Educator Musing: Students Have A Right To Mock Teachers On Facebook?

"Isn't the principal a dummy!" said a boy to a girl.

"Say, do you know who I am?" asked the girl.


"I'm the principal's daughter."

"And do you know who I am?" asked the boy.

"No," she replied.

"Thank goodness!"

There is a hot debate raging on Twitter and Facebook. Do students have the right to mock their teachers online? Education Week is holding a forum discussion on this question.  I encourage everyone to participate.


The responses to Education Week’s forum discussion have been passionate, thoughtful, and quite revealing.  They have revealed a lot about how our nation views educators.  They have revealed a lot about the role of educators and their relationship with students. 


Adam Cohen, in a article, did a thorough job in defining the issue and explaining the cases ruled on in federal courts. He is a former member of the New York Times editorial board.  And he is currently a lawyer that teaches at Yale Law School.


Adam Cohen agrees with the rulings.  Essentially the rulings say that free speech allows students to be rude and mocking as long as they are neither threatening nor disruptive to educational activities.  Nonthreatening online mocking that is off campus and not during school hours is allowed.  The caveat, of course, is that the cases were about official school disciplinary action and not individual legal action for slander and defamation of character.


Cohen suggests that we accept these ruling as the price to be paid for living in a free country.


I’m going to handle it professionally - the comedic profession.  Below are some of my favorite jokes.


A child comes home from his first day at school. His Mother asks, "Well, what did you learn today?" The kid replies, "Not enough. They want me to come back tomorrow."


Teachers deserve a lot of credit. Of course, if we paid them more, they wouldn’t need it.


Teacher: Why does history keep repeating itself?

Pupil: Because we weren't listening the first time!


Teacher: Does anyone know which month has 28 days?

Pupil: All of them!


Teacher: Didn’t I tell you to stand at the end of the line?

Pupil: I tried, but there was someone already there!


Pupil: Should a person be punished for something they didn’t do?

Teacher: No.

Pupil: Good, because I didn’t do my homework.


An elementary school teacher sends this note to all parents on the first day of school. "If you promise not to believe everything your child says happens at school, I will promise not to believe everything your child says happens at home.


Pupil (on phone): My son has a bad cold and won't be able to come to school today.

School Secretary: Who is this?

Pupil: This is my father speaking!


Teacher: You copied from Fred's exam paper didn't you?

Pupil: How did you know?

Teacher: Fred's paper says "I don't know" and you have put "Me, neither"!


Father: Why did you get such a low score in that test?

Son: Absence

Father: You were absent on the day of the test?

Son: No but the boy who sits next to me was!


A schoolteacher injured his back and had to wear a plaster cast around the upper part of his body. It fit under his shirt and was not noticeable at all. On the first day of the term, still with the cast under his shirt, he found himself assigned to the toughest students in school. Walking confidently into the rowdy classroom, he opened the window as wide as possible and then busied himself with deskwork. When a strong breeze made his tie flap, he took the desk stapler and stapled the tie to his chest.

He had no trouble with discipline that term.


Please visit me at Facebook – Carlos Mendoza

and my blog - Educator Musing


Education Week Forum: Mocking Teachers Online – A Student’s Right? - Cases Uphold Students' Right to Mock Teachers on Facebook

By Anthony Rebora on June 20, 2011 - Why Students Have a Right to Mock Teachers Online

By Adam Cohen on Monday, June 20, 2011




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