Unbelievable: Student Goes Ballistic on Teacher for Not Teaching Her in Class

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

Someone sent me a video the other day, telling me “You’ve got to see this.”  It’s ironic that I received this message because I’d just returned from speaking to an auditorium full of principals, counselors and teachers in Miami, all of whom were deeply concerned about finding ways to educate black children.  Conscientious educators and parents are our most valuable soldiers in the battle for the souls of our children and for that, and they should be greatly appreciated.

But every time you want to applaud the good teachers for doing their best, you then see something like this.

In this video (below), a young girl (as Kanye West might say) goes H.A.M. on her teacher for not teaching her and her classmates.  In a 10 minute screaming and yelling session, the young woman says that she’s tired of hearing the teacher tell one stupid story after another and dumbing down the class to make students feel comfortable.  She is expressing the kind of rage and indignation all of us should feel over the fact that our children are being fed through the educational system like cattle without ever receiving the tools they need in order to be successful.

I am not sure what this teacher was doing to set the young woman off, but there is a deeper meaning behind this explosive dialogue.   While the young woman expresses her concern with the rage of a teenager, the truth is that we should all be outraged when our kids spend more time memorizing self-destructive music than learning how to read and write.  Parents should be livid when they send their kids to school every day and find that their kids haven’t learned a thing.   Teachers should be angry that we’ve got a system that is more concerned with maintaining counterproductive bureaucratic procedures than actually making sure our kids get what they need.

Harvard University historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich once said that “Great women are rarely well-behaved.”  So, while this teen may be breaking every rule in the book, the fact is that she might be saying something that truly needs to be said. The same way that slaves in 1812 had to fight in order to learn how to read, we are forced to fight in 2012 to help our kids to learn the basics in order to avoid a lifetime of self-destruction.  Education is one of the great civil rights issues of the twenty-first century, and these battles aren’t won by being polite.

It’s time to occupy our schools. 

The video is here if you’d like to see it. 

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a professor at Syracuse University and author of the book, “Black American Money.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.



Check Also

Stock Photo by Sean Locke

A Salute to Our Veterans: White House Grants In-State Tuition at Public Universities

By Angela Wills The White House has announced that all recent U.S veterans and their ...


  1. The public school systems nationwide have been failing our children for a very long time. Now, even the children in the schools are speaking out about it! SMH!!!

  2. Jerome Backdoor Tucker

    Is anyone listening to Akeem? He made a very valid point about the children respecting him more than the teacher. Just because these "educated" people have a degree that states they have completed the required classes to be certified as a teacher doesn't mean they are capable of doing so. Everyone doesn't have the ability to be a teacher and everyone can't control a classroom. Everyone doesn't know how to relate to black youth even if you are black. Many of the teaching techniques have nothing to do with relating to the students. I taught middle school in Black Prince Georges county Md for 12 years without a degree, but I had 20 years coaching in Boys and Girls club, mentoring, working with youth orgs, PTA president and v. president. Your best teachers are those who can be honest and present the info from a sharing and experiencial perspective rather than "this is info you need to get and if you don't, I don't care" position. There is a saying, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care" If that teacher were communicating on a level of mutual respect and she had showed them that she truly cared about them and had been presenting info in a relative manner, that student would not have had any kind of outburst. As a parent knows, if you have good repore with your child they will come to you respectfully. Even if you do and they come frustrated it's not about you it's about what they are frustrated about. Just because you are the president of the US doesn't mean you area good one (GW Bush). Just because you are an attorney doesn't mean you are a good one, just because you are a doctor doesn't mean you are a good one. Just because you are a teacher doesn't mean you are a good one. I have to grow and learn to be a good parent and I can't blame it on my child. Having said all that parents have to be involved in their childs education and stand in front of their child if this teacher is talking about weed as it pertains to the students.

  3. I just can not believe that someone would say that a child is disrupting the class when she told the teacher that she would like to be taught…When I was going to school you would have some teachers talk about their life and buisness to the student than teach them what they would take a test on…I am disgusted by a parent who would discourage a child to stand up to whats right…If she was mine I would be proud mother like I am of my own right now…I am glad we have a little Rosa Park in our mist…

  4. To Uche and all the others who wants to fault the student: The main point is the teacher was not teaching the students, and the main fault lies with the teacher. The outburst is because the teacher was not teaching, and the student had every right to bring it to her attention in whatever manner it took to snap the teacher out of the outrageous lack of concern for the students. Without that student's outbursts, we would not be having this discussion in such a public forum.

  5. (12-27-2012) MARK TRAINA'S Message to all the Tupacers, Thug Lifers, Crazy Checkers, African Queens and the "Entitlementers"!

