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Perks
01-15-2011, 12:43 AM
but I keep getting it.

My daughter's school, unfortunately, keeps churning out the evidence.

So Julia is in their gifted program. The group gets together once a week for special assignments and discussions. The teacher was talking about peer bonding and asked the kids if any of them had suffered a death in their immediate family.

Several children raised their hands and the teacher, we'll call him Mr. Brain, asked each child (6th grade, 11 and 12 year olds) what family member they had lost. One boy's mother had died when he was six years old.

After a bit more chat, Mr. Brain came back to the boy (let's call him Dylan) and asked Dylan, in front of the class, if there were "any positive points" to his mother dying. Dylan looked horrified, turned a weird color, and stammered that no, he couldn't think of anything positive about it.

To which Mr. Brain replied, "Well, you're probably too young to have that sort of perspective."

You think? Unless your mother is Medusa, there aren't too many twelve year olds who will be able to cite and appreciate the upside of their mother's young demise.

Julia said that the kid never lost that weird color and sat there in a trance for the rest of the period. She felt so bad for him.

Holy shit.

scarletpeaches
01-15-2011, 12:45 AM
:Jaw:

Okay, I'm speaking as a non-maternal woman who never wants to give birth ever but--

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

Are you for real? This happened? :Wha:

Perks
01-15-2011, 12:51 AM
Unless Julia has suddenly turned into a pathological (and Academy Award worthy) liar, it happened.

She was horrified. She said the boy just sat there in a daze for the rest of the group meeting and she couldn't stop looking over and feeling terrible about what the teacher had said.

These people are incredible.

Cranky
01-15-2011, 12:52 AM
Mr. Brain is an asshole. What a crappy thing to say to anyone, let alone a child.

firedrake
01-15-2011, 12:52 AM
What a clueless, fucking wanker.

Time to phone the Principal I think :Wha:

Jess Haines
01-15-2011, 12:54 AM
dot dot dot

I can't accept that this is real. Good Lord, does this person truly have ZERO sense of humanity, compassion, and/or common sense?

I really hope you brought this up as a complaint to whoever manages the program at that school.

scarletpeaches
01-15-2011, 12:54 AM
Are you sure Mr Brain is even of the same species as the rest of us?

Perks
01-15-2011, 12:55 AM
There was another girl who had lost her baby brother. Thankfully, he didn't ask her if this freed up the spare bedroom for her Barbie castle and springhorse.

The exercise was, I guess, an illustration of how similar life experiences create common ground. He went on to say that he felt a special bond with Dylan and littleMissbrotherless, because he too had lost a family member.

It boggles the mind.

bip
01-15-2011, 12:56 AM
At what age would you get that "perspective"?

scarletpeaches
01-15-2011, 12:56 AM
Oh. Yeah. I'm sure Dylan felt very comforted by this bond.

Perks
01-15-2011, 01:02 AM
I really hope you brought this up as a complaint to whoever manages the program at that school.I don't know what to do. I'm already in a bit of an odd place because of a conflict I had with a teacher early in the year.

(detailed here, but not necessary for this discussion)
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=195080

scarletpeaches
01-15-2011, 01:03 AM
I would perhaps encourage Julia to extend the hand of friendship somehow, in a way that didn't remind Dylan too badly of Mr Brain's monumental faux pas.

LaurieD
01-15-2011, 01:04 AM
OMG.

:Jaw:

Of all the things to find in common between kids, he brings up the death of a family member? And then expects a motherless kid to find something positive about it?

Asshole.

PercyBlok
01-15-2011, 01:07 AM
Tell your daughter to be on the look-out for Dylan wearing a long black trench coat to school.

Mr. Brain, well, he could just be some sort of sick f'er.

Perks
01-15-2011, 01:17 AM
I can't help recall that when she was in the third grade, the counselor gathered the children together and invited them to all tell stories of family fights and crises to the class.

I actually had to go in and tell him (totally different him) that is probably wasn't a great idea to have third graders telling the class how mommy drinks and they hide under the table when she fights with her boyfriend and then they go into the bedroom and... seriously. Julia was telling me these stories at the dinner table and I said, "How do you know this stuff?"

"Mr. Jones told us to tell the class about out parents' fights."

Mr. Jones turned out to be a sincerely nice man who hadn't thought of the further implications of third graders dishing Jerry Springer to their classmates.

*headdesk*

scarletpeaches
01-15-2011, 01:18 AM
Have they no sense of decorum, dignity and privacy of grief?

Devil Ledbetter
01-15-2011, 01:22 AM
Good lord.

KTC
01-15-2011, 01:29 AM
but I keep getting it.

