For about a year now, I’ve been puzzling over the case of Matthew Kim, a teacher who a judge just recently ordered the Los Angeles Unified School District to fire.
I first learned of Matthew Kim when he was featured in a series of articles in the Los Angeles Times about how hard it is to fire teachers. According to what the Times found, the teacher unions have been so careful to ensure that tenured teachers aren’t fired arbitrarily or without sound cause that the appeals process can take years. Mr. Kim was one of dozens of teachers being "housed" during this appeals process, meaning that they can’t work in the classroom but have to show up at an office or perhaps call in from home while still being paid their salary.
As odd as this is, I find the facts in Mr. Kim’s case even odder. One fact is that the primary reason why Mr. Kim was dismissed is that he allegedly touched some of his female students in "inappropriate" ways. The other fact is that Mr. Kim is disabled - he has Cerebral Palsy, uses a wheelchair and has impaired speech - and claims that his movements were involuntary when he touched the girls.
Excuse me, but am I the only one who finds this whole thing ridiculous and downright silly? Or am I being totally uncool and not politically correct bringing this up at all?
For one thing, it is certainly curious that Mr. Kim had involuntary movements only around girls and not around boys.
What I find most puzzling, though - and here I venture deep into political incorrectness - is that the school district had someone this disabled teaching in a grade school classroom.
Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s fantastic and cool for kids to have a disabled teacher. (Think of all the prejudice it would eliminate.) And I’m all for making accommodations and being P.C. But, even if Mr. Kim had a bunch of aids, isn’t this stretching it a bit too far?
There are certain thing the disabled can’t do. At least, the disability and its severity should be seriously considered. It is a bit like me wanting to be a fireman.
Am just I being un-P.C, or was the school district too P.C?