Does a Bad Teacher Have More Negative Influence On Society Than a Drug Dealer?

We all know that teachers have a huge impact on the lives of their students. They influence their academic performance and impart their values, attitudes, and behavior.

Unfortunately, when a teacher underperforms or, worse, treats others poorly, it can be extremely damaging to both individuals and society as a whole.

Opinion: A Bad Teacher Has More Negative Influence Upon Society Than a Drug Dealer. 

One user took to the subreddit “unpopular opinions,” saying that “A bad teacher has more negative upon society than a drug dealer.” He went on to explain himself:

“Sure, if we’re comparing them individually, one bad drug dealer can definitely hurt a single person much more than one bad teacher. Drug addiction is a pretty serious thing, after all.”

“But take into consideration that drug dealers sell to a very small percentage of the population, whereas teachers are going to impact much more people, teaching hundreds if not thousands of students throughout their entire careers,” the person commented.

Do you agree or disagree with this opinion? We compiled a list of the top-voted responses from other users.

1. You Get What You Pay For

Unfortunately, whilst I also agree that a good teacher can make all the difference, a lot of people fail to understand that you get what you pay for,” Redditor deskbunnies commented.

It is tough being a teacher, with low to moderate pay, limited career advancement opportunities, and having to manage unappreciative students and parents all day. 

To be able to attract high-quality teachers who are passionate about their work, improved incentives must be put in place, along with stricter requirements for the selection of teaching candidates, the user pointed out. Without such changes, the quality of teaching can suffer.

2. Parents Are Responsible Too

“It’s definitely more on sh***y parents or over-enabling parents when it comes to kids than it a bad teacher. Had plenty of bad teachers that I was able to learn from anyways,” another responded.

It is true that poor parenting can have a largely negative influence on a child and their development. You could argue that they have more of an impact on the child.

3. Not Feeling Good Enough

One Reddit user wrote about the damaging effects one teacher had on his self-esteem and how the event still plays out in his mind.

This user had a difficult experience in high school with his creative writing teacher. Despite having won local contests, the teacher was not willing to include any of his work in the end-of-year student project. 

When asked for feedback, the teacher simply shook his head and said that he was not good enough. This experience had an immense negative impact on him, as it killed his passion for writing, and he still struggles with what happened 15 years later.

It’s stories like these that illustrate how the influence of a bad teacher can have such a devastating effect on individuals.

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4. We Cannot Ensure Every Teacher is Great

“Kids have many teachers throughout their school years, and none of those teachers have the kids for more than 20% of their waking hours. Any kid with decent parents will easily overcome a few bad teachers,” fredinNH wrote.

It is not possible to ensure that every teacher is great. However, one user called Eng_Queen pointed out that there are steps that can be taken to reduce the number of bad teachers. 

These steps could include increasing standards for admission into teaching programs, requiring more classes on child development and classroom management in education degrees, and giving teachers’ professional associations or principals more power to discipline bad teachers.

Additionally, annual performance reviews and merit-based hiring raises, and promotions could help to ensure that only the best teachers are in classrooms teaching students.

5. It’s Not The Teachers It’s You

Some people feel that teachers are blamed too often for the shortcomings of their students when in reality, the student is ultimately responsible for their own behavior and academic performance.

This opinion can be seen in one Reddit user’s comment about how “only so much a teacher can do.” This sentiment was received well in the form of upvotes from others.


Bad teachers may have a significant impact on society beyond those students who are directly affected by their actions. Poor teaching has the potential to shape societal norms and values in a negative way. 

The influence of drug dealers is often limited to those around them and those who directly purchase and use drugs, whereas a bad teacher can have a far-reaching influence on society.

Opinion: A Bad Teacher Has More Negative Influence Upon Society Than a Drug Dealer. Do you agree or disagree with the statement?

This article is inspired by Reddit and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of TPR Teaching. This post, A Bad Teacher Has More Negative Influence Upon Society Than a Drug Dealer, was produced and syndicated by TPR Teaching.

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Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

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10 months ago

If you don’t like having a career in education, find another job. No one else has such a powerful union, as many days off (holidays, snow days, it might snow days, teacher meetings, “we all feel like it”) and nepotism is rampant in most schools. Generations waiting in the wings and some of them have no qualifications to teach the subject.