High school student's classroom rant about teacher goes viral

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by KMOV.com staff and JASON WHITELY / WFAA

KMOV.com

Posted on May 10, 2013 at 10:43 AM

DUNCANVILLE — A YouTube video of a Duncanville High School student giving his history teacher a lesson has gone viral, and has his district talking.

"If you would just get up and teach us instead of handing 'em a packet yo, there's kids in here that don't learn like that... they need to learn face-to-face," said student Jeff Bliss on the 84-second video clip recorded by a classmate. "You want kids to come to class? You want them to get excited? You gotta come in here, you gotta make 'em excited, to change him and make him better, you gotta touch his freakin' heart. You can't expect a kid to change if all you do is just tell him."

Bliss told KMOV sister station WFAA in Dallas he has no regrets over his classroom rant that occurred on Monday.

"No. Not at all," he said. "I believe that somebody needed to say this."

What he told his teacher, Julie Phung, in his world history class has now been seen around the world after being featured on several websites and shared on Twitter.

"I want to see a teacher stand up and interact with the students, get involved, discuss, talk, question, and get deep into the subject," he said.

The cell phone video taken by another student begins after the teacher kicks Bliss out of class.

Voice mails and an email left for the Phung were not immediately returned Wednesday night.

But according to CBS 11 News in Dallas-For Worth, Phung has been placed on leave with pay. No action was taken against Bliss, according to the report.

The video appeared to strike a chord with Duncanville ISD.

“The district is aware of the video and we are currently addressing the situation," wrote Tammy Kuykendall, the district's chief communications officer. "As a district with a motto of Engaging Hearts and Minds we focus on building positive relationships with students and designing engaging work that is meaningful.  We want our students and teachers to be engaged, but the method by which the student expressed his concern could have been handled in a more appropriate way. We are and will continue to be open to listening to students.”

Bliss told News 8 the situation began when he questioned the teacher about why students did not have more time to prepare for the STAAR test. But he said the conversation escalated after the teacher told him to stop complaining. After a brief verbal exchange, Bliss said the teacher told him to leave her class. That's when a classmate begins recording the video that has gone viral.

In it, Bliss unloads on his instructor's teaching style — specifically critical of her passing out worksheets rather than creating lively and engaging discussions.

Bliss' mother is a teacher at another large district in North Texas.

The 18-year-old is currently a sophomore because he dropped out of school for a year. Only then did he discover the value of education.

"What I soon realized is without that education I'm not going to make any steps forward into my future," he said.

Bliss said he didn't know a classmate recorded his rant, but he's not embarrassed about what he said.

He said the school's principal requested a meeting with him on Thursday to discuss what happened. Bliss said so far he has not been reprimanded.

Watch Jeff Bliss' classroom rant, as recorded by a classmate:

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