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(Some Guy)   Teacher resigns over scandal involving giving one of his students a work of literature that some deem inappropriate   ( nhregister.com) divider line
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37787 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Sep 2007 at 1:52 PM (9 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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jx
2007-09-20 02:31:11 PM  
grizzlyjohnson: This is not about offense. I would not be the least bit offended by that comic book. Your a male person of authority and you give something to my 14 year old daughter with sexual content and ask her how it makes her feel? In the words of Rooster Cogburn, "you will think a thousand of brick have fallen on your head." That behavior is so far out of line for a teacher that there's no way to excuse it. As a parent, I can't think of a single thing that would justify it.

However, the parents are barking up the wrong tree. What do they expect the school to do about it once the guy is fired? The school can't really go around telling everyone that the teacher handed out inappropriate material, that's a possible law suit and privacy violation right there. The parents have to understand that standing up for your children is going to be unpopular, and the daughter is going to feel the backlash from that. They should be teaching her that the people who are blaming the teacher's departure on the daughter are people the daughter doesn't need anyway.

If they want more, it's time to pursue legal action. There's nothing more the school can do.


i think it is about offense. by the age of 14 i was well aware of what sex was, what a naked female looked like and what rape was. at that age you're either in your last year of middle school or the first of high school. most of the people i know read more explicit descriptions of sex in christopher pike books in elementary school then what 8ball shows.

as far as suing the teacher or school system goes, that's their prerogative, but in my mind falls under the frivolous lawsuit category.
 
2007-09-20 02:31:15 PM  
Where is the Pedo Finder General?
 
2007-09-20 02:31:47 PM  
grizzlyjohnson: Either way, I would not give that teacher the benefit of the doubt. There's no excuse. Off with his nuts.

Well, I think that stance is idiotic and you are going way overboard in the "HE'S A PREDATOR!" dept.

/To each their own, etc.
 
2007-09-20 02:32:43 PM  
nomorelurking: After reading a quick review of Eightball #22 I'd have to say I probably wouldn't hand it over to my 14 year old girl(I have one, ya know).

Just out of curiosity (since I dont have any kids) what would you do if your daughter asked if you would buy it for her. Seems like a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation since refusing to give it to her may cause her to act subversively to obtain it.
 
2007-09-20 02:33:03 PM  
BigTenuhhuh: A few years ago, my son's sixth grade teacher had his class watch Schindler's List in classroom. Now, to explain Nazi atrocities, is it necessary to show excerpts of graphic images in concentration camps to 5th and 6th graders? He didn't tell the parents beforehand, nor apparently the principal, but he did have to send a letter of apology and explanation to parents.

Public education in this country...we are heading to a third world status just like the old Soviet empire.


The Soviet Union was the second world. Unless you are referring to those states as they exist today, in which the term "third world" is kind of obsolete (since there's no longer a second world).
 
2007-09-20 02:33:16 PM  
My senior English teacher gave me Jack Kerouac and Khalil Gibran books.
 
2007-09-20 02:33:20 PM  
if he only had a procedure in place for returning the material to the proper bin. Where is Mr Mills when we need him?
 
2007-09-20 02:33:20 PM  
grizzlyjohnson: ... I know that's a common predator trick. Figure out a way to get close to your victims, give them something sexual to read or look at and ask them how it makes them feel...

Shh, don't let that get out. You're going to ruin my dating scene!!!
 
2007-09-20 02:34:09 PM  
Anybody up in arms about this ever read the bible? now thats notjust bordernline porno, thats the hard core stuff, and the violence?

Is the Graphic Novel bad because it has pictures of the stuff?

/bible had a dude willing to let a crowd rape his daugters.
//now thats porno
 
2007-09-20 02:34:22 PM  
I went to this high school, so I'm getting a kick out of these replies.
 
2007-09-20 02:34:28 PM  
iamrobot: Hopefully the wife has better luck with it than I did

Shes doing fine now, she changed careers ;)
 
2007-09-20 02:34:47 PM  
grizzlyjohnson: I know that's a common predator trick. Figure out a way to get close to your victims, give them something sexual to read or look at and ask them how it makes them feel.

