Jeff Bliss, Duncanville Teen Whose Classroom Rant Went Viral, Escaped Punishment. His Teacher Has Not.

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We learned a little bit more yesterday about Jeff Bliss, the Duncanville High School student whose blistering classroom rant against uninspired teachers seems to have struck a nerve. He's 18, but he's only a high school sophomore, having dropped out of school for a year. He's new to, and not yet very good at, Twitter. His mom is proud.

See also: Watch a Duncanville Teen Deliver a Blistering Classroom Sermon on Lazy Teachers

We also learned something about Duncanville ISD, which has dealt with the situation in a surprisingly measured way. They initially released a statement reading, "We want our students and teachers to be engaged, but the method by which the student expressed his concern could have been handled in a more appropriate way."

Superintendent Alfred Ray reiterated that sentiment in an interview with Fox 4.

"I would tell you that the conversation that Mr. Bliss had is a conversation we love our students to have with their teachers," he said. "I think the setting and the tone could have very well been different. I think that Mr. Bliss probably understands that himself, but I tell you that our core beliefs value all of the individuals in our district and we value the input Jeff has as we would for every student in our district."

And they acted accordingly. The district opted not to punish Bliss. His teacher on the other hand has been placed on paid administrative leave while the district investigates the circumstances that led up to Bliss' diatribe, according to The Dallas Morning News.

Both decisions seem designed to let the Internet's attention quietly drift away. They also seem pretty reasonable.

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227 comments
jamessavik
jamessavik

Sometimes when you have a kid with far-away eyes, you look into them and there is absolutely NOTHING there.

dranchman
dranchman

ok the self testing packet argument is not valid. its a SELF TESTING packet folks. it teaches you something.... any of you that got the point of it want to take this over from here??? no hope for the human race.

TexMarine
TexMarine

Duncanville ISD is fooling themselves when they say that they want "students and teachers to be engaged, but the method by which the student expressed his concern could have been handled in a more appropriate way."  That is complete and total bullshit. They put this on the student as if your typical public HS kid has any idea how to handle teacher incompetence and laziness.  This is how the school administration covers up their total lack of teacher supervision and review.

KatieD
KatieD

I saw the teacher in the video.  She may have be afraid.  Uncontrollable young men are prone to violence.  Who knows how many times she's been threatened, hit, spit on...  I have an acquaintance who left a 6-figure job to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher.  She quit in just a few years.  The classroom was more than stressful; more than any one person should experience ongoing and the admin did not support her efforts to rein in the students.

sophee
sophee

The sad truth is that the gurus who control education nowadays have decided that students no longer listen to teachers. Therefore, the way to teach them is to have them teach themselves and each other through group work, cooperative learning, worksheets, word finds, puzzles, web  quests, etc. Anything that avoids the teacher addressing the class. Of course, when it blows up like this they are going to blame the teacher, not themselves.

rain392
rain392

Back in the day, he would have had himself blistered for insubordination or something else.   However, his teacher just sitting there like a crumb on toast, not engaging with him at all in any meaningful way.  That just showed more disrespect even though it may have finally de-escalated the situation.  The boy was right!   Self study packets to high school kids is not teaching.   It is a teacher ducking her responsibilities to inspire, communicate and TEACH the lessons of that unit.   

The best way is not always to stand up and lecture but my God, get creative.   I've taught in college for years and the last thing young adults and adults want is to dig everything out by themselves or be spoon fed it all by lecture and  power points!!  Get them involved, excited and interested.  

 My spouse is taking a cultural geography course in college this semester (at the age of 69).  He comes home every day excited about new stuff he has learned from class discussions.  There are people from all over the world in his class.  Having lived overseas himself with us, he knows how important geography is to ongoing world events. 

This smart-ass kid (said lovingly) appears to know a lot about teaching pedagogy and methodology.   His frontal lobe maturity growth just hasn't caught up with his knowledge.  I'd love to teach him any day!

Laura Smith
Laura Smith

He should be punished for his outburst. It was not the right time to have a tantrum in class. He did not handle that situation very well at all.

dranchman
dranchman

Im sure your next question is, how do I know this...

