High School Student Scolds Teacher For Apathy -- On Viral Video

Student rant viral videoIn our ever-toxic education debate, we have politicians yelling at politicians, teachers yelling at administrators, unions yelling at pundits, and pundits yelling at everyone. But rarely do we hear a student yell at a teacher.

In a video that's gone viral, a high school student in the Dallas suburb of Duncanville captured his classmate with long golden locks and a way with words giving a passionate critique of his teacher's methods.

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"You want kids to come in your class, you want them to get excited for this, you've got to come in here and you got to make them excited," Jeff Bliss declares, as his world history teacher at Duncanville High School (who is unidentified in the video) asks him again to leave the classroom. "You want a kid to change and start doing better, you've got to touch his freakin' heart."

More: Texas Teacher Is Replaced After Telling Students She's Engaged To Jesus

As Bliss makes his way toward the door, he continues: "And when you come in here like you did last time and make a statement about 'Oh this is my paycheck.' Indeed it is, but this is my country's future and my education."

In subsequent statements, the Duncanville School District emphasized the rights of students to express their thoughts about their education, and told The Dallas Morning News that the student and principal met Thursday morning, "and no further action will be taken regarding the student."

Safe to say, Bliss is getting plenty of high fives in the hallway this week.



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Claire Gordon

Staff Writer

Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.

Follow Claire on Twitter. Email Claire at claire.gordon@teamaol.com. Add Claire to your Google+ circles.

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liz

The people who are pointing at this kid and yelling bootstraps are also the same ones who complain about how rough the system was on them. They had a choice to leave. Those kids do not. They have to attend on pain of legal consequences. There kids who would be better served by votech, which is now inaccessible to many because most districts do not offer on campus raining and outsource to community colleges which are often cost prohibitive. There are kids who will become adults who will never amount to anything and make life hell for the other kids. There are kids who don't see the value in these courses *and were never told why we, as a society, think they should learn it.* What disenfranchised students hear is "do this, or I'll hit you with the authority stick." Are any of us surprised when teenagers react against this?

I am not an idealist who doesn't understand how this works. I am a mother of three, who has all of her kids in the school system. I am a returning college student who and school district employee. I substitute teach five days a week and see all sorts of students, from elementary to high school. Apathetic students are a social failure. Their failure is not their fault because they have no voice in who raises them or what school they go to, then they are dropped into school expected to compete an a playing field that is no where near even where incompetents like this "teacher" impose bootstrapping via xerox instead of trying to figure out how to prepare these individuals for the real world. She can't even justify showing up for work outside of collecting her paycheck. She is perpetuating that apathy and ought to be canned. She won't be. They rarely are, because this is the sort of "teacher" the system prefers. I see this sort of teaching, more often than not, while I am at work and it makes me sick.

March 02 2014 at 9:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Marie

That kid had it right as a teacher I believe he did a beautiful thing....Thank God that kid had the guts to say what I would love to say to some of the teachers I work with.....Bravo son...you keep speaking your mind....GOOD FOR YOU....You would make a fabulous teacher some day!!!!!

