Consider just quitting

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Reagan, Mar 25, 2016.

  1. Reagan

    Reagan Rookie

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    Mar 25, 2016

    Lurker joining here...

    I teach 3rd grade. In our grade is a boy with some extreme behavior issues. This kid this year so far has injured every adult he has worked with and many kids. His salvation is nothing so far has been extreme or frequent enough to warrant changing his placement beyond half-day self-contained.

    Today, I found out the parents are requesting he be moved to my room and that my principal is seriously considering this.

    I know we all have those kids now and then but... I'm 6 months pregnant and this kid's preferred method of attack is headbutting in the abdomen.

    So, forgive me for being a wuss about this, but I'm worried about bodily harm. My principal says just sticking to his plans will prevent an attack and I might get lucky and not have him ever come after me...but this doesn't match past patterns.

    I'm on a contract that will be detrimentAL to break, but I'm very scared of this kid in my classroom if the move is made.
     
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  3. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Contact your professional organization/union immediately. You shouldn't have to worry that a student will harm your unborn child.

    If the union/organization can't do anything, tell your doctor. Maybe the threat of harm/your stress about the situation will be enough to allow you to go on disability to keep you and little one safe.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Mar 25, 2016

    Agreed. Contact your Union if you're in one. If not, a call from a lawyer could be enough to have them back off this idea. Stand your ground. Quitting should be your last resort. If need be, your dr can write you a note either for precautions why this kid shouldn't be in your room. Or for early maternity leave due to stressful work environment.
     
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  5. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    I agree with the above. Your health and the baby's health is more important. Besides this, if the student would seriously harm you or your child, that student will experience guilt that could cause his social development to deteriorate even further, (assuming he's probably not getting enough support at home--noticing that the parents are more concerned about changing the teacher rather than changing the child). This would be a traumatic experience for the entire class to witness requiring extensive counseling. Although I believe in working together with parents, I find it appalling that a principal would cater to the whims of these parents at the expense of the teacher's, the child's, and the students' welfare and safety.
     
  6. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Mar 26, 2016

    The idea of putting a child with a known, recent history of head butting adults in with a pregnant woman is absolutely absurd. I wouldn't quit, but contact your OB-GYN and union/association.
     
  7. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Mar 26, 2016

    Do the parents here know you're pregnant? I'd imagine most parents don't want to be anywhere near that kind of situation (putting a pregnant woman in harm's way). Sure, the kid may have injured the rest of the adults and apparently not seriously enough as the kid is still in a public school and one might argue what-makes-you-so-special, but wow, pregnancy!

    For that matter, does your principal comprehend that you're pregnant?

    No, I don't think desiring to not have the kid in the classroom makes you a coward or even a bad teacher. It's just extenuating circumstances. If the parents are looking for a better classroom situation for their son, this is clearly not it.

    Assuming you are at a traditional scheduled school, the year's almost over. Surely they can suffer out his current placement. Or pick another teacher...

    Obadiah's right. It's not worth the possible injury to you and not worth the counseling to a bunch of 3rd graders.

    And since you are willing to quit over this, the power is entirely with you. Bring up the obvious, talk to your union, bring a doctor's note.
     
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  8. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Mar 26, 2016

    Echoing the others in the hope that you contact medical authorities regarding protecting your pregnancy. If you don't have a union at your school, I'm hoping you are able to at least talk with a labor lawyer. However, since you seemed to be concerned with breaking a contract mid-year, I'm guessing you are in a unionized school. Knowingly putting you and your pregnancy at risk is an OSHA violation.
     
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  9. Reagan

    Reagan Rookie

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    Mar 29, 2016

    Update: thanks for your advice. The parents were so adamant about finding the right placement for their son. But it turns out they weren't aware I am pregnant. The SPED teacher brought it up at a meeting yesterday and the request has been withdrawn.
     
  10. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Mar 29, 2016

    Glad everything worked out in your favor! I hope they find the right placement for that little one.
     
  11. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    That is such a relief! No one student or parent should make or break your career. It just feels that way sometimes. Stay healthy!
     
  12. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    That's good. I'm glad it was one of those things where someone needed to point out the obvious. Still don't understand why your principal couldn't have done so upon the initial request. "You're sure that's what we want? This teacher is pregnant."
     