I was that snot nosed kid. I did the same thing, knowing full well that everything I needed was in my reach if I wanted it. If I had only applied more to my work than my point...

dranchman
dranchman

kind of a catch 22. teachers cant teach those who dot want to learn. this kid doesn't want to learn.... look at him, listen to the way he talks. if he wanted to learn all the information is there for him. Any of you think its your bosses responsibility to make your job interesting? All this kid wanted to do is be a hero. He found a loophole and went for it. Its wrong to remove the teacher and not him. when was the last time you humans took responsibility for your actions? Grow up folks, your never going to make it. 

Joni Espinoza
Joni Espinoza

I can't believe they let him wear long hair to school. Is he even grateful for that or takes it for granted?

stanmiklis
stanmiklis

If and when the conventional systems fail.... the public MUST take a stand.

stanmiklis
stanmiklis

If and when the conventional systems fail.... the public MUST take a stand.

Nearly.normal Jim
Nearly.normal Jim

lol.. only in Texas can a 18 year old former drop out Sophomore in high school be labeled a 'Hero' for staging a BS "rant" against a teacher in a class he should have passed 3 years ago. Bigger and better in Texas yee haw!!!

sampeters82
sampeters82

This is long, but I hope that it will be worth it for some, & particularly teachers. 

I don't need to know that much about the teacher or her situation to know that she is probably not passionate about what she does, & that being an excellent teacher is probably quite low on her list of priorities. Regardless of her state of mind, you just don't handle that situation in that way when student engagement & learning within an environment that is safe to learn from mistakes & share ideas is your main priority. You just don't. Period. I know this for 3 reasons.

1) If there is something going on in her life that is so powerful that it temporarily affects your teaching ability to that degree, then you don't come in because you know that you won't be in a good place to teach others. Sometimes you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of others, & great teachers know when it is that kind of time.

2) IF this were an isolated incident & the teacher was going through something very difficult that was out of the ordinary engaging, safe environment, then her students would certainly not have acted out to that degree assuming that she had set up proper procedures & expectations for classroom behavior.

3) IF there isn't anything out of the ordinary going on in her life, then it's inexcusable on all counts.

I work at a school for children who learn differently. All our faculty & staff must, necessarily, think outside the box in order to engage students in meaningful instruction. It is built into our culture on a fundamental level. I think all of you are right in different ways, & it is my opinion that that's the problem. Teachers, politicians, parents, students, & taxpayers alike are all falling into the trap of the blame game. We're all so focused on the cause of the problem & why it is someone else's job to solve it, & let's use our most basic problem solving skills to realize that neither one matters because at the end of the day we all know & agree on what the solution is, & acknowledge that, in passing the responsibility to implement round & round the circle, we are only hurting ourselves & the children that we love. This is the theme song that I wrote for teachers everywhere at the beginning of this school year, & I think that it is particularly relevant in light of the Duncanville High Teacher/Jeff Bliss exchange. I hope that it can encourage any educators who hear it, so please feel free to share it if you like, or if you don't like it, well, they can't all be hits now can they? http://youtu.be/RelL-PdcCSk

So what is this solution we all agree on? The research, & common sense, have been shouting the solution at us for years while we stand around & pass the buck around the circle. That solution being; excellent, engaging, multi-sensory, relevant training & instruction. We all know it & no one will argue it, but instead of doing something about it, we start talking about why we can't or why it isn't "our job." I have thoughts for parents & politicians, but since I'm not now, nor have I been either, I'll differ to others who's knowledge goes deeper than my untested theories in those areas. However, I am quite experienced as a student, teacher, & taxpayer, so here's my two cents for those groups:

Students- Be proactive about finding out how your brain processes, remembers, & stores information & leverage that knowledge to your advantage. A teacher's differing style (or lack of passion in this case) won't stop you from learning anything that your heart desires. Just knowing & using this one simple thing about yourself will put you WAY out in front of most people that have ever lived. The majority of folks are perfectly content to just let their brain work when it works & scratch their heads & say, "Oh Well!" when it fails. Your mind is far & away the most awesomely complex & powerful thing that you will ever have the ability to wield. You can either focus that power & let it work to open doors for you that even it can't even imagine. Or you can be content to just let it steer you about for the duration of it's life & go wherever it likes. So my advice to students is to follow your heart & take control of your brain.

Taxpayers- Pay your taxes. They'll put you in prison if you don't, & I've heard that prison sucks! 

