A Bad Situation, That I Already Want Out Of

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Nab, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. Nab

    Nab Companion

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    So, quick update: we had the new teacher meeting on classroom management today. It lasted from 3:15-6:00. Yeah. It was a complete waste of time. Of the eight new teachers, only three of us showed. But, the principal, curriculum coordinator, and a person from the school board kept us there for two hours and forty minutes to tell us all about stuff we already knew/learned in college. They also blamed us the whole time - there have been sixty-seven write ups in four weeks - forty inside classrooms. So, clearly we don't have classroom rules or procedures. Or we do, but they haven't been stated, modeled, practiced, and reviewed enough. I review classroom procedures daily.

    The principal also sent me a long email asking for the students, who are giving me trouble. I sent her my list and explained the cold truth: I've never seen such disrespect, I have epilepsy and the stress of trying to get these students to understand procedures and to get them up in skill level, has caused me to have three seizures in two weeks. I enjoy teaching and I know I am actually helping a few students, but I cannot do my job properly if these same students (who do the same things everyday) are not dealt with. Calling home and write ups aren't helping. I advised they take them off sports, student council, and other activities until they can learn to act like young adults.

    At this point, I really don't care. I'm going to be looking for another teaching job in November. And, if I can't find out - I'll quit in order to study for my Masters or early elementary certification. I'm an alternative certification person, anyway. I can find something else, if I really have to. I just know I've had some absent seizures - if I have a big one. . .I'm out. I'm not risking my health for students who refuse to even give me basic human courtesy.
     
  2. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    Hey Seizure friend! I too have epilepsy! It blows doesnt it? Health comes first for sure! Sorry to hear about your situation! Hoping things work to the best!
     
  3. Nab

    Nab Companion

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    Hey! Having seizures sucks. I hadn't had one in two years. They were very much under control, not so much anymore.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    At this point, I don't think you should stay until November. Your health is too important. If admin can't get their act together, you don't need to live through this stress. Is there absolutely no job you can take somewhere else?
     
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  5. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    I'm currently long term subbing in a school where the TEACHERS are the problem imo. They're so condescending and rude to me... they talk down to me and act as I'm inferior for not knowing how the school does things. I was hired last minute and nobody really trained me. When they're not being total B****** to me, they're ignoring me completely. I say "Good morning," in the hallway and they just walk right past me without even looking in my direction or batting an eye. They're so miserable.. even the kids seem pained to be here. And the school's not bad. It's in a nice little sleepy, quiet, rural -- farm --town where there's no REAL dangers or threats so they should just be happy kids. Today the counselor (one of the biggest b************ I've ever met) came into my room today to set up my red cat. When I simply asked her, "My what?" She snapped at me, "It's a speaker! And you SHOULD be using it when you are instructing your students!" as if I'm supposed to already know that.
    There have been other things too that make me glad my placement is short.

    So sometimes it's not the kids, but the other adults that are the problem.
    :confused:o_O:cool:
     
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Why wait until November if you could find something now? It doesn't sound like things will improve.
     
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  7. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Agree that health comes first. I know you are super busy, but you might want to see what the doctor says about your health situation.
     
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  8. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Yuck. What an awful situation all around. I hope you find something that makes you happier.
     
  9. Nab

    Nab Companion

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    Sep 21, 2016

    Today twelve teachers from my school went to a special training. (That is half the teachers in the school, by the way. And all the new teachers that were hired this year.) I was finally able to privately talk to many of them. Guess what? They are all having the same issues! In a weird way, it made me feel really good to know I wasn't alone. Everything that I have mentioned or talked about in this thread - they've been dealing with, too. But, since none of us have the same planning period and most of us have duty for the full lunch period, we have never gotten to talk without an administrator in the room.

    It felt really good to be able to openly vent our anger and frustration. A few of them even mentioned that they are looking for other jobs in other districts. And, it made me think - if twelve teachers are having major issues with students. . .there is a problem and it properly isn't just the teachers.


    By the way: I am looking for something, but there is nothing in my area. I am overqualified or underqualified for everything. I am single and trying to make it on my own (no one to turn to, just me) so I need a decent paying job. I live in a city where the average rent for a studio is $700 a month, and the average salary is $10.00 a hour. I'd move, but I don't have enough saved and my state is in a bad place job wise. If it isn't the oilfield, they aren't hiring.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016
  10. sophomorehope16

    sophomorehope16 Rookie

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    Sep 22, 2016

    I was in the same predicament as you last school year, but I'm at an inner city school. I came in past the school year about October and left in December because I could not take the lack of admin support and the disrespect that I get everyday from students that at one point got me humiliated with other teachers and students while one of the admins just shrugged it off and pretend to have not seen or heard anything while the students cussed at me in the open (this happened at a media center with lots of people inside). I loved teaching and it was the very first time that I cried so hard leaving a job. Right now, I'm looking for a new teaching job but I'm suspecting that a bad reference are killing my chances. God help us!
     
