Arizona Teacher Fired For Defending A Bullied Student

It’s a sad state of affairs when bullied kids can’t even get help from teachers. Today, a long-time grade school teacher in Arizona was fired for her actions in helping a student who was being bullied by five other boys. Pam Aister had taught elementary education for 25 years, but last May, she stood up for a young boy who was being taunted because of the color of his skin, among other things, and she is now out of a job. As reported by KTAR in Arizona, Aister saw the five other boys bullying her student, who is African-American, and she confronted the bullies on the smaller boy’s behalf.

“I said (Student 11) is in my room now, he’s not alone any more, and if you’re picking on him, you’re picking on me. It’s not five against one, it’s five against two, and there will be no more taunting, teasing or racial names.’

Aister says the boys nodded their heads and listened but later went home and told their parents that their teacher had been the one doing the bullying.

As reported by ABC 15, Aister testified to the school board last Friday that she heard the boys saying things like, “…the n-word, ‘monkey’, and ‘coon’.” That was when Aister stepped in to respond.

bullies

The Fountain Hills School Board held a hearing on Aister’s actions and they heard testimony from the parents of the bullies, as well as Aister herself, and she still lost her job. The move is incredibly counter-intuitive to what children are told to do when they feel like they are being bullied. In fact, the first thing is always “go get a teacher.” But now, teachers will be less apt to act to help bullied kids in fear for their careers.

Pam Aister was known as a firm, no non-sense teacher, who had made a long career out of education. In the KTAR story, she is described by her students as firm, but also fun and fair.

“When the kids come into my classroom, they are allowed to sit where they want to… as long as they follow certain manners. If I’m teaching a lesson, I expect no talking.”

The move to relieve Aister of her teaching duties by the Fountain Hills School Board was met with anger by pro-Aister supporters. The bullies’ parents made up the opposition and, for now, they seemingly have won. Recently, as reported on the Inquisitr, a teacher in San Antonio was fired for telling students to hit a bully in her classroom so that the bully would know what it was like. While that case is arguably extreme, it in no way compares to Pam Aister, who was doing what school administrators hope teachers would do when they catch bullies in the act. And she lost her job for it.

Arizona Teacher fired

Pam Aister has not made the decision as to if she will appeal the firing, but one thing is certain. Standing up to bullies, even those disguised as a school board, is not the way to go, apparently.

Do you think Pam Aister should have been fired? Is it sending the wrong message to both the bullies and the victims?

[Images courtesy of ABC15 and Google]