A Tardy Teacher…A Broad Brush…Don’t Pass Stereotypes On

Perhaps you saw the story regarding an elementary school teacher in New Jersey who was admittedly late over 100 times in the past two school years combined yet retained his position.

He has been suspended without pay from the beginning of this school year until January.

The teacher maintains he had a habit of eating breakfast at home…and thereby lost track of time.  Each time.

Governor Chris Christie expressed his frustration on Twitter…“Think I’m too tough on the teachers union?  This is what we’re dealing with in NJ.”  He signed into law a tenure reform law in 2012 which was supposed to make it easier to remove educators deemed to not be fulfilling their obligations.  It sounds like the only thing that really happened is arbitration decisions have returned said teachers to the classrooms as suspensions have been found to be more appropriate than terminations…at least initially.

This was just another entry read and filed away mentally off my news feed until I was listening to the radio this morning and the show hosts were making fun of it.  A man called in stating he was a teacher and he and his fellow co-workers are fed up with this story specifically and the way teachers are treated generally by the media when it comes to their dedication to duty. He said teachers work hard…work under difficult circumstances at times…and do not deserve to be painted in such a negative shade with the easy, lazy broad brush the media seems to pull out each time someone in their profession doesn’t perform it well.

Why WAS this a national news item? Was it because Chris Christie, a candidate for President, was trying to show the challenge faced in his position dealing with union politics? Was it because in many jobs you’d be excused from work after a couple bouts with lateness let alone at least 46 times the school year past…and 65 times the year before? Perhaps it was worth our attention because a lot of folks are still scrambling for any employment and would be most grateful for the chance to prove their punctuality? The headline to the story did happen to mention the teacher in question makes $90,000 annually…a living wage to be sure.

All of the above I’m sure…but the gentleman who called the radio station was also certainly correct.  A lot of us embrace stereotypes and paint a broad brush over most anyone’s occupation when but one within fails. These stereotypes are a part of our culture, our entertainment.

I hope when we see the jokes and ridicule generated from stereotypes, however and whenever presented, we are smart enough to refocus and confine attention to the specific individual and situation at hand…and not let stereotypes get out of hand…and not pass them on.


About sportsattitudes

I'm Bruce. Born, raised and still outside the City of Brotherly Love. Managed (so far) to visit a dozen of our United States and Canada (twice). Addicted from birth to Television/Movies/Sports. Took three years of French and got credit for two of 'em.
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5 Responses to A Tardy Teacher…A Broad Brush…Don’t Pass Stereotypes On

  1. belinda o says:

    The last part of your post reminds me of thoughts I often have. So much of our humor relies on stereotypes, especially in sitcoms and other mass-market media. Sometimes we’re poking fun at ourselves (which is fine), but it’s not always easy to see when we cross the line and unwittingly offend someone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good post! In addition to stereotypes, we need to be judicious in our approach to using absolutes and remember that today’s media thrives on expoitation. I believe there really is more good than bad in the world but too ofter the focus is on the bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Stephanae, well said. The media has its own agenda and often all the good in life is reserved for the last five minutes of the newscast or the back pages of the newspaper, etc. I enjoyed your site very much and thank you for stopping by mine!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, unfortunately gone are the days of just reporting the facts (the more scandalous the better).

        My pleasure to stop by. I so enjoy meeting other bloggers by “likes” and “comments” that I see on other blogs. The numerous topics make the people on this platform so interesting and I love the dialog.

        Liked by 1 person

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