A San Diego county teacher has gotten herself into hot water over comments made to students during class. The students were discussing a robotic teacher in a joking manner, and the teacher responded with a threat. Tuyet-Mai Thi Vo, the teacher, stated that she would program a killer robot to murder the students.
The incident took place at the Oceanside Unified School District, where students officially complained to the school district’s officials about the incident. As a result of the accusations, Tuyet-Mai Thi Vo resigned from her position and will receive a settlement of $92,000 instead of being officially fired. The cost and time involved in firing an educator deemed the settlement to be more cost effective.
Students claim that Tuyet-Mai Thi Vo had a “crazy look” on her face while talking about the killer robots, causing the students to feel uncomfortable in her presence. The official complaint is listed below.
“Me and some other classmates were in class and joking about a robot being a teacher/substitute and Mrs. Vo overheard us and mentioned something about programming a robot to kill us, and while telling us, had a crazy look on her face. In a way it did feel like a death threat.”
Tuyet-Mai Thi Vo claims that the accusations of creating a killer robot are untrue. She has also stated that she has receive a positive recommendation letter from the school superintendent, Larry Perondi.
“Ms. Vo told her class that if robots were teachers, Ms. Vo would program the robot to shoot the students every time the students didn’t pay attention, talked back, or even talked at all. Ms. Vo told her class she would program the robot to zap the students with a Taser if the students failed to complete homework assignments or arrived late to class. Ms. Vo told her class she would program the robot to kill all of the students.”
Despite Tuyet-Mai Thi Vo’s adamant denial of killer robot domination, she accepted the possibility of resignation, instead of being fired in order, to save herself and the school district from a lengthy investigation and costly outcome. The positive recommendation will allow her to seek employment elsewhere so she can continue her goal of educating children, sans killer robots, and maintain a classroom in which she is not deemed a threat.
The basis of the entire incident pertains to a “he said, she said” between students and Vo. Is it possible that the students ganged up on the teacher to have her removed from the school, or was there a legitimate threat to the students? Without a proper investigation, the truth may never be revealed. What are your thoughts on the case? Should an investigation have occurred despite the resignation in order to determine whether Vo is in an adequate state of mind to teach the children?
[Photo Courtesy: U T San Diego]