View Poll Results: Do they?

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  • Yes

    115 55.83%
  • No

    91 44.17%
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  1. #1

    Do teachers have a moral obligation to protect students

    As the title says - do you believe teachers have a moral obligation to protect students from harm?

    As a teacher right now, I would protect my students at all costs. The question is - does society expect this from me? Obviously they can't have a legal obligation, but if we were to ever have a massacre where the teacher hid behind their desk while his or her students were killed, would that teacher be forgiven?

    Something I've been pondering, would love to hear some feedback.

    *Update*

    Wow! Some really awesome posts and amazing poll (almost dead even 80 votes in!).

    Something I'd like to add.
    1. There is a legal obligation that myself and any other teacher report abuse. Every teacher knows this because it's one of the most important concepts that we trained on in the beginning. However, I'm discussing idea of an intruder with a weapon.

    Again - thanks for all the responses. It opened my eyes to a lot of different view points.
    Last edited by Minqz; 2012-12-18 at 01:18 AM.

  2. #2
    The Patient Mehbooba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minqz View Post
    As the title says - do you believe teachers have a moral obligation to protect students from harm?

    As a teacher right now, I would protect my students at all costs. The question is - does society expect this from me? Obviously they can't have a legal obligation, but if we were to ever have a massacre where the teacher hid behind their desk while his or her students were killed, would that teacher be forgiven?

    Something I've been pondering, would love to hear some feedback.
    It should depend on that person...if they have a conscience then they might jump in front of a child I guess and risk their own safety to protect the kid/s.

    So I agree with moral but legal - no.
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  3. #3
    The Insane Catta's Avatar
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    If i were a teacher i wouldnt use an entire classroom as a human shield but i dont think i would jump the bullet either...

  4. #4
    The parents entrust their children to the teachers, so I guess a big fat yes.

  5. #5
    I think morally a teacher should (or at least I hope would) do whatever they can to protect the students. Now if we are talking a 60 year old woman / man who is teaching a bunch of 18+ then I wouldn't expect a moral or legal obligation.

    But I kind of expect something different from a teacher who has a class full of young kids.

    Obviously no legal obligation at all under any circumstance, moral only.

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  6. #6
    The Lightbringer Mandible's Avatar
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    No. It is however up to the school to make sure the students are safe.
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    The word you want to use is "have" not "of".
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  7. #7
    Morality is entirely up to the individual. Society may call for certain things to be a certain way, but it doesn't change the fact. If a person values their own life over someone else's, that is entirely their choice. It might be dickish, but it's still their choice. So, no.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Minqz View Post
    As the title says - do you believe teachers have a moral obligation to protect students from harm?

    As a teacher right now, I would protect my students at all costs. The question is - does society expect this from me? Obviously they can't have a legal obligation, but if we were to ever have a massacre where the teacher hid behind their desk while his or her students were killed, would that teacher be forgiven?

    Something I've been pondering, would love to hear some feedback.
    i imagine that our society fully expects a teacher to pull an "in the line of fire" type of thing, while at the same time we bust teacher unions, lower pay, and publicly denigrate them at every turn. because basically we expect superhuman patience and tolerance from teachers while we heap abuse on them. the way this country values teachers is disgusting imo

  9. #9

  10. #10
    moral is not literal so yes. however i think a teacher would be forgiven if he was too scared to jump in front of some rifle wielding psychopath.
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  11. #11
    Brewmaster jahasafrat's Avatar
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    Moral and legal responsibility to protect the students. Teachers are required by law to report any threats made by students (to themselves or others) to the authorities.

  12. #12
    As far as the forgiven part: I think as soon as the news writes that a teacher "cowardly hid under a table" instead of "died in a hail of bullets, a hero", society would hang the teacher by the balls. It isn't cowardly to avert yourself from a psycho, although you still could probably do a little bit more.

    Edit: Obviously there are different parts of this, teachers definitely have an obligation to protect students to the best of their abilities. Again though, gun-wielding maniac is pretty close to where the line should be drawn.

    Last edit: Only time this should change is when teachers are given training to deal with terrorist threats. Can you see that happening anytime soon? How well do you think your typical teacher is going to react in the face of imminent death? We have soldiers in the Middle East trained for years to take on people who want to kill them, teachers sit in boxes with pencils, they aren't trained for this sort of thing. Get into a firefight and see how long it takes your average person to figure out what to do. If it's longer than .5 seconds, you've lost.
    Last edited by Zyzzyx; 2012-12-17 at 11:24 PM.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by jahasafrat View Post
    Moral and legal responsibility to protect the students. Teachers are required by law to report any threats made by students (to themselves or others) to the authorities.
    i think the question is more to taking overt action rather than reporting. at least that's the way i read it

  14. #14
    protection from bad grammar maybe.

  15. #15
    What smelltheglove said...

    Sure, morally it would be right but there is nothing illegal not doing it. If it was expected that all teachers would defend students/kids from everything, a part of the education would be how to use firearms, how to fight and all that.. The most a teacher could do would be to hide as many kids as possible and get away, call police, or if for some wierd reason there is a chance to stop the attacker, maybe go for it.

    Looking at how teachers are treated in many countries, it would seem wierd to demand them to protect kids from a crazy shooter no matter the cost. When all teachers(atleast most of them) are "normal" humans with little to no skills with guns and how to fight.

    I guess next question is "should the football coach defend his players with his own life no matter the cost?" Should the bus driver do it? Should the guy working at mcdonalds do it? you know what I mean.

    I am soon on my last semester, I am soon a kindergarten teacher. Personally I would do whatever I could to defend and protect the kids I have. I say that now, but I have no idea whatsover how I would react if a crazy person came in the door with guns blazing.. I like to think I would react quick and protect the kids!
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  16. #16
    Moderator Kasierith's Avatar
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    You could very well have a personal moral obligation.... but there is no role-related moral obligation for a teacher to be a protector. Your duty is to educate and prepare for the coming world.
    “…the whole trouble lies here. In words, words. Each one of us has within him a whole world of things, each man of us his own special world. And how can we ever come to an understanding if I put in the words I utter the sense and value of things as I see them; while you who listen to me must inevitably translate them according to the conception of things each one of you has within himself. We think we understand each other, but we never really do.”
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  17. #17
    No. Humans have moral and legal obligation to protect each others.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Suizid View Post
    No. Humans have moral and legal obligation to protect each others.
    hmm, i like this answer. perhaps the burden is best spread out on many backs, instead of heaping everything onto a small group of people

  19. #19
    Brewmaster jahasafrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smelltheglove View Post
    i think the question is more to taking overt action rather than reporting. at least that's the way i read it
    Even in that case the teacher is morally responsible for his/her students. Western culture(s) love a hero and stigmatize cowardice. I think Shakespeare's line from Julius Caesar illustrates society's opinion on the matter fairly well: "Cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant never taste of death but once."

  20. #20
    Moderator Kasierith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smelltheglove View Post
    hmm, i like this answer. perhaps the burden is best spread out on many backs, instead of heaping everything onto a small group of people
    If that's the case, than you'll have to define exactly what "protect" is, because that's putting a significant moral and legal burden on every member of society. If a pregnant mother of three sees 5 guys beating up some random guy, I would say she has a moral obligation to get out of the area to avoid being hurt, rather than protect the guy.
    “…the whole trouble lies here. In words, words. Each one of us has within him a whole world of things, each man of us his own special world. And how can we ever come to an understanding if I put in the words I utter the sense and value of things as I see them; while you who listen to me must inevitably translate them according to the conception of things each one of you has within himself. We think we understand each other, but we never really do.”
    XKCD is always relevant. Always.

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