May 16 2013 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
James

I've made many mistakes in my life, and near the top of that list was my decision to become a teacher. It took me nine years to correct that mistake, but thank God I finally wised up and got out. I pity those who don't have that option. The pay was one factor. It's not a forty hour job. If you consider the total amount of time a teacher spends in the classroom, attending meetings before and after school, grading papers and tests at home, lesson planning at home, etc. it's not much more than a minimum wage job. Summers off? Hah, that's a joke! You spend the first part of the summer recuperating from the burnout, the last third gearing up for the new school year, and the middle part scrambling for some extra income to pay the bills. But an even more important factor making it an bad career choice was the attitude of many students like the youngster in this video. Many students today think teaching is something that is DONE TO THEM -- not something they do themselves. Yes, this is a very entertaining rant, but I wonder how hard this kid actually STUDIED! Oh, I forgot, he's waiting to be "inspired," waiting for the teacher to "touch his heart." -- him and the other 150 kids she's teaching (30 kids per class times 5 classes per day). I encountered this frequently as a teacher, kids who want the teacher to "give" them a good education -- just don't infringe on my party time. Blame the teacher is by far the #1 rationalization for poor study habits. Here's a fact: you can get a poor education at a great school, and you can get a great education at a poor school. It's called work, discipline, and it's supposed to happen at home where parents only have a couple kids (their own!) instead of 150. Which brings me to another of my many reasons for escaping the relentless abuse called teaching. Parents! Some parents are involved constructively in their child becoming a well-disciplined learner, but many only get involved in a negative way when their kid complains about the teacher. And the administration, if the matter is brought before them, will invariably side with the belligerent parents regardless of the facts because the easiest way to make the problem go away is to side with the complainants. The idea that their social media/videogame/tv addicted kid needs to get their priorities straight never occurs to these parents. They enable the defiant disrespectful scapegoating of teachers we see in this video. The prevailing attitude today is that every kid DESERVES a good grade, and it's the teachers fault if they don't get it. Gosh, if I only worked hard in those classes where the teacher was "inspiring" I never would have gotten a Ph.D., a degree which I have subsequently put to much better use than suffereing the krap teachers go through daily. This video gave me great joy because it reminded me of my excellent reasons for finding a new career.

May 15 2013 at 5:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to James's comment
Gloria

You are so "right on" former teacher. I spent eight years until January 2013, and now I am putting my masters degree to better use. I agree with every single statement you made. You stated the entire problem in a short and concise manner. I was abused by administrators targeting teachers, in order to keep their own jobs. The education paradigm is a nightmare for most teachers. It needs a complete overhaul, redesign, and approach to teaching and learning. That kid was typical in my opinion, and showed no respect for the teacher, classmates, or his school. The administration has given kids the impression that they are in charge of the teacher, rather than the other way around.
Who needs, I have moved on to making more money, and less stress.

June 07 2013 at 10:48 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Gloria's comment
Monica

Gloria,

I am an educated adult that who earned great marks and was involved in extracurricular activities.

Teachers have one job-- TO TEACH. Most of the time, they CANNOT do it well. Any deviation from the textbook or the teacher's own knowledge is beaten out of students by verbal assaults or poor scores on essays and tests.

What a refreshment college was! It is great to talk something out with a professor, and even greater when they consider your opinion, research, and find that it's correct.

I'm not saying that teaching is easy. Neither is marketing, or being a paralegal, or an animator. But they are things that a candidate should be GOOD at. One should not teach if one is NOT good at it. I think most of you are missing a key point in this student's argument: the fact that the teacher refers to her job as "a paycheck".

No way.

A job like that cannot be a paycheck. People who see their jobs as a "pay check" are not well suited for their jobs. The only people who say **** like that are people who work in retail or fast food where they are miserable. "Welp. It's a paycheck."

I went to college with a number of people that became teachers and I am SHOCKED and APPALLED, mostly because of their notoriously selfish attitudes or sheer ignorance in the subject that they ended up teaching.

This isn't a game. Being a teacher and a mentor isn't a game. And it isn't a paycheck.

To teach in the subject that *I'm* good at, I'd have to go to school and get my credential, but I am 100 times more motivated to teach my subject than most teachers are to teach theirs. And I'm talking about people I personally know, who I've seen go through school and credentialing, not just teachers who are psyched and loose the desire after a few years.

I'm tired of people acting like teachers can do no wrong, like they all deserve a raise or more praise. Most of them don't because to them, it's another Burger King, or Chevron, or Target.

September 30 2013 at 5:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
liz

I understand what you are saying and have some level of agreement. The kids who don't want to learn should not be required to attend. It is really that simple. Logically, there should be three options for kids after middle school: votech, college prep, or the exit door.

