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‘Dare them to come at me’: Leaked Zoom shows US teacher angry with kids over push for return to school

James Crump
·3-min read
<p>Alissa Piro in a video clip uploaded to social media</p> ((Reopen California Schools - Twitter))

Alissa Piro in a video clip uploaded to social media

((Reopen California Schools - Twitter))

A California high school teacher was caught on camera criticising her students over their parents’ complaints about ongoing remote learning, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The San Marcos High School teacher, identified as Alissa Piro by Fox News, was filmed by one of her students raising her voice and criticising several seniors during a virtual lesson on Zoom last week.

Seemingly responding to a student relaying their parents’ concerns about ongoing remote learning, Ms Piro angrily says: “I am so sick to my stomach of parents trying to tell educators how to do their job.

“If your parent wants to talk to me about their profession and their opinion on their profession, I would love to hear that.”

While visibly annoyed by the encounter, Ms Piro then adds: “However, if your parent wants to come talk to me about how I’m not doing a good enough job in distance learning based on what you need as an individual?

“Just dare them to come at me. Because I am so sick to my stomach of parents trying to tell educators how to do their job.”

The video was filmed by one of Ms Piro’s students and was uploaded to social media by Reopen California Schools, a group aimed at reopening schools in the district.

The school district recently agreed to allow children to go back to school for two days a week, after more than a year of remote learning caused by California being badly affected by the pandemic.

Many parents who wanted their kids to return to in-person learning were outraged by the decision and have continued efforts for the schools to reopen fully, according to Fox News.

Although California had a high of 50,000 new coronavirus cases in January, the number of positive tests have fallen significantly over the last few months, with the current seven day average around 3,000 cases a day and 102 deaths.

However, since the start of the pandemic, California has recorded at least 3.7 million Covid-19 cases and at least 60,415 fatalities.

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Towards the end of the short video clip, Ms Piro says that teachers are being unfairly treated by people who do not understand the time and effort that goes into their work.

“I have never once gone to a doctor’s appointment and tried to tell my medical health provider how to treat me,” she tells the students. “You know why? Cause I know nothing about that. I didn’t get my degree in medicine.”

Ms Piro then apologises, adding: “I am going off, sorry. This is my go off period.”

Fox News reported that a parent showed the clip to the school’s principal, Adam Dawson, who called Ms Piro’s behaviour “inexcusable,” but has yet to address the matter.

In a statement to The Independent, Tiffany Campbell, Interim Superintendent of the San Marcos Unified School District said: “As a school district, San Marcos Unified firmly believes that positive relationships and a strong sense of community connect students to learning; that teachers who challenge and care for students make a significant impact on students’ lives; and that excellence is attained when we accept only the best from every individual in our learning community.

“We are deeply concerned about the recent videos that have surfaced regarding one of our employees; this is a matter that we take very seriously and it is receiving our highest scrutiny. As a personnel issue that is under investigation, and consistent with District practice, we are limited in the amount of information that we can share.

“The employee has been placed on administrative leave and will be afforded due process and privacy rights.”

The Independent has contacted Ms Piro and Mr Dawson for comment.

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