I had a very disturbing incident at school on Friday that’s caused me to question my own judgment, or lack of it, relating to pursuing a teaching career. I signed on this year as a paraprofessional with the hope of eventually getting hired as a teacher at a private alternative school for males with behavioral issues. I have the education to be a teacher, but in this economy I couldn’t land a teaching job anywhere, not to mention in this particular field. After school Friday, I was cleaning up in the auditorium and realized I needed a second person to help me remove the lectern and lock it up in the storage room. I went looking for a teacher who could lend me a hand, but was stopped by two students in the hall who had stayed late because they had detention that afternoon. These young men, one is 16 and the other is 17, both have ADHD along with other issues and have trouble with impulse control. Both of them seemed calm as we chatted, so I recruited them to help me lock up the lectern. Everything went fine until I made a poor decision to take my end of the lectern into the storage room first so that I could steer it through the doorway as I backed into the room. As soon as we made it past the doorway, the door swung shut behind the boys. We set the lectern down and I asked the 17 year-old to open the door so we could exit. To make a traumatizing story shorter, I’ll just say they did not open the door, and the 17 year-old started “joking” (he wasn’t joking – even though he was laughing) that I should get the door because “they did the bulk of the lifting.” The 16 year-old chimed in laughing and agreeing with everything the 17 year-old said. As I realized they weren’t going to open the door, I thought to myself I don’t want to escalate the situation by arguing because I was scared to be trapped in there with them. Both of them have acted out violently in the past. I kept a calm demeanor on the exterior, but inside I felt like I was about to panic because of the vibes I was getting from both of them. I maneuvered myself around the lectern and had to pass between them to get to the door. As I passed between them, I turned myself sideways and I felt the older one’s hands clutch my waist (he was behind me as I slid through) and the younger one blocked my path from the front. To put it euphemistically, both of them touched me inappropriately before I was able to get the door open. I felt so sick and ashamed of myself for using such poor judgment that I did not report the incident. I feel like my headmaster will conclude I have no common sense for putting myself in that situation, and any chance of me obtaining a teaching position here when one opens up will be lost. I’m scared of reporting the incident, but I am also scared of seeing those boys again. I feel like a huge failure just a few weeks into my job, and I feel like I cannot share this with anyone I know personally because of the bad judgment I used. If for no other reason, sharing here anonymously has allowed me to express my feelings about what happened.