Adults are supposed to be responsible and set a good example for young children. This is especially applicable to teachers, who should take it upon themselves to set a good example – not only in an educational sense, but in terms of how to treat others fairly and kindly.
Sadly, plenty of adults are immature jerks who feel the need to take a swipe at others’ self-esteem to make themselves feel better. What’s even worse is that this does include teachers.
A recent example of this is the case of Paris Lane, a 12-year-old girl from the UK who is already self-conscious about her fiery red hair, and was recently criticized about it by a teacher at her school. The teacher even went so far as to suggest she should dye it a different color!
“I was walking around school and heard somebody say, ‘Oi.’ I turned around and said, ‘Me?’ I didn’t really see him. He said, ‘You need to dye your hair back.’ He said, ‘Orange isn’t a natural color.’ I then left and walked off,” Paris said, describing the incident.
Paris was shocked and upset at the incident. She had already experienced mean comments from other pupils at the school about her red hair, so the last thing she needed was a teacher doing the same thing.
Paris confided in her mother, Nicola, about what had happened, and her mom was understandably furious.
“I had actually bought [my daughter] a brown hair dye because she’s getting bullied about it. She was already upset – she’s emotional anyway as she gets called all these ginger names,” Nicola revealed in an interview.
“I told [the staff member] about Paris’ hair and he giggled and said, ‘That’s nothing to worry about, we know ginger is her natural color.’ But it’s not funny to someone who’s already conscious of their hair color,” she added.
It sounds like whoever they told at the school was missing the point entirely. It’s not about hair color, it’s about a teacher going out of their way to be cruel to a pupil for no reason. After all, for many, puberty is the most difficult time of life, and many kids can be extremely sensitive.
The school refused to take the situation seriously. Even though Nicola decided to pay the school a visit, she was met with ambivalence by a teacher.
She explained, “He said, ‘I will write that down. Can I speak to Paris about this?’ I gave him permission and he’s still not spoken to her. Nothing ever seems to get done. Before I used to get a letter home explaining what action had been taken. You’re left guessing and you don’t actually know now.”
They decided to take things further, and so a complaint was even filed with the Office for Standards in Education, but once again, Paris and her mother were met with an uncaring and uninterested response.
A spokesperson for the office said, “It is our policy not to comment about any individual student at our academy. We always aim to develop a positive relationship with all parents.”
Unfortunately, it does not seem like any kind of relationship is being established at all.
Too often people become teachers because it’s a cushy unionized job, and not because they care about children or their wellbeing. Sadly, these people hold very malleable minds in their hands every day, and how a teacher behaves on school grounds can impact a young person for life. They need to be mindful of that.
If the teacher in question would have criticized someone’s skin color, there would be hell to pay, and rightly so. But they demeaned Paris for something which she was born with, and everyone just seem to think it’s funny.
Whether you’re a teacher or not, always try to be a good example to others in your life. Leave a positive impression on those you meet. You’ll be much more memorable if you do.
And if you get your kicks from insulting others, especially kids, then there is clearly something very sad and pathetic about your life. Always be kind. You never know whose life you’re impacting, especially when the other person is at a vulnerable stage in their life.
Here’s hoping that Paris is able to enjoy the rest of her education, and that she doesn’t cross paths with this horrible teacher again.
What do you think of this story? How would you have handled it if it was your kid? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!