A disturbing viral video of a New York teacher ripping up the homework of a first-grader and then berating her has sparked a fierce debate on social media about the prevalence of abuse in schools.
The video shows Charlotte Dial, a teacher at Brooklyn’s Success Academy School, ripping up a girl’s work before berating her for not being able to solve a math problem.
“Go to the calm-down chair and sit,” Dial shouts at the first-grader after ripping up her work in the viral video. “There’s nothing that infuriates me more than when you don’t do what’s on your paper,” she adds sharply, before the girl retreats.
According to an exclusive report by the New York Times, the publication had access to the viral video much before it surfaced online this week. The report suggests that the video was surreptitiously shot by an unidentified assistant teacher in September, and shared with the publication after she left Success Academy School a couple of months later.
The publication showed the video to a spokeswoman from Success School, Ann Powell, who described the contents absolutely “shocking.” The New York teacher was suspended by the school pending an investigation, but remarkably, Charlotte Dial has already returned to the school in her previous capacity, confirms the report.
The whole incident has cast serious doubts about the methods being employed by teachers in high-performing school across the country.
It would be useful to point out that the school in question here is part of a broader Success network of schools, which are all known for the high level of performance of their students in state tests. But some think the achievements come at a cost.
To make their students perform better, critics argue, schools force their teachers to remain high-handed in classes. Students who do not perform well academically often have to bear the brunt of such methods.
Jessica Reid Sliwerski, 34, who has worked with Success Academy both in the positions of a teacher and an assistant principal, contends that she had to leave her job because school-network leaders usually encourage teachers to belittle children for slipshod work, often leading to academically-weak students falling further back in the pecking order.
Sliwerski says that teachers gloat about making little students cry: “It is this culture of, ‘If you have made them cry, you’ve succeeded in getting your point across.’ ”
One day, according to her own admission, Sliwerski snatched away a toy a from a little boy, and to teach him a lesson, smashed the toy under her foot.
“I felt sick about the teacher I had become, and I no longer wanted to part of an organization where adults could so easily demean children under the guise of ‘achievement’.”
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 3, 2016
The minute-long viral video was uploaded online Friday, and has since gone on to spark a fierce debate, with some people arguing that the teacher is within her rights to behave the way she does in front of her students, and those criticizing her are being overprotective about children’s safety in schools.
“If more teachers put passion into the class like this teacher does, students would have much more discipline and academic success especially in the New York City school system,” one commenter wrote, pointing out that if anything, the viral video underlines the commitment shown by Charlotte Dias in this particular instance.
People on the other side of the fence think the teacher is unnecessarily abusive to the little girl for no overwhelming reason. They contend it is everyday behavior like this that points to the more deep-rooted problem of the quality of education and values being imparted in school-networks like Success, which clearly identify their brand with a certain quality of results, and do not shy away from employing high-handed methods to achieve them.
Another commenter wrote: “She needs to go to a calm-down home and stay. People think their actions will never get reported by kids and they get hired and no one knows what their true personality is. Same in most jobs. Teaching by punishing… NICE!”
What do you think? Are people who are criticizing the New York teacher for her actions in the video overreacting, or do you think internet’s denouncement of the teacher holds water?
[Image via Tom Scout/YouTube]