When Compassion Fails

” Somebody needs to remember that boy’s name whenever we pass off bullying as inevitable, as a part of our culture, as normal. I have never forgotten. Remembering what happened to Ruben made me more aware for the rest of my teaching career. It will affect me for the rest of my life.”

Catch a Falling Star


When I was contemplating what this post for 1000 Voices for Compassion was going to say, I read this insightful post by Melissa Firman; When the Bully is the Teacher.  It tore a few more holes in my soul.  You see, I was a teacher.  And I was not the safe, self-satisfied, sit-behind-the-desk-and-pontificate sort of teacher.  I was the walk-up-and-down-the-aisles-between-the-student-desks teacher.  I was the look-over-your-shoulder-and-care-what-you-are-learning teacher.  I took the risks necessary to connect with kids and find out what was really happening in students’ lives.  I was definitely aware of teachers who belittled their charges and used negative comments and punishments to motivate them.  I did what I could to steer those teachers in another direction.  I was involved in campus improvement teams.  I provided in-service training to my fellow teachers on methods and implementation and best practices.  I was a department head for middle school English for a…

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