Duncanville Student Whose Rant Against Teacher Went Viral Was Once a High School Dropout

Zac mentioned the video in Leading Off this morning. WFAA spoke with the student, whose name is Jeff Bliss. He’s 18 years old and only a sophomore at Duncanville High School because he dropped out for a year. It was only then, he told the station, that he learned the value of an education.

Bliss told News 8 the situation began when he questioned the teacher about why students did not have more time to prepare for the STAAR test. But he said the conversation escalated after the teacher told him to stop complaining. After a brief verbal exchange, Bliss said the teacher told him to leave her class. That’s when a classmate begins recording the video that has gone viral.

In it, Bliss unloads on his instructor’s teaching style — specifically critical of her passing out worksheets rather than creating lively and engaging discussions.

Bliss’ mother is a teacher at another large district in North Texas.

Duncanville ISD has issued this statement about the video:

As a district with a motto of Engaging Hearts and Minds we focus on building positive relationships with students and designing engaging work that is meaningful.  We want our students and teachers to be engaged, but the method by which the student expressed his concern could have been handled in a more appropriate way. We are and will continue to be open to listening to students.

I hesitate to rush to judgment about this teacher without better understanding the context of the incident. Maybe this student’s speech really did just begin as complaining about the STAAR tests, and maybe this student finds excuses to bellyache about his schoolwork all the time, and it was only after being asked to leave the classroom that he decided to pretend this was a noble stand for the future of our country. But, sure, it could also be that this is a lazy, disengaged teacher.

While we’re on the subject of education, I’d like to make my own personal plea to the nation’s educators, as well as to parents: Please, I’m begging you, let’s help our young people to learn not to settle for mediocrity. Let’s teach them to achieve great things. When God created the smartphone, he never intended for videos to be shot in portrait orientation, so that viewers would have to suffer the indignity of watching footage with two giant black bars on both sides. Kids, we can do better. Turn your phones sideways. That’s all it takes.

12 comments on “Duncanville Student Whose Rant Against Teacher Went Viral Was Once a High School Dropout

  1. If I were the teacher I would invite the young man to do some preparation and teach a couple of classes.
    That would be a better way to engage the student than throwing him out of class. Put up or shut up.
    He might actually learn something and it would be a good way to get other students involved.

  2. I personally know a former student of this teacher. The teacher is well known for passing out packets and then sitting behind her desk quietly without doing any real teaching.

  3. They used ‘engaging’ twice. But where were the words, ‘synergy’, ‘traction’, and ‘cutting-edge’?

  4. I don’t think your head brain is developed enough to learn anything useful other than basic hygiene essentials until you reach maybe 30 or 35, and then if it isn’t pickled with booze and drugs, you might…just might have a chance to gain a little knowledge…..

  5. 1. Jeff is too old and should be too mature to be in sophomore classes which is of his own doing.
    2. We have all suffered through classes with teachers that are not stimulating or motivating or are just plain boring.
    His lack of respect for the teacher in front of the other, probably younger, students is not good.
    3. He needs to lose the Ann Coulter look.

  6. I actually had the teacher for my history class 4 years ago.

    Jeff kinda hit the nail on the head describing her teaching style.

    1.Talk about current events 3-5 minutes.
    2.Hand out packet.
    3. Sit.

  7. What the heck is a “packet”?

    ” If I’m here and you’re here, doesn’t that make it our time?” – Jeff Spicoli

  8. Those bemoaning the “lack of respect for the teacher” are what’s wrong with public education. Teachers like this one are never going to come out from behind their desks and teach until, like this kid, we demand they come out and teach.
    The idea that anything can be leaned from a “packet” is so wrong it hurts. Teaching and learning is a one on one encounter, even in a crowded classroom.

  9. I am a teacher and I love this boy. Jeff is the kind of student that keeps me going when the apathy of most of my collegues is bringing me down. Unfortunately, many teachers opt to sit behind their desk and have given up on their students long before even trying to engage them in the lesson. I have heard teachers say that they are just there to collect a paycheck; and I am oftenly told that I work to hard for kids that dont appreciate it. Im happy that there are kids out there that voice their needs and remind teachers of the commitment they made to the community.

  10. A student needs to respect the teacher, good or bad. They are respecting the position, not the ability. If respect is not required chaos will ensue.

    I am not defending the teacher’s method or lack thereof. It seems as though she would make a good teachers’ union member. Her abilities should be dealt with by her superiors and parents, not a student in front of a classroom full of students.

    There is a new superintendent in DISD that seems to be trying to clean house of teachers and principals of this caliber and people are jumping down his throat for it.

  11. Dubious — Your picture of peaceful, passive students suffering incompetent teachers in respectful silence is perhaps reassuring to those adults who have no idea how to fix the system nor any desire to do so.
    I respect respect — in it’s place. But this is not the first time in recent months that a student has risen in open rebellion against a fundamentally irrational education system. And it will not be the last. Kids have built-in BS detectors and they are, after all, the first-line victims of the BS that increasingly passes for public education.
    I went to school with the Jesuits, a group of men who commanded respect in the classroom — and earned it. But there was one Spanish teacher, a layman, who was so woefully inept that his very name became synonym for hapless incompetence. Finally in disgust a group of his third-period students threatened to throw him out a second-floor window. Their actions were promptly punished, but they certainly caught the principal’s attention, and that teacher was swiftly replaced.
    Jeff Bliss’ rebellion was gentle by comparison, but one hopes that it meets with equally satisfactory results. The boys who threatened to defenestrate our Spanish teacher were eventually allowed to creep back to school, tails between their legs. They’ve all done very well since in the classroom of life, having learned something — but not too much — about the need for respect.
    It’s important not to mistake respect for tolerance of the intolerable. We Americans have made that mistake from time to time.