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View Diary: Daily Kos diarist/teacher removed from classroom by police (186 comments)

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  •  I did have parental permission (2+ / 0-)
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    mrkvica, JerryNA

    On the tornado book, one of the charges against me was that I did not receive parental permission, though I have signed parental permission slips. I was never asked. As for the input, I have been working with parents, students, fellow teachers, and I had even talked to my principal about ways to use the money. Perhaps I was naive in thinking that being totally honest and aboveboard about these things would keep me from making any errors, but their basic charges on these books are that I did no receive parental permission and that I have profited from the books. Since my principal (and my readers) were already aware of these things, it seems the investigation was not particularly well done.

    •  Well then you should be ok when you (2+ / 0-)
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      Sychotic1, JerryNA

      actually have your hearing at least on the tornado book.

      I think that sounds like a really incredible project that you and your class did. If anything your school and your school district should be PROMOTING that book and maybe the school could sell it collectively as a fundraising project.

      The other book seems like the more problematic simply due to the content issue and where you posted it.

      “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

      by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Wed May 01, 2013 at 07:37:24 AM PDT

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    •  You keep saying "permission" (4+ / 0-)

      Did the written permission forms specifically release student work for commercial publication?

      It's an interesting situation.  I know many teachers who are also writers, and some who write about their classroom experiences; I also know education researchers who of course write scholarly work, but also fill that work with personal anecdotes and the like about children and teachers they have met.  (Think of Jonathan Kozol's work, for example.)

      The actual teacher of an actual class of kids has particular professional obligations (some under various federal statutes pertaining to educational records, many under state statutes that include things like morality clauses and approval processes for particular lesson content or readings) to maintain the privacy rights (as well as, implicitly, the intellectual property rights) of his/her students, whose consent can only be granted by a legal guardian.  So school systems tend to be very particular about the language of "permission" forms and the like, I've noticed (as a parent, especially, I actually appreciate this in some ways -- like my kid's school knows we will not allow the kid's picture to be used online in any identified form).  

      On the other hand, I know of public middle school teachers who interact with their students (under 13!) on Facebook --- the students themselves had to lie about their ages to be on Facebook in the case I am thinking of, which inspired a bit of a parents' revolt that got this changed -- the teacher was young and clueless, frankly, about the internet vs. real life.

      I think teachers need to be legally represented in all of this stuff, and of course that's what unions are supposed to provide, but not just after the fact of an accusation.  Did you (rturner) freelance this "permission" process or did you go to your principal or administrator and get advice?  Did you use some sort of standard form for the permissions?  Did they include a release for publication?

      I'm trying to put myself (devil's advocate) in the position of a parent, realizing these are high school kids (and mine is younger) so the limits ought to be a bit looser.  But say you're a parent, and you find out your kid's teacher has published an essay your kid wrote, attributed by name to your kid, in a commercial book.  

      What did I sign?  See my point?

      Alas, this is why you need a lawyer, not a mob of sympathetic kossacks.

      And just to explain my intense interest in all this, again I am in education, and I specifically deal with issues of intellectu@l property and fair use in the classroom, where there are often legal actions going on against teachers, districts, universities, etc.  More broadly, because of that work, I am interested in law and education.  For better or worse, educators work as professionals in an increasingly hostile and litigious environment.  It's smart to protect oneself as much as possible in advance of taking risks in that context.  It's smart to know the legal and administrative frameworks that constrain you inside and out if you intend to test their limits.  

      None of this -- again -- is in any way meant to imply the diarist did something intentionally wrong.  Intention doesn't always matter from the point of view of the law.  And of course if you have enemies -- and teachers always have enemies -- even little and unintentional transgressions of the rules give them tools to abuse you.  

      So on some level this story is certainly about the creeping, curdling, right wing war on education and on teachers, no question about it.  They are coming for our free speech and our job security from all sides.  I am 100% down with the anger behind many responses in this diary.  I feel it myself.

      But this particular case may not be a perfect example of all that is wrong, and in any case its particulars are complicated.

      “I wore black because ... it's still my symbol of rebellion -- against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others' ideas.” -- Johnny Cash

      by RocketJSquirrel on Wed May 01, 2013 at 07:55:48 AM PDT

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