Student Rants at Teacher in Viral Video
by ABC Digital
(DUNCANVILLE, Texas) -- A Texas high school student’s rant against his teacher has gone viral on YouTube, prompting the district to look at its teaching procedures.
“If you would just get up and teach us instead of handing ‘em a packet, yo. There’s kids in here that don’t learn like that. … They need to learn face-to-face,” Duncanville High School student Jeff Bliss said in the YouTube video recorded by a classmate. “You want kids to come to class? You want them to get excited? You gotta come in here, you gotta make ‘em excited. To change him and make him better, you gotta touch his freakin’ heart. You can’t expect a kid to change if all you do is just tell him.”
Bliss, 18, was kicked out of class by his history teacher after a discussion escalated between the two. Bliss said that a test required three days to complete, but his teacher demanded that the class complete the test within two days.
In the YouTube video, Bliss was told repeatedly by his teacher to leave the classroom. However, as he made his way to the exit, he continued to tell his teacher that her pedagogical approach was wrong.
“You gotta take this job seriously,” Bliss said in the YouTube video. “This is the future of this nation. And when you come in here like you did last time and make a statement about how, ‘This is my paycheck,’ indeed it is, but this is my country’s future and my education.”
Bliss told ABC News that he wished he’d delivered his message in a different manner.
“As far as my attitude was during the video, that could have been taken better in a better manner,” he said. “But at the same time, I realize we all have our spur-of-the-moments.”
Duncanville School District Chief Communications Officer Tammy Kuykendall told ABC News she understood Bliss’ view.
“He makes a number of valid statements about how schools across America need to change, and it is creating a conversation,” she said. “We have focus groups, student panels, so we listen to students and we will continue to listen.”
Kuykendall added that she does not condemn Bliss.
“I feel it is important to share [that] we don’t blame this student or think he did something wrong,” she said. “There are other ways to go about sharing concerns happening in a classroom. Administrators need to know about that. He makes a number of valid statements.”
Bliss’s mother, Rhonda Bliss, said she is not upset with her son and respects his stance.
“I have told the people I support what he did,” she said. “I am an educator, too, and I understand his passion and I understand his concerns, and I support what he did.”
She said Bliss’s tirade was not specifically aimed at one person alone.
“It wasn’t to the teacher,” she said. “It was to address the bigger issue which is education.”
As for Bliss, he said he hopes his declaration inspires others to take action.
“I’m hoping that maybe this sparks something up in other people, teachers, and parents, and even administrators, as well,” he said. “I’m hoping that maybe they, themselves stand up and also demand more. I hope they go to their sons’ schools or school board meetings and speak and see what’s going on in the schools.”
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