In the storm of fake news coverage of the Covington Catholic High School students in Washington this month, a DougCo teacher felt the need to chime in on Twitter. Michelle Grissom joined the mob, calling the young men #HitlerYouth. Grissom teaches social studies to impressionable middle school students, which makes the bizarre outburst even more concerning. The latest concerning chapter of this book is that the Douglas County School District Superintendent Thomas Tucker wrote an op-ed to the Highlands Ranch Herald urging the community to not rush to judgment. Is he serious? From his op-ed:
“…A step back and a deep breath can do wonders.
“That’s what’s required of us… in our interpersonal relationships, in our business dealings and as a civil society. Being a school district of our size — educating 68,000 students spread across 850 square miles — and being the largest employer in Douglas County, comes with challenges and great responsibility.”
Is this the same “step back and a deep breath” that Grissom offered those students and parents that she bullied? There was no deep breath when she called protesters “Hitler youth.” And Tucker’s defense of her calls into question his ability to lead this school district effectively.
Grissom’s conduct is a clear violation of the district’s social media policy, the main purpose of which is to stem the tide of cyber bullying. In other words, the policy is set out to protect children from the exact type of behavior that was inflicted by the teacher.
Ironically, when the policy was written, it probably never crossed the minds of district administration that they would be called upon to discipline a teacher for this behavior, as cyber bullying in schools has typically been a problem with children, not adults.
Welcome to the bent world of public school teachers union, where workers want everyone to treat them as “professionals” like engineers, doctors, and lawyers, but they march on the streets screaming through bull horns and enact blue collar labor tactics. I guess we should not be surprised given this strange, militant behavior that seems anything but professional.
What we are surprised by, though, is the reaction of district leadership. Not a single member of the Board of Education or the Superintendent has condemned the actions of this teacher. Instead they are hiding behind the veil of this being a private, personnel matter. They won’t even utter the name of the offender.
We could understand that being the case if this was actually a private personnel matter, but this woman wrongly piled on these innocent students in a very public way. It is her name, her Twitter account, and her words.
Thomas is quickly losing the support of the community he joined just a few short months ago. First with the way he mishandled teacher raises after campaigning for a massive tax increase to support better pay for teachers, and now his pathetic non-leadership on an issue where one of his teachers brought disgrace to his organization.