The video taken in the classroom of Success Academy in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, has gone viral. There are more comments on the Internet than I can gather in one post.

Here is one from Senegal.

Here is a story in the Daily Mail, UK.

Here is a story from India.

Russ Walsh, literacy expert, saw the Eva video and reacted with indignation.

He was even more surprised to read comments by parents who defended the harsh actions and comments of the teacher, tearing up a child’s paper and sending her to the corner with a reprimand.

Walsh cites professional sources that refute fear as a motivational tool for learning.

He concludes:

I believe that it is safe to say that many of the children who attend Success Academy schools come from neighborhood environments where fear and chronic anxiety are the norm. The Success Academy school, rather than providing a safe haven for these fragile young learners, doubles down on fear and anxiety and introduces it into the learning environment as well.

There is no excuse for using fear to intimidate or motivate children. It is simply unacceptable and abusive and ultimately counterproductive to learning. Success Academy can boast of its high test scores, but any serious educator must ask the question, “At what price this very narrow success?”

I cannot help but notice in the video that this white teacher is belittling a young African American child. I am put in mind of the plantation of the Antebellum south, where instead of ripping up a child’s paper, the master meted out forty lashes with the whip.

In Slate, Michelle Goldberg says that these tactics are financed by wealthy elites, but not for their own children. It is what they think is needed for children of color. Goldberg lives in Cobble Hill in Brooklyn, where the Success Academy charter in the video is located. She writes: The schools in my neighborhood teach some children to challenge authority, and others to submit to it.