    FACT: Blacks Murder 17,000 Americans annually. Whites Murder 400 People annually.

    FACT: 60% of all Black American Families live on WELFARE, 4% of White Americans live on WELFARE.

    FACT: Young Black Thugs Wound over 160,000 American annually!

    The TRUTH is a REAL BYTCH, but hey Al and Jessie that don't make it any less REAL, or any less TRUE!~.

  6. That teacher should be fired and why the media keep running this conn shooting on tv?they really need to stop it,our white society created these kind of weapons and others,now that tragedy hit their suburb area and white kids died they run it on every news channel for two weeks,run the tragedy in chicago on every channel run the police brutality of afro americans on every channel. Yeah it was sad what happen to those kids its nothing new Now they want to change gun laws because a bunch of white kids died at one time!!! PlEaSE

  7. This is a classic example of a child crying out for help, but most of you see a disrespectful child. She wants to learn, she's in school/class expecting an education & expressing such. I wish I would have spoken up when I was a child in the CPS system, not receiving a quality education. Parents need to start listening to your Childs concerns, instead of brushing them off. Did you see the other ignorant kids in there laughing, throwing up signs…education is funny to them, well its serious for her. Even the teacher was standing there looking dumbfounded. I hope this video causes some kind of action because some students, in other places don't have to worry about getting a quality education. And to all the educators out there, who's aim is to provide a quality education…I applaud you, your work is not easy, but your efforts are greatly appreciated. Parents, if you care about your children, talk to them…their teachers…their friends, get involved in their lives & their schools. Children are crying out, its so apparent…

  8. @Maria Weezy Lloyd
    So you have announced for others you disagree with to shut the hell up. Now what has changed? You pick up on the part where I recommend she tell her parents, but omit the part about starting a petition.

    You seem more interested in starting a fight than problem solving. As a psychotherapist in private practice, I make room on my caseload to volunteer with disenfranchised youth. So no, I am not going to shut the hell up.

    Just because things aren't going your way doesn't mean you should throw a tantrum.


  9. The teacher seemed to have no control or skills in educating young adults.He should be removed.Who hired him.He has no connection to the young people.I support the student , she was totally fed up with his nonsence.

  10. Wow. People are so quick to judge. No one knows the full situation of this incident. Technically, the student can not blame the teacher. It is the school system that is not educating a lot of folks. I seen this happen in my own city. I do not respect her decision to go ballistic as the article puts it, since I know for a fact there were harsh consequence for such behavior. She is bright kid to understand what is going on in the school system. She just did not handle the situation in an appropriate way. Can we blame the parents for this? No. Parents may set an example for their kids, but kids will do whatever they think is right; (even if their decision was wrong).

    • Really Chandra? Have you seen "lean on me" just because the "system" may fail doesn't mean the educators have too. maybe the system need to rise in

      You make 0 sense Chandra.

    • First off my name is not Chandra. And you make no sense. You didn't even complete your sentence. Anyway, my point is if the school system is a failure. The school system lays out the foundation for which the educator is suppose to teach students. Have you ever noticed how the educators who try to rise above failure are usually fired? The school system does not want success. It thrives on failure for what they call "lower" class students.

  11. Pitiful how many "adults" will sit here and criticize the CHILD for standing for something and not falling for anything… Could her delivery have been better? Yes. And I would expect it to be better if she were an adult. She is a child. Show me a child who responsibly handles frustration and I'll show you a unicorn… It doesn't exist. We should dig deeper into this situation and find out the root of the issue. Those of you who are condemning the child disgust me. You're so out of touch with the day-to-day struggles these kids face in poverty-stricken communities. Don't bother to comment if you're not going to educate yourself about the lack of love and attention these kids are getting from home or the lack of quality resources Chicago Public Schools are failing to provide. In fact, I encourage you to shut the hell up if you're not mentoring children in these communities.

    • I would first like to say, I love your comment. I will next like to say, I don't have to shut the hell up, go me, because I am a mentor to those very types of students. I leave the school I work at every time with a tear in each eye, one of happiness and one of anger. I’m happy because I'm able to make a difference, but angry because it's necessary that I do. I find it amazing that I command more respect and following in a classroom than the standing teacher does. Students can really feel the presence of what's real and who really cares. I don't know the full situation so I can't say I back this action completely BUT I do admire her for saying how she felt. Too often, especially in the school system, our children are taught how to be complacent with their lack of education and compliant to the ways of this society. “It’s okay that you’re not being taught TRUE history, if you’re being taught at all.” “It’s cool that you come to school every day and do little to nothing and go home and do little to nothing, that’s how it’s supposed to be for you.” “It is fine that you’ve been failing classes since the 1st grade but we’re just supposed to give you a ‘D’ and move your right along, knowing that you can’t graduate HS without a certain obtained GPA, and since you’re dumb, it’ll take you FAR too long to catch up and will be kicked out of school.” Excuse the language, but that shit pisses me off to see it and know that it’s happening. A change is going to come and I want my name all over it.

