Study: Kids Provoke and Video Many Teacher Tantrums
It's called cyber-baiting, and it's a growing phenomenon in today's electronic and connected world. It happens when students deliberately provoke a teacher to the breaking point.
When the teacher finally "loses it", they video his or her emotional or angry outburst on their cellphones and the video goes viral on YouTube in a matter of minutes.
It's humiliating, it destroys a teacher's morale, and as it has in many cases, it can cost them their job.
Do a quick search on YouTube and you'll find dozens of videos of teachers "flipping out" to the jeering laughter of students -- a music teacher smashes a violin, another spits on a student in full classroom meltdown.
In Houston, gym teacher Sherri Davis was fired after kicking a 13-year-old student to the ground and beating him in front of his classmates, who recorded the incident.
The provocations that pushed the teacher over the edge were not recorded and they were never seen.
A recent survey showed 21 percent of teachers worldwide have experienced cyberbaiting or know someone who was cyberbaited. Many lost their jobs, even though students were the provocateurs.
Students have always found ways to needle the teacher -- the hapless substitute or the instructor who never mastered classroom control and management skills. But now, they have the high-tech tools to shame the teacher virally on the Internet.
Some experts call cyber-baiting another form of cyber-bullying. They say it never takes students long to identify which of their teachers are vulnerable to it. One teacher said they can "smell the fear", and it never takes long for the bullying to start.
And people wonder why half of all new teachers quit and leave the teaching profession within five years.