AV Teacher loses cool with disrespectful student

Swetha Sirupa, Staff Writer

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This past April, the Washington Post article published by titled “Ten problems teachers did not have to deal with a decade ago.” The number one problem listed by the article is “difficulty disciplining students.”

This was the case for an AV Teacher this past week.

AP Psychology & World History Teacher Mark Kushner, is one of students’ favorite AV teachers. However, he has been absent from class since last Wednesday.

I really like Mr. Kushner as a person and a teacher. He’s just a very relaxed guy. He’s really conversational and really nice to be around. When he teaches, its not a strenuous activity,” said Josh Mansfield (‘20).

“Kushner is always there for you no matter what. You can talk to him about anything. Even though he’s not teaching in class right now, he still sends lectures to us so that we’re not behind other AP Psychology classes. He knows his stuff really well and uses examples of himself and makes sure that we all understand,” said Ning Wang (‘20).

Kushner sent a note to his students via the Remind app stating, that he “did not know when he would be back”.

This was brought about by an incident in class last week when Kushner lost his patience with a disrespectful student.

“Mr. Kushner was trying to talk to the class and wrap up the period. He had asked [the student] multiple times to remove his ear buds. He had actually asked him nicely to remove them throughout the week while we were working in class. When Mr. Kushner saw that [the student] still had his ear buds in, he walked over, took the ear bud, and threw it towards the door. Then he just walked back up to the front of the room and finished wrapping up class,” said one anonymous student who witnessed the incident.

The example of disrespect in the classroom is not just going on at Amador.

In a recent NY Post op-ed titled “Failing public schools should be blamed on out-of-control kids,” substitute teacher Cinque Henderson wrote, “Ask anyone who has worked in some of America’s failing public schools and nearly all of them will tell you the same thing: The biggest problem isn’t the quality of the teachers. It’s the behavior of the kids; angry, disruptive, disrespectful kids whose behavior is out of control.”

Henderson wrote how he was “threatened and cursed by students more times than I could count” and it was his belief that “this behavior from kids — coupled with either no reaction or an overreaction by adults — has gotten worse.”

Though Henderson worked in primarily struggling schools, disrespect in classrooms is at a nationwide high.

Here at Amador, the disrespect is different. Rarely will you hear a student yelling or cursing out a teacher, but there is disrespect seen in the classrooms.

“[I haven’t encountered disrespect in the classroom] for many years…[but] a long time ago I had a student that argued against a decision that I made, which for whatever reason, they didn’t think was fair. The student argued in front of the whole class which to me was disrespectful so I deal with it by stopping that situation either asking that student to stop at that moment and if they can’t, they have to be removed from the situation and dealt with privately,” said Mrs. James, math and engineering teacher at Amador.

Similar cases have been happening more frequently around the country, leading to complicated relationships between teachers, students and parents.

“I think [the student] was being very annoying and disrespectful when he refused to take out his AirPods… Maybe Kushner’s actions weren’t the best, but considering what the student was doing, they were understandable,” said Zach Woodall (‘21).

Kushner is still out of the classroom and students have not been told when he will return.  

(AVT Staff did try to speak to AV Administrators, but they were unable to comment on the incident due to privacy issues.)

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AV Teacher loses cool with disrespectful student