Interesting Bits|

By Jennifer Graham, Deseret News | A few weeks ago, a band director in Norman, Oklahoma, decided to resign from his job. To share the news with friends and family, he went to social media, posting on Facebook and a little-used Twitter account the reasons that he quit.

What happened next is a story for our time, in multiple ways.

Until March 15, most of David Irby’s posts were retweets and comments on sporting events, nothing to write home about. He was not overtly political, posted nothing controversial. But his resignation tweet caught fire, and by the time he shut his Twitter account down, it had been viewed 1.2 million times.

The topic? The disrespect he received as a teacher — from students, parents, politicians and the public in general.

Being a member of “the public in general,” I wanted to know exactly what I had done. So I reached out and found Irby at home — he had a week off before starting a new job. He was surprisingly upbeat for a man who had just jumped off a sinking ship. But his story was depressing for anyone who values civility.

As it turns out, the main problem was the students — their rudeness, their lack of respect for authority, their casual use of profanity, their cruelty to peers.

“When I was taught how to teach, 20, 30 years ago, it was a different world. We were told ‘Don’t smile until January.’ You were supposed to discipline strongly, control your classroom, don’t get personally involved with students, demand that they call you ‘Mr.’ or ‘Mrs.’

“That’s what was expected of teachers, and there was a huge delineation of authority. The teacher was the authority in the classroom,” he said.

Over the years, however, Irby, who is 49, has seen the authority of teachers degraded. Students don’t respond to a teacher’s attempts to maintain order, and when confronted about their children’s bad behavior, parents tend to side with their kids over the teacher. Many students acted like they were at recess even when they were in class, Irby said.

“There was no respect given to teachers. I would say, “Don’t use language like that. They would turn around and say ‘(expletive) you.’ I would say, ‘take your hood off.’ They would say, ‘No.’ Take your earbuds out. ‘No.’ Put away your phone. … They would just look at me with the knowledge that there’s nothing I could do to make them do what I say.”
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Read the rest of the [ironic] story here:

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