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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Logan Offline
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Troubling teacher - January 20th 2012, 04:13 AM

So I had a teacher last year you can read about here (http://www.teenhelp.org/forums/f11-d...w-all-started/)

Anyway, I wrote this letter and I'm debating giving it to administration, what do ya'll think?

To whom it may concern,
I am writing this letter as a concerned student and [Edited.]. I am writing about a concerning issue regarding one of the teachers at the school, [Edited.] I believe this teacher has a significant negative effect on his students due to his current teaching style that should be immediately addressed, as it is unprofessional and harmful to the student body. I took [Edited.] AP World History class and was profoundly struck and the disrespect and negligence he directed at his students.
[Edited.] often went on rants during class time about off topic discussion and brought up issues not acceptable in the school environment. His topics often included his personal life, often regarding his own personal relationships, religion and his opinion of those who do not share it. Topics also included moral questions regarding such subjects and pre-marital sex and the institution of marriage.
In addition to these touchy subjects, he often attacked individual students with his rants. He often singled out a student in front of the class and attacked them on a personal level, questioning their capability as a both a student and a person making comments doubting their future careers regarding collage academics as well as moral decisions. Mr. Varni also brought up student essays and tests on the overhead projector and spent entire class periods scrutinizing the works and the student in front of the class with no effort to hide the author’s identity.
In addition to these pointed attacks, the teacher also lectured for extended periods about the inadequacy of students both in his class and in life. He often used the comparison of collage students and himself in collage claiming that, as sophomores we should be performing above and beyond collage students. His generalized rants and statement often had no education purpose and did not serve to better the students or motivate them in any way. The rants were meant to degrade and demoralize students.
Often, the teacher would complain that students would not ask questions or contribute to the discussion, however if, or when, a student would speak up, the teacher would launch into a dissections of the students logic without given him/her a chance to rebuttal or refute his claims. Often these one-ended conversations would degrade into the personal attacks mentioned earlier. The analysis of students comments may have been acceptable if the teacher were respectful enough to allow the student to defend him/her self however, if a student attempted to interrupt the teacher would only speak louder and drown out the students voice in a very unprofessional and childish manner. These analyses served to intimidate students who did not speak up in class for fear of public ridicule where they could not defend themselves.
The teacher’s attacks, rants, and teaching style all had serious effects on students. At least two of [Edited.] students actively perused counseling to deal with the lasting physiological effects of the teacher. One student was affected so seriously that he was put on suicide watch during the year.
It is obvious that this teacher and his methods are a serous concern that has not been brought up, as I’m sure actions would have been taken. I am writing this letter to bring these issues to light and to hopefully protect future young minds from the oppressive, disrespectful, and negative teaching environment surrounding [Edited.] and his classroom.



Last edited by LlamaLlamaDuck; May 11th 2014 at 05:20 PM. Reason: Removing identifying information.
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Re: Troubling teacher - January 20th 2012, 04:42 AM

Seeing how seriously affected you were by this teacher and what he did, I would say that sending the letter in may not only give you a personal sense of justice but others as well. I do recommend going over some spelling and grammatical errors that caught my eye before sending it in though. There are only a few, I'm just stating it so that it's as professional as it can be.

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  (#3 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Troubling teacher - January 20th 2012, 05:31 AM

1. Proofread your letter. Adults tend to dismiss letters that lack proper spelling/grammar/punctuation, as they believe the student is immature or lazy, and therefore not worth paying attention to.

2. It is incredibly, INCREDIBLY hard to fire any teacher... so you will need proof if you want anything along those lines. I mean, if writing this letter gives you some closure, awesome. If you're going to make those kinds of accusations, though, you'll need other students to come forward. How about the student who went on suicide watch? Can s/he bring their therapist/psychologist/psychiatrist to school for a meeting, to show that the teacher was directly responsible for their diminished mental health? Unfortunately, you really will need to go that far in order to make firing the teacher an option for the school's administrators.

3. For what it's worth, I'm sorry that you've suffered as a result of this teacher's actions. I didn't really find anything upsetting in the video, but after seeing this letter, I can understand why you're so upset. I feel for you, and I want to assure you that not all teachers are like this man.

