Bad Humor in the Classroom

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2 Responses

  1. Norma Stits says:

    Man, people really can’t take a joke these days. Arguably the timing might’ve been a little too early to make Colorado shooting jokes, but it was apt to the situation and obviously said in jest. People really need to lighten up, especially when their are real problems going on in schools right now:

  2. Ed says:

    Larry, I agree with you completely. The remark comes across as impromptu and was probably almost immediately regretted. An apology was appropriate, along with a school ratification of the apology.

    In the NYT article, the academy’s head is quoted as saying that “The academy’s first priority is the well-being of its students.” That may be sincere, but seems to me messed up. Further discipline of the professor has little direct relationship with student well-being — the initial harm has been inflicted, and the students should believe that the school does not adopt the comment as its own, and they should be probably be spared perpetuation of this incident.

    What is going on, nonetheless, is the performance of administrative ritual, something like an absolution rite, to demonstrate to the public that the academy really, really, really disassociates itself from the professor’s conduct. The more frequently additional steps like this are taken, the more “mere” words of apology and regret seem inadequate. Schools should recognize that they are performing these rituals for their own sakes, as much as for students, and that they are upping the ante in a way that makes these situations harder to cure.