When a 7-year-old boy showed his father what a teacher had written on his math quiz, the dad posted the woman’s private note to social media. As soon as parents read her words, they demanded the second-grade educator’s immediate termination.
After 7-year-old Kamdyn Piland came home from school, his father noticed that the boy wasn’t acting like his usual happy self. Once his son handed him his schoolwork, the concerned dad instantly realized what had made his child so upset.
When parents send their children off to public school, there undeniably are countless concerns they face on a daily basis. With all of the problems facing the education system today, teachers certainly shouldn’t be one of them.
According to Chris Piland, a second-grade teacher at Valley View Elementary School in Pennsylvania had written an incredibly inappropriate message on his son’s math work. Apparently, the boy had failed to finish a timed quiz, completing just 13 out of 50 subtraction problems. However, it was the teacher’s personal critique that prompted a national response.
Fox 56 reports that Valley View teacher Alyssa Rupp Bohenek left a note on the top of 7-year-old Kamdyn’s math quiz, which read, “Absolutely pathetic. He answered 13 in 3 min! Sad.” It was this blunt message that now has the elementary educator in hot water, as nearly 20,000 people have signed a petition demanding her termination.
“You don’t write that on anybody’s paper, let alone a little 7-year-old, second grader’s paper,” said Christopher Piland. “It said on it that he answered only 13 of them in 3 minutes and that it was absolutely pathetic with a sad face.”
Chris explained that he confronted Bohenek, voicing his disapproval for such language. He says that, even though he intended to keep the matter private, she refused to resolve the issue, sending him a text message expressing that she was only sorry that he disagreed with her method.
“I believe what you wrote on his paper was extremely unprofessional and just very rude and she messaged me back and said she was sorry I felt that way,” Chris explained.
Wondering what to do next, Chris took to social media to ask friends and family for advice. It was shortly after that his post went viral and a petition calling for the teacher’s job surfaced. Another petition defending Bohenek has gained less than 1,000 signatures.
“My son Kamdyn’s teacher has been so rude to him and myself all year he comes home with this and I am beyond frustrated that someone would write this on a child’s work such great motivation,” Chris wrote on Facebook.
Although Chris never meant for Bohenek to be fired, many social media users felt that her language crossed the line. Some even expressed similar situations in their adolescence that pushed them further away from excelling in school. Whatever the case, Chris requested that Kamdyn attend a different class.
“She made me really sad and upset. I was really mad. And [it was] really mean to do,” said 7-year-old Kamdyn Piland. “It broke my heart.”
Chris was taken aback by the support he received for Kamdyn’s wellbeing. While he doesn’t necessarily wish to see Bohenek removed from her teaching position, he hopes that the incident will be used as a learning tool for the district.
“It’s something that shouldn’t happen and shouldn’t be tolerated at all,” he said. “Maybe it’ll be taken seriously now and it’ll keep it from happening to other teachers and other students.”
The district refused to comment on the situation while Valley View investigates the incident. However, the superintendent reiterated that there are two sides to every story, FOX News reports.
Rose Minniti, the school superintendent, said an investigation was opened after a meeting the teacher and the Valley View School District but cautioned that the outcome would be dictated by “the facts and evidence” rather than “social media.”
While most people have criticized Bohenek’s words, others, especially fellow teachers, have come to her defense. They explained that she wasn’t calling the student “pathetic,” but his lack of progress. Still, others maintain that the teacher is responsible for her students’ success. For now, the debate rages on.