A teacher in Overton County is in big trouble and about to lose his job over a single word and a permanent marker.
The middle school math teacher wrote the word "stupid" across a student's forehead. Administrators found out about the incident and took fast action, suspending the teacher indefinitely.
But the school director plans to fire the teacher, Alex Boles, because his student apparently had a reasonable question answered in an unreasonable way.
"We're here to help the children and not to hurt them," said Matt Eldridge, director of Overton County Schools.
It is a simple school supply, but when Boles used a permanent marker to write the word "stupid" on a student's forehead, Eldridge took immediate action.
"One word can break a child. I mean, I've got three children. I wouldn't want it done to mine," Eldridge said.
It happened last week at Allons Elementary. The K-8 school only has a few hundred students just outside Livingston.
One of them had a question. Boles responded and wrote the word on the student's forehead in front of his classmates.
"The teacher said, 'I was trying to joke with him,' and of course, I said, 'That's not the way you joke with anyone,'" Eldridge said.
Until last week, Boles taught math at Allons Elementary. He was new to the job after he just started this fall. And what many consider a lapse in judgment could cost him for the long haul.
"It's kind of one of those mistakes that's hard to correct," Eldridge said.
The district will allow the teacher due process, but the director said he will insist Boles lose his job.
"When you're in education, you know, you've got a roomful of individuals. And they're looking to you to say the right things to them and give them a little hope," Eldridge said.
As if the story isn't tough enough, what makes it worse for the schools director is the fact the teacher wrote the word "stupid" backwards on the student's forehead, so he'd be able to read it when he saw himself in the mirror.
The extra thought that went into it is especially troubling for those in charge of the district.
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