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Re: Troubling teacher - January 20th 2012, 06:40 AM

Hi there! :]
I agree with the previous comments, proof read your letter and maybe have someone else read it as well.
Other than that, you have the Youtube video which is proof, do you think anyone else would back you up on your story?
I'm sorry that this happened to you and I hope that it will be resolved. :]

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Re: Troubling teacher - January 20th 2012, 05:37 PM

hey, agree with the above, the first sentence had a grammar mistake so definitely proofread this. adults would be less likely to take you seriously if you don't take the time to proofread.

and also, like robin said... i watched the video and don't hear anything wrong being said. granted you took his class and i didn't but you would probably need more evidence against him. hope everything goes ok for you.


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Re: Troubling teacher - January 20th 2012, 06:00 PM

Hey Logan, I've had teachers similar to that, so I know what kind of damage it can do. Having said that, the video won't be enough to prove anything, for all they know this is just evidence of a bad day, which all teachers have and are entitled to, they are human after all; or that the sender is just an angry student trying to get back at him for some reason. You'll need proof that the students' psychological problems were a direct result of his treatment and that he's done this to classes other than yours. Also, you'll need to proof read this. I'm all for writing private letters of closure, but I'm not sure if this is something that's worth sending or getting into, You'll have to decide if the effort is worth it to you.

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Re: Troubling teacher - January 21st 2012, 09:12 AM

Hey, I'm sorry but I might be missing something here... I watched that video of yours and Mr. Varni doesn't really do or say anything really negligent. The whole video is about a teacher who is frustrated and angry at a class who can't seem to hand things in on time. He even points out that he hasn't penalized anyone for it whatsoever... Calling someone irresponsible is simply stating something the students have to improve on (frankly, if no one's handing things in on time, they ARE irresponsible...). Yes, Mr. Varni IS being a bit blatant but this isn't something you should over - proportionize as it can ruin his whole career.

Again, I might be missing something here, but if this is basically all he says, then I suggest re - thinking this whole plan for his sake.

Sometimes pointing out students is a way to put them on the spot so they can re - evaluate themselves and try harder. If these things you write about (such as him doubting their futures and such) is real, then he may be crossing the line there but if you're exaggerating it (even a bit) it could prosecute an otherwise innocent man.. Think this through!

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Re: Troubling teacher - January 21st 2012, 10:08 AM

I'm assuming that there is more to what has happened than just the video in your other thread. If this is true then judging from your letter, I'm sorry for what you and other students have gone through. If sending the letter will help you, then fair enough, you're perfectly entitled to complain about him. You'll want to proof read it first though. But, as Robin said, it is unlikely that much will be done. You'll need proof, other students willing to talk about it and a lot of perseverance to get anywhere with this. Whatever you do, good luck.

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Re: Troubling teacher - January 21st 2012, 01:16 PM

I have to agree with everyone else.

1) Proof-read the letter, because there are spelling and grammatical errors, and you are much less likely to be taken seriously unless the letter is perfect.

2) Have you considered getting your counselor or a parent to write a letter? If you genuinely want this teacher fired, the best way to go about it would be to get several parents to write letters of complaint to the school. Adults are much more likely to be taken seriously than students, and there's safety in numbers. The more complaints your school gets, the more likely they will be to look into it. Also, complaints from people in positions of authority, such as your counselor/therapist or the counselor/therapist of any of the other affected students, are much more important and will get you more of a result.

3) I accept that some of the methods he used that you described are really awful. Obviously it must have been awful to be in those classes, and you say that the rant that was in that video was a 'tame' one, and even then I could tell how you'd find it offensive, he shouldn't have yelled like that. I have a teacher who is awful to our class, and will single people out and fly off her rocket at the slightest provocation, but we've learnt to deal with it. Several parents complained to the school, and she has clearly been spoken to about it, because her teaching methods have improved drastically over the past few weeks.

Don't expect to get him fired, but a 'high-up' member of staff at your school may have a word with him, and he may even be observed.

The final thing I'll mention is to be careful. Make sure you remain anonymous, because I'm not sure about the laws in America, or the rules in your school, but over here we're not allowed mobile phones or mp3 players etc in school for the sole reason that we can then take photos/videos of our teachers, to which there are actually legal repercussions.

Take care, and I hope things get sorted out!
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