Teachers- Change it up! Don't be afraid to try new things. "But I can't! I'm forced to focus on benchmarks, common core, testing results, etc..." All these excuses have one simple solution: Engage students in a fresh ways & show them a love for learning. Model for & teach them how to think critically & be problem solvers, & most of them would fly through any test you put in front of them. If you'll do those things well every day, care enough to monitor progress & adjust as you go, & your student's scores don't show consistent, impressive growth, I'll give you $1,000,000. (Disclaimer 1: I don't actually have $1,000,000. As I said, I am a teacher) (Disclaimer 2: Students with dyslexia, ADHD, & other learning differences will continue to struggle, however, they will still show much greater improvement when engaged & taught using multi-sensory instruction vs. the WAY outdated, "Remediate, Lecture, Model, Practice, Repeat until mastered," strategy used by many traditional special ed pull out programs, special remediation focused schools, & cavemen. Unfortunately, this will always be true until more valid & accurate ways to test the knowledge of these students are embraced. It's also important to note here that the laws of statistics predict that almost any kind of leveled achievement data that you gather on large groups will fall into a curve with the majority in the middle & outliers on both ends.)  Step up teachers & give it all you've got when you are with the students. Still need a reason? It's the right thing to do. Period. We cannot expect students to carry themselves with character all the while showing them that it isn't really that important. Argue with administration about pay, time off, responsibilities, & what not on your time, but don't punish the children (& incidentally your own future) in order to make a point with parents, politicians, "the man," or whoever else you have beef with. Take pride in what you do & step up to the plate. I promise you, it is honestly so much fun once you allow yourself to take the risk & it feels AMAZING!

If you made it this far, then congratulations! Your language based intelligence is probably off the charts! If you have a high level of musical intelligence you probably bolted after the music video, & just skipped to the end. You folks with high bodily/kinesthetic intelligence should feel free to create some choreography to go with the music for me 'cause I wanna make a music video, but I'm not so sharp in the dance dept. Have a wonderful day everyone!

David Pope
David Pope

15 min of fame over get a job punk 18 and a sophomore and get a hair cut

David Duffield
David Duffield

He's an 18yo Sophmore! He doesn't belong in HS he belongs in Community College. Sorry but he should get his GED and move on from such a school.

waggoner51338
waggoner51338

THIS YOUNG MAN DESERVES PRAISE FOR SPEAKING OUT FOR HIMSELF AND ALL STUDENTS. A LAZY TEACHER WILL NOT GIVE THEM THAT.      THEY NEED A GOOD EDUCATION IF THEY ARE GOING TO MAKE IT IN THIS LIFE.    HOORAY FOR HIM!!!!!!!11

BY THE WAY, I  AM A 75 YEAR OLD WOMAN AND I HAVE LEARNED A LOT IN MY LIFETIME.   THIS BOY IS RIGHT!!!!

Vaun Norwood
Vaun Norwood

If u want change speak up! im glad he did it and put it out for the rest of us to see how bad DISD really is.

Sarah Seymour
Sarah Seymour

I love this! He is right! Her poor attitude needs to be evaluated by the district!

1967barrientos
1967barrientos

"The current conventional food system not only is not very healthy but also unsustainable and we don't have enough young farmers." Using well need health way. We can build small business owners by growing organic produce, fish and livestock.As a society we have been drawn away from organic foods and the skills to cook and produce them. Trinity agricultural and culinary will bring back more organic food through aquaponics. with an education program.


This is just the start of the process for our youths whom we must teach to take these natural foods and learn culinary skills, and  the School will cultivate entruapernal programs.


Give a child food and he will eat for that day, teach him to grow and he will cook what he will eat for the rest of his life.   

Vertical greenhouse

The key is Vertical greenhouse that give the ability to grow crops all year around so not only would this feed the students, It would also put out extra natural organic foods that students could even start a small produce business.


