Tag Archives: teacher rights

Do Students Have Right To Evaluate Teachers Online?

A teacher in Germany lost her appeal to the Federal Supreme Court over her right to shut down a website established by students to rate teachers in her school. Astrid Czubayko-Raiss wants the website shut down because it subjects her to embarrassing, if not humiliating, comments by students regarding her ability as a teacher. The court ruled: “the right of students to exchange opinions and communicate freely outweighs the right of the teacher suing to determine information available about her.” Of course, many colleges have formal evaluation of teachers which is conducted anonymously during the conclusion of a course. This has been in operation over forty years without too much pain to anyone.

I thought it interesting among the criteria students wished to use in evaluating teachers there was a wide range of qualities. For example, “cool and funny,” or “popular,” or “motivated,” or relaxed,” and “teaches well.” These are excellent points to identify about a teacher as long as students recognize the main criterion should be “teaches well.”

Japan Educators Await Court Decisions on Flag-Anthem

Hiroko Arai, a Japanese school teacher, is being punished because she refused to stand and sing the “Kimgayo” national anthem of her nation. She would not sing it in front of the Hinomaru national flag on the belief they symbolize Japanese militarism. Her refusal was in direct violation of a notice issued by the Tokyo metropolitan board of education on Oct. 23, 2003, that directed school principals to order teachers to stand and sing the anthem or else be reprimanded. “I told my students, ” she said, “to make their own decisions on what they should no, not unquestioningly follow the majority or obey those in power” said the 62 year-old woman who has taught for 35 years.

Ms. Arai and eleven other techers have filed a suit whose decision should be announced next week. All twelve have been refused part-time work after retiring because of their refusal to stand. The plaintiffs say it goes against a parliamentary agreement that authorities should not forcibly impose the anthem and flag on the public. Ms. Arai pointed out she had children of Korean heritage whose nation was brutalized by those waving the flag and she believes they had a right to remain seated and refuse to sing the anthem.

The Tokyo District Court upheld the plaintiff’s petitioin and the case will now be decided by the Tokyo High Court. Many educators are concerned that teachers be allowed to refuse obeying orders they deem to be unreasonable. Let’s hope the Tokyo High Court agrees with that view.

Can A Teacher Discuss Personal Problems With A Student?

A Canadian teenager is outraged because police arrested and charged his teacher with a sex-related offence because the two of them discussed the impact of the teacher’s recent break up with a man. The sixteen year-old denies there ever was any sexual contact or relations between the teacher and himself. “She never touched me. Police have taken this way too far. When they told me she was going to be charged, I was speechless.” The police said the teacher, dina Calattui, a married woman with a young child, was being charged with touching the girl’s leg. The two had been involved in an Internet discussion in which the teenager exchanged ideas and feelings with the teacher. The police stated: “There is no suggestion any sexual intercourse took place. the other offences involve conversations between them in their residences. These are offences because she is in a position of authority and he can’t consent because he is not 18.”

Newspaper reporters discovered that many students in the school were shocked and regarded Ms. Calattui as an outstanding teacher who had helped them. Bruce Campbell, spokesperson for the district, pointed out there was no school board policy pertaining to teachers and students discussing issues online. This incident raises a variety of issues regarding student-teacher relations in the modern world. It has become common for teachers to interact online with students. In the course of such interactions many topics may arise which others might construe as inappropriate. However, if educators are to use technology, they must be able to have some flexibility in what can or cannot be discussed.