Saturday, April 14, 2007

Black and Blue

Wow, what a week…Let’s just say I earned a whole week’s salary in three days. My students came back with a vengeance and I sense that none of them got anything nice in their Easter baskets. I ended up in a pretty nasty scramble with the 6 foot student who refuses to take his medication on Thursday afternoon. I woke up Friday with a bruise the size of a tangerine on my arm, and had to chat with the assistant principal who agreed to suspend the student, but told me I should have said something sooner.

The struggle started when my student Derek tried to write “You can sock my dick” (his spelling not mine) on the welcome back card for a returning teacher who had been sick for a long while. I got dragged down by the student when he attempted to run out the door with the card. What fries my batter is that Derek didn’t know the returning teacher and had no beef, only wanted to be negative for negativity sake.

On the brighter side, students who saw the bruise were as outraged as other teachers. This was a tremendous surprise! Students who normally couldn’t tolerate me were angry about how I’d been “violated.” It gives me much food for thought concerning the show students put on vs. their true feelings.


Blogger CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Absolutely unacceptable! I hope this situation gets resolved to your satisfaction--and to the student's detriment.

Sunday, April 15, 2007 6:00:00 AM  
Blogger NYC Educator said...

When you are physically assaulted by a student, you need to report it, first to the school, using whatever forms are available. If I were you, I'd report such incidents to the police as well.

If you don't do this, you are tacitly enabling this behavior. That's a very, very bad thing, whether you know it or not.

Sunday, April 15, 2007 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Ms. C said...

Back in October I felt that reporting an incident to the cops didn't help much...even pressing charges. But I did report the incident within the school system, and the student was suspended.

The student actually showed up the day he was supposed to be suspended and refused to leave, ending up with being physically removed. The assistant principal and I are trying our best to get the kid into a more restrictive setting since he refuses to take any medication. "Derek" was suspended for 5 days right after Christmas for knocking down one of our school safety guards, and it amazes me how far the kids are allowed to go.

Sunday, April 15, 2007 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger NYC Educator said...

If I were assaulted by a student I would not hesitate to press criminal charges. Your administration is not reliable.

It's not your job to be assaulted. After school on Monday, walk yourself and that photo over to your local precinct. It's the job of the police to deal with criminals.

Rikers is a more restrictive setting, I believe.

Sunday, April 15, 2007 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Wife said...

You should tell your AP to sock it.

Good for you for doing what you do. All us cute little regular ed teachers are so glad there are people like you willing to help these kids.

Sunday, April 15, 2007 6:01:00 PM  
Blogger X said...

I heartily second NYC Ed's advice. Can you take someone with you for support (like an experienced teacher friend) when you go to the precinct?

And "sock my dick" seems to be a popular spelling error -- I've definitely seen that one before.

Sunday, April 15, 2007 7:43:00 PM  
Blogger Mamacita said...

I was assaulted by a PARENT, and my principal asked me not to press charges, and said that he would take care of it.

The next day, that parent was back in the office, running off coloring book pages for the elementary teachers.

When I asked the principal why this parent was back in our school, he said, and I quote, "She said she was sorry."

I had a bruise the size of a tennis ball on my chest, but it was okay because she said she was sorry.

What I'm leading up to is this: Call the police and press charges yourself. Don't let them talk you out of it.

Monday, April 16, 2007 5:19:00 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

OMG. My jaw dropped while reading this. That kid can sock MY dick. Just kidding. I'm glad the other kids were concerned for you. Jeez.

Monday, April 16, 2007 9:06:00 AM  
Blogger Ms. C said...

Thank you all for the support, I just spent 09 minutes after school today filling out oodles of paperwork for "Derek" and his judge. It's so hard to make changes on an IEP and my AP is realling pushing to get this kid in the restrictive environment he needs.

Monday, April 16, 2007 1:44:00 PM  
Blogger Ms. George said...

The last time I had bruises like that, I was working with developmentally disabled and Autistic people, who at times, could get violent.
I hope that you get justice, in some form. Where are the stories about the assaults on teachers?

Monday, April 16, 2007 2:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OUCH!!! Be safe!!!

Are you coming to No Child... on Friday?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 4:06:00 AM  
Blogger Jules the Crazy said...

Holy cow!! I am so sorry that you have to deal with physical pain as well as all that stress. Best of luck with the charges--keep on pushing until something happens to get that kid out! Let us know how it goes. We're all thinking happy thoughts for you!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 1:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you say Functional Behavioral Assessment? If the problem behavior is not taking meds, someone needs to figure out why (what is the kid getting out of that behavior--is he avoiding the label that gets put on kids who have to go to the office to get meds? does his family have a problem with providing the medication regularly? does it put him to sleep? is he enjoying the buzz of the upper end of bipolar?) Typically the solution to the problem requires a clear definition of the problem, rather than a more restrictive environment (where the problem still needs to be solved and where there may be exacerbating factors in the environment).

When a hypothesis regarding the function of the behavior is formed, and tested THEN you can responsibly figure out if the required services can be delivered in the current setting rather than something more restrictive. This also lays the groundwork for IEP changes. Walking into an IEP meeting with the solution identified (particularly when the solution conveniently makes the student somebody else's "problem"--just saying), and then trying to bring everyone around to agreement is tedious and difficult. But it is also wrong-headed.

I empathize with your frustrations and your bruise--I have endured plenty myself, and there is nothing in me that says that is right. But I do have a concern for effective solutions and preventions that in the end lower the frustration level for all and keep teachers safe.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 9:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry about this. I am a teacher in a smaller urban district, and I was punched in the back on Monday! I was just telling students that they needed to get to class, and that is what happened in return. Unfortunately, I had told the school 3 months ago that this girl needed to be expelled for assault after she punched a girl over and over again in the face during a fight. Of course, they didn't listen to me. This is a sickening reality, but at least the school year is almost up. BTW, the student is up for expulsion.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 6:17:00 PM  

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