5. Amanda Terrell
Now this is just plain cruel. Teachers presumably have some kind of training on how to handle kids with additional needs, so you’d think that someone who’d been teaching for two years would know that a student with Asperger’s Syndrome would sometimes need some delicate behavior management. Not Amanda Terrell, of Parkersburg High. She created a special “bad kid fort” out of a cardboard box and made the student sit in there when he misbehaved. She was suspended on charges of bullying, but later reinstated, much to the horror of the student’s mother, who had contacted the Department of Health and Child Protective Services about the incident. The school board defended its decision, saying that Terrell was a “good quality teacher” who deserves another chance. They might think that, but you wouldn’t leave your special-needs kids with her, would you?
4. Mohammed Sarwar
As if to prove that “Breaking Bad” isn’t entirely untrue, here’s a real-life teacher with a sideline in drug dealing. Mohammed Sarwar taught IT at Burnage Arts College in Manchester, England. He was admired for his community work but he had a dark side. Using the slightly unsubtle alias “The Teacher”, he was head of a drugs gang that supplied cocaine to dealers. His alternate career was discovered when police tailed him to a drugs deal on a retail park, which he’d taken one of his students along to. The police swooped and he was later sentenced to 21 years in jail, with his teaching record failing to help him. The head of the drugs squad said “by masterminding a drugs network he abused his position and set the worst sort of example possible” and the judge commented that he had thrown away his chances of a “decent life”. He probably shouldn’t have got his student involved…
3. Maria L. Caya
Teaching is a stressful occupation and many teachers probably wind down with a glass of wine at the end of the school day. But drinking while you’re in charge of the kids probably isn’t advisable. Pity no-one explained that to Maria L. Caya, who supervised a field trip to a bowling alley while intoxicated. The teacher from Washington Elementary School, Janesville had a blood alcohol level of 0.27 and became so ill that her husband had to come and collect her from the trip. As she was one of several chaperons on the trip, it seems that the children were never in any real danger from her drunkenness, but it certainly doesn’t seem like the best idea. Luckily, she had the summer to sober up.
2. Ryan Pleune
There’s a lot of contradictions in this next story. He was a qualified teacher, but working as the school bus driver. He was a passionate environmentalist…again, working as a bus driver (that most environmentally-friendly of jobs?) But one fact is clear – Ryan Pleune decided to take matters into his own hands and take students to see a protest instead of just driving them back to school like he was meant to. The students were from Salt Lake City, Utah and they had been on a field trip, driven by Pleune. But on the way back, he made an unscheduled stop at the courthouse so that he could show his students the glory of environmentalists protesting outside the trial of Tim DeChristopher, who was being tried for making fake bids at federal auctions. He thought the school would be “quietly happy” with his actions but they weren’t….and he was promptly fired. He defends himself in a guest post on PeacefulUprising.org and continues to fight his cause.
1. Unnamed Teacher, Washington D.C.
This last teacher has also been fired but their name has never been released. Which is a shame, cause there’s a certain style about this one. The teacher’s crime was to give out math puzzles to his third-graders which were a little unusual. One started “John, Jack and Jim lit up their pipes after dinner and began blowing smoke rings”. Another asked students to calculate how much blood a hungry vampire was consuming. Then there was the classic conundrum of John, who “swallowed 585 marbles and died” before his grieving father divided the remaining marbles among his friends. The resources were from Homeschooling-Paradise.com (pictured above) and sadly, some parents failed to see the joke and labelled the problems “morbid” and “violent”. The take-home message to all aspiring teachers? Never try to make math fun….