Push-ups get Teacher Suspended

Posted: December 5, 2008 in Education, News
Tags: , , ,

educationI have often heard the current generation of students called the “cotton wool” generation and the more I have experience with them, the more I tend to feel this is an apt description.  The following story, out of England, is about some children who were late to class and so had to do some pushups as a punishment for their lack of organisation.  As a result, the teacher of that class has since been suspended pending an investigation.

I see nothing wrong, barring further information such as the students having certain medical conditions, with a few pushups being used as a punishment for failing to meet school expectations.  In fact, it is not a terribly idea since it also helps combat childhood obesity in a small yet meaningful way.  What other punishments might have been available which actually have any meaning?  Please, no one even try to tell me sitting the students down and having a chat with them counts.

Modern students, generally speaking, need to realise that they need to have a responsibility for their own learning and that if they do not meet expectations of their school then there will be repercussion which might very well be unpleasant.

The last comment in the story tells me a lot and it is something I do not entirely agree with;

“priority is to ensure that students are happy to be in school.”

While students who are unhappy or whatever at a school won’t be engaged in the classroom, they must also learn that not everything will go their way if they pout, sulk, have a hissy-fit or go running home to mummy and daddy.  They are not at school to be happy, they are at school to get a decent education and that includes learning the expectations and rules of society through the rules and expectations of their school.  What the school lays down as the rules must be abided by and if you don’t meet those expectations then you receive the repercussions of your (in)actions.

The whole affair, in this specific case, seems doubly absurd since the school in questions is a sports college and staff are in trouble for instructing students to do push-ups.

British teacher suspended over push-up punishment

A British schoolteacher has been suspended after making his pupils do push-ups as a punishment for arriving late to class, Britain’s main teaching union.

Ian Jennison, a representative for the National Union of Teachers, said the suspension could have a negative impact on how teachers dealt with their students in the future.

“It’s political correctness gone mad. The repercussions are quite far-reaching,” Mr Jennison said.

“If this man is sacked for this, teachers are not going to take kids on trips, if two kids are having a fight they won’t intervene, because they will be too worried.”

Mr Jennison said different punishments for latecomers had been discussed by the whole class and that it was the pupils who had suggested push-ups.

The Derby Moor Community Sports College, where the unnamed teacher worked, said an investigation was underway and that its “priority is to ensure that students are happy to be in school.”

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Comments
  1. K.C. says:

    wow. that is crazy. pretty soon, teachers will be getting suspended for raising their voice at students.

    http://athleticpedia.wordpress.com/

  2. AV says:

    It’s the reality of the modern legal landscape. If the kid had injured himself/herself as a result of the punshment, the school would have been liable. Calling this “political correctness gone mad” constitutes a grave misunderstanding of legal liability.

    I also fail to see how push-ups can be considered a relevant punishment for tardiness, or an effective means of getting kids to appreciate that they are responsible for their learning. Surely an “F” in big, bold, red pen will do a much better job, since academic failure is an actual consequence of inadequate study habits? Let’s suppose that I’m a student, and every time I fail to do my homework the teacher hits me over the head with a big stick. I may end up being a very diligent student, but only out of fear of being hit with the big stick. I will have learned absolutely nothing about being responsible for my own education, because my diligence will be contingent upon the continued threat of the big stick. What happens when the big stick is removed? Where’s my motivation now? How can the external threat of physical punishment inculcate in me the internal motivation to take responsibility for my own learning?

    I think the teacher is an idiot, but I don’t think he deserves to be fired or suspended.

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