March 16, 2008

Wake up a sleeping student in class -- and get sued!

Via Joanne Jacobs comes another yarn of overly litigious nitwits:

To wake a snoozing student, the math teacher slapped her palm on his desk. The 15-year-old boy’s lawyer claims he suffered pain and “very severe injuries to his left eardrum” as a result and has threatened to sue the high school.

“Many of us have fallen asleep in class and had the teacher wake us up. But what happened here was more in the nature of an assault and battery,” (lawyer Alan Barry) said. “My client is an extraordinarily bright young man. He’s a computer wizard who works late into the night, and that’s probably why he fell asleep.”

I find it very difficult to believe that a teacher could slap her palm on a desk so hard that it would damage someone's eardrum. If you struck a desk that hard, there'd likely be more damage to your hand than an adjacent eardrum! Only in America, folks ...

My usual method of waking slumbering students is not as ... "forceful." As I wrote in the comments at Joanne's site, when I see a snoozing pupil, I'll quietly get the class's attention, carefully walk over to the sleeping student's desk, grab his/her pencil, and delicately tickle his/her ear with it -- so they think it's an insect or something. The whole class -- including the sleepyhead student -- cracks up at the subsequent (and predictable) reaction.

But will I now have to fear being litigated for instigating acarophobia or entomophobia?


Posted by Hube at March 16, 2008 10:53 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

This ridiculous situation reminds me of the woman from Connecticut who is filing a lawsuit against one of the casinos b/c they did not stop her from gambling. As a result, she lost her home, family and career. What happened to personal responsibility?

The student in question lacks the same.

Posted by: Miss Profe at March 17, 2008 03:13 PM

Oh, with my luck, if I did that, the kid WOULD shove the pencil into the ear canal and put out an eardrum.

I just love the idea that the kid was justified for sleeping in class. And if we do let him sleep? A year from now he'll sue us for not teaching him anything since we let him sleep....

Posted by: Ms. Cornelius at March 19, 2008 06:26 PM


I gently kick the desk leg. After 3 tries, I write them up.

I never touch a sleeping student, the student may be having nightmares and wake up flailing.

Posted by: Candi Cabaniss at March 19, 2008 08:52 PM

I don't touch students but I have been known to accidentally drop books beside the desk of a sleeping student. Gee, I'm so sorry, I must have tripped.

Posted by: Pat at March 20, 2008 05:36 PM