High school science teacher suspended for teaching science


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Via Wikipedia:

The Dilbert principle refers to a 1990s theory by Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams stating that companies tend to systematically promote their least-competent employees to management (generally middle management), in order to limit the amount of damage they are capable of doing. In the Dilbert strip of February 5, 1995, Dogbert says that “leadership is nature’s way of removing morons from the productive flow”.


From the article:

Schiller, 43, also was the teachers union representative on the campus and had been dealing with disagreements with administrators over updating the employment agreement under which the faculty works. His suspension, with pay, removed him from those discussions.

Hmmm…administrators certainly are autocratic, but this makes it seem like this was a much more calculated move than just “rules is rules”.

EDIT: I a word


Sounds like he may have had a target painted on his back.


OMG, a teacher is making science fun and encouraging his students to think for themselves. How terrible!


I’m bothered by the fact that the school district feels that it can seize the private property of students for use as evidence in administrative proceedings.


OMG, my middle school teacher would have been sooo fired. He supervised the model rocket club. They coated their rockets with wax and launched them from the school pool. Now that is science :smile:


The school probably also feels it can discipline the students, too, for bringing weapons to school. But just hasn’t chosen to do so. Yet. You know, zero tolerance. :-p


That’s what I don’t get - if it actually believed these were dangerous weapons, the kids would be in hot water. But they’re not, so…


This could have put Bill Nye on the No-Fly list.


But now where will America gets its future generations of scientist and engineers to develop new ways of bombing brown people?


Putting aside the school idiocy in this case, I’m disappointed my kids will never experience the wonderful, practical (and sometimes dangerous) lessons I had at school. The primary school teacher who ran a string from one end of the basketball court to the other, with a straw freely running along it and a soda bulb taped to the straw - pierce the end and wham - instant rocket-powered monorail. Or the high school teacher who put just a little too much sodium metal into a bowl of water. Skittering across the surface, flaming then BANG! We were scared shitless - it was FANTASTIC.

It’s not all bad though - it means that I do these experiments at home with my sons. Burning magnesium; rocket candy; gallium and aluminium alloying: if a litigious society won’t let kids learn these things at school then I’ll have to do it myself. It’s fun for me too, of course, which is a personal upside. :smiley: On the other hand, it it does mean there are plenty of kids who will never experience the joys of experiments because their parents don’t have the science/inclination/resources, and that is the real loss.


Can we get the administrators in trouble for possession of lethal stabbing weapons in the form of pens? Or potential “explosive devices” in the form of the batteries in their cell phones?

And can you imagine the carnage possible if one of them has a pair of scissors in their office? Roughly a hundred people die every year from scissors related injuries!


Did they drive to school? Those airbags have explosives in them. Won’t someone think of the children? Zero tolerance!


Forget the pen angle. Just charge them with criminal stupidity.

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The word “jobsworth” comes to mind as an adequate descriptor for these numbskulls.


I’m hoping the outlaw cachet caused by the idiots in the administration makes the kids in this school want to do more science.

Or win half of all Nobel Prizes in the sciences.

I’ll second that! My school had a “rocket day” for the 5th graders where we launched ours on the baseball field, but things really got dangerous in high school where we had a “thermite day” in honors chem, which was quickly followed by a “group one metals” day. Nobody got busted, and learning was quite exciting.

but… my 9th grade physics teacher did get a talking to (though no discipline) for blowing a stewpot sized hole in a table on the football field with an m80 to teach us about expanding gases…

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Hang on a bit. The LA Times article sez:

Schiller teaches Advanced Placement biology and psychology as well as regular and honors biology.

But these particular explosive thingies are clearly within the realm of Physics. What next - a physicist teaching maths? Where’ll it all end? Mutter mumble bombardier beetle mumble …