"credible threat"

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MsTeacher98, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. MsTeacher98

    MsTeacher98 Companion

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 1, 2007

    I teach in a 6-8 building. A few days ago, a student was overheard talking to another student about a teacher. He said, "She is so mean. The next time I come to class, I'm bringing a 12 gauge." The teacher who overheard this conversation wrote the kid up and sent him to the dean. As a result, the dean assigned the kid to write a paragraph to apologize to the initial teacher. The parents were asked to come in so that the student would have to tell his parents what he had done. There were no further consequences for this child. When the dean was asked about this, she said that the administration felt that this was sufficient punishment. There was no paper trail on the kid so therefore he is a "good kid" and "not a credible threat" so the punishment was suitable. The social worker argued that the punishment didn't fit the crime, etc, etc, etc, until she was blue in the face. The teacher tried to talk with the principal and he kept blowing her off until she finally cornered him. He eventually agreed to have the kid moved to another classroom with a male teacher. (Apparently, he doesn't have as many issues with male teachers.) When the kid wrote the letter, it was a couple sentences long that basically said I'm sorry and I'll do my work from now on. As he handed it to her, he said "They told me I had to give you this." Neither he nor the parents ever actually stated an apology.

    This is a good teacher who simply holds kids accountable. No other staff was officially told anything about threats made by this kid. Now the whole staff is in an uproar for several reasons. 1. The threat was not taken seriously. 2. Even if the threat is not "credible", the kid crossed the line and deserved a real punishment. 3. The teacher and by extension entire teaching staff was not supported. 4. No one else was told so that they can be aware of possible safety concerns. 5. Other kids WILL hear about this and it seems to imply to them that it is okay to treat teachers in this manner.

    Right now I am so angry. Am I blowing this out of proportion? Honestly, my gut reaction that this kid is not an actual threat, but that is beside the point to me. What if I am wrong?? What if they are wrong?? What if we are right, but the real "credible threat" hears how easy it is to get away with? What about the teacher who is in the middle of this- I don't think she is willing to risk her untenured neck to make a stink about this even though she is angry, too. We have a very controlling and vindictive principal.

    What do you think?
     
  2.  
  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Nov 1, 2007

    I think that part of the question must include whether or not the kid has access to a weapon.

    If not, then the kid was obviously just blowing off steam. But if dad has such a weapon, it adds credibility. Maybe that's part of what they learned during the conversation with the parents?
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Nov 1, 2007

    I agree with you. The principal did not handle this in the right way. The kid obviously is not sorry if he only wrote a two sentence "paragraph". The apology did not even fit the behavior. Now a days you can't be too careful when it comes to a threat such as this. And by moving him to a male teacher's room, IMO, was not the right answer to this problem either. This just might give the kid the idea that he has won because he doesn't have to deal with that teacher anymore. This is a sad situation.
     
  5. La Profesora

    La Profesora Cohort

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    691
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 1, 2007

    The pricipal did not handle it in the right way. Students need to be held accountable for the (stupid) things they say.

    If you make bomb jokes in an airport, you can be hauled off for questioning and FINED!!!

    The kid essentially made a terroristic threat (that's what we call it in our school) and should have been at least suspended while investigated and cops should have been called to assess whether the kid had access to weapons.

    Principal dropped the ball :(
     
  6. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,892
    Likes Received:
    169

    Nov 1, 2007

    And when that kid goes beserk & shoots the teacher & others the next day who "did him wrong", the dean & others who didn't take it seriously will be standing there looking stupid! With all the school shootings that have been happpening plus the fact that the world isn't getting any better, I'm surprised this wasn't taken a lot more seriously.

    Look how serious airlines get when someone says BOMB on airplanes.
     
  7. MsTeacher98

    MsTeacher98 Companion

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 2, 2007

    Thanks for the replies. I agree with everything that has been said. Alice, according to the parents there are no guns available in their home. But I guess I still wonder at the logic behind all of this. His home may not have guns, but that does not mean that he doesn't have access to guns.

    Funny thing is, one of my students got suspended for three days for messing around in the cafeteria (Principal doesn't get along with this kid.) I definitely he should have consequences, but there doesn't seem to be any logical pattern to the discipline around here.

    *sigh*:huh:
     
  8. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Messages:
    6,367
    Likes Received:
    1

    Nov 2, 2007

    ITA. Dont we all just blow off steam and say things we don't mean sometimes? Kids are no different. Not knowing the kid it's hard to say whether I'd believe him and his vent or not. Sometimes zero tolerence goes a little to far, IMO.
     
  9. Lesley

    Lesley Habitué

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Messages:
    952
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 2, 2007

    If it were me, (even if it was not me and I was in the building I would raise a stink) I would contact my union, then go over the admin head and report it and the consequences handed out to superintendent. Liability big time if there had been a problem or if one actually does occur. The staff should notify the superintendents office of everything that transpired, in writing. The school is liable for the safety of everyone in the building.

    I think there are better ways to blow off steam. threatening anyone with a weapon, even 'talk' is wrong and our tolerance of it is what is causing so many problems in society today. We let thing slide rather than stepping in and taking action to teach better ways to handle oneself. Zero tolerance is a good thing when used correctly. a threat of this nature is a GREAT example of where zero tolerance should be put into force. A comment of 'stupid, idiot, jerk, etc is blowing off steam' not I'm bringing in a 12 gauge.
     
  10. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    4

    Nov 2, 2007

    Anyone can access any gun at any time. At least around here.
    The situation was handled very poorly.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 170 (members: 4, guests: 136, robots: 30)
test