Anyone entering the teaching profession has to know that they are going to have to deal with problem students. If they don’t understand that then they are very naïve and have no business being a teacher. How a teacher deals with their problem students says a lot about the teacher and their ability to be an effective educator.
Based a recent report out of Memphis, I would tend to say that Kristin Oshfelt selected the wrong profession. She is a kindergarten teacher at A.B. Hill Elementary School and evidently has no ability to deal with problematic little kids.
One of Oshfelt’s students was little Akeelah Joseph, who according to the reports was acting up in class. Oshfelt had enough, lost her cool and locked Akeelah in a closet. Then she told the school that she was sick and went home. An hour later, a substitute teacher discovered the little girl still locked in the closet.
Needless to say, Akeelah was traumatized from the ordeal and her mother was irate. Nowadays if a parent does that to their own kid at home they are immediately arrested and the child removed from the home, along with any other kids in the house.
According to Trevor Tenbrink with the Education Action Group, Oshfelt has not been arrested nor has she been fired from job. She has been placed on an unpaid leave pending investigations by the school district, Memphis police and child services. Tenbrink says the school is hesitant to terminate the teacher for fear of getting into a long legal battle with the teacher’s union if Oshfelt is a union member. Sounds to me like school administrators are more concerned over the union than they are for the safety and wellbeing of their students.
There seems to be a growing trend in the education field of teachers abusing students, physically, sexually and verbally. At least once or twice a month I hear of a local teacher being charged with having sex with students. I constantly read about teachers that verbally harass students in the classroom in front of their classmates for their political and religious views. The courts are filling up with cases of teachers violating the constitutional rights of students.
This is one of many reasons why I and thousands of others advocate homeschooling or private schooling if at all possible. I know that neither of these options are practical for many parents so I adamantly urge parents who have kids in public schools to be actively involved with their kids and find out what they are being taught, who is their teacher and what’s going on at the school. Many parents will be shocked by what they find out. Their kids are their responsibility, not the school’s and not the state’s. Parents owe it to their children to know what’s happening at their child’s school. If they don’t, they have no one else to blame but themselves.