  11. Nab

    Nab Companion

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    Sep 22, 2016

    I'm sorry to edit your post, but I just wanted to get to the meat and bones of it. Lack of support and consent disrespect (from all sides) is getting to be way too much. What makes it bad is that teachers who are from there keep telling me: "Oh, but isn't the administration support so wonderful to have!?" Who are they talking too? All us first year teachers got pulled into that meeting - which lasted for two hours and forty-something minutes, so the administration and some lady from the school board could berate us for having no classroom management and for not being able to get the students under control after three weeks of school.

    Meanwhile, I had a group of six 7th graders threatening each other and cursing in front of the principal. She just smiled at them and gave me a dirty look. When I corrected the behavior, the students rolled their eyes and laughed. The principal pulled me aside to tell me those students shouldn't be allowed near one another and she was highly disappointment in me. She "fussed" at me in front of my class, smiled at the cursing students, and left. Afterward, that same group of students laughed and made fun of the principal.

    I'm sorry about your bad reference. Hopefully, you can find something. Maybe you could take a year and do something else? Get your mind off it. And, you'd have another reference.
     
  12. Nab

    Nab Companion

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    Sep 23, 2016

    So, I got back from my two days away to find that a lot happened while I was gone. The sub was late everyday, and there was a fight in my homeroom. The sub couldn't understand my lesson plans (nor could anyone - literally, it was the students writing and editing their own "spooky" story and than reading a short story and answering questions and defining words), so my ELA classes did busy work. My Enrichment students played games in the lab. The principal, vice principal, and other staff had to go into my classroom or the computer labs multiple times over the two day period. Students were screaming, students were standing on desks, sitting on corners, running around and fighting, etc.

    My first thought was: "Oh, that is terrible. That sub had no control. But, maybe now they'll understand what I'm saying about lack of discipline." Yeah, right. I got called into two meetings today - one during my planning period and one after school. They told me the reason the students acted like animals is because: I'm too soft spoken, I have no class procedures, the students had no idea what to do or where to go without me in the room, I need to get it together, they are tired of me causing issues, they have spoken to the students that are causing trouble - and those students confirmed that I have never spoken about class rules or class procedures. (that is a lie, btw) And frankly, I just have to last the year. I can last the year, can't I?

    I felt attacked. I walked into my room this morning to find my teacher computer and my smartboard computer unplugged, my mini white boards broken and and all over the room, books from my shelves torn up or missing, the student desks all pushed in a corner, junk food wrappers all over the floor, gum on multiple seats, several supplies missing, and my sub folder - which had my plans, seating chart, etc - missing.(It was in the office.) I showed this mess to the principal, who shrugged and simply said: "Sorry."

    Okay.

    Today, the students had the same 15 point quiz that they have had every Friday for four weeks. They whined, complained, insulted me, and finally talked throughout the whole quiz. They spoke to one another. So, I'm giving them all a zero.
     
  13. minnie

    minnie Cohort

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    Sep 23, 2016

    Nab, you are working in a complete and 100% toxic environment. If you can, leave as soon as possible. That school sounds like a black hole of problems.
     
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  14. Nab

    Nab Companion

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    I would like nothing more. But, I'm worried. I have a year contract. I'm scared if I break it, this school and district will blacklist me/bad mouth me to the other districts in the area. I want to teach again. I want to teach now. Just, not at this school.
     
  15. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    You are in the proverbial hard place. It sounds like you need to make a decision to resign and look for a new job or risk being fired by your inept administration.
     
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  16. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Agree. I know it's not what you intended to do when you signed the contract, but I vote leaving mid-year.

    I made a similar decision a few years ago. Best choice I ever made. Similarly to your situation now, my admin just plain did not like me and I figured I'd be nonrenewed anyway. I decided to leave mid-year because I couldn't really find a downfall. It's not like they would have given me a good recommendation if I had stayed until June, and resigning mid-year did not look worse than being potentially nonrenewed. In the end, I found a great position. I hope you can too.
     
  17. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    One option you might have is to see if you can start interviewing for positions as a long-term sub. LTS jobs aren't ideal if you don't have great classroom management, but at the very least you can find a position at a new district without this toxic environment. You might opt to not list your experience at this job so they don't call your references or if you do specifically ask them to not call them for a reference. This might hurt your application and they'll probably ask you about it in the interviews so you might have to have a good answer about why you're leaving this district that doesn't sound too much like complaining. The good news is schools are usually desperate to fill LTS jobs.
     
