Candid camera

In the Chicago Suburbs, a superintendent posted edited videos of new teacher interviews depicting new teachers as killers and addicts.

In one of the tapes, (Superintendent Richard) Mitchell appears asking a new teacher “How many prescription drugs are you taking right now?”

And the teacher appears to answer, “A multitude of them.”

Thanks to editing in fake questions, another teacher appears to be planning to kill a principal. Ha ha.

Teachers Lounge thinks the superintendent could use some ethics training. I don’t know. You can’t teach common sense.

Update: The school board has suspended the superintendent. He says it’s because he’s gay.

About Joanne


  1. *sigh*

    I guess the answer, for those who teach (and possibly for anyone) is to flatly REFUSE to be filmed or videotaped for any reason, unless you have a signed affadavit that the tape will not be “creatively edited” or used for other purposes than those you would approve. And that the tapes will be destroyed or surrendered to the teacher when their usefulness is done.

    I mean – don’t private citizens more or less have control over their own images? Wasn’t there a scandal about someone photographing their teacher and then (badly) photoshopping the head onto another body?

    this kind of thing just chills me a little, with the prevalence of camera phones. I’d hate to think of my students videotaping or photographing me without my knowledge and consent, and then using the resulting footage – however altered – to make me look ridiculous or dangerous.

  2. Well, I was thinking that this was another case where people don’t realize how public and permanent their digital communications can be, along the lines of anonymous employee bloggers being “outed”, private emails being forwarded beyond their intended recipients, or Facebook pages being perused by prospective employers. The video on stress and alcohol, in particular, seemed like something that was intended for a faculty meeting but were posted where the public could see.

    Of course, these videos would be wildly inappropriate even if only shown at a teachers’ meeting (they strike me as being straight out of The Office), which is why I wrote, “I wonder how much effect information ethics could have in the face of such staggeringly bad judgment and taste.”

  3. Richard Brandshaft says:

    It reads to me like a joke that went wrong because people took it seriously.