Uh, if anyone is sexually aroused by a Daniel Clowes comic then they have their own special issues, perhaps a fetish for protruding upper lips.
 
2007-09-20 02:34:51 PM  
nephlim:

Yeah, books with sex are bad for 9th graders. They should watch some wholesome MTV or prime-time network TV drama. No sex or violence there.

If there's an adult male sitting my 14 year old daughter down and making her watch rap videos and then asking her how they make her feel, I will have a similar problem with it.
 
2007-09-20 02:35:02 PM  
grizzlyjohnson: jx:

while i agree that it's probably not the best choice for 9th grade lit, people need to get thicker skins. you're going to be exposed to stuff that offends you, deal with it.

This is not about offense. I would not be the least bit offended by that comic book. Your a male person of authority and you give something to my 14 year old daughter with sexual content and ask her how it makes her feel? In the words of Rooster Cogburn, "you will think a thousand of brick have fallen on your head." That behavior is so far out of line for a teacher that there's no way to excuse it. As a parent, I can't think of a single thing that would justify it.

However, the parents are barking up the wrong tree. What do they expect the school to do about it once the guy is fired? The school can't really go around telling everyone that the teacher handed out inappropriate material, that's a possible law suit and privacy violation right there. The parents have to understand that standing up for your children is going to be unpopular, and the daughter is going to feel the backlash from that. They should be teaching her that the people who are blaming the teacher's departure on the daughter are people the daughter doesn't need anyway.

If they want more, it's time to pursue legal action. There's nothing more the school can do.


Your 14 y/o daughter gives good hea...

Well, according to the defensive line, anyway...
 
2007-09-20 02:35:05 PM  
joholman

It'd be even better if we could get a picture of Rorschach's mask, or him in action to give a better example of how not for kids it is.

Funny stuff though, I lent a co-worker 30 Days of Night (The movie is coming out next month) and her 11 year old kid wanted to read it with her. Few pages in she had to put it up (and hide it while she was at work and the kid was home in the afternoon) because it was frightfully not for kids.

Nothing like seeing a man empty a buckshot into a vampire's face and run away screaming.

Good times.
 
2007-09-20 02:37:47 PM  
I don't know, scseth. I'd have to read it first. To tell you the truth, more than anything this article has inspired me to go look for the series. I'm intrigued by the review I read. I'd buy it for myself and if she read it I'd engage her in a discussion. Probably sounds corny, but, we do talk like like that. She's a bright kid and I find her take on things interesting.
 
jx
2007-09-20 02:38:03 PM  
zobear: I'm down with that. But in 9th grade, I'd rather have my kid learning a few critical thinking and reasoning skills, so that when she reads Eightball #22, she'll have the tools to understand it. Save the offensive stuff for say 11th/12th/AP/IP lit classes.

fair i suppose. im just saying, as a product of the public school system, i got most of my skills for dealing with such material from outside sources because they were forced to avoid them by over protective parents. personally i think having kiddies reading Maus would be a great tool for learning about the holocaust.

/i think i read Maus in primary school
//Maus won a Pulitzer
///i also read a hell of a lot more when i was younger then i do now. a shame really.
 
2007-09-20 02:38:29 PM  
aw, but the teacher just wants to be friends. He's the modern day Dr. Seuss


and I wonder how many parents let their kids read DC Comics Identity Crisis.
 
2007-09-20 02:38:53 PM  
Not that I don't think glwtta's trolling, but

Just from Alan Moore:
Watchmen, From Hell, etc., etc.
Cerebus
Maus
Akira

Tell you what, you read just those five, and if you still think that comics can't qualify as literature, you can be wrong and informed. Right now you're just wrong.

Hell, issues 26-50 of Cerebus are the most cogent, biting critique of modern politics written since the Anti-Federalist Papers. And Dave Sim is nuts!

