Mr. Schuester: Exceptional Teacher or Child Predator?

Liv’s Hot Takes

Column by J1 Reporter Liv Birnstihl 

Everyone has had that one teacher that he or she really wasn’t fond of or thought was off in some way. Maybe the teacher graded your test wrong, or made a passive aggressive comment about your skirt length. But, have you ever had a teacher plant drugs in your locker to force you into their club? 

Mr. Will Schuester, from Glee, took being a weird, creepy teacher to a whole new level.

12-year-old me watching Glee was convinced that Mr. Schuester was an exceptional teacher who just deeply cared for his students. But 16-year-old me was in disgust while rewatching just the first couple episodes and seeing Mr. Will Schuester sing “Gold Digger” by Kanye West and teaching his students how to twerk.       

Throughout the six seasons of the hit TV show, there were countless examples of Mr. “Schue” displaying strange behavior that a student-to-teacher relationship should not consist of. It can be argued that he was just trying to relive his high school years, acting like a teenager to fit in, but honestly, the fact of the matter is that he was a predatory man who deserved to be fired.

Matthew Morrison as Will Schuester. Courtesy of Fox.

Yes, Glee had its fair share of strange plot lines ranging from the cheer coach trying to overdose on gummy vitamins to an Irish exchange student being forced into a leprechaun identity crisis. Yet, even though Mr. Schue was consistently a weird guy, it was overlooked by viewers at the time. It wasn’t until fairly recently that fans began to notice Mr. Schue’s predatory behavior. 

It’s important to recognize that while Mr. Schuester’s behavior can be seen as something to make fun of for the sake of the humorous nature of the show, inappropriate behavior by teachers projected onto a student is never okay.

In the last six years, 56 Omaha educators have been charged with sexual misconduct towards students. That means that every year, about nine teachers are found guilty on the basis of inappropriate behavior with students. This is just in Omaha. According to the U.S. Department of Education, about 1 in 10 students will experience sexual misconduct from a school employee before they graduate high school. While Mr. Schuester never displayed obvious examples of sexual misconduct, enough to the point of a charge against him, he still was clearly written to be a borderline predatory character that has been dismissed by viewers. 

Yes, Glee had its fair share of fun impromptu musical numbers and quirky dance routines, but while the behavior of Will Schuester can be seen as more satire in an already satirical show, a teacher’s inappropriate behavior towards a student is never okay. I continue to watch the show on occasion for a boost of serotonin, but I will also be aware of the subtle yet noticeable inappropriate character traits of Mr. Will Schuester, and so should you. 

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