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Tag Archives: sarcasm

13 – What Do the Classroom and Jerry Springer Have in Common?

Thanks, Red Pill, for calling this one to my attention!

An Atlanta inner-city teacher is tag-teamed by a mother/daughter duo in an on-campus beating involving a textbook, grades, and “sporadic attendance.”

Georgia Mother and Daughter Charged in Teacher Attack – FOXnews.com

WOW!

There are sooooo many things wrong with that picture…I don’t know where to begin! Okay, so we know the basics (at least enough of what the school system is willing to divulge to the news)…allow me to offer a behind-the-scenes perspective.

On the day of the incident, Williams says the pair walked into her classroom during class and began arguing about a book.

Okay, that would be true! I have seen parents and whomever else roaming the halls as they please. In fact, TODAY marks the third time within an entire school year that I have seen the campus police. Our Fearless Leader never leaves his office long enough to know what is happening in the hallways, and if he were in the halls while an act of terror were being committed against teacher OR student…he would be of little to no assistance.

Once again, I will state this once again…There.Are.No.Consequences.

A colleague of mine has had a similar thing happen to her…she had a parent walk in to her classroom while she was teaching…and the parent began to argue with her about a progress report grade! My colleague said that she could not believe that she had to ward off a parent while she was trying to teach.  She could not believe that she was in her classroom attempting to preserve HER safety, as well as the safety of her students…moreover, she could not believe that she had to do it alone! No one came to her aid.

  • The panic buttons in our rooms are not connected to anything
  • There is no emergency attack plan that has been put into place via the Administration
  • Our cell phones do not receive any signals
  • There are no visible campus police officers
  • Most teachers have no means of which to lock their class room door (no key)

The teacher says she asked them to leave, but the mother pushed past her and grabbed a book off her desk. According to a police report, when Williams tried to get the book back, the mother pulled the teacher’s hair and threw her to the ground. Then the mother and daughter stomped on the teacher.

While my colleague got off “easy” in the end result, that was not the end of that particular parent. Recently, this parent returned to campus…to a different classroom…and discussed (with students, no less) all the types of bodily harm she planned to inflict upon my colleague. Students say the parent said,

She must not know that I will fight for my child!!!!

Yes…a PARENT said that…so now we understand where students get the idea that fighting is the only way to resolve differences.

Atlanta Public Schools spokesman Joe Manguno says Atlanta school officials have also permanently expelled the girl and ordered her to pay $500 toward the teacher’s medical expenses.

The question I have is: How many times was Ms. Williams ignored by the Administration BEFORE the Thornton Tag Team beat the crap out of her? I’m sure some types of complaint(s) or concerns regarding teacher/student safety were waged well before imminent danger approached. Also, I am as equally sure that her concerns/complaints were ignored because that’s what THIS Administration does best!

Expulsion and $500 is a slap-in-the-face to a professional! If I were Ms. Williams, I would sue that school system! That decree is not real justice because that student will be re-enrolled by next Fall and Ms. Williams probably will never see her $500.

What I am burning to know is sense when has this type of behavior become acceptable? Too much Jerry Springer? Maury Povitch? Is this a socio-economic staple? An issue of poor family structure? I would dare not say that it is an issue of race because I am a black woman…and I do not, have never, and was not raised to act in that manner…so what gives?

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Posted by on April 25, 2008 in Work

 

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10- Inner-City Administration Rule Book for Dummies

It’s Monday and my stomach is laden with the anticipation, anxiety and dread of another fun-filled week at work. I considered throwing myself in traffic this morning as I raced to work with the speed of an F4 tornado…funny how we race to places we never really want to be!

Jolita Berry and the Waycross, GA cases are sitting in the back of my mind…like an elephant treading on breaking ice. Jolita Berry, an Art teacher who teaches in a Baltimore City public high school, is physically assaulted by a student. Other students record the incident on their cell phones…do not try to help her…they make way for their peer to pelt their teacher, an adult, with her fists. I watched the clip in horror as students moved chairs and desks aside to make room for the fight. Ms. Berry was on the floor, squirming and wriggling like an insect caught in a spider’s web. Jolita Berry was a package of raw meat dropped in the midst of a circle of crazed wolves.

I find the public’s response to be both comforting and repulsive. You see, as an educator, I empathize with those teachers who deal with the daily disrespect of the trade…I take comfort in knowing that there are “civilian” members who support our efforts to educate the gems of our future. Then…there’s the repulsive…the people who contribute in turning our gems into bubblegum-machine-ring plastic (more on this in another post)!

Jolita Berry…what can I say? It’s true. It’s ALL TRUE! And I know you’re saying, “But you weren’t even there!” No…I was not at HER inner-city school, but I am at MY inner-city school…and there is no difference. As soon as I saw her face, heard her voice, listened to the emptiness and sorrow laced within her words…I knew her…she is me…she is every other teacher who is struggling to maintain a modicum of their dignity and humanity while trying to “educate” in a hostile environment.

