Whose the Real Bully?

A Michigan teacher is on suspension after attempting to break up a violent fight between two male students using a broom. Cell phone video captured the fight between the two teenaged boys, along with the desperate attempt by the teacher to separate them.

In the video, the teacher can be seen striking one of the boys on the back with the broom’s handle as the boys continue to tussle. The teacher first yelled at the teens to stop, and only picked up the broom after they failed to do so and the fight got more heated.

She’s now being labeled a bully.

The mother of the boy who was hit by the teacher with the broom said her son’s back was bruised from the incident. The students were suspended for 10 and three days, respectively.

A 19-year-old senior at the school, said the teacher went too far.

“The lady she should have never grabbed the broom. She could have just grabbed the security guard,” he said. “He could have got hurt from her hitting him with the broom like that and she should have gotten charged for it.”

The teacher has her defenders too.

“I feel like if I was there I would have done the same thing trying to break them up. … I don’t think she should lose her job or have charges brought against her,” said Natalie Tyson, mother of a Pershing freshman. “What else could she do? Those guys were kind of big and they were tearing up the classroom.”

The chancellor of Michigan’s Education Achievement Authority, which runs Pershing High School, plans to recommend to the authority’s board of directors that the teacher be terminated, writes authority spokeswoman Chrystal Wilson.

“Which means the termination is effective immediately,” Wilson said in e-mail. “She will have an opportunity, like any other employee, to meet with the board as they consider this recommendation at its next scheduled board meeting” June 17th.

The teacher, whose name was not released, was notified in a May 1st letter about the recommendation that she be terminated. She has not indicated whether she plans to appeal.

Meanwhile, across the country, the Carson City Council in California gave preliminary approval to an ordinance that would target people from kindergarten to age 25 who makes others feel “terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested.”

The first offense could result in a ticket and fine, and the second offense could come with a larger fine and a third offense could result in a criminal misdemeanor.

“If a child is bullying someone, and a parent has to pay a $100 fine as a result of that, a responsible parent will realize their child needs some help,” said Councilman Mike Gipson, who introduced the ordinance and is spearheading a campaign to make Carson bully free.

Adults who bully would be charged with either an infraction or a misdemeanor, which could come with jail time. The measure also cover forms of cyber bullying throughout Los Angeles County.

It’s unclear how the Sheriff’s Department would enforce the law, since infractions and misdemeanors rarely handed out unless the crime is witnessed by a law enforcement officer, officials said.

“A fitness hearing would be required to try a child as a criminal,” Lt. Arthur Escamillas told the newspaper. “But if you see a 4-year-old riding a bike down the street without a helmet, are you going to give a 4-year-old a ticket? It’s discretionary.”

Whether officers cite and charge children with misdemeanors for bullying will have to be decided by the Sheriff’s Department leadership, Escamillas said.

But the bullying isn’t limited to just the local level.

Iowa’s Senator Charles Grassley dismissed the notion that Common Core was a decision made by state educators, saying the federal government pressured most states to adopt the standards.

“In order to get Common Core adopted quickly in the 50 states, it was tied to Race to the Top money,” Grassley said, “A lot of states thought they would get a lot of money. Not more than a dozen actually did. But, they accepted the principle of Common Core. Also, if states wanted waivers from No Child Left Behind, it also involved Common Core.”

“From that standpoint, it’s the pressure of Washington to bring about Common Core as a national approach,” he continued. “Quite frankly, it shouldn’t have been done that way.”

He said if the standards were really an option for the states, they would be allowed to adopt them without being pressured.

“Let’s allow people to make up their minds about the substance of Common Core,” Grassley said. “If states want to adopt it, that’s their business. But, it shouldn’t be crammed down their throat by the secretary of education in Washington, D.C., using federal money.”

“They adopted this and, to make it look like it was state-oriented and coming from the grassroots up, I think maybe it’s easier to sell that until you start looking into where the roots of it happened, basically here in Washington, D.C,” Grassley added.

“I don’t think the governors and chief states school officers were as involved as they want us to believe,” he added. “Even if they were, the fact that it’s tied to federal dollars and having the federal government having conditions for those federal dollars adopting Common Core, you get back to the establishment of curriculum based upon national testing. In the end, subverting the 10th Amendment and usurping what is definitely not just a constitutional state right, but as a practical matter ought to be a state right.”

“Our country is so geographically vast and our population so heterogeneous that policy made in Washington, D.C., doesn’t fit New Hartford, Iowa, where I’m from, the same as New York City,” Grassley said.

Grassley made the comments during an interview on the Tea Party News Network.


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