You said something fascinating: The students often think education is something done to them. There is a customer service attitude there, right? This is insane given the fact that many don't even want to be there. And yet, there it is: Stick this information in my brain so I can pass the test. The motivation is to jump through a coercive hoop. They do not really want to learn, they just want to get this crap out of the way.

And educators blame the kids? The kids didn't invent the system. They are just responding to the carrots and sticks. I don't blame you for getting out. At least you could. Just remember, you were a kid, too. And you couldn't just get out of school without serious legal consequences. So while you get to opt out, guys like this one are wasting their time, tax payer money, and allowing incompetent teachers to collect paychecks.

And she is incompetent. Let's be realistic for a moment. If she is relying on xerox to explain the subject matter, if she is talking about her pay check like a toll booth operator, if she can't even keep a kid from getting up and taking over her class, she is not a good teacher. (I substitute teach five days a week. If I can keep a bunch of kids I don't know from taking over a class, I am pretty sure a teacher who knows those kids should have an advantage over me.)

March 02 2014 at 9:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bad Vibrations

Im glad to see a student stand up . Ill give that guy much respect for that .

May 15 2013 at 4:45 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
xdrumline1

Doesn't matter what the teachers do to motivate and encourage students, IN THE END, it really is up to the student to do it or not. It all goes back to how the child was raised. If parents did THEIR JOBS as parents, raising a child right, the school system would be way better off.

That doesn't mean there aren't any bad teachers. There are plenty of them. However, a teacher really can only do so much!!!!!!!!!!!

In the end, the kid has to want to learn, to want to thrive, to want to do what is required of a student. Its NOT the teacher's job to do the work for them, to touch the students' hearts and make them feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

May 14 2013 at 6:28 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to xdrumline1's comment
riss146

i, being a college student, agree with the fact that you say it is up to us. Yes it is. And maybe this kid should have went a different route when trying to explain his concerns to his teacher, but he is right. If the teacher does not want to teach, then find another job. It is there job to teach us. I take online classes where i am suppose to teach myself and that is fine, but when i sit in a classroom, i expect to be taught atleast enough to be able to build from with my own studies.

Highschool, in most places, is basically a requirement for minors, so yes there will be some students that could care less about learning. That is just the way it is, but a teacher is there by choice; therefore, they should want to teach their students. We, as the students, have to want to learn, but it seems to me that this kid does. He wants to learn, but he is not being taught.

May 15 2013 at 1:38 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
tcopewithit2

bout time we got an ASS whooping from incompetent teachers i graduated from law school at 7 and med school at 14 i do medical malpractices cases when the jury gives a woman 4 mill for a hang nail his insurance goes up and your visits go up use your head people

May 14 2013 at 4:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tcopewithit2

BOUT TIME

May 14 2013 at 4:38 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Dr. David Secord

Another turd who, without any qualification to do so, decides to instruct someone on their job and how to do it. He has what background in education? None. Its bad enough that teachers have to put up with a near war-zone atmosphere everyday without having to deal with this as well. Idiot.

May 14 2013 at 10:04 AM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Dr. David Secord's comment
What's Shakin T

Teaching with packets? Glad this went viral and I hope it's forced down this teacher's throat until she can't stands no more---no more---no more...

May 13 2013 at 11:21 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
nsheats

Excellent. Hopefully the student will get a scholarship in political science or public speaking. Hey all you teachers sitting back behind your unions and tenure....wake up! This guy is going to be electing the school board in a couple years. Hopefull all the tag along teachers...you know those getting the benifits that the good ones work their tail off for,,,,,will be booted from the system by those who didnt teach them. Obedience is required but respect has to be earned.

May 13 2013 at 9:42 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to nsheats's comment
JEFF

That clown will never elect anyone... he won't vote... he will simply find someone who will tolerate his butt on their couch for awhile... then move to another couch.... a clearly staged event to embarrass his teacher.... his teacher may be incompetent.... but we do not know that from his blabber....

May 16 2013 at 3:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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