My daughter's school, unfortunately, keeps churning out the evidence.

So Julia is in their gifted program. The group gets together once a week for special assignments and discussions. The teacher was talking about peer bonding and asked the kids if any of them had suffered a death in their immediate family.

Several children raised their hands and the teacher, we'll call him Mr. Brain, asked each child (6th grade, 11 and 12 year olds) what family member they had lost. One boy's mother had died when he was six years old.

After a bit more chat, Mr. Brain came back to the boy (let's call him Dylan) and asked Dylan, in front of the class, if there were "any positive points" to his mother dying. Dylan looked horrified, turned a weird color, and stammered that no, he couldn't think of anything positive about it.

To which Mr. Brain replied, "Well, you're probably too young to have that sort of perspective."

You think? Unless your mother is Medusa, there aren't too many twelve year olds who will be able to cite and appreciate the upside of their mother's young demise.

Julia said that the kid never lost that weird color and sat there in a trance for the rest of the period. She felt so bad for him.

Holy shit.

Medusa's 12-year old would think that her hair was as beautiful as her heart and soul. You seriously have to take your children out of that school already! Isn't there a chimpanzee daycare in your area? Seriously...that school of yours sounds like a drop in centre for crazy people. That teacher needs to get back on the short bus and go back to pulling out his nasal hairs and examining them for the secret mysteries of the universe. What the hell is he doing with children!?

tjwriter
01-15-2011, 01:30 AM
:eek: :Jaw: :Wha: :e2thud:

:gone:

mscelina
01-15-2011, 01:34 AM
but I keep getting it.

My daughter's school, unfortunately, keeps churning out the evidence.

So Julia is in their gifted program. The group gets together once a week for special assignments and discussions. The teacher was talking about peer bonding and asked the kids if any of them had suffered a death in their immediate family.

Several children raised their hands and the teacher, we'll call him Mr. Brain, asked each child (6th grade, 11 and 12 year olds) what family member they had lost. One boy's mother had died when he was six years old.

After a bit more chat, Mr. Brain came back to the boy (let's call him Dylan) and asked Dylan, in front of the class, if there were "any positive points" to his mother dying. Dylan looked horrified, turned a weird color, and stammered that no, he couldn't think of anything positive about it.

To which Mr. Brain replied, "Well, you're probably too young to have that sort of perspective."

You think? Unless your mother is Medusa, there aren't too many twelve year olds who will be able to cite and appreciate the upside of their mother's young demise.

Julia said that the kid never lost that weird color and sat there in a trance for the rest of the period. She felt so bad for him.

Holy shit.

Good grief. *headdesk* How in the world can this kind of crap happen? Seriously? It sucks when you have to un-teach what people *teach* in school. And, on top of that, I can't see what this possibly has to do with any curriculum that would be in place for a talented and gifted program. I was in the talented and gifted program in school at that age. We did genealogical charts and made movies.


Tell your daughter to be on the look-out for Dylan wearing a long black trench coat to school.



A completely uncalled for and inappropriate comment. For shame.

Wicked
01-15-2011, 01:39 AM
Egad. And Mr. "We're Bonded by Shared Pain" got a job with kids? People scare me.

Wonder if he's related to "Mr. History" who subbed at my son's school.
Mr. History was talking about how the passenger pigeons went extinct. He asked the class if they could name any other animals that had gone extinct in the last 100 years.
My son, "The Thylacine."
Mr. History gives son dirty look, and in nasty tone says, "We're not talking about make believe animals like dinosaurs."
My son, "No, Thylacine, the Tasmanian Tiger. They were hunted to extinction by sheep farmers."
Mr. History then called my son a liar and said he was making it up.

PercyBlok
01-15-2011, 01:40 AM
Teach is trying to uncover the deep seeded problems for further "in-depth" handling. Next thing you know, meds are being discussed in addition to "suggested" counseling. Hell, school isn't school without all the home "diversity".

Perks
01-15-2011, 01:49 AM
And, on top of that, I can't see what this possibly has to do with any curriculum that would be in place for a talented and gifted program. This. This, this, this.

Perks
01-15-2011, 02:06 AM
At what age would you get that "perspective"?
At forty I understand that I was better off without my father's daily influence (he died when I was nine.) He was mentally ill and the situation would have been more fraught than it was, possibly even dangerous. But it took decades for me to be able to process that. At twelve, I still pined for what might have been. I can't imagine how being singled out like that would have twisted me.

Perks
01-15-2011, 02:14 AM
What's kind of funny about this is that you couldn't write it in a story. No one would believe you and you'd lose all credibility.

