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One to watch: Teachers

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Teachers

A Calgary college instructor is fired after one of his students killed, plucked and cleaned a chicken in the school's cafeteria.

A Toronto junior high teacher is sent home after somebody became suddenly offended by some tell-it-like-it-is safe-sex posters that have been up in his classroom since October.

What can we learn from these incidents, class? Well, first, let's examine them more closely.

In the Toronto incident, the teacher at Delta Alternative School asked parents what "hot topics" they wanted covered. High-risk behaviour, like sex and drug-use, was one of the most popular responses. The posters the teacher chose to put up included such phrases as "If you like to f ," and "use your head when giving it."

In the Calgary incident, students at the Alberta College of Art and Design were asked to perform and record an act of protest. After killing and cleaning the chicken, the student dropped it into a pot, as if he were going to cook and eat it.

In Toronto, more than 100 parents, students and alumni came out in support of the safe-sex teacher.

In Calgary, police are considering animal cruelty charges against the student.

Lessons learned? In Toronto, some school administrators still apparently believe the birds- and-bees approach to sex education works best.

And in Calgary, some school administrators believe protest should be pretty and inoffensive, and the truth about the stuffed chicken breasts on the cafeteria menu is too harsh for students to handle.

It's tough, being a teacher. You are supposed to train students for real life, but you expose them to it at your peril.

It's enough to make anybody chicken.

-- David Connors

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 11, 2013 J16

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