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Offensive Comments - October 28th 2013, 01:50 AM

My AP English teacher has this uncanny ability to pretty much call you an idiot if you believe something different than she. She has made offensive comments about religion in class, she makes offensive comments about unpopular opinions, and to make it all even better, she directs these comments at specific students.

You can probably guess that I'm one of these students the comments are directed toward.

I have stayed after class to talk to her about these incidents, and I openly tell her that the comments she makes are offensive to me and other students. Even though I've talked to her about it, the offensive comments(especially concerning religious beliefs) haven't stopped.

My parents are aware of what is happening in the classroom, and other students I've talked to are also offended by what she says in class, or understand that it is offensive to those the comments concern.

What should be the next step to get her to stop? My parents are planning on going in to talk to her if the comments continue much longer. My friends who had her last year told me that parents coming in to speak to her about these comments does nothing to stop her from making them, so I'm not sure where to go from here.
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Re: Offensive Comments - October 28th 2013, 11:31 AM

Hey Erin,

What your teacher is doing is really discrimination, and frankly quite unprofessional; I'm sorry you're having these problems.

Now that you've made her aware that you find her comments inappropriate, I'd suggest you actually have a piece of paper and note down inappropriate comments she makes so that you have some examples. I'd also suggest getting your parents to go in soon - if they don'y have any effect, you can definitely escalate it (Head of Department, Assistant Headteachers, Deputy Headteachers, etc.).

Whilst I'd normally advocate the right of your teacher to discuss such things at her leisure, both the fact that it's in the classroom (English, at that) and that she's belittling and picking on certain students makes it incredibly inappropriate, and it's only fair on you that it stops.

Best of luck, please do let me know how you get on.

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Re: Offensive Comments - October 28th 2013, 11:42 AM

Exactly. Teachers are allowed to have personal beliefs, they're people. But it is extremely unprofessional to spout those beliefs in class and direct them against certain people.

If you haven't had any luck with that particular teacher, I'd be looking at approaching the Head of Department, or Deputy. Be prepared for the teacher to deny what's going on, if she's unprofessional in one way, then she may be in others (or she may honestly not see what she's doing as wrong at all).

Also, writing down what is said (and when) will help establish a pattern of behaviour. What might happen is that someone a little higher up the chain might come to visit, which should stop the comments (hopefully not though :P). It also might help to have your parents step in, sometimes that works better than a student approaching admin.

Finally, good on you for saying something! Not only does that let the teacher know that it's offensive, you're standing up for yourself which is always something to be admired.

Feel free to email/PM/VM/whatever me if you want. I'll answer as soon as I can.

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Re: Offensive Comments - October 28th 2013, 11:52 AM

I agree with getting down the comments she makes and if there is a few of you that all agree it's out of order, you should all visit the head of year or someone higher up than her about it and see if they can do something about it. It's unacceptable to be like that towards students especially if they've approached her and told her how it makes them feel and she just carries on.
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Re: Offensive Comments - October 30th 2013, 06:03 PM

What does she say?

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Re: Offensive Comments - October 30th 2013, 10:09 PM

1.) General Education school teachers are NOT allowed to speak about religion (or their opinion of religion, rather) unless it is 'educational' such as... the ideas of 'each' religion coming from the textbook practically.

2.) What she's doing is illegal, not only in the fact that she's expressing her views on religion in a classroom, but the fact that she's discriminating against others and that she's being offensive to students of a (public?) school.

Either way, you should speak to administration, the school board, superintendents, whatever. Get that crazy teacher outta there. If you don't want her outta there, express that you just want her to face the consequences but to keep her job. If you don't care whether she gets fired or not due to her obvious mistakes that she has obviously refused to fix, then express to the administration of your school (or school district) that if they don't take matters into their own hands, that you'll be forced to speak to law enforcement (which you are allowed to do).


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Re: Offensive Comments - October 31st 2013, 02:50 PM

Basically, teachers at any level, be it school, college, university, or anywhere else, must stick to only talking about the subject that they are teaching, and not talk about personal opinions and beliefs. To direct these comments at specific students is not acceptable, and should be against school policy. You have already done the first step and spoken to her. The next step is to go to her manager. If you are not getting anywhere, there should be a department that deals with the hiring of teachers and other staff, and you could try making a complaint to them. The more of you that make the complaint the more likely it is to be believed. If al else fails, take the matter to the police. It is possible that, if her manager or the school decide to have someone in the lesson to observe, she could stop while they are in. If that happens, there are, of course, other ways they can observe, but they should be left until other means are tried out first.

Keeping a record is a good idea. Writing down is the best way. Audio recording is not usually a good idea without the teacher knowing, but, in certain instances, could be appropriate, although I would suggest talking to her manager about doing that first before going ahead with it.

Hope you get it sorted out.

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