The Lower level of greenhouse would contain fish tanks to support fish and the fish would also supply a fish market, this would give student the ability to be entrupernals, after 1 year we even could start with livestock Cows, Goats, chickens and pigs. to complement a Meat market so that  youths could learn to grow livestock and work with others to interact and market to business to create small business owners. The opportunity is limitless of the kind of Business we could start. One final thing, the school would have a sustainable department that would work. on our country's fossil fuel dependency and the schools dependency on outside energy. Once this energy products are invented the students would market them and  install them around the home of the community, with in turn would start up new business and create. our ultimate goal. business owners “entrepreneurs”


https://www.facebook.com/pages/Trinity-Park-and-School-of-Agriculture-Culinary-Art/143281459187290?ref=hl


1967barrientos
1967barrientos

Some times when you speak the truth people lesson, most of the time where more worried about what we need to say and we don't lesson. Duncanville High has a problem with dropouts so do many more schools in this area. the list goes on Ennis, Spurce, malcom High school so how do we reach out and touch a kids heart??? "that should be question" and maybe we should use our ears and not our mouth.

badger2011
badger2011

That is the problem with education no one cares Lisa it is not political it is fact and it is destroying this country . Thanks for contributing

Stacy Geddie
Stacy Geddie

ummmm.... and yes why was there a cell phone in the other kids hand ?I believe most schools have policies...I know that the school here has a policy you can have it on you but you cant have it out .Hmmmm should the child recording it be in trouble?

doug393
doug393

This kid is a hero. He spoke up about the incompetence of the public school system. NOBODY CARES in the system...it's just push the kids along and get them a cap and gown and on SNAP as soon as possible.

dranchman
dranchman

@TexMarine I suppose that's a good point. Problem is that almost everything has come down to the lowest common denominator. The teachers have to pick the worst situation in a group, or any profession or situation, and make that work for everyone. All it really takes is for one guy to spill McDonalds coffee in his lap, us for not questioning why the hell he thought his no no spot was a good cup holder, and award him money for being stupid. should we punish the teacher for blanketing and making them work for themselves? or should we punish the kid for fighting for what he believed was right the way he saw it? Not sure about anyone else but I saw a lot of things wrong at 20 that at 30 weren't as wrong as  it thought they were.

dranchman
dranchman

@KatieD too bad they cant teach common sense and observational skills. but its true. the administration is the same relationship as a ceo or manager to the workers. people have become so specialized in one area that they skipped over basic comprehension or are so far removed from the environment that their ideas seem completely retarded.

dranchman
dranchman

@rain392 it sucked at the time, but looking back I don't recall ever getting a whoopin I didn't deserve.

dranchman
dranchman

@David Pope well said. while this isn't always true ( exceptions to every rule ) basic observation dictates it.

sylvanus93
sylvanus93

@David Pope Fuck you. you got jowls like porky pig. lose some weight, them maybe he will get a hair cut

NightSand
NightSand

@David Duffield What do you think he is trying to do?  

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@waggoner51338 

Time to learn where the CAPS LOCK button on your keyboard is located.

You're never too old to learn!

KatieD
KatieD

@waggoner51338  You don't know the whole story.  The poor teacher has put up with idiot students and parents her entire career. 

KatieD
KatieD

@Sarah Seymour You saw what, 30 seconds.  You don't know what you are talking about.  She was hoping the kid would leave.  She doesn't need a loser idiot like him in her classroom.  I'm sticking up for the teacher.

notmadeomoney
notmadeomoney

@1967barrientos 

This is so relevant that it blows my freaking mind, man.  Do you have any packets about agricultural policy that I could fill out?

laura_trent33
laura_trent33

@1967barrientos  I will "lesson" to your point if you can "listen" to a spelling teacher. Ignorance cannot hide behind big opinions. 


dranchman
dranchman

@Stacy Geddie theres so many levels of arguent to be had with everything that happened with this its baffling. yet theres very little chance that anyone is accounting for the fact that none of us have all the information on what really happened or led up to this. though all are adamant about our statements from a minute of video, we have all the answers to this particular problem. isnt the human race the best.

TexMarine
TexMarine

@dranchman @TexMarine On the hot coffee - you're premise is flawed I'm afraid. There never was "some dude" who thought his "no no spot" was a good place for his coffee. It was an elderly lady, who suffered 3rd degree burns as the PUBLIC SCHOOL EDUCATED McDonald's associate made coffee 20 degrees hotter than the coffee should have been made. She was sitting in the passenger seat in a parked car with her son when the lid popped off, most likely due to her squeezing the cup with her thighs; check out the documentary HOT COFFEE on Netflix and then maybe you'll see my point. 

