be retaking his math test. He will need three days to prepare. He will be ready on Friday."

    Seriously?
    You are an angel for teaching our future. I don't understand some parents. (easy for a childless person to say, I know.) How do they think they are helping their kids through these actions? I'm old and grew up in the time when the teacher was correct unless the child could prove otherwise. Getting in trouble at school was the least of our worries - the disappointment from parents when we got home was much worse than any trip to the principal's office.

    Did the 5th grader get to take the test again?

  10. #110
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    SoCal
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Ash View Post
    Oh, and we also had the fifth grader who failed a math test, and whose dad promptly wrote the teacher an email that said "So and so will be retaking his math test. He will need three days to prepare. He will be ready on Friday."

    Seriously?
    That's what I thought- Seriously? If I failed a math test, I got in trouble. There was NO WAY my parents would campaign, much less demand that I retake it on a schedule they set.

  11. #111
    Quote Originally Posted by sue71 View Post
    That's what I thought- Seriously? If I failed a math test, I got in trouble. There was NO WAY my parents would campaign, much less demand that I retake it on a schedule they set.
    Ha. Today, if a kid fails a test, he/she has to be given a chance to retake or do corrections (typically for half the points he/she missed). If a teacher gets two papers that are identical, the teacher cannot punish the students for cheating unless they PERSONALLY saw them cheat or can prove it. Otherwise they have to either make everyone do the assignment over or let it go. Oh, and makeup work? You can set a timeline for when it's required to be submitted, but students know that teachers don't enforce those.

    In my wife's school, if a student gets a 69 for the year, they are required to pass them as it is "close enough" to a 70 to pass. They have to get a 68 to truly fail.

    Oh, and failing just means they have to do a couple days of 'remediation' on the subject over the summer before they get credit.

    The sad part is, this is considered the norm nowadays.
    "There can BE only one."

  12. #112
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Ash View Post
    Teachers can also be fired for things such as posting negative political comments on Facebook and other bits; apparently we do NOT have first amendment rights, as we give them up by becoming teachers and "role models." It is fairly insane.
    That is nothing unique to teachers. Employees in all types of professions can be fired based on what they say in public forums (DBR included). If your complaint is that teachers are held to a higher standard than some other professions, well, is that particularly surprising? It seems eminently reasonable that parents expect the adults who spend so much unsupervised time with their kids to demonstrate a certain level of judgment.

    As for giving up your First Amendment rights, what rights do you think you are giving up? The First Amendment does not protect people from the consequences of their speech. It simply ensures that they have enough rhetorical rope to hang themselves.

  13. #113
    Quote Originally Posted by DukieInKansas View Post
    Perhaps a lawyer can chime in on this thread hijack. I thought the corporate veil kept plaintiffs from going after the assets of the owners of the corporation.
    That is correct. The "corporate veil" refers to the limited liability nature of certain legal entities (including corporations and limited liability companies). As a general rule, the owners of such an entity are not liable for the debts and obligations of the entity. An attempt to hold the owners directly liable for the debts and obligations of the entity is an attempt to "pierce the corporate veil".

    So, if an employee does something that causes a lawsuit, the employee and company can be sued but any judgement against the corporation could only be paid from corporate funds.
    Also, generally correct, with lots of details on when the employee, the employer or both are liable. But it is worth pointing out the implicit distinction you make between being sued and who the judgment can be enforced against: just about anyone involved can be sued, and whether or not there is any basis for liability, that suit can be quite a PIA to defend.

  14. #114
    Oh man, get ready for this one:

    One teacher in my school, while the kids were working quietly on an assignment on their own, spent FOUR MINUTES yesterday looking at BASKETBALL news on the internet because apparently some high school kid decided to play basketball at their old college.






    Waittasecond...


  15. #115
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Ash View Post
    Oh man, get ready for this one:

    One teacher in my school, while the kids were working quietly on an assignment on their own, spent FOUR MINUTES yesterday looking at BASKETBALL news on the internet because apparently some high school kid decided to play basketball at their old college.






    Waittasecond...

    The teacher did what?!?!? I hope the teacher was able to stifle the shouts of joy so that the kids weren't disturbed.

  16. #116
    The Spanish teacher who was actually teaching at that time DID ask the other teacher why he was grinning from ear to ear. The same question was asked at lunch. But yes, screams of joy and "SUCK IT, ROY!!!" were stifled until said teacher was alone in his car driving home after school

  17. #117
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Ash View Post
    The Spanish teacher who was actually teaching at that time DID ask the other teacher why he was grinning from ear to ear. The same question was asked at lunch. But yes, screams of joy and "SUCK IT, ROY!!!" were stifled until said teacher was alone in his car driving home after school
    It is always good when the teacher can show some restraint.

  18. #118
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seoul, Korea
    And then of course, there are teachers who teach with a projector and smartboard every day. And come March, he somehow finds a way to zip through the lesson in record time to... erm... allow the students more time to work in groups/independently on problems to practice the material. All while he just ensures that the projector continues to work properly by streaming March Madness on Demand onto the screen(fortunately, he works for a principal who completely understands his obsession... the year of the VCU loss - ugh - he popped his head in and all the students thought the teacher was about to get in trouble, but no, he popped in to ask what the score was).

    Deslok

  19. #119
    Quote Originally Posted by Deslok View Post
    there are teachers who...ensures that the projector continues to work properly by streaming March Madness on Demand onto the screen
    Deslok
    Sounds like a candidate for "Teacher of the Year"

  20. #120
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Walnut Creek, California
    As for the child who is autistic, is there a way that the county's/state's child protective services can be brought to bear on the parents? It seems to me that a decent argument can be made that these parents are neglecting their child to his/her detriment.

    I admit I dunno what the rules are for CPS to become involved in this type of neglect, and I suspect that there are some school district political issues in taking such a step. (Who makes the complaint? Can a complaint be made by another parent? The principal? A teacher on his own? What about the teacher's union? The PTA? School nurse?) Someone must be out there.

    BTW, I wouldn't get too concerned about a suit. I expect that even if the district is operating on a tight budget, it has insurance to cover this sort of thing. Maybe the County or State would defend it as well if there is no insurance. Heck, maybe the insurance company has a loss protection expert to call upon.
    Last edited by Jim3k; 10-02-2010 at 04:30 AM.

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