Overreaction or Right On?

Photo from Sky News

As a mom, there are very few things I wouldn’t do to protect my son. Of course, I consider myself to be more on the “Free Range” side of the fence, so my idea of “protection” falls more within the ‘teach him to take care of himself’ realm… he is in Tae Kwon Do, for example. He can cook a meal for himself. He walks home from the bus almost every day. We role-play situations with him. Stuff like that.

I also know that there are parents out there who lean more toward the “helicopter” side of the fence. Parents who are uncomfortable, for example, allowing their 8 year old to walk to or from school, who won’t allow them to stay overnight at a friend’s house for fear of molestation, things like that.

I understand their fears, and while I don’t share them, I try not to judge them for it.

But I was absolutely shocked when I read this story out of California. According to the story, two teachers were arrested for nasty, disgusting acts against students. Listening to the radio today, another is being questioned for aiding and abetting.

Make no mistake, I believe that, if those three teachers are guilty, they need to be placed under the school. There is no dungeon deep enough, no dungeon master evil enough to deal with them. However… the way the school board is dealing with the rest of the staff is appalling.

They have decided (and this is coming not from the cited article, but from news reports coming out of a Los Angeles radio station, KFI AM640, which I listen to through I *heart* Radio. LOVE that site) to “reassign” every single teacher in that school. School has been out for two or three days, while the school board essentially fired every staff member in the school (‘scuse me, “reassigned”), and replaced them with an entirely new staff.

School resumed today with the new staff and counselors to help the children with the transition. The cost, reported on the radio today, is somewhere in the neighborhood of $5m. The Teacher’s Union, expectedly, is completely up in arms over this.

How is this right??? I get that they want the kids protected, but really? Three teachers are dirtbags, so they get rid of the entire staff??? And at that cost – when schools across the country are constantly complaining that they have no money – how can they justify any of these actions?

I cannot imagine how traumatic the molestation was for the student body. But then to dismiss all the rest of the teachers? Some of who, I’m sure, were much-loved and certainly no threat to anyone. Seems to me that they are adding trauma on top of trauma.

I can’t imagine what this will do to the teacher’s reputation, either. Thanks to this sweeping act, they are now and forevermore tied to the evil three who caused all the trouble. This is the worst case of Zero Tolerance I’ve seen.

An updated story appears here. It appears that the teachers/staff has been permanently reassigned to another school, which will be opening in the fall. That’s better than firing them, but I still don’t think it’s right. How ’bout you?

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11 Responses to Overreaction or Right On?

  1. Joy says:

    This doesn’t make a lick of sense to me. Not a lick. “IF” these teachers didn’t do anything wrong, why move them? Some of these children have been traumatized by some of them. Get rid of them. How does getting rid of some loved teachers in this time of need. Just how can a school district afford new staff and counselors to help the children with the transition? They wouldn’t even need a transition if they only got rid of the dirtbags. Why not leave the loved teachers in place? I’m scratching my head here thinking WTH. Is there something else going on??

  2. mssc54o says:

    I dont see the big deal. Get rid of all the teachers.

    I’m willing to bet that the money can be recouped through someone’s insurance company.

    • Laura says:

      I have to wonder if you would feel the same way if this happened at your wife’s school, and she was one of those “reassigned”? I know I would be absolutely furious if this happened to one of the teachers in my family (dad, sis-in-law, several cousins). Because I know how kids are, and now I know how parents are… they encounter one of these “reassigned” teachers at another school, and suddenly that teacher is “one of those”. Why were they reassigned if they were innocent? Were they *really* innocent? This cannot be good for their careers at all.

    • Joy says:

      I have to agree with Laura. Any time you are “relocated,” everyone wonders why. Also, what about the very beloved teachers? These kids need them. I could care less about an insurance payment. Money never entered my head.

  3. sean says:

    you said it it mssc540….welcome to america…

  4. SKL says:

    I have only seen brief headlines on this story. However, I could see where in all the hubbub about the teachers who did the “nasty” things, there were probably accusations to the effect that teacher ABC and administrator XYZ knew or should have known this was going on, and turned a blind eye or even covered up. Because of the union, you can’t deal with unsubstantiated allegations by suspending the individuals, and yet you know your ass is grass if you receive allegations and do nothing and they turn out to be proven true. So my thought is, they came up with something that does not discriminate, does not punish innocents, and also does not ignore allegations. And yes, it costs a lot of money, but it isn’t their money, is it?

    Overreaction is the reason for a lot of the stupid things that are done in our country. You can’t just do what seems right any more, because someone is going to sue you for it one way or the other. CYA is the name of the game.

  5. Nikki says:

    I don’t think it’s right at all! Punish all, for what some teachers did. If they know with a shadow of a doubt who did it, and who did not, and are saying that most will return, why would they do this?! This simply makes no sense to me.

  6. joanharvest says:

    This is so wrong on so many levels plus it is making my brain hurt. OK, so they transfer all the teachers to other schools in case they might have had something to do with the abuse? Why else would they transfer them? If they thought the rest of the teachers were innocent there would be no need to transfer them so they must think they are guilty. If they think they are guilty they must send them to jail and not transfer them to other schools where they can abuse again.

    So, to me, this proves that the people who made this decision are total morons.

  7. Laura says:


    I heard on the radio this morning, that another employee – an aide of some sort – has been detained under suspicion of having a relationship with a 15-year old student. Now, I believe this school is only an elementary/middle school, not a high school, so I’m not sure that this case is related. But it’s news because it’s a member of this staff.

    What the heck is going on in CA??

  8. starlaschat says:

    ????? is right. It’s a hardship for the teachers and the students to have to changes schools. If the teachers had nothing to do with the situation why punish them. The students would be punished as well as they probably count on the stability of favorite and beloved teachers, especially in a time of turmoil. If there were any question of possiable involvement from the other teacher there should have been more questioning and detective work so that they would not have been sent to another school to re offend. I would imagine to be relocated will not look good on the teachers record.

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