For the record, this guy would've been fired for giving her a Crumb comic book too, I'll wager, and his stuff is very much art. I don't see anything inherently creepy about his behaviour; asking students how literature makes them feel is exactly what teachers are supposed to do. It turns out he's got a shrine built to her in his gym locker, then OK, I was wrong.

All that said, he did resign, which usually means he decided the uproar wasn't worth his job. I hope for his sake he's right.
 
2007-09-20 02:39:14 PM  
The teacher was stupid for not realizing the cultural/political climate he resides in.

That said, eightball is great. The odd thing is that my niece, same age, read it at my in-laws house over christmas and nobody gave a shiat. It doesn't hurt that her parents are smart, well-adjusted people and she's the smartest kid I've ever seen, but whatever. Maybe I should try to have someone jailed now that I know the horrible power of that particular comic.
 
2007-09-20 02:40:28 PM  
scseth: ultraholland: FTA: "borderline pornography."

So the line was not crossed? Me confused.

You know what the difference is between pornography and erotica?


Lighting


/Ill be here all week
//Try the veal!


I read that as "lightning", which still kinda works for me
 
2007-09-20 02:41:02 PM  
I was assigned to read "Maus" in the eighth grade. This was a Lutheran school. Suck it, special snowflakes.
 
2007-09-20 02:41:52 PM  
FTFA:described the graphic novel that English teacher Nate Fisher gave the student as "borderline pornography."

l.yimg.com

/Would approve of pornography
 
2007-09-20 02:42:05 PM  
Wasn't me
farm2.static.flickr.com
 
2007-09-20 02:42:30 PM  
Seeing as I fark for 6 of the 8 hours I am at work, when did this Mr. Mills thing happen? I've seen the "PROCEDURES" pics and a reference to the thread being deleted, but can find no other info on this guy.
 
2007-09-20 02:43:16 PM  
..English teacher Nate Fisher..

upagainstit.seanoneil.co.uk
The students parents were hit by a truck and killed the following day.
 
2007-09-20 02:43:16 PM  
My English teacher assigned a book which referred to a pornographic picture of a woman and pony attempting intercourse, before velvet draperies which were fringed with deedlee-balls.
 
2007-09-20 02:44:59 PM  
tortilla burger: HunterNIU: A Clockwork Oragne.

YOU GET IT RIGHT!

lol


Made my day.
 
2007-09-20 02:45:26 PM  
chechcal: grizzlyjohnson: Either way, I would not give that teacher the benefit of the doubt. There's no excuse. Off with his nuts.

Well, I think that stance is idiotic and you are going way overboard in the "HE'S A PREDATOR!" dept.

/To each their own, etc.


Call me when you have a 14 year old daughter of your own. Reasonable or not, my friend, you see a pedophile in every shadow waiting to jump out and soil your little girl. 14 is a tough age for girls, but most girls don't realize that it's a lot tougher for dads.

And you know what, that teacher should KNOW to expect the predator card being played and for that very reason avoid that behavior. The fact that he didn't avoid it and gave her that book anyway means to me that he has some agenda that's more important to him. At that point he's sent a clear signal to me: "I don't care what you think, I have something else in mind."

Any father that doesn't react violently to that is not doing his job.
 
2007-09-20 02:46:14 PM  
farm2.static.flickr.com
 
2007-09-20 02:46:17 PM  
CaptainBurly: grizzlyjohnson: ... I know that's a common predator trick. Figure out a way to get close to your victims, give them something sexual to read or look at and ask them how it makes them feel...

Shh, don't let that get out. You're going to ruin my dating scene!!!


Oh, damn, sorry man!
 
2007-09-20 02:46:54 PM  
ruta:
Uh, if anyone is sexually aroused by a Daniel Clowes comic then they have their own special issues, perhaps a fetish for protruding upper lips.

And two-colour printed illustration.

As for the "comics/literature" argument, give it up guys. There's a large set of people who could read "Watchmen" or "King" or "The Plot" a thousand times and still be convinced they are the equivalent of "Cable vs. Wolverine vs. Omega Red #127", just because they have pictures.
 
