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A Plea to Stop the Drama on Teacher Misconduct

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Providing shock and awe news on the gritty trespasses committed by teachers is a cottage industry. Now there are entire blogs committed to this enterprise, the most disgusting of which is Detention Slip. Rather than discussing these stories in a productive way, something that more astute observers have consistently done (See Scott McLeod on cell phone videos or Corey Bower on teachers losing their cool), the goal is to discredit teachers and public education in general.

There are 3.2 million public school teachers in America. Even if one hundredth of one percent (.01%) of them did egregious things, we would still see about 2 awful stories in the news for every day of the school year. I am not suggesting that we ignore these issues, but asking that we put them in perspective. Every profession struggles with how to enforce and maintain professional norms (see Robert Pondiscio on a Hippocratic Oath for education). Those discussions are important. But I question the wisdom of focusing so much attention on these stories when they are no way typical of the behavior of public educators.
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Oh, thank you for saying this. Detention Slip is the educational equivalent of Dirty.Com, without the smarmy code language and disgusting photographs of surgically enhanced drunk people. Although, on second thought, some of Detention Slip's illustrations are pretty yuck, too.

There are SO many issues and opportunities in the greater realm of education policy and practice--I am mystified about why those who believe they are educational journalists would hit Detention Slip every morning for their cheap shot of the day.

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