File under - Stranger Than Fiction

quickWit
01-15-2011, 02:24 AM
Yanno Perks, I bet the guy's name isn't even Mr. Brain.

Ken
01-15-2011, 02:28 AM
... and here I was thinking that Bartholemew's teacher was bad.

Perks
01-15-2011, 02:29 AM
Yanno Perks, I bet the guy's name isn't even Mr. Brain.
I know what his name really is. And I'll tell you for an IOU of a disproportionally huge favor.

quickWit
01-15-2011, 02:30 AM
*googles disproportionally*

Deal! :D

Ken
01-15-2011, 02:45 AM
... what some teachers of gifted kids fail to understand is that though their pupils may be intelectually advanced, emotionally they are often just like other kids their age and are simply not ready for discussions of this sort. Judging by their conversations and speech they may seem to be, but that simply is not the case. The teacher isn't really an idiot as such or a bad teacher. He's just taking too much for granted, is all, and crediting the students with more emotional maturity than they actually have. G'luck to your youngster in her studies. She's got you to set things right, when things get a bit out of order so I'm sure she'll fare fine.

Cliff Face
01-15-2011, 03:23 AM
I could somewhat get on board with the idea that similar grief can bring people closer together. Just yesterday at work, my Manager was talking to a customer, and the customer mentioned she was fighting off radiation and oral medicine for a brain tumor. The boss mentioned that he had survived breast cancer (yes, men can get breast cancer) and the 2 of them had an instant bond. I'm sure she'll be back into the store soon enough.

But as an example for children that common things can create bonds... it's not the smartest idea. It's pretty extreme. Perhaps something more pleasant, such as "Oh, who here likes X band?" and then go on to show that liking X band creates a new bond, and THEN mention stuff of a heavier nature that sometimes brings people closer together. One simple line - "Death in the family can bring people closer together through shared grief." - and then MOVE ON. Don't make that the major topic of discussion, certainly not with kids!

I could've accepted that, but then asking that kid if he could see anything positive in his mother's death... total braindead behaviour.

*shakes head*

PrincessofPersia
01-15-2011, 04:01 AM
Mr. History then called my son a liar and said he was making it up.

I sincerely hope that you took action.

Jessianodel
01-15-2011, 04:15 AM
Wow that's....awful. I would pull my kid out of the school. Does it have a magnet for crazy people? I had a teacher that was sort of like that once. My brother (at a different school) had her as a sub. Apparently she was nasty, rude, and mean/tough on every kid except black girls. (I guess because she was black too? I have no clue.) She yelled at everyone else in the class. My mom went to the principal and she got a warning that if she ever did it again she would be fired.

So then I get her and she starts off the class by saying we're all equals. And then is prejudice against all the boys in the class.

She was fired.

Snowstorm
01-15-2011, 05:09 AM
HUH!?

*shakes head violently*

What!? My mind, it's boggled. Un-freakin'-believable.

Silver King
01-15-2011, 06:46 AM
...One boy's mother had died when he was six years old.

After a bit more chat, Mr. Brain came back to the boy (let's call him Dylan) and asked Dylan, in front of the class, if there were "any positive points" to his mother dying...
Sounds like Mr. Brain might've had some issues with his own mother and felt it would have been liberating if she'd died when he was a child. Nice of him to project that aspect of his life onto the students under his tutelage.

The more I hear about that school, Perks, and the sorry excuses for teachers who instruct there, the more I think you should transfer your girls out of that place for their own good, and yours as well.

Perks
01-15-2011, 07:07 PM
I know. The stories that are coming from me about this school are a bit on the bizarre side. I can't figure it out. I don't have the regular complaints - the school is organized and tidy and, for the most part, the curriculum seems fine.

It seems that the derails are of personality and judgment. So, riddle me this, how do you get that many loons in one school system?

Wicked
01-15-2011, 07:31 PM
I don't think you can get away from it. There is a percentage of them in every school system.
In the last eight years, ours have had-

A music teacher who had some kind of breakdown in class. She spent the hour telling the kids how depressed she was and how she had no friends. This went on for about a week. (grade school)

A hs music teacher who was caught making out with one of his students in his office.

Of course, Mr. History.

A very nice and well meaning, but very very religious teacher who takes it too far. The kids say it's more like going to church than to class.

Teacher with tenure and to this day they can't get rid of. She had been the principal, but after striking a child they "fired" her and then made her the counselor. WTH?? And after she got done terrorizing those kids, and was getting too many complaints, they moved her to the grade school, as a teacher for special ed and special needs students. They can't fire her, so they just keep moving her.

A PE teacher who refused to allow my asthmatic child to get a drink of water when he started feeling ill. He screams and yells and calls the kids names.

