Rogue Teachers

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Emblazened on the cover of The Province newspaper rag on April 23, 2004 was the headline [which could hardly have been larger] “Rogue Teachers Will Be Exposed.”

The Province has never in my lifetime presented itself as a bastion of journalistic integrity. Owned by CanWest [along with the Vancouver Sun, the National Post, Global BC TV,], The Province enjoys flogging the neo-con agenda of privatizing the commons: public health care, education, assets.

And teachers, aren’t they such awful people. Rogue teachers threaten the safety of our province’s schoolchildren. The article was a review of disciplinary measures conducted by the BC College of Teachers.

Granted, there are some teachers in BC public schools who have been accused of illegal and immoral activities. Less than two dozen by my count in the last year.

Out of 43,000 teachers in BC, that’s a whopping 0.056%.

Even just one teacher who behaves criminally or immorally is not acceptable, but such a low percentage reflects virtually statistically insignificant numbers, making the sensationalism of The Province’s gigantic headine unwarranted. But the headline is also a worry because of the word ‘rogue’. That word these days in public circles is usually used to refer to states: rogue nations who flaunt global order and peace, nations run by psychopaths or terrorists. We think of Libya, Iraq, North Korea, Pakistan, the USA, nations that don’t mind being so far out of the norms of civilized countries that they are to be feared, isolated and eventually attack and pulverized to wipe out their deadly threat.

Rogue teachers, indeed. Let the demonization continue. It sure makes it easier to privatize the public education system when corporate media can paint teachers [about 1/20th of 1% of them, anyway] as moral degenerates. Keep the headlines big. They’re scarier that way.


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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website,

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