What is equal?

Have you ever noticed that certain professions seem to be allowed to have multiple chances when it comes to making mistakes? Let's look at celebrities. For most if they are caught cheating, lying, embezzling money, or say something stupid that is shared online or in the press most of the time an "I'm sorry" and monetary donation sweeps the problem away. The person can then continue in their career with limited backlash and eventually the issue is forgotten.

An example: Robert Downey, Jr. He had alcohol problems in the 1990s. Today he is riding high as Tony Stark/Iron Man and making millions of dollars. Another example, Michael Vick. Arrested and convicted of an illegal dog fighting ring. Went to jail for a year. Then became a starting NFL quarterback, is on TV now as a NFL analyst, and coach for a football team. How many of us regular folk would get that luxary? None.

If a doctor messes up your surgery, you sure for malpractice. If a cop violates your rights you sue and the cop is removed from the force without pay. In education we are held to a higher standard. Every year we are informed about how we should behave. If we go out to a restaurant, even if we are off the clock, we should not have too many drinks because the community will judge us and look down upon the school system. We should be careful on how we post because we could be punished by the school system by losing our jobs. While we interact with children, we are adults too.

I have seen teachers placed in probation just because of a picture that was on their Facebook page that they were tagged in from college, which was 15 years earlier, where they were in a bikini with a martini, because they have to be a better representative of society. I'm sorry, but when you were 21, did you sit back and think "I better not do (insert dumb thing) because 15 years from now someone is going to dig up my past and hold it against me." No, none of us thought that way. We just did whatever it was.

That person in that picture may be the best educator in the nation. One picture does lnot define you. Look at historical figures...

George Washington suffered great defeats during the French and Indian War AND American Revolution. Did we view him as a horrible person?
Abraham Lincoln caused the United States to come apart and saw a Civil War during his Presidency. Yet he is viewed as one of the best Preaident's this nation ever had.
Napoleon loses at Waterloo. Did it ruin his reputation as a French leader?

I know there will be statements of the "me too" movement on this. And I will state that looking at major events where crimes have occurred that could result in life changing events do happen and must be addressed. But, those cases are not the norm. In education we have 99.5% of the kids as no problem. Yet we focus on the .5% and dwell on them. The criminal events in people's past has a similar lower number as well. However, we need to realize that we are all human. We do dumb stuff. No one person is always "on" and 100% perfect all the time. To make mistakes makes us human. It is how we learn from them.

But if we are going to go after the police officer, the teacher, the doctor, etc to make sure they are punished, we have to be equal to celebrities. Occasionally certain celebrities have this happen  (Ray Rice). But often we see second, third, fourth, or fifth chances. Let's make the playing field equal.

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