New Bedford High School Teacher Joanne Maura Speaks Out

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New Bedford High School teacher Joanne Maura is speaking out about the March 24, 2014, chair throwing incident. Joanne states she is quitting her job as a teacher at the end of the year. Here is here interview with ABC6.

ABC6 – Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

According to the New Bedford Police Department, Kemar Omar Roselus, 18 years of age of New Bedford, has been charged with assault by means of dangerous weapon on a person over 60, and disturbing the school, and malicious destruction of personal property. Details and video here.

18 thoughts on “New Bedford High School Teacher Joanne Maura Speaks Out

  1. joey-bag-o'doughnuts

    So, the social engineers, with all the “can’t discipline your child ” bull have created monsters that mommy and daddy have no control over and then they send them to school, which now days is very reminiscent of contemporary holding cells in prisons where the teachers can’t touch them and they better not.

    So, now we have a whole generation of kids with zero self respect and they also have zero respect for others. I do feel bad for the teacher but she probably went along with all the “union” fixes that they were TOLD to vote for.

    Today’s teachers and teacher unions are more interested in the union and their jobs that the kids and their families are the ones that suffer. The teachers will be long gone form their lives.

    I know many teachers that would never set foot in New Bedford High School because the nuts are running the asylum.

    • Rachelle Ruge-Bernard

      joey-bag-o’doughnuts You don’t work in a school do you? Once you do then you might be informed enough to speak on the subject.

    • We’re going through the same nonsense in Buffalo, NY where NCLB and now RtTT is calling for 50% re-location of teaching staff. I’ve got 10 years in and I am wrestling with career choices. Sad to see good people go but the state and the feds are making their bed and they will have to lie in it soon. I wouldn’t recommend teaching to anyone at the present time and I refuse to take student teachers. The top-down legislation made this mess, they will have to fix it.

    • PEOPLE SHOULD DEF GET EDUCATED BE4 SPEAKEING ON THE SUBJECT….I AS A PARENT AM VERY INVOLVED IN MY SONS EDUCATION….THERE ARE SOME BAD TEACHERS …BUT THE GOOD TEACHERS SHOULD DEF BE RECOGNIZED AND APPRECIATED…I THINK ITS SAD FOR A CHILD 2 ACT LIKE THAT OVA A PHONE…WAIT HES 18 THATS SUPPOSE 2 BE CONSIDERED AN ADULT…PARENTS NEED 2 BE XAMPLES 4 THEIR CHILDREN…IF U DONT ACT RIGHT HOW CAN U XPECT UR KIDS 2 ACT RIGHT…KIDS NEED 2 REPECT THESE TEACHERS THEY DONT GET PAID VERY MUCH TO TEACH NEVA MIND DEAL WIT IGNORANT PEOPLES BULLSHIT…I DEF HOPE THINGS TURN AROUND IF NOT I WILL DEF BE A PRESENCE IN THAT SCHOOL EVERYDAY…FUNNY PART TEACHERS KNOW NOT 2 MESS WIT MY KID AND MY KID KNOWS NOT 2 BE DISRESPECTFUL…THEY R THERE FOR AN EDUCATION NOT A PERFORMANCE…THIS WHOLE SITUATION IS VERY SAD AND THE FACT THAT ADMINISTRATORS R COMPLAING BOUT THE WAY SHE HANDLED IT…BULLSHIT THEY R JUST BLAMING THAT TEACHER CUZ THE NEWS AND RADIO BLASTED THE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS SO THEY R JUST TRYEN TO COVER THEIR ASSES…UNFORTUNATLY AT THE XPENSE OF THE TEACHERS JOBS….I HEAR THIS IS A GOOD TEACHER…MANY KIDS R SAD 2 C HER GO…AND IT IS TRUE WAT THE TEACHER IS SAYEN THEIR HANDS R TIED:(

  2. IF I understand the story correctly, and IF the facts I read concerning this incident are accurate, then, I, as a 65 year old woman, I have to disagree with this teacher.
    She confiscated his phone charging DURING class, obviously, rightfully so. When class was over, and he asked for his property 3 times, and she said no, I have the overwhelming feeling that she antagonized this young man into a rage, albeit an over reacted and dangerous rage.
    I have grandchildren in high school, and I abhor violence or disrespect of any kind toward a teacher, BUT, I beg this question, WHY wouldn’t she give him his property after the class was over? Even older people like myself don’t like all the dependence on technology, but we do need to understand it, and how important these instruments of social media are, and how very important it is to them. Respect should go both ways. Now, you can snicker, and say you “think” you know what they do with these instruments, and why, but we need to be more open minded, and respect that which is important to them.
    He should be punished for his violence toward the teacher, but she should have given him his property back in the 1st place. Now the media is making her a martyr for all teachers, when in fact, she should be sharing a little of the blame for this incident….again, THIS IS IF ALL THE INFORMATION I HAVE READ AND HEARD ARE CORRECT.

    • Many schools (including my local high school that I went to) had a rule about not giving the phone back until the end of the day. You had to pick it up in the deans office (principal). it is to ensure that you’re paying attention and the phone doesn’t become a distraction again. There’s nothing wrong with that.

      • I totally get that. I assumed this was his last class of the day. If that was not the case, then of course I would yield to the side of authority. As I mentioned, I was not 100% sure I had all the facts. I also agree that phones nor violence have any place in the classroom. And lastly, this young man is of no relation to me whatsoever.
        I appreciate the thoughtful and respectful comments made in rebuttal, and all are well taken.

