Assualted in School - Need Advice

Discussion in 'General Education' started by ChemTeachBHS, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. ChemTeachBHS

    ChemTeachBHS Comrade

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    I'm so upset I don't even know where to start. This year I am fortunate to have 8th period off. When the bell rand after 7th period my class left and I started to put my things away like any other day. All of the sudden a kid I've never seen before runs into my classroom, jumps over a table and grabs a chair and holds it over his head. Another kid I've never seen before runs in. The two start brawling. I went to call security but was trapped in my classroom because of the crowd of kids trying to see the fight. I tried reach my in class emergency call box but was grabbed and pushed in the fight. I started screaming and all of the male teachers on the floor came running and broke through the kids, thank god. It took 6 guys to control these two kids. When the fight was finally over my fire extinguisher was pulled off the wall because one kid tried to use it as a weapon, a chair was broken and a table was turned over. I was sent to the nurse and filled out about a million forms. I met with the VP and Principal. School policy says I have to stay out of work tomorrow to give me time to decide if I want to press charges. Here is when I'm conflicted. The 2 students are adults 18 and 19. Although my teacher friends and family tell me I should press charges I'm uneasy about it. Yes I was pushed but 1) it wasn't intentional- it was in the chaos and 2) I'm only emotionally shaken up, not physically hurt. One of the kids is from another country and will likely get deported if he gets arrested. And I don't want to feel responsible for these kids having a criminal record that follows them through out life. I know I must sound crazy but I'm worried about what will happen to them. Any help/experience or insight would be appreciated.
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm so glad you're OK.

    I have no experience here. So my advice would be not to make any decisions tonight.. wait and get a good night's sleep before deciding what to do.
     
  4. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    I definitely am with Alice on this one. I'm glad you are okay but this isn't a decision to be made without thought (as you have realized obviously otherwise you wouldn't be here).

    I'd say the same though. Sleep on it and see how you feel about it in the morning.
     
  5. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Oh ChemTeach ~ how scary and I am so glad you are ok. I agree with the other posters waiting to make a decision. But I think you should ask these questions

    *what, if any, charges going to be brought on the students?
    *if you press charges, does it change any of the other charges?
    *are you going to have to testify about this?
    *what happens to these students if you don't press charges?

    Sleep well tonight ChemTeach
     
  6. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    The thing is, there needs to be consequences for their actions. What if you were actually hurt, or another student was seriously hurt? What if this whole thing took place outside of school, say at a mall, and an innocent bystander got dragged in like you did. Would they press charges?
     
  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    How is the school planning on handling the matter internally? One of the things to decide is if administration's actions are enough or if you feel the students require further consequences. No need to act on this now, but this is something to ponder.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I would talk to administration.

    If there's a policy in place about you staying home tomorrow, it's because they've been down this road before. Ask what they think.
     
  9. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    You can also contact the police and ask for their advice without filing a report. They've likely seen these things before and know statistics and what the odds are for things, etc. Sometimes it IS in their best interest and sometimes it isn't.
     
  10. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Why should you feel responsible? You are a victim not a criminal.

    At any time did you feel you would be assaulted? Assault does not have to be unlawful physical contact (battery) rather the fear of being physically attacked.

    If the boys committed battery or assault on you then visiting the criminal justice system is in order. Fact that you are not injured or, worse, dead should not be compelling reasons for dismissing charges.

    If you feel battery or assault was not the case and it has to do with a fight and damage to school property consider the school discipline code which deals out consequences and may involve justice system.
     
  11. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I wouldn't take their ages into account.

    But I don't know these kids.
     
  12. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    Questions that come to mind:
    What do you know about their background?
    Was this a one time incident or a regular occurance for them?
    What consequences will they face if you don't press charges?
    Were their parents contacted? What was their reaction?

    I would take all these things into account.
     
  13. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    If you are worried about what will happen to them if you press charges, what will happen if you don't? If they get away with acting like this, what will they do next? They need to have consequences for their actions. It really isn't up to you because they made the choice to act the way that they did.
     
  14. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    You would not be "responsible" for whatever consequences come from their behaviors.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I have no issue with someone being deported for illegal behavior. What you experienced was assault and battery. Just because you are a teacher and they students makes no difference in my book. Report it. The justice system will decide the consequence.
     
  16. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    If you had to go to hospital, definitely press charges. I was assaulted with a bookbag last year but did not choose to go the legal route because it hit me on the back of the leg and there were no scars. The boy was suspended.
     
  17. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    I would also wait and see how you feel. You might be more sore and hurt tomorrow. Sometimes it takes time to find out all of the hurts. I would counsel with someone on this issue. Wait if you can and ask the school what you should do. I would have no clue. Sounds like a pretty dangerous situation to be happening in a school, in a classroom. They should have considered their actions at some point.
     
  18. bros

    bros Phenom

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    You are not responsible.

    They chose to fight.

    Psychological/Emotional damage is still damage (or pain and suffering).

    Pressing charges against them now may help curb their violent tendencies in the bud, making it so they don't escalate their violence in the future.
     
  19. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Were other charges brought up on them based on the fight? At our school, they would have been arrested anyway, so adding additional charges may be overkill, because they would already be arrested, suspended (possibly expelled depending on their discipline record,) put on a behavior contract, and banned from after school activities (dances, sporting events, drama, etc.) for the rest of the year.
     
