Dallas high school rant- Thursday Think Piece

Thursday, May 09, 2013
I shared a video on facebook today that is making the rounds- a rant by a Dallas high school young man against his teacher. In it he says "You've gotta take this job serious," Bliss continued in the video. "This is the future of this nation. When you come in here like you did last time and make a statement like, 'Oh this is my paycheck' - indeed it is. But this is my country's future and my education."

The video has gone viral- and the school district has issued a statement that Bliss will not have any disciplinary action for his rant. They also placed the teacher on administrative leave pending further discovery. The school district said the way he expressed his concern could have been more appropriate, but they were taking him seriously.

My response was that- working with teachers every day- I thought a lot of them would have taken issue with the way he did this. It did sound disrespectful, and for a lot of people that is enough to stop listening.

But I felt we should listen - and listen well. This young man was frustrated, and passionate- about learning; about being taught- being prepared- being educated. Nothing to dismiss there.

I know the problem is complicated. I know that underneath it all- we should wonder why this is going viral. What is happening out there we are not paying attention to? The teachers are not the bad guys here- there are a lot of passionate, wonderful teachers out there that do teach. Listening to him should not be carte blanche to vilify teachers. The solution is not that simple.

Working in education I know sometimes that what comes down 'from the top' is not a real solution but a more complicated set of problems. I understand that the issue is complex. What I wanted to say in supporting this young man, and I do support what he said, is that we should at least see this as a place to begin a real discussion about the issues. 


  1. I am glad to hear the school district is taking it seriously.

    We do need to have discussions about the issues. It's too easy for people to point fingers and blame. It's time to fix the problem.

  2. Wow, Texas adhering to free speech and not chastising the student? Just wow.

    Can we just vilify all the crappy teachers out there?

    Pimps his favorite solution: the market.
    1982: my class mates wanted to be Doctors - that's where the money was
    1985: the business school @ IU was over run with business majors - where the money was.
    1986: LA Law came out, everyone wanted to be lawyers - where the money was
    If we want teaching schools to have to turn people away because they have too many overqualified applicants make teaching where the money's at


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