        • I am the teacher in the video. Our school policy calls for the phone to be turned in to the office. The student is allowed to pick it up at the end of the day. Some students even choose to leave their cell phones in a secured location at their house offices because they obviously don’t need them during the school day. Incidentally, my feeling is that if we took every cellphone that every student had during the day, there would be no time for teaching. At least 75% have them and half of these have no qualms about using them during the day. I DO DRAW THE L,INE DURING TESTS AND QUIZZES. However, the administration recently came down on me during two unannounced class visits and cited me for not enforcing the cell phone policy. When they are unwilling to back us teachers up, then we become discouraged and do the best we can to teach despite the distractions. Just so you know, and it was the first block of the day, about 9 a.m. that this incident happened.

          • I respectfully and publicly apologize to you for ill conceived comments I made concerning this issue. Some very valid and enlightening points have been made that gave me a much clearer picture of what is going on in the high school.
            You, and every high school teacher have my humble respect and admiration for what you trying to do under these very disturbing and dangerous circumstances.
            Again, I would like to thank you, and everyone on here for respectfully “setting me straight”.

          • More important question
            1. On the video recording you specifically ask someone to call the office so why is the principal not under investigating for lying to New Bedford Police Department?
            “Durkin and Kulak only found out about the incident over a week later when the video went viral on YouTube.”

            Thank you in advance for answering this hostile work place question

  3. I beg to differ with “Nana”. Cell phones are prohibited in school. A classroom is not a place to be texting, calling, using social media, or taking photos. Students at New Bedford High School know this. Phones that are out are supposed to be taken and given to the office. I think the teacher actually states that in the video, calmly and respectfully. The student knew the rule, knew that the phone could be picked up at the office, and chose to act aggressively and violently toward the teacher. The student had placed his phone on a charger and plugged it in in the classroom! Whether the student agreed with the rules or not, there was NO justification in his behavior – no matter “how very important it is to them”. He could take it up with the administrator later if he felt he was being treated unfairly.
    Parents wonder why their children are not succeeding in school? Their children are inattentive, using electronic devices while the teacher is instructing them. Phones have NO PLACE in a classroom.

    • Speaking as a former public school teacher (10 years’ experience) who was also the victim of an assault – cell phones need to be legislated out of schools. We remove the phone usage of anyone under 21 years of age. We make using a phone for any reason an offense similar to a speeding violation – there is a financial penalty attached ($100 let’s say). If you get enough violations, you get suspended for a day. Then a week. On strike 3, you get removed from the school community. Evidently, an offender of that degree has no real desire to learn anyway. This law would be a federal law. It would not incur criminal penalties. It would, however, incur civil penalties and number of infringements could be attached to student college applications as well as future job applications. We need to send a serious message to teens that using cellphones in school is not OK. Unfortunately, the only language that speaks to anyone who would willfully and continually violate the norms and regulations of an institution like a school is monetary penalty. We have speeding tickets. We have parking tickets. We have financial penalties for men who divorce their wives. Why not a financial penalty for willful teenagers who refuse to comply with the simplest of requests – to put your phone away and listen while someone is trying to educate you.

  4. This is a reply for Nana.
    As I understand it not ‘ALL’ Schools have the same policy regarding electronics (cellphones) in classrooms.
    I believe, though, if a student is caught with a cellphone the teacher has the right to take the phone and turn it into the office, and at the end of the school day, and ONLY at the end of the day will the student get his phone back. (I presume so that the same scene doesn’t get played out throughout the day). That is to answer your question on why the teacher didn’t return this young man’s property (he is 18 and a young man he is).
    NOW, to answer the other reference you made as to the making of the teacher into a martyr, perhaps you (understandably as a nana) do not understand what has been going on at N.B.H.S. The teaching staff has had their hands tied behind their backs and the new superintendent isn’t in a position to make matters better. In fact, some teachers were fired earlier and and state issued teachers were to replace them and this school has become a ‘playground’ for these kids know that teachers have lost their power to discipline thus, the end result is children with no respect for adults, most especially teachers. Mostly, due to the fact that they know that teachers cannot do anything to reprimand them. When a student is found doing something wrong, it’s the teacher that gets called into question and not the student. This young man should of been expelled and on that day! and charged as an adult AND have this incident go on his permanent record AND follow him wherever he tries to apply for a job. Because clearly, he has no respect for a parent, a boss, a teacher or any adult. May I add, that your view is so backwards, its so unbelievable, almost like you’re this kids relative. His parents should be ashamed of his behavior AND they should make him apologize (in public, if possible, and on video, just like the one we see). Lack of fear of consequences is to blame.
    You speak of respect, yet clearly, this young man has no idea the meaning of the word. It’s just a shame, that you seem to be taking this young man’s point of view, even after seeing how he is clearly in the wrong. Worst yet, is the fact that the older folk (such as you, Nana) are always wondering where is the respect for their elders. I for one, did not see an ounce of respect. A shame you didn’t either.

  5. Chrissy lafleur

    Nana- it’s because so many people “assume” they have the facts and knowledge to make such comments as yours that our system is falling apart. Educate yourself! Read up on policies and ask questions… Then you should respond. Simply saying that you “assume” it was the last class of the day tells me you may assume a lot of other facts, too. You do know what the say about assuming, I assume?

  6. As a former high school teacher who was physically assaulted by a student and, as a result, developed life- altering PTSD, I have to stress that a student assaulting a teacher is not only totally unacceptable but illegal! What is this talk about whether he should have been allowed to have his cell phone (no, if that was the rule!). And what is this nonsense about the superintendent not being informed? He or she should not be in that job if he/she doesn’t know what is going on in the school. I advise the teacher to see a doctor and therapist as soon as possible, and to get a good lawyer! Talk about blaming the victim!

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