2007-09-20 02:47:34 PM  
joholman: Seeing as I fark for 6 of the 8 hours I am at work, when did this Mr. Mills thing happen? I've seen the "PROCEDURES" pics and a reference to the thread being deleted, but can find no other info on this guy.

Happened yesterday afternoon/early evening. People started sending e-mails to the guy and spamming the thread with the webcounter from his (school district) web page to up the hit count. It got way out of control; was more like the activity of Something Awful, Genmay, or one of the Chans than Fark. The thread was deservedly deleted.
 
2007-09-20 02:47:45 PM  
glwtta: Riiight, "literature"....

Comic books are not farking literature! That's why they are called "comic books" - it's pictures with little speech blurbs (which is fine for what it is), "literature" involved writing.


Not defending it, but this was a graphic novel, and although I do not read them I have seen them and there is a difference.

Now, should it be given to a 14 year old girl. Not the best use of judgement.

I have read a lot of books that do not deserve to be considered literature.
 
2007-09-20 02:48:03 PM  
Beth C: Made my day.

Glad to be of service!

Anything else I can do for you?
 
2007-09-20 02:48:14 PM  
Shakespeare's Monkey: farm2.static.flickr.com

Judy Blume Tiger Eyes FTW!
 
2007-09-20 02:48:28 PM  
I call shenanigans! When I was in High School if we didn't do the summer reading assignment we were allowed to choose another book similar in length (or read the same one) and do the project on it with points taken off.
Clearly she didn't do the assignment over the summer, but who is to say she didn't choose the book - her overprotective parents (as exemplified in the article) saw it, freaked out and to cover herself she blamed the teacher. Technically the teacher is at fault because he approved it without knowing the material.
I bet it said on the cover "From the writer of the major motion picture, 'Ghost World'" and it was a graphical novel so she figured easy grade. I mean she did have it for two and a half weeks without complaining but after parents found it, she is suddenly mentally distressed.
 
2007-09-20 02:48:56 PM  
We were assigned Carrie for 9th grade English, actually had to have it read for the first day of class.

But then again, I lived in a state with real public schools.
 
2007-09-20 02:51:05 PM  
No Such Agency

Hey fark you, I picked up that issue. Bendis made it a CLASSIC! All the standing around and talking their problems out was a plot twist I didn't see coming!

"Cable vs. Wolverine vs. Omega Red #127"
 
2007-09-20 02:51:08 PM  
Maus is fantastic, and yes, it is litrature. The same way as Watchmen bypasses average graphic-novel status.
I haven't read Eightball #22, but my English teachers have set me some quite disturbing stuff. It 'stretches' able students.
 
2007-09-20 02:51:31 PM  
irishdncr83
I just want to say that all of Japan's society reads graphic novels.

I'm not sure if you're statement was meant to support the teacher or the student.

This teacher must've been high when he gave the student this book. He had a lapse in judgment that may now affect his entire career. That sucks, because it seems like he was very popular at the school.
 
2007-09-20 02:51:38 PM  
ruta: grizzlyjohnson: I know that's a common predator trick. Figure out a way to get close to your victims, give them something sexual to read or look at and ask them how it makes them feel.

Uh, if anyone is sexually aroused by a Daniel Clowes comic then they have their own special issues, perhaps a fetish for protruding upper lips.


I haven't seen anything by the artist in question, so I don't know, but the point is not arousal. When predators do this, they are simply trying to open the door to a conversation about sex without setting off warning bells in the victim. As a parent, I object to that conversation and even if the guy's not a predator I object to him introducing my daughter to sexual content, especially deviant sexual content, outside an appropriate context where she can get a balanced explanation of what's going on.
 
2007-09-20 02:56:00 PM  
I'm torn... plenty of literature that is appropriate for 9th graders has adult-level nastiness in it that leaves it up to the reader to conjure images. There should be a feeling that you are entering adulthood educationally once you get into high school. A graphic novel isn't necessarily out of line with this, though I haven't read it.

