Junctionville Elementary reading teacher Julie Parker was fired on Tuesday for looking cross-eyed at one of her 36 students in third hour. The student had just asked if they needed to know what was on the board for the test, and Parker apparently turned from the student she was helping and did something “inappropriate” according to school authorities, with her eyes in the student’s direction.
The child’s mother, who could not be named because this would reveal the child’s identity, told TWP that Parker “deliberately tried to shame my son Martin Weaver with a look that was making fun of a physical peculiarity he can’t do anything about.”
The mother explained that her son “had been diagnosed with eye-attention deficit disorder and is very sensitive about comments about his eyes.”
Parker issued a statement saying, “I never noticed a single thing wrong with his eyes. There certainly wasn’t anything in his IEP, 504, and 2011-Data Test spreadsheet and EOI-3 charts about it. I didn’t make fun of him. I’m not that kind of teacher. I crossed my eyes in an expression of exasperation.”
In the first firing on the grounds of exasperation, Junctionville school officials were adamant. Parker had “crossed the line,” Superintendent Paul Fleming said that teachers today had to make sure their lessons, dialogue “and facial gestures were in alignment with district curriculum and standards of impeccable moral behavior.”
Similar firings have occurred in other parts of the country in recent weeks. In Lansing, Wyoming, an alternative education math teacher was fired for saying she was “excessively tired from this week’s work” on her Facebook profile. School officials cited the teacher for “using incendiary expressions of dissatisfaction with her contractual agreements.”
In Bastion, North Carolina, high school accounting teacher Lynn Snowden was fired for telling a student he “needed to quit being so lazy.” The student’s father admitted to TWP that his son was lazy but noted, “She didn’t have to point it out to him.”
Along with exasperation, dissatisfaction, and honesty, other grounds for termination or suspension of employment of the nation’s public school teachers in the past few months include fatigue, broken-down Hyundais, and bad teeth.
Parker is not appealing her termination and is currently working at the Five Nations Casino, where she has been known to cross her eyes at the customers.