The Administration? Well, let’s just say that I believe they are all given a generic handbook that pretty much says the same thing, regardless of location (and I’m talking inner-city administration here). If I were to guess, the handbook would read like this:

  • Teachers are to handle all discipline issues within their own classrooms. Teachers are NEVER to send students to the office for discipline reasons.
  • Administrators can/should threaten a teacher’s job if he sends a student to the office or locks his door after the tardy bell and requires that the student has a pass to gain entry into the classroom.
  • Administrators can/should introduce several rules, but never enforce them.
  • Administrators can/should make-up rules for the faculty as they go along.
  • Administrators can/should bully the faculty because they will listen when the students won’t.
  • Administrators can/should walk past fights, arguments, and students who are making-out in the hallway.
  • Administrators should NOT stand in the hallway during class changes because someone may want to speak to them.
  • Administrators can/should tell a teacher he is having lunch when the teacher brings a student, who has severely disrupted the order of class, to his office…and then shut the door in the faces of both the student and the teacher.
  • Administrators can/should allow students to curse, beat, and sexually harass teachers without receiving any consequences.

The world that Jolita Berry describes is a world that exists on a full-time scale. Please do not be mistaken, like some people I have encountered, in believing that her situation is an exception. Due to the lax method of “discipline, students know that they can get away with murder…Maybe that’s what it will take before the community does something to put a stop to this madness, because the Administration and Central Offices don’t care about anything but their test scores.

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/24047456/ (Jolita Berry)

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2008 in Work

 

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9 – When Students Attack…Oh and They Do!

ostrich

“Experts dubious about 3rd-graders’ plot …Nine girls, boys apparently mad at veteran teacher at Georgia school”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23905909

http://www.newsweek.com/id/130150

Okay…my panties are definitely in a bunch! People…come on now…REALLY? …The sweet child routine? Ummmm…NO! I see it happen every day. The biggest bully, and I’m talking Repeat Offender Award for Being a Brat Bully will shove their peers, curse loudly in the classroom, yell obscenities at the teacher, ditch class, make sexual innuendos, etc. AT SCHOOL…but when Big Brat Bully is called on the carpet and Mama Brat Bully comes to the school, then Big Brat Bully transforms into this unrecognizable church mouse…quiet and unassuming…lover of nature and all mankind (bite me). The parents have bought the act and are going to bat for B.B.B., as all the teachers wear their most incredulous “What the French Toast?” faces. All the B.B.B.s I have ever taught are the future sociopaths of the world, and Mommy/Daddy/Grandparents make it worse for these children to learn some good old fashioned DISCIPLINE!!! Mama Brat Bully only opens the doors of the penitentiary/unemployment line/extra-room-in-the-basement even wider by making lame excuses for Big Brat Bully’s inappropriate behavior.

Currently, a case involving children and a murder plan for their teacher is “shocking” the nation! I laugh. Why is the nation shocked? Why do adults believe that little people are incapable of murder…plotting murder…the execution of a succinct murder plan? Wake up America! Your children are not innocent…you are blind! So what if the alleged are 8- to- 10 year olds…they are people, too! Crime does not have an age limit.

In a Newsweek article, Elizabeth Berger, M.D. (child “shrink”) states, “When it comes down to it, the whole weight of the adult world rests with the teacher’s authority. And this is something that few children would have the folly to buck.” I almost fell out of my seat with laughter! Surely this woman is visiting the weed man along with my student’s mama! I realize that I teach an older crowd, however, I do have friends who teach elementary school…and their stories are not pretty, either! The teacher’s authori-TAH means ABSOLUTELY zilch, zip, zero where I work! However, that goes back to improper home training (another blog for another day).

Students do attack, both verbally and physically. I want to take you back to the day our school issued progress reports…the day that I thought I was going to be attacked by a mob of students! Never in my career of teaching had I felt in danger of my life by the hands of students! These “kids,” however, were not joking! After progress reports were issued, they piled into my room with the ferocity of a tsunami. Each of them stormed in my room donning scowls and spewing obscenities from their mouths. “You gone change dis motherfuckin’ grade!” “What the fuck is dis shit?” “I ain’t got no 18! I come to class every day.” They crowded around my desk, leaving me a marginal view in which to map out an escape route.

The hair on the back of my neck rose at attention. I had no help. My door would not lock because I had no key…so the students continued to pour in until there were at least fifteen to twenty huddled around my desk. I looked up into their angry faces and saw that they WOULD strike me if they smelled my fear…this was an important wake-up call for me. I had no help. No security or hall monitors were alerted…I had no way of getting the attention of the administration (and I guess no one thought it strange that these kids were freely roaming the halls and pouring into one room when they were not supposed to be)…None of my other colleagues (who are usually VERY supportive) came to help because I assume that they were experiencing their own private hell in their classroom as well. It was fight or flight…I was left to my own defenses as means of survival and in order to survive, I had to communicate with them in terms that they best understood.

The message is that there must ALWAYS be consequences for those who fall off the path. As an educator, I can only do so much…my impact is not as lasting as the one that has begun in the womb. If you are a parent, and more than one person/teacher calls a personality trait of your “darling little one” forth to you that you find unsavory and difficult to accept…so what…deal with it! Do not stick your head in the sand! You are a human…not an ostrich! It is your responsibility to attempt to steer your little one away from Hitler-esque/David Koresh/Uni-Bomber tendencies! If the teachers tell you that your child is a bully, then chances are…your child is a bully…FIX IT! If teachers tell you that your child has an attitude problem, talks back, can’t sit still…seek medication, counseling, an exorcism, some type of intervention but the bottom line is that you must FIX IT! Do not ignore it! If you do not, then your child will have problems as an adult because those types of issues just don’t fix themselves! …Just ask Ted Bundy.

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2008 in Work

 

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