Did admin do enough?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MikeTeachesMath, Nov 4, 2014.

  1. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Nov 4, 2014

    I'm currently on crutches from that car accident I was in a bit ago. Today, I had a student giving me a hard time the entire period. I split them into pairs to work on problems together, which I gave them around 15 minutes to complete. Once they were all done, I had pairs come up to the board and explain one problem (of my choosing) to the class. While a pair was presenting, the student got up to sharpen his pencil. I was standing to the left of the board (near the door and pencil sharpener). I asked the student (quietly) to sit back down. He said, "Don't tell me what to do, gimpy" and then tried to kick out one of my crutches. I sent him down to the office with security (he's known to wander if he's left alone).

    Admin suspended him for a week. That's it. No other consequences. Is it just me, or should there be something more to the punishment? Apparently since he only *tried* to kick out my crutch and didn't *actually* do it, there's not much that can be done. I was a little baffled.

    I feel like I should bring up my concern to admin, but this is literally day 2 of this job for me. I don't want to get on her bad side. :unsure:
     
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  3. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    BTW, this student is in 7th grade and the class is Math 7. One of my team members told me she thinks he should really be in the remedial class and that the "regular track" might be too difficult which is why he acts out.
     
  4. Moogeeg

    Moogeeg Companion

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    I am also a new teacher. At least at my school, a week-long suspension is considered a fairly severe punishment. Perhaps I am wrong, but even if the student had kicked your crutch, I do not think the school would have expelled him (again, I could be wrong).

    For the incident in question, I do think that the punishment fits.
     
  5. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I agree with Moogeeg that a week long suspension at our school is a huge deal (especially for 7th graders). Does that mean that it's enough or appropriate for real-life? Probably not, as in real life that would be classified as assault, but you might just have to take what you can get here.

    The consequences in High School are usually much harsher than at middle school if that's what you're used to.

    If you trust your admin (which you probably don't at this time) you can bring it up with her if you feel comfortable, but I wouldn't expect much to be changed.

    Sorry to hear about your accident.
     
  6. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    A week is considered severe here. However, it's likely our admin would also recommend counseling and kiddo would have frequent chats with our counselor upon his return.
     
  7. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    I definitely did not mean more suspension time/expulsion/whatever. I was thinking more along the lines of what dgpiaffe said about checking in with the counselor or something. I have a feeling this kid will be gone for a week and come back, and we'll be back at square one again.
     
  8. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Here, Admin would wonder why you put a kid out of class for something so trivial that is really a "teacher managed" behavior and not an "Admin managed behavior." At the worst, my Admin would have told you to assign the kid a detention but suspension would never have been considered.

    The student didn't hurt you, you didn't fall. So, basically, you asked a kid to do something and they didn't comply while calling you a mean name. That is not an offense that would get more than a detention here and if you expected more, then that would be a "red flag" for Admin.

    No offense, but if my co-worker wanted a suspension for what you described, I wouldn't expect them to last long here.
     
  9. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Nov 4, 2014

    Thanks for your input.
     
  10. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    And what Go Blue described is exactly why I love where I teach.
     
  11. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Probably wouldn't be a suspension here since he didn't *actually* kick the crutch. However, sending him out both for calling you gimpy and attempting to kick you would be completely appropriate (and the kid would likely get after-school work detail).

    If he had made contact with your crutch, then they'd be asking about filing charges and definitely a suspension.
     
  12. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Maybe you could request a meeting between the student with admin or a counselor if you have one present before he officially comes back to kind of clear the air.

    It was extremely disrespectful and even though he may not have made contact it was an aggressive action. I mean if he had done that to another student certainly that would be grounds for admin to get involved.
     
  13. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

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    my admin would not suspend over that (even though I would think some type of serious consequence is needed). he didnt hit you nor make you fall---but was he intending to? and either way, that behavior is not appropriate. I agree with others in regards to setting up a meeting with guidance
     
  14. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I had a student threaten to stab me in the stomach while pregnant. His punishment was to wash the tables in the cafeteria so I understand your frustration.

    Is there a posted conduct code?
     
  15. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I teach 7th grade math too :) Anyways, I can tell you a comment like that at my school MIGHT get ISS, MIGHT. Certainly not OSS. I think that is a very adequate punishment.
     
  16. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I probably would've been fired if a student said that to me while pregnant. Threaten me all day long, threaten one of my children and I will turn into a mama lioness. I would've gone ballistic, and my voice would've been more than elevated. Holy crap.

    I'm actually shaking a bit still after reading your comment.

    I probably would've demanded the kid be removed from my team for his own well-being from that point on, because there is no way I could retain my self composure and professionalism with a student who threatened the life of one of my children.

    Am I over-reacting? Strange? Weird?
     
  17. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I would ask for a meeting with the student and the teacher who referred the student to the program before allowing him back into the program. Clear the air but set boundaries of what is appropriate.

    I'm glad you didn't take a spill because of an impulsive move by a kid who was acting out. You could actually turn this into something positive if you choose, mostly by letting him know he didn't peeve you to the point that you won't work with him. That being said, I would totally understand it if you asked that student be barred from your program.
     
  18. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Nov 4, 2014

    :yeahthat:

    "Go Blue!" you have more posts than I have fingers and toes to count on where I say to myself, "She's my hero!" ;)
     
  19. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Just saying, I would sooner change my profession than accept Go Blue's school culture as the norm. That's obviously not what the culture is at this school anyway.

    I'll definitely get in contact with guidance.
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Hopefullythe week off gives him time to reflect and shape up!