We attempt to educate those without ears, and we still put teacher on a pedestal for some reason, when they share just as much as the blame for our societies demise as parents of bad students. Good teachers, whatever that is today, are in an ever shrinking minority.  Mr. Bliss shouldn't see a day of punishment, mostly because he's an adult and can walk out of that joke of a school at any time; the sad part is the 16 and 17 year olds who snicker and sneer, wanting him to shut up so that they can get back to their worksheets and fool themselves into thinking that they're getting a good education. Once they finally settle for a career of low opportunity (McDonalds, BK, TSA, or public service) they'll see Mr. Bliss again, he'll be their supervisor.

NightSand
NightSand

@KatieD He asked her why they didn't get as much time as the other classes with the same packet (other classes were longer periods) and she told him to quit bitching.  

bystandersunion
bystandersunion

@laura_trent33 @1967barrientos  I find it sad that you feel the need to pick on a small point, someone's unintentional typo, to discount their message. Ignorance cannot hide behind big opinions, you are right. Too bad you feel that your 'big opinion' allows you to make someone feel small for a mistake that anyone could have made. I'm sure on occasion you have made an error. Do you feel that in that situation your faux pas warranted you to be schooled on it when your intention was still very apparent? Sort of like what I am doing now, do you feel like my being a somewhat obnoxious person makes me better than you in someway? Because I don't. Having to write something like this actually makes me sorry for both of us. 


dranchman
dranchman

@TexMarine @dranchman and not really to nitpick but when was the last time you found a coffee machine with an adjustable temp control? just sayin

dranchman
dranchman

@TexMarine @dranchman I find this amusing. my premise was flawed though you reiterated it. sorry I didn't remember it was an old lady, but if it was 20 degrees cooler is it still a good idea to put hot coffee between your legs? no, and we award those darwins for being stupid. Im sure its semantics but by your statement of educating those without ears, shouldn't those teachers trying to do just that be held in high standards for attempting just that? It's not that I disagree, not that Im saying the teacher isn't lazy, not that the kid shouldn't stand up for what he believes. but much like your response, there is an emotional response that must be removed from the action. even you skipped over what was being said, and attacked what you didn't completely comprehend. how do we teach the young to make "educated" decisions when we do this?

dranchman
dranchman

@casiepierce @bystandersunion @laura_trent33 @1967barrientos its funny that in an education discussion that this would happen. to make it better rather than accepting the error and "learning" from it, one would choose to rely on the argument that technology should take care of them... kind of makes that kids argument moot eh

bystandersunion
bystandersunion

@casiepierce @bystandersunion @laura_trent33 @1967barrientos  You think a typo, which textbooks, news outlets and common people make everyday is a huge deal in this case? Picking at someone's obvious spelling mistake, which in the age of autocorrect on smartphones and other electronic equipment, is just ridiculous. You are assuming my opinion on education from a comment I made in response to a woman who, like you apparently, does not seem to believe that typos exist. I could sit here and make presumptions about your grasp on technology today and the fallibility of humans. ANY discussion of education should be met by rational and logical arguments. The argument that a typo is any comment on the education of people today seems petty and unjust. I think if you truly understood the problem with education today you would also recognize that in a nation where the standard of education is below average that there would also exist people who have gone through the system, have an opinion, and may not be able to spell, punctuate and form a cogent sentence to your standards but still deserve to be heard. In a perfect world, where you live, where everyone learns to be faultless and educated perhaps common courtesy does not exist. However in my world I think the conversations that people should be having are how to make the changes at a fundamental level within the education system. That you spend your time on the internet policing grammar and spelling tells me that your priorities seem to be askew. Education isn't defined by well groomed internet comments or someone's attention to detail on their response to something on a digital forum. To learn is to acquire knowledge. In my touchy-feely mediocrity I know that I could learn more from the person, who typed lesson when they meant listen, than in your half-assed remarked that criticizes the person who was asking a pertinent question of how do we go about educating people better. Keep telling yourself that correcting everyone is more important than asking the right questions.

casiepierce
casiepierce

@bystandersunion @laura_trent33 @1967barrientos This not a small point!!! In ANY discussion about education, people should be able to spell, punctuate and form a cogent sentence. Your attitude is what is wrong with learning (not education) these days, that touchy-feely mediocrity is okay as long as someone doesn't get their feelings hurt.

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