Teacher sends kids to firing squad for chewing gum​

wheel of misfortune

A Washington state high school chemistry teacher, Kem Petteson, who used a "wheel of misfortune" to punish a sophomore girl for chewing gum by making the girl stand in front of a "koosh firing squad" will continue to be employed by Stevenson High School. You read that right. Ms. Petteson employs a "wheel of misfortune" in her classroom as a way of determining a punishment for students who misbehave.

What would you do if your child's teacher humiliated your child in front of the entire classroom, as a means of teaching the child in question a lesson? Me, I'd be out for blood. That teacher would be feeling the full wrath of my reach, especially when the punishment didn't fit the crime and by the way, an adult humiliating a teen or child in front of their peers is NEVER okay. Not even in the case of these crazy parents who put their kids on the street or Facebook with humiliating sandwich boards with messages of their misdoings. 


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Apparently, the "wheel of misfortune" has punishments like "lose your seat", "lunch detention" and "Koosh firing squad" among many others. The girl caught chewing gum was forced to stand in front of the classroom as the students pelted her with Koosh balls. Now, I'm not "koosh" expert but when you allow teens to throw balls (however soft they may appear to be) at someone's person, you are allowing them to humiliate and bully them, as well as running the risk that the child could be hurt in the process. It is condoned assault.

One student caught the whole thing on camera and that is how it's gotten leaked to the news. Many students are now bullying the girl who is at the center of the incident, saying that she blew the whole thing out of proportion. Of course they are, because they are not the ones who were made to stand there while humiliated and demeaned as koosh balls were hurled at their face while I am sure, other students watched and laughed.

We live in a time when bullying runs rampant. Kids are killing themselves every day because of this kind of stuff. What the hell was a teacher (and obviously an administration) doing fostering that behavior? At my children's school, we have a 0 tolerance policy. If a teacher were to take part in this sort of behavior, they would be fired immediately. How was this "wheel of misfortune" ever even allowed in the classroom, especially with the "koosh firing squad" as one of the consequences?

Effectively, this incident has taken a student who does what so many other kids do every day , a minor infraction, chewing gum in classroom and has now not only humiliated her, it has put her at the center of a scandal and made her an open target for school bullies.

The school's superintendent sent a letter to parents assuring them that

"After interviews with students, school staff and the teacher, the investigator recommended that the teacher be reinstated to the classroom with appropriate safeguards in place to ensure an appropriate classroom environment. The investigator concluded that the use of the wheel was inappropriate, but well-intentioned ..."

I say this is not enough and that teacher needs to take her "wheel of misfortune" down and apologize to the student for humiliating her.This woman knows no boundaries. Honestly, if it were my kid, I wouldn't stop until this lady was fired. She overstepped.

Image via HuffPost Live Video


Topics: abuse  teacher  teenagers  bullying