A northeast Florida kindergarten teacher named Rita Baci has been suspended for allegedly making multiple video recordings of a child beating up other children without intervening. In addition, she was also accused of using pushing a kindergarten student out of her class with her foot only to leave him unattended at John E. Ford Montessori school. But some believe it’s the education system itself that makes it difficult for teachers to intervene in school fights.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, an atheist organization had a student disciplined for saying “God bless America” over the public announcement system.
Florida law currently does not allow the disclosure of investigations into teacher misconduct until 10 days after the investigation has concluded and the teacher is notified. The incidents that occurred in November of 2014 only became public knowledge after the Duval schools investigative report became public this week.
The reports show that during the week of November 24, Rita Baci pushed a boy out of her classroom by using her foot. School staff say the young boy was left unattended with only one shoe on.
On three separate occasions, Baci used her smartphone to make a video of a male student hurting others in the class. According to the Florida Times-Union, the videos show the boy smacking another boy “about his face and body several times,” kicking another student who was attempting to hide under a table, and punching and slapping a third student. The kindergarten teacher did not intervene in any of these school fights.
Investigator Reginald Johnson said Baci showed the videos to an assistant principal to demonstrate how this particular boy was acting aggressively during class. Johnson says the teacher violated professional conduct standards by failing to maintain student confidentiality in addition to failing to make an effort to stop the students from harming each other. When investigators interviewed the students they said the video was also shown to them.
Opinions seem to be divided on whether the teacher acted appropriately. Some claim Rita Baci belongs in jail for these actions while others ask, “What systemic policy changes have created an environment where teachers feel afraid to intervene?” Others point out if the “teacher had touched the kid, [the] teacher would likely be in jail for aggravated child abuse.”
Some comments indicate that a teacher should be allowed to video record a school fight if the purpose is to prove the events that took place.
“In my opinion, the teacher did not violate the student’s confidentiality by sharing the photos with her supervisor and the student’s parents. Had she shown them to the newspaper, that would be a different story.”
Do you think the kindergarten teacher “showed poor judgment” for video recording instead of intervening in a school fight?