Entries in Teacher (2)


Cyberbaiting On the Rise as Teacher Tantrums Posted to YouTube

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If you do a quick search on YouTube, you can find dozens of videos of teachers "flipping out" to the jeering laughter of students.  Known as cyberbaiting, students engage in this form of bullying by provoking teachers to the breaking point and then secretly recording the tantrum on a cellphone and posting it online.

Not only is it humiliating for the teachers, but it can cost them their job.  In Houston, gym teacher Sherri Davis was fired after kicking her 13-year-old student to the ground and beating him in front of his classmates, who recorded the incident.

Sometimes, it's a perfect storm of psychological vulnerability and provocation: Nashville, Tenn., teacher Donald Woods hurled chairs at goading students, but was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder, according to his family.

Recently, the cyber security company Norton reported that 21 percent of teachers worldwide either experienced cyberbaiting themselves or knew a colleague who was cyberbaited.  Many lose their jobs after their outbursts, even though students were the provocateurs.

So far, according to the Norton study, only 51 percent of teachers said their schools had guidelines for social media communication.

"If it's on YouTube it will spread like a cancer," said Donna Emery, a veteran math teacher from Wilmington, N.C., who now runs a resource center.  "Teachers are under attack, period."

The teacher "sets the stage" for classroom control and open lines of communication with parents at the beginning of the year, but some teachers don't know how to set boundaries and students can "smell the fear," she said.

Some blame a culture that has become more violent, parents who coddle their children or budget cuts that create larger class sizes.  But cyber experts say it's the new tools in the hands of impulsive teens.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Teacher Forgives Students Whose Fight Resulted in Her Miscarriage

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The lesson New York Spanish teacher Lissedia Batista wants to leave her students with goes far beyond verb conjugations.

Although Batista miscarried after she was accidentally pushed while trying to break up a fight between two of her students, she returns to the classroom this week with only forgiveness and understanding for the pair.

"They're so young, and for something like that to follow them for the rest of their lives? I think they were already stressed enough with the fact that they felt they caused the death of someone's child," Batista, who teaches at Exploration Academy in the Bronx, told the New York Post.

The accident that ended with the loss of Batista's unborn child began when two 15-year-old students, one in ninth grade and the other in tenth, argued over a classroom chair, Marge Feinberg, a spokeswoman for the New York City Department of Education, told ABC News at the time of the accident.

When Batista tried to break up the fight, she was accidentally pushed and fell to the ground.  She was rushed to the hospital where doctors determined that she had miscarried.

Batista said she would not press charges against the two teenagers because she didn't want them to end up in the criminal justice system, someone close to Batista told ABC News affiliate WABC-TV in New York.

Despite her loss, Batista seems more worried about the welfare of the two students than she is about her own.

"You don't know how some people might take it.  Some people just really go into deep depressions, and teenagers nowadays have a lot to go through and they are the ones that commit the most suicides out of all the age groups.  I didn't want something like that to happen at all.  I don't hold any sour feelings toward them at all," she told the New York Post.

While Batista's actions might seem extraordinarily self-sacrificing, psychologists say that forgiveness is the key to healing.

"People need to know that letting go and forgiveness is something that benefits themselves.  The instinct when hurting is often times thinking about what's going to make the other person feel the pain, eye for an eye.  But what will really helps you heal is to forgive.  Regardless of the other person, forgiveness is the best thing for you," said Ryan Howes, a Pasadena, California, psychologist.

Research seems to support this concept. Studies have found that forgiveness is healthy, both psychologically and physically.  Those who are better forgivers tend to have lower blood pressure, lower stress levels, fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety, and better relationships.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio