Support for teacher after an expletive-laden rant

What I’m about to say may shock many of you, especially if you think your grandchildren or adult children are angels. A teacher at a prestigious Victorian school resigned after a video of her expletive-ridden rant was shared on social media and caused a storm of protest.

Evidently the students who were sworn at have been provided with support and opportunities for counselling from the school’s wellbeing team. Really, I ask?

I have taught for many years in both state-run and private high schools. The majority of those students swear constantly in the schoolyard, many times in class and perhaps by year 12, which was the cohort that was sworn at, it is just a part of their everyday vernacular.

Why do they need counselling? Are they so sensitive that words they throw at their classmates and, often, their teachers can cause enormous grief and existential angst. Give me a break.

I feel sorry for the poor teacher. The class is facing the lead-up to their final exams, they have handed in essays that seemingly don’t just amount to poor writing, but extreme inaccuracies and with little attempt from the students to acquaint themselves with the text they have been studying all year.

According to a transcript of the video, many students confused main characters in texts with the wrong indigenous group, wrongly identified the era when the novels were set and the wrong country. Goodness knows how those ideas were presented, or poorly phrased.

The teacher’s voice comes over as one extremely frustrated with the lack of academic rigour displayed by her class. She is teaching at a prestigious school that values it ATAR scores and rankings across the state. It charges very large fees and with those fees comes a huge parental expectation that the students will achieve high scores. That is the pressure this teacher is under. She also comes across as someone who actually cares about her students’ work.

I am not condoning her use of swear words, though she does seem to use them with great passion and emphasis. But this sounds to me like a teacher who does care about her students and who has been pushed to the edge of her sanity by sometimes entitled students who think the world will fall into their laps without any real effort. And who then have a convenient scapegoat, i.e. the teacher, when it doesn’t happen.

I also am appalled that this video was distributed by social media, with all the legal and ethical ramifications of that action.

Teachers are always held to such high expectations, regardless of the pressures they face and the behaviour of their students. Very few professions in the world have this burden of expectation and this lack of forgiveness for a lapse in judgement.

Do you think today’s teachers face enormous pressures? Are students today far more difficult to ‘handle’ than when you were at school? Share your views in the comments section below.

Also read: To spend or not to spend


  1. I agree with you – I feel sorry for the teacher, and the School is hypocritical. Really??
    While I do not like swearing (and don’t do it), I understand the frustration. And really, yes, kids would relate more to an expletive-laden outburst than a tempered one. Especially late teenagers – I had a teenage grandson, so I know.
    But perhaps the bigger question is who uploaded the video, invaded privacy, and I bet was never disciplined!!

  2. Many kids swear non stop and are certainly entitled and know every trick in the book.
    This year they have begun using AI to write their assignments for them and after which they just alter them a little to sound as if it might be something they wrote themselves.
    So I really don’t know how this development is going to be dealt with by schools and a proper assessment of the students ability made.

  3. I worked for 12 years up to 2014 in a co-ed catholic high school in the uniform shop. In the early days, we went from proud mums and nans who were happy to listen to our expertise, with their polite but nervous offspring, to an arrogance that became hurtful and offensive.

    Parents didn’t even bother bringing their kids in for a fitting as “I couldn’t get him away from his game”, expecting us to be able to kit the kid out with a new uniform and assuming it would cause no inconvenience to us overstretched staff to bring items back because they didn’t fit (often creased, soiled from make-up and no original packaging). And the whingers who opened their mouths before thinking, and asked stupid questions like when are you going to get more size 16 second hand shirts in. When we politely bit our tongues and said we didn’t know, the scorn was written all over their faces.

    The one outstanding moment was when a very small new year 7 girl came in and having tried on the tunic turned to her mother and bellowed ” I’m not F*** wearing this”, in front of a shopful of people. Not a single word of apology from the mother. She simply turned and shrugged her shoulders saying “what can I do about it?”

    The lack of RESPECT is rampant among children, and in my opinion the buck stops squarely with the parents. This teacher deserves a promotion, and the students detention. It’s about time parents realised how frustrating it is to give your all to help and guide their brats when you get no sign of recognition for it, from the parents or their brats.

  4. From Past teachers
    And you think the only problem children are in public schools think again. A private school parent is more likely to side with their child than a public school parent. A good case for no phones in classrooms and then no videos can be recorded. Shame on the school for not supporting the teacher better and not disciplining the kids. I had my car petrol bombed by a student and her 2 friends who I tried to help getting her counselling. This was 6 months after I left the private school. There was never any contact from the parents, no apology, nothing, and this was in 1991.

- Our Partners -


- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -