By Cheryl Smith, Publisher of I Messenger Media and Texas Metro News – NNPA NEWSWIRE (Source: www.blackpressusa.com) — It would be an understatement to say I was dismayed upon hearing about a challenge on social media that involved students filming themselves physically assaulting teachers. All I could think of was how underpaid teachers are and how there are some adults who live for and love being in the classroom, despite being underpaid and sometimes under-appreciated because of incompetent leadership. I thought about the teachers who use their salaries to help their students.
I love teaching! When I was eight-years old, my friends were playing “house” and “doctor.” I was in another room with my sister, two younger cousins and any neighborhood child I could round up on our street in Newark, NJ, and we were playing “school.” Of course, I was the teacher. I was good too. They listened and learned. Little did I know that I would eventually end up in a classroom as a college professor.
It would be an understatement to say I was dismayed upon hearing about a challenge on social media that involved students filming themselves physically assaulting teachers. All I could think of was how underpaid teachers are and how there are some adults who live for and love being in the classroom, despite being underpaid and sometimes under-appreciated because of incompetent leadership. I thought about the teachers who use their salaries to help their students.
Then too, there are the teachers who are more of a parent to students than the ones whose DNA is a match. And there are the teachers who are social workers, counselors, personal shoppers, tutors, UberEats, disciplinarians and more. Admittedly as children, there’s an expectation that there is a level of stupidity that all will experience. As I heard more and more about the “Slap a Teacher” challenge, I tried to imagine what my reaction would have been had someone’s child hit me. Sure, every generation thinks that the next generation is crazier but with the advent of social media and camera phones, well, it’s easier today to have receipts in the form of inappropriate photos, messages and videos.
Sure, some children are going to act out when their parents are not around but today it appears there’s no end to the drama, no stopping point, no voice of reason. I contend that part of the reason is that so many young people are being taught that there are no boundaries, just as there are no standards. As one student told me, “My momma said I don’t have to respect anyone if I feel like they are disrespecting me!”
Which brings me to my truth. Everyone needs to decide what type of person they are going to be and what they decide should not be based upon how they are treated. If any child that participates in some of these stupid challenges has a conscience, they are going to have some serious regrets in the future. So, I sighed with relief when I received reports that the Slap a Teacher Challenge was a hoax.
Sure, there have been reports of violence against teachers and the social media site has been quick to disassociate from any acts of violence. With all the other stupid gimmicks, I still wouldn’t be surprised if someone tried a stunt that could have a dramatic and devastating outcome.
So, parents, talk to your children. Have a candid talk about acceptable behavior. Yeah, I know there will be the ones who are hell bent on being rebellious. We just don’t need you contributing to the foolishness because just like parents are held accountable for their children’s truancy, you need to be held accountable for letting your children grow up not knowing that there are consequences and repercussions for their actions. The results won’t be funny because one day, they may run up on the WRONG PERSON!