A teacher at Aspire Hanley Middle School in Memphis has come under fire after a note she passed out to her pupils went viral.
The teacher, identified as Ms. White, has sparked a debate about classroom discipline methods, after she issued bi-monthly passes to the 8th grade children in her care for 'bathroom, water, and nurse'.
The note, which contains a number of grammatical errors, even acknowledged that her methods were 'petty'. It quickly went viral after it was posted to Twitter by social media user @iJaadee.
In a message accompanying a photograph of the note, she wrote:
Your child comes home and shows you this note her teacher had her sign at school.
What’s your reaction?
Speaking to Bored Panda about the note, Jaadee said:
I thought it was abhorrent.
The issue is much deeper than a teacher with crazy rules.
This shows someone with control issues who has no power or authority at home, so they bring what little power they have to the one place where they will have no resistance – the classroom.
The note garnered overwhelmingly negative feedback on social media too, with Twitter users describing Ms. White's methods as 'aggressive', 'cruel' and 'inhumane'.
Since the uproar, the school has responded to the controversy, distancing itself from the Draconian-style discipline.
Speaking to Local Memphis.com, the school's superintendent Dr. Nickalous Manning said:
I think that students have the opportunity to see the nurse or use the restroom.
They can make that request.
It is clear that it is inconsistent with our policies and our practices. We are meeting with our teachers and we have a full team ensuring that our policies and practices are clear and are understood.
The administration said that the teacher had a verbal warning, but was still an employee of the school, reports Local 24.
Aspire Schools also issued the following statement to parents and the school community:
On August 29, 2018, it was discovered that 8th grade students at Hanley Middle School were given a document restricting bathroom and nurse visits that was inconsistent with our school's actual policies, our mission, and our values. We are currently reviewing the circumstances under which the document was prepared and distributed to students.
Please know the safety and care of our students is always our first priority. It is important that students know we respect them and are responsive to their needs.
To reinforce these values, we convened our full team today to review all relevant policies and procedures. We will continue to work with our teachers and staff to ensure all school policies and values are consistently maintained in each classroom.
Jaadee, the woman who originally posted the note, commented that she thinks that the school's reaction to the debacle is 'as good as it will get'. Speaking to Bored Panda, she said:
Their response was as good as it’s going to get.
They’re not going to fire a veteran teacher and they’re not going to release details of her punishment. The superintendent speaking with local news cameras about it was very commendable.
Many others, however, are unimpressed, and are calling for Ms. White to be fired. Taking to Facebook, one Jennifer Michelle Di Mino wrote:
No one who writes a note like that should be working with children.
Another Facebook user echoed her sentiment:
Why should an adult, let alone a TEACHER, be describing herself as petty to her students.