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L.A. Science Teacher Suspended for Teaching Science

We've seen what happens to down-on-their-luck high school science teachers, and it's not pretty.


Walter White Teaching

Science can be dangerous, and apparently so can teaching it. A Los Angeles high school science teacher was suspended back in February, because two students made science projects that administrators of the Unified Los Angeles Schooled District deemed “dangerous.” You’re doing education wrong, administrators.

Greg Schiller is a biology and psychology teacher at Cortines School of Visual & Performing Arts, or was, until two students designed experiments that could propel small objects. One used air pressure, and the other used electromagnetism. Schiller advised the students, but claims to not have seen the finished projects except in pictures.

Union representative Roger Scott told the L.A. Times that Schiller was officially suspended for “supervising the building, research, and development of imitation weapons.”

We don’t have the specifics of the air pressure experiment in question, but air pressure can absolutely be used to launch projectiles. Here’s a different example of a dangerous air pressure gun being tested by President Obama—no doubt for its useful military applications:

That’s actually from the 2012 White House Science Fair where President Obama met 14-year-old inventor Joey Hudy and witnessed the awesome military power of his air pressure marshmallow gun.

As for the magnetic coil gun, it was powered by a AA battery. That should give you a sense of its unstoppable killing power.

A substitute teacher is filling in for Schiller, but students claim the replacement doesn’t have the necessary qualifications to teach and that they now essentially have a “free period.” Schiller was supplying the sub with lesson plans, but the administration ordered him to stop. Good call, administration. You wouldn’t want your students actually learning any science in their science classes.

Schiller taught several Advanced Placement science classes that could earn students college credit through an exam at the end of the year, but without a qualified teacher leading the class, those students are a lot less likely to actually pass that test.

The L.A. Times mentions that Schiller was the school’s union representative and was involved in talks with the administrators over the school’s employment agreement. The implication there is that he was purposefully suspended to pull him from those talks, though frankly that would only make this story slightly worse.

There’s a rally today to call for Schiller’s reinstatement, and a Facebook group set up for people to show support.

Good job, administration. You wouldn’t want your students to actually learn any science in their science class. No wonder high school science teachers quit to become murderous drug kingpins.

(We don't really think Schiller is going to start making meth.)

(We don’t really think Schiller is going to start making meth.)

(via The L.A. Times, images via Breaking Bad and Learn It, Live It, Love It)

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Glen is a comedian, writer, husband, and father. He won his third-grade science fair and is a former preschool science teacher, which is a real job.