The list goes on, but some stories are too long to post here.

Perks
01-15-2011, 07:51 PM
Okay, Wicked, is it nuts that in some strange way, your post made me feel better?

I think this is part of the lesson to the children that people come in all flavors of crazy. And of potency, as well.

muse
01-16-2011, 12:07 AM
It's not very often that I'm rendered speechless but...:Jaw:

OMG! Is that teacher for real?

Perks
01-16-2011, 12:08 AM
Lol! I just hung up the phone telling that story. Literally ten seconds ago.

Perks
01-16-2011, 12:09 AM
And everyone always says a version of, "Holy shit. What in the hell was he thinking?"

muse
01-16-2011, 12:18 AM
I can't help but wonder what 'Dylan' is thinking/feeling now.

It must have stirred up some painful memories for him. Hard to cope with at such a young age. :cry:

I hope he has someone to talk to, if he needs it.

Mr Flibble
01-16-2011, 12:23 AM
I was going to say, well you know me, of course you don't need any further proof that people are stupid.

But holy shit! <--this is about all I can conjure up at the moment.

Maryn
01-16-2011, 01:19 AM
Another vote for school shopping elsewhere, even if it means moving to another district. This isn't the first incident you've reported from this school of teachers' behavior being completely out of bounds. The environment there is positively toxic and it's worth the upheaval to get your kids out of it.

We moved here for the school system. Got a lot less for our housing dollar than a few miles away, but we had way less of this kind of crap. In fact, our son had a very similar instance of teacher contradiction (just not about extinct animals), but this teacher did a little research and announced to the class the next day that he'd learned something new and our son was right.

Maryn, who loves this town

BeatrixKiddo
01-16-2011, 01:48 AM
I don't think you can get away from it. There is a percentage of them in every school system.
In the last eight years, ours have had-

A music teacher who had some kind of breakdown in class. She spent the hour telling the kids how depressed she was and how she had no friends. This went on for about a week. (grade school)

A hs music teacher who was caught making out with one of his students in his office.

Of course, Mr. History.

A very nice and well meaning, but very very religious teacher who takes it too far. The kids say it's more like going to church than to class.

Teacher with tenure and to this day they can't get rid of. She had been the principal, but after striking a child they "fired" her and then made her the counselor. WTH?? And after she got done terrorizing those kids, and was getting too many complaints, they moved her to the grade school, as a teacher for special ed and special needs students. They can't fire her, so they just keep moving her.

A PE teacher who refused to allow my asthmatic child to get a drink of water when he started feeling ill. He screams and yells and calls the kids names.

The list goes on, but some stories are too long to post here.


Unfortunately, teachers like this are social sociopaths. I had teachers like this and my brother had a teacher who was a perfect example. He had a wart on one of his fingers when he was younger. He was in grade school at the time. She was bad news from the start and my mother hated her, but at the time she proceeded to point out my brother's wart to the entire class. He was so embarrassed and came home crying. My mother got right on the phone and tore her a new one. But the teacher acted like she'd done nothing wrong and couldn't figure out what the big deal was.

Jessianodel
01-16-2011, 09:54 PM
What should happen is Dylan should tell his father. If an angry parent came into my office saying that the 'gifted' teacher asked his son about the positive points of his wife's death....well that would make more of an impact than a semi-unrelated person.

But there is no excuse for saying that to a kid. What in the world did he expect him to say? "Well she died when I was pretty young. I guess it's good that I'm losing all my memories of her." He obviously just completely wasn't thinking.

stormie
01-16-2011, 11:01 PM
As a parent whose younger son attended six different schools and older son who attended four schools, and as a former teacher and also substitute in many schools, I can say that there is not one school without a small percentage of staff who shouldn't be teaching. Perks, it sounds like your daughter's school reached its "quota" and then some.

MaryMumsy
01-17-2011, 12:51 AM
As someone who attended 9 schools in 12 years (including two in first grade and two in seventh grade), I have never seen this kind of idiocy. Of course this was back in the dark ages of the fifties and sixties. Perks, there have got to be better schools available to you.

MM

benbradley
01-17-2011, 02:45 AM
but I keep getting it.

My daughter's school, unfortunately, keeps churning out the evidence.

So Julia is in their gifted program.
Public/Government-funded schools still have "gifted" programs???

The group gets together once a week for special assignments and discussions. The teacher was talking about peer bonding and asked the kids if any of them had suffered a death in their immediate family.

Several children raised their hands and the teacher, we'll call him Mr. Brain, asked each child (6th grade, 11 and 12 year olds) what family member they had lost. One boy's mother had died when he was six years old.

After a bit more chat, Mr. Brain came back to the boy (let's call him Dylan) and asked Dylan, in front of the class, if there were "any positive points" to his mother dying.
Okay, it's now obvious that the label "gifted" only applies to the students. I would choose a different label for this teacher, maybe "touched."

Dylan looked horrified, turned a weird color, and stammered that no, he couldn't think of anything positive about it.

To which Mr. Brain replied, "Well, you're probably too young to have that sort of perspective."

You think? Unless your mother is Medusa, there aren't too many twelve year olds who will be able to cite and appreciate the upside of their mother's young demise.

Julia said that the kid never lost that weird color and sat there in a trance for the rest of the period. She felt so bad for him.

Holy shit.
You know what I'm thinking... Julia could have (and perhaps could still) go up to the kid after class and say (outside of earshot of Mister Brain, of course) "That was a stupid, horrible question Mister Brain asked you. I'm sorry about that." Let the poor kid know he's not crazy for having a negative reaction to it.

Are you sure Mr Brain is even of the same species as the rest of us?
There is incredible variation among human beings (technically known as "homo sapiens," not that there's anything wrong with that).

I don't know what to do. I'm already in a bit of an odd place because of a conflict I had with a teacher early in the year.

(detailed here, but not necessary for this discussion)
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=195080
That's a new thread for me, I thought it was going to be something else. I forget what, but I recall some thread where you discussed some conflict with school.

I would perhaps encourage Julia to extend the hand of friendship somehow, in a way that didn't remind Dylan too badly of Mr Brain's monumental faux pas.
Megaditto's.

What's kind of funny about this is that you couldn't write it in a story. No one would believe you and you'd lose all credibility.

File under - Stranger Than Fiction
Not in fiction, but we were discussing in memoir SYW ... there's one named "A Child Called It" and the title pretty much tells you everything you need to know.

Sounds like Mr. Brain might've had some issues with his own mother and felt it would have been liberating if she'd died when he was a child. Nice of him to project that aspect of his life onto the students under his tutelage.

The more I hear about that school, Perks, and the sorry excuses for teachers who instruct there, the more I think you should transfer your girls out of that place for their own good, and yours as well.


I know. The stories that are coming from me about this school are a bit on the bizarre side. I can't figure it out. I don't have the regular complaints - the school is organized and tidy and, for the most part, the curriculum seems fine.

It seems that the derails are of personality and judgment. So, riddle me this, how do you get that many loons in one school system?
It just happens...people take the courses and pass the tests to be a teacher, get a certificate or whatever, and they get hired. I haven't heard of any "personality test" to be a teacher, but I DID hear of one for a technical job I was applying for (fortunately I didn't get that far).

I don't think you can get away from it. There is a percentage of them in every school system.
In the last eight years, ours have had-

A music teacher who had some kind of breakdown in class. She spent the hour telling the kids how depressed she was and how she had no friends. This went on for about a week. (grade school)

A hs music teacher who was caught making out with one of his students in his office.

Of course, Mr. History.

A very nice and well meaning, but very very religious teacher who takes it too far. The kids say it's more like going to church than to class.
When I was in high school I heard about a "Bible class" that according to the description of the class taught the Bible as history, but I overheard some adult asking a student in the class about it, "Is it basically proselytization?" and he said yes. That's of course not a surprise here in the South.

Teacher with tenure and to this day they can't get rid of. She had been the principal, but after striking a child they "fired" her and then made her the counselor. WTH?? And after she got done terrorizing those kids, and was getting too many complaints, they moved her to the grade school, as a teacher for special ed and special needs students. They can't fire her, so they just keep moving her.
There have been stories about New York State's "rubber rooms" (Google it if you darewhere they put teachers that may have done weird, even criminal things in classrooms (or perhaps not, they were only accused of such) - the union rules are too strong for them to be fired, but at least they're taken out of classrooms and kept from students.

Devil Ledbetter
01-17-2011, 03:01 AM
Public/Government-funded schools still have "gifted" programs???

Okay, it's now obvious that the label "gifted" only applies to the students. They do. And truer words were never spoken. We yanked our boy out of his public school's gifted program in second grade because the teacher was a complete moron.

My daughter's 8th grade honors English teacher says "I seen it."

Vito
01-18-2011, 06:15 PM
My dad died when I was in the fourth grade, two months after I entered the gifted student program. Two of the teachers I had in the gifted program were, by today's standards, horribly abusive (especially my 5th grade teacher, Mr. Sonofabitch), but they handled my father's death with a normal degree of sensitivity. One of the very few things that they didn't fuck up, in one way or another.