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Teacher Fined $15K for Cursing in Front of Students

Curse word

Is a $15K fine too extreme for a teacher who said a word his high school students likely say themselves?

That’s one large swear jar.

A teacher at Washington Heights in New York City was docked $15,000 for using a single four-letter Spanish swear word in class.

Carlos Garcia teaches at the High School of International Business and Finance and apparently uttered “c—” in front of several students. He denied saying it, but also said it was no big deal.

A judge said the fine was disproportionate and reduced his penalty to just $1,000, which is still a lot of pencils or lunch trays.

“No matter what it meant at some point, it’s now like the word ‘damn’ or ‘hell,’ ” his lawyer told the New York Daily News.
Garcia had been suspended and subsequently accused the Department of Education of using a court interpreter’s X-rated definition of the word when translating student testimony.

The Department of Education, however, argued that the interpreter “provided a literal translation of the word ‘c—’ and that based on the context with which it was used, it could only have been understood as ‘insulting, provocative or profane.’”

In a hearing, Garcia had been found guilty of misconduct for using a Spanish word that can be translated in English as various cuss words. He argued it’s a common expression of frustration or excitement.

Garcia is now teaching at another school.

It seems to me that while it’s not appropriate for a teacher to curse in front of class, this was a high school class who likely has heard — and uttered — the word countless times before. That doesn’t make it right, but anything more than a slap on the wrist seems a bit draconian, old-fashioned, and out-of-touch to me.

Do you think the punishment fit the crime?

Image: Creative Commons

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