  18. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Don't blame the sub. It's your classroom. You need to leave now! Get someone in there who can actually scare the kids into compliance. A former boss or teaching coach comes to mind. Writing a spooky story! You have to model that. They just don't start writing. Who helped them? Nobody. I did that lesson. I got the best participation ever! 90 percent of the kids had a story to share about something frightening or unexplained they experienced. And from that experience, they began an outline of a narrative. It has to be done in steps; they aren't Stephen King or Suzanne Collins.
     
  19. Tulipteacher

    Tulipteacher Companion

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    Get out now. At the end of the year they are going to nonrenew you. The writing is on the wall. If they think they can replace you, they might even fire you now. All these trainings and meetings they are having with you are documentation for them that they are trying to get you to "improve" so they can justify firing you.

    You wrote that you want to stay the whole year so you don't get blackballed from the district. The longer you stay, the worse your reference is going to be. (Either an official reference or an unofficial one since admins know each other.)

    You'd be better off working at Target. There are a lot of veteran teachers like me who are telling you to get out now. We've seen what we're talking about happen to other people.
     
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  20. socalenglish

    socalenglish Rookie

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    Sep 24, 2016

    Nab:
    I was in a very similar situation about 10 years ago. They told me they were going to non-renew me, so I immediately wrote a very professional letter of resignation, explaining that I would not be returning the next year and hand- delivered it to the District office. Found a great job and I am still there. But with me, this was at the end of the year. I think they might be making their case to ask you to leave before your contract is up. From reading your posts it is clear that things have gone from bad to worse. I would get out now. You do not want to have a seizure when you are driving.
    I am praying for you.
     
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  21. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I don't think they will fire you. You haven't broken your contract. Removing a teacher during the year often takes lots of steps. I don't see that they are planning to do that to you.

    You have been dealt a very tough hand. I think you have high expectations, and you could do okay while you are looking for something else. Try "winning ugly". Give good lessons even realizing that their behavior will probably be sub-par to put it mildly. Make sure you get some time to unwind and relax outside of work. You probably know what is best to recharge your batteries.

    Subbing could end up being more of what you have now with classroom management, although you wouldn't have to take work home. I think you might be best looking for something outside the classroom for a little while.

    I hope you find a job that will be better for your health. Good luck to you.
     
  22. Nab

    Nab Companion

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    Actually, they had started on Monday. On Monday, I had re-gone over the writing process and they had done brainstorming and an outline. On Tuesday, they had written most of the rough draft.

    On Wednesday, they were supposed to finish the rough draft and on Thursday, they were to peer edit. Very simple stuff.
     
  23. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    This is beside the point, but I have found that peer editing can be a very tricky thing to do, as can just editing in general. It surprises me every year. I say "check your work" or "trade papers with a partner to help them edit" and the answer is always "I did". It's maddening, but it's definitely a skill that needs to be taught.
     
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  24. Nab

    Nab Companion

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    True. Which is why I had them do a very similar thing a week before - they did fine on it. At any rate, what bothered me was that I also left a short story (with questions) and a detailed script/instructions for the sub. But, none of it got done. Instead the principal came in and had them do "busy work" - which most of them didn't even do. My issue is: all my classes acted like insane animals for two days. They were left with a sub, who was late everyday and apparently just sat at my desk playing games.

    I have made it well known to the administration that this group of students are having behavioral issues in ELA. Most likely because last year they either had a teacher that gave them all the answers or a long-term sub, who showed them films. I have them somewhat under control about 60% of the time. But, I leave and it falls apart. Instead of the administration seeing that maybe there is something to what I'm saying - they blame me for the way students acted, when I wasn't even there.

    I showed up on Friday to a wreaked room and spent 40 minutes trying to get answers - everyone refused to speak to me. Then, during my planning period, I cornered the principal, who blamed me for the students behaviors. And, I was then asked to stay after school, so more staff could berate me for being so bad at classroom management - but, it's okay, because everyone has a horrible first year. It's totally normal that I'm crying on the way home, and having health issues. That is what bothers me - the fact that they pretend to be supportive, but give no real support.
     
  25. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    Sep 26, 2016

    Yeah, they have to pretend to be supportive to cover their own asses.

    I'm kind of worried that so many people are giving you the advice to quit mid-year. Just be aware that depending on what state you are in, they could go after your teaching credential. I would do lots of careful investigating before quitting mid-year.
     
  26. Nab

    Nab Companion

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    Sep 26, 2016

    I've been looking into it. My contracts states nothing be breaking the contract; just that my contract ends May 25th. Most of my contract actually talks about how the district can fire me or move me around - at any time and without notice. I have checked several sources, and as far as I can tell, my state doesn't take your credentials for leaving mid-year. I know a few districts make you pay a fine, but it seems to rarely come to that.
     