    • Keep doing what you do brother… We need you!

    • Akeem DS-TheArtist James God bless you Brother!!!

  12. Why are we giving this lack of discipline child the time of day! What is telling in the video is not the young lady but the young men in the background! There is no excuse in this day and age that everyone can't have a top notch education! It is free! If your intent is on learning that's what you will do! Unfortunately the young men and women of America do not live in a community and households that truly value education.

    As I can tell the learn facility was far better than many of the countries that are out achieving us. Most of the children have more computing power in there palms than the average desktop had a decade age! There are sites online such as Khan Academy that are totally free! And you can reenforce what it is you should have gotten at school. Or you can go to an online school such as K12. (they provide the the desk top for you)!

    I am tired of everyone putting the responsibility on the teachers and the schools! Students are suppose to come to school ready and eager to learn with a certain set of skills before the sit behind the desk one day.

    The truth of the matter is we have let our children down! We are not involved with our children's education. How can we be we are to consumed with the last episode of our favorite reality show.

    People it starts at home! If you are not constantly upgrading our knowledge base how in the world do you think our children will have any value for education?

    Do as I say, not as I do!

  13. The child’s disruptive behavior should not be condoned and she should have gone a more gracious route. That being said, there is also the possibility that she may have gone the more diplomatic road and got brushed off, which sometimes happens in this bureaucratic world. What bothers me as much as the young lady’s abrupt behavior is the nonchalant attitude of the teacher but even more so the laughing and giggling of the male students near the camera on the right. In conclusion there is a disconnect between teachers and students, but perhaps there is even a greater disconnect between teachers and parents but sometimes parents and their children. All of this needs to be addressed.

  14. LOL…what are these teachers being paid for?

  15. The teacher stopped teaching because the students were disruptive and very disrespectful in the classroom. She stopped trying to talk over the disrespectful students. This teacher probably alerted the administration. The administration probably removed the disruptive/disrespectful student(s) from the classroom only to send the student(s)back within 15 minutes. No consequences for disrupting ththe education process or disrespecting the teacher. I see this type of behavior every day. Many parents do not discipline their children. The teachers can not discipline the students. Many students along with their parents fo not value education.

  16. There is yet another aspect which is subtle. Suppose that student has a disability? Yes, it could be the teacher's fault, but suppose the student was, bipolar, ADA, ADHD, etc. Just food for thought. There are a myriad of possibilities.

  17. Many critique teachers with little or no understanding. There is a way to get some understanding by being a substitute teacher. If anyone thinks it's easy, just become a substitute teacher and then post your experience. Further, if the student had a problem she should have spoke to the teacher after class and not disrupt the class. Second, if the discussion was not to her liking the next step would be to talk with her parents. Often teachers are not able to teach because of student disruptions. How many students reprimand fellow students for disrupting the class?

  18. It is so sad, that the majority of black people condone this child’s behavior. The problem with black people is we have created a culture were kids are taught not to respect authority or education. Then we wonder why other groups come to this country and excel. So called black leaders want to blame our problems on racism but none want to hold black people accountable for their bad behavior and actions let alone do any real community grassroots work. If it doesn’t involve the media or critizing Obama they are not interested. smh!!!

  19. It is so sad, that the majority of black people condone this child’s behavior. The problem with black people is we have created a culture were kids are taught not to respect authority or education. Then we wonder why other groups come to this country and excel. So called black leaders want to blame our problems on racism but none want to hold black people accountable for their bad behavior and actions let alone do any real community grassroots work. If it doesn’t involve the media or critizing Obama they are not interested. smh!!!

  20. This is so sad. I applaud this young woman for speaking out. What is equally sad it the taunts coming from the young African-Amercan males in the class. They never thought to shut up, listen and support her.

    Where are her parents, do they care about their child?

  21. Disrespectful students like this young girl is the reason why other students cannot receive their education, and it is why teacher's cannot teach. Someone should have been called to remove her from the class. She should not have been allowed to disrupt the class for almost five minutes or more.

    If she had a problem with the teacher's teaching methods, then she should have told her parents or guardians, and the parents could have contacted the school for a conference with all concerned.

