Regarding the recent viral rant by Texas high school student Jeff Bliss against his history teacher (below), there may well be legitimate grievances here. Three things that deeply worry me about this are the three things that nobody is commenting on.
First, the whole Internet is rushing to get on this kid’s team. But none of us were there. We don’t know the teacher’s side of the story. We aren’t qualified to take a side. What could prompt such a mad, mass bandwagon of groupthink?
Everybody criticizes the herd mentality unless, you know, you’re in on it, because then it’s just obviously right.
Second, nobody is talking about who recorded this and put it online, and why they did it, and if that was a good idea. I agree that public school classrooms need to be open to the world, but this is a selective moment published just to hurt a teacher. Nobody is worried about the precedent here?
Which brings me to the third point: as the UK’s Daily Mail notes in its weekend article on the controversy, “Meanwhile, the teacher in the video has been placed on administrative leave while the school investigates…”
Wow, some kid posts a video online of another kid criticizing a teacher, and the teacher gets suspended and investigated. Her career is likely ruined. Over a one minute video where all she really does is calmly reiterate that a disruptive student leave. What he says may be right, but she deserves to be harrassed and investigated over this?
I’m reminded of the sword of Damocles.
I’m reminded of Reverend Hale’s line in Act IV of The Crucible: “No man knows when the harlot’s cry will end his life.” Or when the student’s cry will end her career. Apparently, society is OK with a witch hunt if the accused are only mere teachers.