  20. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    To me this is a no brainer press charges. You did absolutely nothing wrong. I had a cell phone stolen I pressed charges! What does it tell students if they are not held responsible?
     
  21. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I have been shoved by a student when breaking up a fight. I chose not to press charges for a couple of reasons...

    1. I knew the child; usually a pretty good kid
    2. She was 12 at the time
    3. A 10 day suspension, subsequently getting her kicked off the JV basketball team, and having to deal with her momma at home was enough to scare her into being on her very best behavior from that point forward (a few years later and she's still on her best behavior every day)

    However... it's a different age group. I hope you had a good night's sleep and are able to work through everything you're feeling today :hugs:
     
  22. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    I sure understand your feelings. Talk to your admin and get advice from them.

    I would most definitely want them to have consequences, but I too would hesitate to press criminal charges. For something like this, I don't think there would be much in the way of criminal prosecution! You would have to go through a lot of emotional turmoil and then probably there would be a small fine. Is it worth it to YOU?
     
  23. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Press charges & don't feel guilty about it. We were all teenagers at one point, but not all of us do stupid behavior that we may later regret, like these two guys. They did not HAVE to fight. If one instigated it, the other could have walked away in the other direction.
     
  24. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Tougher than you might think for a teenage boy.
     
  25. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    True Alice, but they have to think about their actions & how it will affect them later in life. But in the heat of the moment that some allow themselves to get into, they don't think that way unfortunately.
     
  26. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    It's a tough call.

    You are right to give it careful consideration.

    I wish you the best.
     
  27. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    I like how all these people are saying, "F'em. Press charges. Case closed." It would seem that it's not so cut & dried, otherwise ChemTeach wouldn't be asking for advice here.

    I think a lot of things potentially can come into play. While it may be deemed an assault in the strictest sense of the law, she says that none of it related to her was intentional (i.e. their intent wasn't to harm her). They did show thoughtless behavior by fighting in school, and running into her class. At this point, I'd (if I were her) want to see some sort of contrition on their part because that's disrespectful to me (as the classroom teacher). What kind of reputation do these two have in the school? Have they (or their family) attempted to reach out to you?

    That all being said, I also don't have any problem with you pressing charges. I just find it funny how everyone here is normally so touchy feely, politically correct, "A kid called me mom today", etc. But in this case, it's "Ship'em out of the country!"
     
  28. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    True. I almost forgot that it's not like he intentionally sought her out to harm her specifically.
     
  29. ChemTeachBHS

    ChemTeachBHS Comrade

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    I still am unsure of what to do. I've decided to meet with a union rep and the police tomorrow to weigh my options.
     
  30. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    That sounds like a wise choice. I haven't had this kind of experience so I may by naive but it seems to me that these 2 "boys" made a choice to involve an innocent person (you) and things got out of hand. They may not have intended to involve you but their actions were anything but mature and they may need to learn what consequences are for this kind of behavior.
    Glad you are ok. How scary that must have been!
     
  31. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Chem, I've got to say:you have my utmost respect for the way you're handling this.

    No matter which course you choose, it's easy to see that you're putting a lot of thought into what's good for these 2 kids. Whatever you choose, you've got my support.
     
  32. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I think a union rep is also a smart choice.

    I agree with John Lee - I wouldn't have a problem pressing charges, but if I felt like I got caught up in the crowd and pushed, I don't know if I would really consider that assault in my head.

    They would have been arrested for fighting in my school, anyway, though. In any school I have worked in or attended, actually.
     
  33. ChemTeachBHS

    ChemTeachBHS Comrade

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    I met with both the union rep and police this morning. I was advised not to press charges because I wasn't intentionally assaulted and the process would be long and drawn out with little consequence. I would have to appear in court about 3 times and the kids would only get 3 months probation. The boy that pushed me will be sent to night school so I woun't have to cross paths with him any more. The other boy is on a 10 day suspension on will be on probation for the rest of the school year.

    Thanks for all of the support.
     
  34. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Chem, I forgot to add something. Hopefully in the future you can lock your door when you are working in the classroom. I do this all the time when I am working alone or don't know who else is in the building. I am sure if I were in HS I would lock the door when the kids left. At our HS teachers are required to keep doors locked at all times for school security and safety of the students.

    You are sure in my thoughts and prayers today as you consider what to do. I once went through a parenting class, and we were taught when considering the consequences for a child's behavior, to determine whether it is willful rebellion, or normal "childish" behavior. Since you feel the 2 young men were not targeting you, I would classify this as unfortunately within the bounds of "normal" behavior for a young man/teen with emotions and testosterone running high! Sorry I know this is not a popular stance. But it does seem that what is making you cautions is that they were not coming after you, you just happened to be where they thoughtlessly ended up fighting.

    I understand why you hesitate.
     
  35. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Bonneb...that 'normal behavior' WILL get a young man arrested in the real world outside the walls of school. I respect the OPs actions, as well as those Of the school, in this situation. Hopefully the consequences these students are facing will give them time to reflect upon their actions.
     
  36. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Chem, your thought process is excellent and, following it, agree with your decision. The important things in your decision are that you weren't the intended target of an assault and that any future danger to you has been removed. Hopefully, you are satisfied with the long-term outcome.
     

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