Slavery Lesson Goes Awry: Was It Educator Misconduct?

A white seventh-grade social studies teacher teaching a lesson about slavery attempted to simulate the conditions by which African natives were transported in slave ships by binding the hands and feet of two black girls with tape and having them crawl under a desk. It happened in Haverstraw Middle School in Haverstraw, New York of the North Rockland School District.

It not clear whether the girls volunteered for their role in the lesson, but it does not seem very likely that the students felt that they had much choice to refuse their teacher’s request that they participate in being bound. … Read the rest

Third Department Applies Most Stringent Standards to Protect Students From Teachers’ Harm

Courts continue to find it important that schools fulfill their non-delegable duty of protecting their students. Recently, the Appellate Division, Third Department, in Matter of Binghamton City School District v. Peacock, Docket No. 502329, held that public policy supports a no-leniency standard for teachers that instill harm on their students. The court clearly delivered this message when it held that a two-year suspension for a teacher who engaged in a grossly inappropriate relationship with a sixteen year old student was too lenient.

The case centers on a teacher where there is evidence that he helped the student purchase … Read the rest