Saturday, March 15, 2008

Let sleeping students drool?

As you all know, I am a teacher. Once in a while, a student will nod off in class. When I see that a student has nodded off, I tend to have a neighbor of the student lightly tap or nudge the Sandman's latest victim. I try to keep embarrassment and that "startled" feeling to a minimum.

In Danbury, Conn., a teacher allegedly used the palm of her hand to wake up a kid in her class. The boy (guess it is really his parents) is now attempting a lawsuit against the city, the district, and its employees for damaged hearing as a result of the palm pound. Apparently his eardrum burst.

I will now attempt a crude science and math lesson.

Math? Well, the height of the teacher and the angle from which she approached the desk would have been a determining factor in how hard she would be able to hit the desk.

Science? Could the impact made by hitting her palm on the desk create enough of a sound to injure the young man's ear drum?

As most high school student desks are made of the same type of material, I tried hitting my palm on a desk (without the aid of a student--you never know).

1. If you try to hit a desk with your palm (with all of your might, striking only the palm to the desk), the other side of your hand doesn't hit the desk with the same force. It creates a thud, but not a sound that is earsplitting. The action doesn't really do much at all.

2. If you try to hit a desk with the entire hand flat, even less noise is made and there isn't much impact on the desk.

3. It hurts like hell and I would not advise it. I was convinced that I'd have a bruised palm, today. I wouldn't hurt myself to wake up a kid.

I'd like to add something else. As I stated earlier in this post, I was quite the expert at sleeping in class. In fact, I figured out a way to sleep without getting that dreaded red mark on my face. (I digress.)

I never slept with my ear on the desk. The students I observe don't, either. However, the young lad did have his ear on the desk.

Hmmm. . .

The article will crack you up, too. The family's attorney, Alan Barry, is quoted:

"Many of us have fallen asleep in class and had the teacher wake us up. But what happened here was more in the nature of an assault and battery," he said. "My client is an extraordinarily bright young man. He's a computer wizard who works late into the night, and that's probably why he fell asleep."

Does the reason he fell asleep matter? Does his purported intelligence matter?

Why aren't his parents making him go to bed?

(H/T: NewsTimes)


Old NFO said...

Sue em all... jeez, what a bunch of asshats... We used to use an aircraft brake rotor dropped from about 5-6 feet onto a concrete floor to wake up students! You wanna talk about noise???? heheheh...

OBTW, I never got sued for that... :-)

RT said...

I once had a student complain that I was hurting her child's self-esteem by making too many comments on his essays. (Those comments are meant to help a child with his or her writing.)

She said that it was especially hurtful because her child had written a couple of drafts and had spent a lot of time on the essays.

Ummm that doesn't mean it was "A" work.

Rogue said...

Use of the Buddhist Palm Head Thrust is frowned upon, but if done with speed and surprise can be denied in a court of law.

Mrs Grim said...

The only way I could come up with a hearing loss is if the teacher actually hit him in the ear.

RT said...

Heh! :)

Mrs. Grim
WITH the desk. :)

I really did kind of hurt my palm trying to hit the desk. She must be a brute, because I'm pretty strong.