  13. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    THIS THIS THIS ^^^^
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Great it turned out this way but it shouldn't have been left in the parents' court. Instead the SPED admin should have told the parents their request would not be honored due to the liability of putting him in your room. And shame on your school for not putting this kiddo in a self-contained setting. No gen Ed teacher/class should be housing a student with such dangerous possibilities.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2016
  15. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    Terrible. I'd take leave without pay if I could. Why on earth would they switch a kid this late in the school year?
     
  16. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    They aren't. The request was withdrawn.
     
  17. Reagan

    Reagan Rookie

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    He is in self-contained class roughly half the day. Apparently his current Gen ed class is a bad fit. I get it, even with the end of the year approaching. I've heard the parents are generally reasonable people, just willing to do all they can for their son. They also happen to bensure fairly powerful in the community. Still, I'm angrier at my principal who still thinks dangers like this fall in the category of "deal with it".
     
  18. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I'm not sure why they're allowing a student to inflict bodily harm upon anyone, pregnant or not. Any students who behave like this should be in a school where the staff is trained to handle those behaviors.
     
  19. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    From what I understand of the law, it's difficult to remove a child in SPED who inflicts bodily harm unless the injury is permanent and lasting.

    My sister-in-law is currently dealing with a similar situation. Her student bites, hits, punches... and let, as far the law goes, there is still a long road before he could be fully removed from the general classroom. Fortunately, she and others are trained. Perhaps other in the OP's school are also trained?
     
  20. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Not that this would help the OP, but I do believe I would be filling out every piece of paperwork there was anytime that child touched me, whether it left a mark or not, and visit the doctor. During school hours, and follow up with workman's comp. I'd even contact the DA about assault charges. Nothing would come of that, but it would be more paperwork the administration would have to handle.
     
  21. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    They should try to place the student in a more restrictive environment. All of the students I have right now were taken out of their home districts because of this behavior. Public school might not have the resources for this student.
     
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  22. crazycatlady80

    crazycatlady80 Rookie

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    Apr 6, 2016

    I was thinking the same thing. Either a non-public (at least that is what they are called here in CA - don't know if they use the same word out of state) or an ED classroom. Also, in LAUSD, I know there are ways where they can speed up the IEP if it is truly an emergency situation, which is what this sounds like. Then again, most school districts aren't LAUSD. Best of luck! I'm glad you and your baby are safe.
     
  23. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

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    Agreed. I myself would contact the DA about filing assault charges. It's true that nothing will probably come of it, but I think that it's important to put this child's violent behavior on record as well as how the administration was definitely aware of it and still placed you in this situation even though they knew you were pregnant.
     
  24. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I haven't worked in a public school in a while but if the violent student injures another student...is the teacher held accountable? I can't imagine how difficult it would be to keep all the students AND yourself safe at ALL times with this kind of behavior.
     
  25. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

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    It depends on the specific situation. To hold a teacher accountable if a student injured someone, the administration would have to prove that he/she did nothing to intervene and to stop the student from injuring another. This usually hard to prove in a court of law.

    On the other hand, teachers will not be held accountable if they applied all appropriate interventions. This is just one reason why it's important for teacher to document everything, including the times the student was referred to the administration and yet nothing was done about it on the administrator's end. If the teacher has put the student's violent behavior on record with the union rep, DA, or another authority, then this will be some of the proof showing that the teacher shouldn't be held accountable for the student's violent behavior. If the teacher is a union member, union lawyers will be able to build a case showing that the teacher shouldn't be held responsible for the incident.
     
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  26. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    That makes sense. Some people like to blame the teacher for everything so I'm hoping it never comes to that in a situation like the one the OP described.
     
  27. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I hit my School Law textbook for answers about what happens if a student is injured on the teacher's watch:
    Proximate cause occurs when a causal relationship existed between the breach of duty and the actual injury sustained by the student. If a student is injured and the injury is not related to the teacher or administrator’s failure to exercise the proper standard of care, no liability is involved. There must be evidence that links the injury directly to failure of educators to act prudently in a given situation. One issue courts would likely raise is whether the actual injury was based on the teacher or administrator’s behavior. If the evidence reveals that the teacher or administrator’s behavior played a direct and substantial role in the injury, proximate cause has been established.

    Essex, Nathan L. (2011-04-28). School Law and the Public Schools: A Practical Guide for Educational Leaders (5th Edition) (Allyn & Bacon Educational Leadership) (Page 172). Pearson HE, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
     

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