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.
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.
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.
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.
I hope the family friends got rid of bad apples when they got teachers fired.
I believe the conflicts with the teachers in Raleigh were over grades (in 10th grade).
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."
Did the 5th grader get to take the test again?
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."
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.
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.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.
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.
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
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).
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.