WATERBURY, CT– Teachers are supposed to the ones that don’t bully you in school. Teachers are supposed to be the ones you can turn to when you are the victim of a bully. They are supposed to be that “trusted adult.” One student in Connecticut found out the hard way that the above isn’t always true. In this case, the teacher was the one bullying the students.
A student in the eighth grade at Duggan Elementary School was the subject of threats made by his teacher, Marylou Addona. Addona is heard on a video recording saying she was going to “punch him right in the face and break that glass in his eye.”
Thankfully another student in the class, who wasn’t the subject of Addona’s abuse, was able to record the entire incident on his iPod. The recording is now being used as part of the investigation into Addona, who is currently on leave. She was unaware that the student was creating an objective record of the incident at the time, which is probably a good thing, because there is no telling how she may have reacted to the student had she known.
The video is also said to have captured another interaction with a different student, but instead of threatening to punch that student in the face, she opted to make fun of his name:
Addona: “I heard you had an attitude today too. Is that true? What’s your name anyway?” The fact that she didn’t even know the name of one of her own students demonstrates what kind of teacher she is.
Addona: “Blake, What kind of name is Blake? Irish? Italian? French? What are you? White? You think you’re cool with that name Blake, huh?”
I have no idea what led her to make fun of this student’s name. What she did to this student and the first one by threatening to punch him in the face is supposed to be something a bully does to you, not your teacher. The teacher isn’t supposed to be the one bullying you. The teacher isn’t supposed to be the bully.
What makes this story even more remarkable is the fact that this teacher had been at the job for 17 years. She wasn’t new to the job. What set her off like this? I can understand disciplining a student, but this is simply going too far. This is unprofessional, and unacceptable. There is a line, and for some reason a 17 year veteran at teaching crossed it.
Maybe the job finally got to her. Had she simply been teaching for too long? Had those 17 years been too much? Was there something in her personal life that was getting to her, or were those students simply too much for her to handle?
The story gets even worse. The mother of the student who recorded the entire incident claims that school staff are now retaliating against her son. She says she is documenting it, and if it doesn’t stop, she will report it.
If the school staff are really retaliating against this student, I’d say this school has much larger problems than one teacher. What reason would the mother have to lie about such a thing? She has nothing to gain from lying about it, but it is possible that the student could lie. But after recording the entire incident, I really don’t think this student would make up such details. At least, I hope not.
So far, not only does it sound like this teacher had some issues of her own, but it sounds like the school has a few issues of its own if the teachers are rally retaliating after a student recorded the misconduct of Addona. If these allegations are true, what the hell is wrong with this school?
Stories like this are sad. They sure make you think for a moment about public education. But, I should probably note that this story isn’t indicative of all teachers out there. Sure, there are more like Addona, but there are many dedicated, exceptionally good teachers. Although there are probably a good number of horrible teachers out there, and those who take discipline too far, like Addona, there are many who don’t. There are many teachers out there who do take pride in their jobs, and treat their students with respect. Respect goes both ways, the student should respect the teacher, but the teacher should also do the same for the student. If both sides have respect for one another, things go much smoother.
To all the good teachers out there, I thank you. Thank you for your service.