In yesterday’s news was yet another arrest of a teacher for sexual misconduct with a student.  This time, it was the sponsor of the DECA program in a section of Austin known for its affluence and athletics.  Quite frankly, I really don’t care that the student was 18 and technically an adult.  Neither does the state, because until the boy (and I DO mean boy) graduates, it’s still a 2nd degree felony, regardless of age.  If this tryst had happened only 3 1/2 weeks later, after graduation, there’d be no story.  It still would have been reprehensible, but not illegal.

I make no secret of the fact that I used to teach.  I also make no secret that a 6-figure salary wouldn’t get me back in a classroom.  Asinine demands of the academics in the ivory towers and hamstrings from having to teach test-taking instead of rational thought have driven out many of the best and brightest from the teaching profession.  I personally know scores of dedicated, brilliant teachers who want permanent jobs, but can’t get work because of petty politics.

But scumbags like Christina McCann get in and stay in long enough to damage not only individual lives but whole communities.  It is a failure of society as a whole and this entire “end justifies the means” mentality.

When I was very young, I watched my dad hard at work in the little house that used to stand outside gate 2 at Sanford Stadium.  It was Dad’s job during the 2nd half of University of Georgia football games to count the money collected at the ticket windows, secure it, and take it under police escort to the Athletic Department before the game ended and traffic choked for the next several hours.

Ticket sales at that time were a cash-only operation, and the large table in that tiny room was literally covered in tills that overflowed with greenbacks.  Dad quickly but methodically sorted the bills, counted them, and bound them in the appropriate sleeve, and put them in the cloth moneybags provided by the bank.

My little eyes, not even in the double-digits when it came to age, widened in fascination at the sight of more cash than I had ever before seen, and rarely seen since.  In my youthful ignorance, I asked my dad what seemed to me to be a reasonable question.  “Daddy, are you ever tempted by all this money?”

My father stopped counting, put down the stack of bills he was working on, looked me straight in the eye, and said lovingly but very firmly, “The day I’m tempted will be the day I quit.”

When Dad did quit a quarter of a century later, it was the lure of his grandchildren, not money, that pulled him away.

Too bad for the entire teaching profession that Christina McCann and her ilk never got that kind of schooling.


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June 2011

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