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Teachers unions get Discovery Channel to cancel 'Bad Teachers' show

After a pressure campaign by teachers unions, the Discovery Channel has knuckled under and canceled the program "Bad Teachers." The true-crime series, which examines cases where teachers became sexually involved with their students, aired its only episode last week.

Steve Dembo, director of social media for the cable channel's Discovery Education website, said in a statement Tuesday to the "millions of dedicated professionals" in education that "we share your concerns" with the Investigation Discovery program "Bad Teacher."

"We appreciate the support of the educational community for bringing [their objections to the show] to our attention and we are pleased to share that Discovery Communications has decided to immediately cancel this program, removing it from ID's on-air and online schedule," Dembo said.

The National Education Association touted the news of the cancelation, and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten celebrated it:

I was surprised to learn, through a barrage of tweets Sunday night after "Bad Teacher" aired, that Discovery would use its brand to promote such an offensive program. However, I am heartened that it has taken steps to cancel the show and publicly affirm that Discovery Education's mission is to celebrate and support educators.

Every day, educators go into the classroom to make a difference in the lives of our children. Their work should be honored and valued, not bashed, and we hope to work with Discovery to showcase the real work teachers do every day to help kids achieve their dreams.

The network presumably feared that a backlash from the unions would hurt sales of the many educational products that it provides to schools.


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