    • In my opinion your ignorant as hell if you see it that way…..

    • and a uncle thomasina, getting paid by the system and doing the bidding of white folks for a check. you should be ashamed of yourself, kids are hurting and your assuming way to much,you dont know what they endured prior to her outburst. and if you see this in many kids why dont you dig deeper and help them…. but no you are interested in them being removed, reprimanded and charged and further harassed by a proven system of failure and fast track to prison and servitude….you are a part of the problem….

    • where are you from?

    • this kind of class goes on everyday. the teacher knows if they aren't getting thru to the class. maybe he just doesn't care. you really can't blame her for popping off the way she did.
      Did you hear the other kids? Sounds to me like h

  22. So what if she was frustrated. There are proper channels to have your concerns adressed without being explosive and emotionally out of control. Is this what her reaction is going to be when she becomes a full fledged member of society? Are we saying that this is the way students should react when they feel disadvantaged? Yell and scream and verbally lash out instead of utilizing the proper channels to get your point across? Good luck in the real world!

  23. I think the student said the teacher is striking. Are teachers striking but still just sitting in the classroom not teaching?

  24. That’s crazy because the exact same thing just happened in one of my daughter’s classes. Her teacher stopped teaching because a few students were being disruptive. Instead of the teacher removing them or disciplining, she just sat there for the duration of the class saying nothing. My daughter says this happened so frequently that one day a student sounded off. Can’t say I blame them. There are enough kids who DO care about their education and want to excel. I say shame on the teacher.

    • Seriously! You try dealing with these unruly children. Teachers don’t get the support you may think. Then if you call for help to many times you are seen as incapable of handling your class! Children should be there ready to learn.

  25. I love being me and I'm blacker than a motha! lmao

  26. I understand her complaints but yelling and screaming doesn't solve anything. Academia is competitive, when I went to public school in NY, I substituted the sub par information I received in the class room with further readings on key subjects. Especially as I prepared for the SAT exam.

    We waste time trying to get others to change, when we would be better off changing ourselves.

    • Wow! You did not listen, this child is frustrated and that is what you do when you are ignored and treated as if you don't exist you SHOUT. I was ashamed to see the males laughing at her and not supporting her, disgraceful. This teacher should resign and where are the parents. Our children are brought into the world and then abandoned.

    • Yes, I did listen to her.

      If she has a problem with the teacher, she should tell her parents and start a petition to have the issue addressed by the so called powers that be.

      We can't encourage our children to throw tantrums when things don't go their way. Cooler heads always stand a better chance of prevailing than hot heads.

    • Elizabeth Moore
      I am a teacher. We see those kinds of outburst all the time. This young girl was "showing off". She is failing the class, and that is her way of acting out. If the entire class was taped, you would most likely see her laughing, playing, talking, and being very disruptive. The teacher should have called security to take her to the Dean's office. Her parents should have been called, and a parent/teacher conference should have been set up. This teacher should not have allowed her to disrupt the class like that, preventing other students from getting their education.

    • @Ugochukwu: "If she has a problem with her teacher, she should tell her parents…" I guess you missed the beginning of the clip when she clearly said: "I take care of my damn self." The fact that you'd sit here and say she should tell her parents — who are clearly nonexistent — shows how out of touch with reality you are when it comes to children who are raised in poverty-strickend communities.

    • Please retire tomorrow!

    • Patricia, correlation does not imply causation. In layman's terms: you seem to be assuming quite a bit. I don't necessarily agree on the way the student handled the situation, but she did "speak her mind". Aut viam inveniam aut faciam (I'll either find a way or make one)

  27. This likely goes on a lot more than is being reported.

    • Our children are not being taught, it is deliberate to ruin their future. Yes, her English is poor, but when I attended grade school and high school slang and incorrect English was not permitted and that was in the 70s not that many years ago.

    • Are you serious! The children rule the day in school. You talk about whats not allow in the 70's! Do you think one teacher in America wants that crap in their class rooms? No they don't but these are throwaway children! And it aint the teachers that decided to throw them away! Started a long time ago.

      The parent is the first best and last teacher. Parents teach and this is a none issue!

    • I slightly agree with you on that. I believe the teachers that follow suit and allow the child to be thrown away that are the problem. If you don't want things to happen in your classroom, then don't allow them to happen. This world gets people by the throat with theatening their job/career stability if they refuse to do things the way they are told to. As a person in the education field, I'll let my degree go to waste before I let a child do this to me in class, because I'm too scared to stand up to the system and fight for the students. And the parent isn't always the best teacher, some students learn a lot of poor things from their parents.