Monday, October 23, 2006

Was it a Concussion? Or Just a Teacher's Headache?

First off I want to thank NYC Educator and everyone for all the good advice and support…you all put my administration to shame. Physically I feel almost perfect today, only a sore spot on the back of my head where it smacked the floor, and I’m out of the danger from a concussion. I filled out a load of paperwork today for my line of duty day off and the incident report. My Union Chapter Leader has been MIA the last few days, so I’m waiting on him for the UFT paperwork. Many other teachers as well as the AP and principal stopped by to see how I was today, and I’d feel like a celebrity except for another teacher who got punched in the mouth on Friday and is absent. Rough school, they say. And Mark… (Let me remind you, dear readers, that I don’t use the real names of students) Mark has a hearing on Friday, the principal asked his mother to plead no contest to the charges of assault. According to the principal Mark will be reinstated into the school in a different classroom, after 5 days of suspension.

Let’s do the math:

1 case of assault + 8 written accounts of violent behavior = 5 days of suspension.

That makes little sense, and makes me glad I pressed charges.

Today was a tough day in class, I won’t kid you. My students were all off the wall, even though a few hugged me this morning. (I didn’t know whether to trust them or now.) Part of me thinks they missed me, at least so far that I am a constant positive part in their lives, while everything else may shift and be unpleasant. The other part of me thinks they enjoyed the hell out of their “day off” on Friday when nothing was expected of them because I wasn’t there. Today they worked off a ton of steam, and I never had more than half the class sitting down at any given time. I even became a bit of a laughing stock from a few of the more smart-ass students. “Ms. C, you’re too nice. We’re black, you gotta treat us like we’re ignorant.” This came from one of my smartest students, Ron, who verges on the cusp of gifted…and who can be a real pain. You’ll remember him as the boy I was calling security on because of his cell phone on Thursday. I gave him quite the fish-eye, not bothering to answer. He thought is was pretty funny that his teacher got knocked down. I’d try to talk to his guardian, his grandmother; but she doesn’t have a working phone. Fabulous.

But even though the class was rambunctious and I don’t think any learning got done today, I wasn’t scared. The majority of my students are challenging, not evil or even that dangerous. (As long as you don’t block exits when they want OUT of the classroom.) I very strongly hope that I can get the class back into some kind of shape, I can feel the ground I’ve lost by this whole debacle.

Well, as Scarlet O’Hara said: “After all... tomorrow is another day.”

6 Comments:

Blogger Clinton said...

Bullshit! They're letting this kid back in after he assaults you?

That's it, we're going to start comparison shopping for bullet-proof vests.

And I'm buying you a gallon of Mace and a Super Soaker for your birthday.

Monday, October 23, 2006 1:38:00 PM  
Anonymous nyc educator said...

I'm also very disappointed they're letting the kid in. You'd be absolutely within your rights to get an order of protection which would preclude the young criminal from attending the same school in which you work.

It's good you pressed charges because prison is where this kid belongs. As far as you're concerned, the sooner the better.

Don't the morons who run your school understand what sort of a message they're sending by slapping this kid's hand for assaulting a teacher?

Clearly they do not.

Monday, October 23, 2006 2:13:00 PM  
Blogger Jules the Crazy said...

wow. good for you for pressing charges, and for not backing down with the rest of your kids. someday things will get better! ...erm, as long as the violent kids are out of the school, as they belong. yikes.

Monday, October 23, 2006 3:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Schoolgal said...

I had a problem linking back to your blog since I was using NYC Ed's link. All I can say is that this does not sound right. I do not have a copy of the dicipline code in front of me, but I would like to see what the penalty is for assaulting a teacher.
If it's only a 5-day suspension, then it's open season on teachers.
And I am not sure how any teacher would be comfortable with that student in their school. With his paper trail he should not be allowed near other students. And, I still have many questions about how your CC is handling this.
Prehaps you should call the Brooklyn UFT office on your own to see if this sanction is correct.

I am slso surprised that your principal is giving legal advice to the parent. Any other admin worth his/her grain of salt would want that kid removed from the school immediately. Does expulsion still exist?

BTW I believe you can file the UFT report online so you may want to check uft.org.

Again, I wish you the best of luck.

Monday, October 23, 2006 9:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Ellie said...

One day off? That's all you got from an assault that landed you in the hospital? What do you mean, your UFT Chapter Chair is MIA? He's hiding from his own members? Doesn't he give out a phone number where chapter members, especially those having some problem, can reach him? Go right over his head then and go get those papers filed. Do what you can on line, then call your borough office and ask questions such as why this kid gets a big 5 day suspension and reinstatement in the same school? He has already committed more than one assault, you mentioned that he pulled the hair of a visiting teacher. He is definitely dangerously violent, your administration is as stupid as they come. Please go get that order of protection, and the hell with your sick bank if they didn't give you more than one day off for the LOD (line of duty).

Tuesday, October 24, 2006 4:06:00 AM  
Blogger zippychippy said...

I agree with the posters who said you should get an order of protection, that way the school would be forced to give him a transfer.

What assholes like that kid don't realize is that no one outside of school gives a fuck if their IEP says they are prone to violence. Just think if this incident had taken place outside of school when you were with your boyfriend. He probably would have pounded the shit out of that kid. And that's what's going to happen to that kid eventually - he's gonna end up rolled up in a carpet down by the river or doing hard time at our financial expense.

I've been teaching high school for a long time and thankfully I've never been assaulted even though I've taught in some real hell holes. My advice to you is never struggle for a phone or anything else with a mentally disturbed person. Last year I had four terrible students who refused to do any work. I put them in a group in the back and ignored them. Phone, ipod, sleeping, hats, whatever. The only thing I was missing was the caution tape. After two weeks two stopped coming to class, the third asked to rejoin the class and behaved, the fourth just slept his way into summer school. Bloomklein may want to turn me into a prison guard but I'm not doing it.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006 1:40:00 PM  

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