Teacher Writes 'Loser' on Student's Assignments

(March 14) -- The mother of a sixth-grader in Buncombe County, N.C., is upset about name-calling in her daughter's classroom -- but the students aren't the ones slinging the mud.

Patty Clement is debating other parents in Candler, N.C., over Rex Roland, a teacher who writes the word "loser" on the assignments of his 11- and 12-year-old students.

Clement first noticed Roland's notes in November, when he wrote "loser" in the margin of her daughter's paper. The principal at Enka Middle School assured Clement it would not happen again, but it did, recently, when Roland wrote, "minus 20% for being a loser" on her daughter's assignment.

"This is wrong," Clement told Asheville's WLOS-TV. "The techniques need to change."

Other parents defend Roland's progressive teaching methods, saying he is fond of giving nicknames to students and using the word "loser" in jest, as a way of relating to students.

"A lot of the students he has are academically gifted students, and so one of the ways that he would joke with them would be if they scored a 110, he always gave extra credit, so if they scored a 110, 120 on a paper, he would have a joke on it -- 'loser'," one parent, Kathy Andrews, told WLOS. "That's what he engages in... he gets on their level and their words and tries to relate to them."

Her son, Ian Andrews, a former student of Roland, described him as "the cool teacher that people wanted to be in class with."

Clement said the difference in opinion over Roland, a 12-year veteran at Enka Middle School, has made her daughter a target of bullying and harassment. She told The Associated Press her daughter received almost 100 threatening text messages last week, forcing Clement to keep her home from school.

Clement claims Roland's teaching style is harming her daughter's learning process.

"He threw my daughter's pencil box in the hallway and she got in trouble by another teacher for disrupting his class -- for something that she did not do," she told the AP.

Roland has apologized for using the "l-word," saying it was his way of relating to the students. But Clement continues to press for his suspension.

"I don't know what we're going to do, but I'll fight to the end," she told WLOS.

An online petition titled "Please Get Rex Roland Out of Enka Middle School" currently has 151 signatures, urging supporters to "demand justice for this little girl, anyone else he's doing this to who's afraid to come forward, and all of those who will come in contact with him in the future." It is addressed to Buncombe County School District Superintendent Dr. Tony Baldwin.

The school district has said the issue is a "personnel matter" that is the subject of an ongoing investigation, according to the AP. Roland could not be reached for comment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't know any teacher that would use the word "loser" as a means to become more bonded with his/her students.

Needs some time off to reevaluate whether this should be his chose profession.