However, if you figure a movie with the same content would be rated "R" and he gave it to someone under 17 w/o reading list or parent approval, then the water starts getting hot. And the "How did it make you feel" with no other statement in the article comes off as creepy. There isn't enough information in the article to draw any sort of conclusion, but I do find it somewhat telling that he didn't defend himself before quitting.
 
2007-09-20 02:57:27 PM  
Geotpf: The Soviet Union was the second world. Unless you are referring to those states as they exist today, in which the term "third world" is kind of obsolete (since there's no longer a second world).

Say, that's some damned fine hair splitting work you've got going on there.

Kind of like how I get miffed when someone uses the word "decimate" to describe the concept of massive destruction, when the term really means killing every tenth soldier in a unit as punishment for failure.
 
2007-09-20 02:58:26 PM  
factoryconnection: I'm torn... plenty of literature that is appropriate for 9th graders has adult-level nastiness in it that leaves it up to the reader to conjure images. There should be a feeling that you are entering adulthood educationally once you get into high school. A graphic novel isn't necessarily out of line with this, though I haven't read it.

However, if you figure a movie with the same content would be rated "R" and he gave it to someone under 17 w/o reading list or parent approval, then the water starts getting hot. And the "How did it make you feel" with no other statement in the article comes off as creepy. There isn't enough information in the article to draw any sort of conclusion, but I do find it somewhat telling that he didn't defend himself before quitting.


I would guess that he was asked for a resignation. Either way, it does give you a certain impression.
 
2007-09-20 02:58:55 PM  
Maybe I'm cynical, but this seems like a horny dude casting out a little Lolita bait, seeing if he'll get a nibble. Comics are great, and can be used in education. But to act as if this guy thought this was appropriate seems a little naive.
 
2007-09-20 02:58:56 PM  
grizzlyjohnson:
As a parent, I object to that conversation and even if the guy's not a predator I object to him introducing my daughter to sexual content, especially deviant sexual content, outside an appropriate context where she can get a balanced explanation of what's going on.

I think the point is that this isn't that thematically different from "Catcher in the Rye" or some similar classic that has also been called "deviant". The teacher probably wasn't trying to "groom" the girl, he just has piss-poor ability to comprehend what parents will see as inappropriate.

The pedagogical lesson being, don't get imaginative, guys, just tell them to read "Jane Eyre" and get on with it.
 
2007-09-20 02:58:58 PM  
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the Sandman series while arguing that comic books can be literature. Sandman issue 19 won a World Fantasy Award.

/Gaiman FTW!
 
2007-09-20 02:59:24 PM  
grizzlyjohnson: Call me when you have a 14 year old daughter of your own. Reasonable or not, my friend, you see a pedophile in every shadow waiting to jump out and soil your little girl. 14 is a tough age for girls, but most girls don't realize that it's a lot tougher for dads.

That is nice. It seems you are too biased to have a reasonable opinion though.

grizzlyjohnson: And you know what, that teacher should KNOW to expect the predator card being played and for that very reason avoid that behavior.

Right, it was wrong of the teacher to not expect someone play the "predator card". He probably thought only an idiot would think an English teacher shouldn't ask the phrase "how does it make you feel". Thanks for proving him right.

grizzlyjohnson: The fact that he didn't avoid it and gave her that book anyway means to me that he has some agenda that's more important to him. At that point he's sent a clear signal to me: "I don't care what you think, I have something else in mind."

He gave her a book that is no more sexual than the Bible. Get over yourself.
 
2007-09-20 02:59:25 PM  
Well - honestly, that's really not much different than watching Franco Zeffarelli's "Romeo and Juliet"...that's pretty standard 9th grade material. Or reading Walt Whitman.

Teacher gets -1 for improvising curriculum, and then +1 for getting out without it really tainting his record.

Student gets -1 for telling parents. What self-respecting 14 yr old talks to their parents?

Parents get -5 for being douchebags (cumulative score - it's a -2 for Mom, -3 for Dad, since he was quoted in the article)

School District gets +1 for finding fancy-shmancy way out of a jam by tiptoe-ing the letter of the law.
 
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