Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

September 26, 2007

Go, Read: Shore Line Times on the Guilford Incident, Parents and Students

This article on the incident in Guilford, Connecticut whereby a young teacher resigned after giving a student a copy of Eightball #22 offers up information that should change the way all of us look at the story.

One, we get for the first time a competing picture of a teacher that cared enough about students' reading material to scramble after anything that would get them interested to read, and at least one parent grateful that this happened.

Two, crucially, we get for the first time a picture of the parents of the affected child that goes beyond them simply exercising the necessary, blessed impulse that all parents have to protect their children and into a rational decision they are making and fighting for that this teacher must never teach again.

No teacher of displayed competence and interest in children learning to enjoy reading should for a single mistake like this one lose their job. There aren't that many good teachers. Parents should protect their children, but there's a reason we don't deputize parents that are protecting their children to make policy according to what they feel needs to be done protection-wise. That's the community's role. The specter of a lawsuit or the even more phantom-like notion of what could happen in a worst-case scenario should not be the motivating force here -- and that's true no matter what happens down the line, now matter if Nate Fisher turns out to be the best teacher ever or the worst one.

The system needs to step up, not for the potential upside of Nate Fisher's 30-year career that will never happen now, but for the principle of the matter and to send a message to any future teachers at that high school that they're not simply better off going into finance. God bless the parents of the kids supporting Nate Fisher for their doing so when doing so doesn't have the emotional tug of asserted, potential sleaze or the shock value for some that comes with naughtiness in a comic book.

Related: This New Haven Advocate articles takes a deep breath and a step back, explaining Dan Clowes' work in greater details, getting some literary analysis from the school's principal and confessing that the summary of elements they reported may not do the comic justice. Although I suspect they're getting Augusten Burroughs confused with James Frey; the movie version of Running With Scissors was bad, but not bad enough to disgrace its author.
posted 11:00 pm PST | Permalink

Daily Blog Archives
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
Full Archives