Feb 23, 2021
California teacher slams 'rich white parents' worried for kids' health in deleted tweet: 'Sorry/not sorry'
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A California teacher has provoked outrage for a tweet dismissing "rich white parents" for their concerns about their children’s mental health amid school closures, arguing that it only feeds the kids’ "sense of entitlement."
"All the rich white parents suddenly concerned about mental health can take a seat," wrote Bethany Meyer, a special education teacher with the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), in a now-deleted tweet.
Meyer deleted the tweet after it angered parents. (Twitter)
"Most of them are causing their kids’ anxiety by pressuring them to complete asynchronous work and feeding into their sense of entitlement. Sorry/not sorry," read the Feb. 17 tweet in a screenshot shared by the local news website, SFGate.
Meyer’s Twitter account has since been set to private mode and her tweets are only visible to her followers.
It remains unclear if Meyer has faced any disciplinary action. Fox News has reached out to the Oakland teachers union with a request for a comment but did not hear back by the time of publication.
In a statement shared with Fox News, the OUSD said it had been made aware of a tweet from a staff member that "left many families feeling disrespected and insulted."
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"We are unified around many things, particularly by our desire to provide the best possible education for all of our students," the OUSD's statement read. "As part of this Unified District, we want everyone in our community - students, staff, family members, community members - to conduct themselves appropriately, as we are all part of the OUSD family."
The district urged everyone to "refrain from personal insults or attacks, as they do not help in this situation or any other, and only serve to inflame tensions. If we learn of incidents in which our staff is insulting or disrespecting our families - or vice versa - we will respond appropriately."
Meyer’s tweet bashing "rich white parents" came the same week that the president and three other members of a Northern California school board resigned after reports that they made mocking comments about parents during a public video meeting about reopening schools.
The subject of school reopenings has, like much of the U.S., become a hot-button political issue in California. The debate has continued despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) having said that schools reopening pose little risk for further spreading COVID-19 as long as basic safety measures are followed.
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Parents across the U.S. are lobbying for their children to return to in-person learning from teachers in classrooms as some students face the possibility of completing an entire school year without entering a classroom in addition to the months they lost at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
Fox News’ Brie Stimson and Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bradford_betz.
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Power Outage Didn't Keep Teacher From International Class
By ZACK PLAIR, The Commercial Dispatch
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — At 3:15 a.m. last Thursday, Suzanne Tribble was halfway through her first cup of coffee when a tree fell across West Main Street a few hundred feet east of her home, ripping through power lines and providing a horrifying light show of sparks flying from buzzing transformers.
Then her electricity, along with much of the city’s, was out and would be for the next several hours.
Halfway around the world, a child in China getting ready for his English lesson had no idea how this felled tree would affect him. If Tribble had anything to say about it, it wouldn’t.
Tribble found her husband Mark’s fully-charged iPad, a cell phone to use for a hotspot and gathered candles and flashlights to place around her work station so her face would show well enough on the iPad camera.
At 4 a.m., just in time, Tribble looked into the iPad and said, “Hello, Bao Bao,” offering a familiar Chinese word akin to “Sweetie.” The child on the screen returned, “Hello, Teacher.”
Tribble spent much of the next three hours offering one-on-one tutoring sessions remotely to Chinese children, something she’s done most every day for about three years. Last week's circumstances, she said, were a first.
“We used everything we could find in the house,” Tribble said. “My phone wouldn’t do a hotspot so I had to use Mark’s. ... He (spent some of the time) outside on the porch playing his guitar because he didn’t have his phone.”
Tribble is one of 100,000 teachers in the United States and Canada working for VIPKid, a Beijing-based company with offices in San Francisco that pairs Chinese children, ages 5-13, with one-on-one remote tutors for immersive English. She said a cousin living in Tampa, Florida, encouraged her to apply in 2018.
For the younger children, these 25-minute sessions start with identifying things using English words, but it evolves to reading comprehension and cross-curricular lessons in mathematics and social studies, Tribble said. When she starts teaching at 4 a.m., it’s 6 p.m. in China, and her students often are seeing her after completing a full day of their regular studies.
“In China, there’s a big push for students to learn English in their schools,” Tribble said. “They have to pass tests just to get into high school, and if they don’t pass, they have to go to work. ... Some need the supplemental help, so that’s why they are doing (VIPKid).”
The “big deal” for the program, Tribble said, is to push students to speak English in complete sentences, rather than just answer questions with one word. The older children usually become more comfortable with having entire conversations with her in English.
“Some are only children,” she said. “So they are happy to have a conversation with anybody.”
Tribble, who holds a master’s degree in technical education and a PhD in community college leadership, retired from Mississippi State University in 2017 where she helped develop curriculum for vocational-technical centers all over the state. Her “retirement” still looks a whole lot like working.
Not only does Tribble teach six sessions a day in the winter -- and eight in the spring and summer -- for VIPKid, she also is an adjunct instructor at East Mississippi Community College, teaching courses in human growth development, child and adolescent psychology.
But it’s all worth it, Tribble said, even as her 3 a.m. alarm each day sets her about preparing her teaching workspace in the corner of her dining room, which now is decorated for the Chinese New Year her students are celebrating, for another day of lessons.
“You get to see a smiling face on the other end,” she said. “So it’s kind of fun.”
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