  27. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    This says a lot. You have a legal contract until May 25th. If you break the contract, greendream is right about possibly taking away a teaching credential. Not saying it is probable, just possible.

    The way around this is to ask permission. If you say 3 weeks before break, that you are having health issues and that you feel you need to leave at the break, you will probably get your admin.'s permission. Most Ps, even those who are not nice at school, usually let a teacher out of a contract if you go half way by asking and giving a decent amount of time to get a replacement. If the P lets you out of the contract, you are good to go from a legal point of view.
     
  28. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I think whether the license is at stake is totally dependent on the state in which the OP teaches. I've never heard of having a license being revoked due to leaving early being an issue anywhere I've lived.

    You do have a medical reason, so it would be totally reasonable to get a doctor to comment on your medical history and state that your job is having adverse effects on your health.
     
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  29. Nab

    Nab Companion

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    I talked with the older teacher, who also isn't from the area, and she told me that the school board won't let me go. The school itself has a horrible reputation among teachers - no teacher will work there. That is why most new hires are first year teachers, uncertified, or returning. My BIL looked at my contract and suggested I get a lawyer, stop talking to everyone, and document everything
     
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  30. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo Comrade

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    Sep 27, 2016

    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
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  31. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    This only works in a school with a strong admin that will follow up on those write-ups. I have worked in two schools where write-ups did nothing because admin either bounced the kids back with barely a "warning," or students knew they could manipulate admin and not get any real consequences. I think the OP is in *that* kind of a school, and I feel for you -- I've been there! Believe it or not, there are schools out there that have a better culture and a handle on behavior overall. I haven't written up more than a small handful of students at my current school because students know better than to push it that far, or there will be real consequences.
     
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  32. Nab

    Nab Companion

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    So, two things happened today:

    1. The 7th grade ELA teacher, who is also new, and has also been having major issues - she quit. She apparently went to the school board last Friday and told them she wanted out. She only came Monday and today, to give the principal time to find a sub for the rest of the week. One new teacher down, and we're only five weeks in.

    2. I spoke to one of the lawyers, who works for my union. It's a union in the state, and when I said the name of my school and the district - she made a noise. Like, this school and district is known for being horrible. Anyway, she told me that they CANNOT take my license or make me pay any fines. If the school environment is causing me to become ill - they can do nothing.

    She also told me that all I have to do is give two weeks notice, write a letter to resign, and give the letter to the head of HR at the school board. She said that the principal may ask me to stay the two weeks, but that normally in my district (and at my school), the principals ask you to leave the day they find out you have resigned.

    So, at least I know I can leave at anytime. And, boy do I.

    On a random note: someone from the school board came to watch me. I scored well, expect I didn't ask questions. (Though, they were doing silent reading and writing solo.) The students were silent, well mannered, and polite. It was super weird. Especially, because the second (and I mean, the second) the door closed behind her - they lose their damn minds and started screaming across the room.
     
  33. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I'm going to go back and read through everything, but Nab, please don't think Middle School isn't for you. It's not an issue with the age, it is an issue with the CLIMATE in that school and district. These kids are playing everyone, they are in charge and they know it. Kids know that when they have a problem with one teacher or two, to be as sweet as pie to the others so it looks like it is YOU who are the problem, not THEM. I teach middle school and I LOVE it, they're a great age group---but you have to be ABLE to assert control to manage them---sounds like your district has tied your hands on that with their outrageous discipline policy.
     
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  34. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I would've walked right the heck back out and told them they had better find a sub until they can fill my spot! Quit. Quit now. There has got to be positions open around your area. If not, you plan on quitting by January. Apply for grad school so you can live off of your student loans until you find a position.
     
  35. Mr.Mike

    Mr.Mike Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2016

    Don't quit. If you quit, you are not eligible for unemployment benefits. Also, it does not look good since you will most likley not get a recommendation.
     
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  36. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    It happened. My FRIEND left mid- year, even gave notice that she might, to her P and then they ended up writing to the State Ed Dept and claimed "unprofessional behavior,' which lead to an investigation. It didn't go anywhere. This was in AZ. They were just very petty about the entire situation anyway.
     
  37. Nab

    Nab Companion

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    I did end up leaving. I quit September 29th - after having a partial seizure in the classroom. No one from the office checked on me, so I was just like. ..nope, I'm out. I called my union rep, and the second I mentioned the school board and school, she was like: "Oh, no. You got to go." I have felt a lot better this last month. I'm going back for more certifications and just living. I want to thank everyone for the advice and the help throughout all of this. It was tough, but I took as much as I could.
     
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  38. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    Oct 31, 2016

    Congrats! best wishes to you in your future endeavors.
     
  39. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I wish you all happiness in your future endeavors. Please keep in touch!
     
  40. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Best of luck to you. Good for you for making the decision you needed to protect your health, physical and mental!
     

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