Home U.S 'Inspirational' story about cancer survivor teaching in hospital is slammed as 'exploitation'

'Inspirational' story about cancer survivor teaching in hospital is slammed as 'exploitation'


A story about a Texas teacher who continued to conduct lessons from her hospital bed after undergoing surgery has gone viral — but not for the reason it was intended. 

Two-time cancer survivor Stephany Hume, 50, recently underwent emergency surgery, during which she couldn’t teach her class at Sewell Elementary in Sachse.

But within hours of waking up, she was back to teaching her students virtually from her hospital bed — a story that has been presented as ‘inspiring’ by local news but has been slammed as ‘horrific’ and ‘dystopian’ by social media users.

Go-getter: Two-time cancer survivor Stephany Hume recently underwent emergency surgery, during which she couldn't teach her class at Sewell Elementary in Sachse

Go-getter: Two-time cancer survivor Stephany Hume recently underwent emergency surgery, during which she couldn’t teach her class at Sewell Elementary in Sachse

Nonstop: Within hours of waking up, she was back to teaching her students virtually from her hospital bed

Nonstop: Within hours of waking up, she was back to teaching her students virtually from her hospital bed

NBCDFW-5 shared the story in a recent broadcast and online, with the anchor praising the teacher’s ‘persistence’, describing her as ‘inspiring.’ 

Hume had her mother, a retired teacher, substitute during her actual surgical procedure, but just hours later, she was on Zoom reading to her kids again. 

‘I was asking the doctor, “Can I go now? Can I go now?” And he’s like, “You have a temperature of 102. You have to stay,”’ Hume said.

While her students were happy to see her, social media users have had a very different reaction to the story since it was shared on Twitter. 

They’ve called it a ‘dystopian horror,’ ‘exploitative,’ and an ‘indictment of the government.’

‘No teacher in the history of teachers at ANY LEVEL has ever been paid enough to justify going to these lengths. Doesn’t warm my heart at all,’ wrote one commenter.

Not OK: While her students were happy to see her, social media users have had a very different reaction to the story since it was shared on Twitter, calling it a 'dystopian horror'

Not OK: While her students were happy to see her, social media users have had a very different reaction to the story since it was shared on Twitter, calling it a ‘dystopian horror’

‘This is not heartwarming this is dystopian,’ tweeted another.

‘This is not something to celebrate. This teacher deserves rest,’ wrote a third.

‘This isn’t heartwarming, and unless your story provides context about the crippling horrors of the current healthcare system in America, you’re being irresponsible,’ one more said.

Another corrected: ‘This should read: students in such jeopardy of missing out on skills/knowledge that teacher feels compelled to teach them from a hospital bed.’

And another tweeted: ‘There is absolutely nothing to celebrate about this. In fact, this story is a glaring example of how broken this country is.’

‘This isn’t good for kids,’ chided one more. ‘It teaches them to not respect their health. It presents uncomfortable imagery. The reward is in resting and healing, not self-depletion. Maybe send the kids a motivating audio message?’

Yikes! Hume is no doubt a dedicated teacher, but commenters say that the government should better protect teachers so they don't feel a need to do this

Yikes! Hume is no doubt a dedicated teacher, but commenters say that the government should better protect teachers so they don’t feel a need to do this

'There is absolutely nothing to celebrate about this. In fact, this story is a glaring example of how broken this country is,' wrote commenters

‘There is absolutely nothing to celebrate about this. In fact, this story is a glaring example of how broken this country is,’ wrote commenters

‘This is not a feel good story; it’s an indictment of our broken system,’ said yet another critic.

‘Every parent, police officer, and politician that has relentlessly pushed the full responsibility of raising, protecting, and educating children is complicit in this dystopian horror. Approval of this kind of self-sacrifice is selfish and cruel. Support your goddamn educators,’ lectured another.

One more horrified reader wrote that ‘it’s so uniquely American to pass horrific stories like this off as heartwarming moments and not evidence that the USA is a failed state in decline.’

‘This is barbaric, heartbreaking, and unacceptable,’ argued one more. ‘Let’s be very clear and never forget: somehow, Wall Street was given $3 trillion to keep rich people’s stock portfolios healthy in the pandemic while everyone else was told to go f*ck themselves.’

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