School is a place where a lot of bullying takes place every day, leaving many traumatized, and with some rather negative memories of their time in school. Teachers are supposed to be the ones in school who don’t bully; in fact aren’t they supposed to be the ones to go to in the event you become the victim of bullying? For the most part this is true, but not always, as one substitute teacher in Illinois proved to a high school class when he took the role of the bully.
An unidentified substitute teacher at Streamwood High School, who has since been suspended, decided for some reason that it would be a good idea to draw a degrading sketch of one student who was already the frequent victim of bullies due to his weight of 330 pounds in front of the entire class on what appears to be a smart board. Stephen Davis is the victim. He was able to record the entire incident on video, which depicts the teacher drawing the sketch at the front of the class room. Davis is depicted as having bloodshot eyes, buck teeth, hairy ears, a scar, and a runny nose. It’s difficult to clearly see the board at the front of the classroom, but Davis was able to get a great view of the computer the board was connected to, clearly showing the degrading drawing of him. As if the sketch itself wasn’t bad enough, the teacher labelled it “Stephen’s ugly ass.”
As mentioned, Stephen has been the frequent victim of bully’s in the past due to his weight. The student’s bullying him is bad enough, but when a teacher joins in as well, it’s incredibly appalling.
What message does it send to students when a teacher decides to bully another student? It sends a clear message that this type of behavior is acceptable, since the person in charge of hopefully putting a stop to it is the one dishing it out. Now, granted there are going to be many who don’t agree with this type of behavior, and won’t decide bullying is alright after experiencing this, but for others, there’s a good chance a few will take this disgusting experience with this teacher and use it to justify their own disgusting actions.
Of course, this teacher is not representative of all teachers; such a statement would be unfair to those who do their jobs properly. But, what do teachers like this on say about education in America? How does a person like this become a teacher in the first place? Sure, it could be argued that something like this couldn’t be caught beforehand, but surely a psychologist could provide insight into something like this long before it actually happens—it takes a certain type of person to do this.
This story in particular is sickening. All cases of bullying are sickening, but this one is exceptionally sickening. The teacher, who is in a position of power, took the role of bully when teachers’ are supposed to combat this very problem. Teachers aren’t supposed to be the bullies.
It’s not simply a “joke”. Bullying has dire consequences, as is proven all too often when someone takes their life after excessive bullying.
Davis fought back by recording the incident, and bringing it to the attention of the world. But, after seeing this, there is an important question that must be asked: If the teacher did this to Davis, how many other times has he done it, out of view of the camera?