Don’t Fire This Teacher Over a Funny Photo of Her Students!

Hi Readers — Here’s another case about kids, safety and social media that we can parse this way or that, but really, I am asking for not nitpicking. Just sanity.

A 33-year-old middle school math teacher in Akron, OH,  apparently gave one of her 13-year-old students some duct tape to repair a folder. The kid, joking around, put  a piece of the tape over her mouth, laughed, and some other kids followed suit. The teacher, Melissa Cairns, snapped a picture and put it on Facebook with the caption: “Finally found a way to get them to be quiet!!!”

Big. Deal.

Ah, but that is exactly how the Akron Board of Ed is treating it. Its president, Jason Haas, will not predict how the board is going to vote when they decide whether or not the teacher should be fired. As he is quoted as saying, “Why was there duct tape in the classroom? How did they [the students] come to have access to it?”

To which I must ask: How can Mr. Haas even be heard with his head where it is?

Truly, readers, I’m sure there will be comments about the students’ right to privacy, but this is a photo I’d have made sure got into the yearbook. It’s funny. It’s spontaneous. No students were harmed in the making of this goofy thing OR the posting of it. Let’s not make every itty bitty thing into a federal case!

As for how the students came “to have access” (what felicitous phrasing) to the appalling adhesive, I truly hope the board delves deep. Because it’s a real mystery to me: How COULD a teen end up handling a roll of TAPE? It’s almost unprecedented! In GOOD schools, that sort of thing just DOESN’T HAPPEN. – L.

As the Akron, OH, school board so keenly understands: tape and crime go hand in hand.

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