OMG: Teacher Zooms In Car!

Nov 9, 2020 by

“Out of the mouths of babes”.

Could be wisdom. If so, take heed.  Could be nonsense.  If so, take flight.

An algebra teacher at Brooklyn’s Edward R. Murrow HS was inattentive to her duties, speculated one of her students, on the sole basis of the teacher’s Zoom lesson being conducted from her car.

The New York Post (11/8) quotes the anonymous student, about whom no information is provided that might shed light on his motive or credibility.  Maybe he was just role-playing a ratings officer.  Recently he made a similar disparaging observation about the setting of a different teacher’s instruction.

His conjectures are backed by no witnesses, evidence or objective substantiation.  But it made the Post’s stratospheric journalistic bar. “It didn’t look like… I’ve heard stories…” are a couple of phrases the student is quoted as using to nebulously nail down his contentions.  Who can separate what may be authentic, second-hand, hastily concluded, imagined or fabricated? 

It is the first-amendment entitlement of any student to exercise his right of insinuation.  It protects our democracy and in cases like this may provide the bonus of celebrity among peers.

No child should be the victim of impropriety from any source and no charity should be shown to any person in authority who is proven guilty of it. But that is not the case here.

All accusations should be taken seriously.  But after a fruitless investigation, the target of frivolous and malicious assertions must be made whole and all records of the case not merely sealed but expunged.

To be fair and accurate, the student in the Post article did not claim that the teacher had done anything wrong in a legal or moral sense. He is judging her professionalism.

But where’s the offense in using Zoom as a teaching tool from inside a car?  Or a barnyard, boxing ring or International Space Station, for that matter?

And why would the Post seize on this pseudo -story and splash it prominently on their pages?   Was it a slow news week?   Given it was in the midst of the protracted election, I don’t think so.

The real reason has more to do with the Post than the student or the ostensible “facts.”

Ron Isaac

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