    If he continues such behaviors, ask your guidance counselor to schedule some time with him. You might even start some documentation for I&RS committee ( not sure all schools ave..intervention and referral services...it's a committee that makes suggestions regarding teacher concerns)
     
  21. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Last Wednesday, one of my students threw a pencil at a substitute teacher and hit her in the face. The same student has roughly 15 documented incidents of physical violence against students, this year alone.

    He's gotten two days of suspension, total. His punishment for the pencil incident? He spent lunch in the principal's office. They played Jenga.
     
  22. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    All I can say is:

    :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:

    Nothing. Just make the eek face.
     
  23. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    Hahahaha. I laughed out loud when you said all they did was suspend him. A student threatened to kill me if I marked him tardy and all he got was a lunch detention. A week long suspension is very generous to you.
     
  24. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    Also, on the topic of pregnancy, a student told a pregnant teacher at my school he would throw her down the stairs to "kill" her baby. He got a half day suspension. Later, the teacher was fired for demanding suspension, among other things. Admin told me after the incident he blamed her for "calling him out" in front of his 7th grade friends.
     
  25. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    At my school, sending the kid out with security over this would have been frowned upon, but I would have sent him to another teacher's classroom for the rest of class (I have a teacher buddy with whom I already have an agreement on this policy). However, I would have written a referral and the kid would have gotten 3-5 days suspension, depending on how that admin viewed the name "gimpy" (as just insulting or as bigoted speech). Wanting more than 5 days would be too much.

    Last year, I had a 6 foot tall junior try to force his way through 2 security guards to hit me. He got 5 days and was removed from my class. That's pretty standard without contact.
     
  26. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    I know they are kids with immature brains, but bullying goes both ways. We bend over backwards to protect the students from bullies, but sometimes it feels like the teachers are "at will punching bags" for students to take a swipe at. I understand OP's post all too well.
     
  27. hbcaligirl1985

    hbcaligirl1985 Cohort

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    I'd sooner quit my job then ever and I mean EVER work in a school that didn't care about the well being of their teachers or the babies they carry in their wombs.

    If you can tolerate and even love that school environment as an educator, more power too you. You're a better person than I am. But to me, I say, and excuse my language, but f**k that. We don't get paid enough to be abused or threatened by the students.

    OP: A weeks detention was fair, from the looks of what some of our fellow educators are posting, it could have gone very differently. But I would definitely start documentation. :hugs:
     
  28. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    So every child that does not listen to their teacher's directions, calls them "gimpy" and takes a swipe at their crutch deserves a week long suspension? Even when considering it was a MS, who we know can be immature, irrational and do things like this in the heat of the moment.

    I guess you expect expulsion if a student curses at you ...
     
  29. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Taking a swipe at somebody's crutches is kind of a serious thing. If the kid had managed to connect, he would have caused serious injury. There's a young lady in my grade level right now... because of her condition, if somebody were to kick her crutch and she fell as a result, hip replacement surgery and leg amputation would both be potential (albeit somewhat unlikely) results.

    Kids will do stupid things, but there's no excuse for something like that. Expecting more than a week suspension might be unrealistic, but it's not something that should be brushed off the way you are brushing it off.
     
  30. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I think a week's suspension sounds right. I would hope that the counselors would be meeting with the student regularly, anyway. It's policy that any of our students who are suspended out of school meet at least once afterward with a counselor. Many are put on behavior plans or "check in" plans.

    Probably at our school this would have resulted in suspension pending a hearing. I don't think expulsion would have resulted from the hearing, but the hearings usually scare the kids (and their parents) into realizing that severe consequences exist for actions that go beyond normal immature behavior and into the realm of criminal behavior.
     
  31. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    Are you new to teaching? There is no way what happened should result in an expulsion! I understand you are upset, but expulsion means you go to a county school with a bunch of young criminals and your educational life is essentially over. The following things are expulsion-worthy in MS students (I taught in one for years): kid sells drugs in school, kid threatens another with a knife they bring to school, sexual battery (paying for favors in a bathroom), repeated physical threats, getting more than 75 referrals for defiance, getting in multiple, serious fights, etc. Calling someone, even a teacher, a name is not worthy of an expulsion.
     
  32. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    If a stranger were to do this to another stranger, it would be simple assault. If contact were to have been made, it would have added battery to the list. Why are you berating Mike because he asks for the same protection he would have on the street?
     
  33. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    My intentions were not to berate, but I still stand by my statement that this was not something that deserved a long-term suspension.

    Personally, I don't see how this is simple assault in a classroom setting. But, maybe I'm at the point where I no longer get worked up over things like the OP described.
     
  34. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I would require a suspension (at least for my one period) just for calling me gimpy. That's not even including the attempted assault. I don't care if its an immature kid. But I'm sadistic, so, eh. I refuse to tolerate that kind of behavior.
     
  35. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    My principal would be livid with the kid. I personally think one week is enough.
     
  36. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Well this is frustrating. I never said or implied expulsion. I'm not sure where people are getting that from. I even have a post earlier in the thread quite literally stating I do NOT (read: NOT) mean expulsion, or a longer suspension sentence, or anything like that. I meant something like dgpiaffe said on page 1 about getting meetings with guidance involved.

    I'm happy with a week's suspension. I'm not trying to change that.

    If this kid had made contact with my crutch it would have caused very serious re-injury. My physical therapy progress up until this point would have been down the drain, I could have re-torn things in my knee, and could have hampered the overall healing process. So yes, I'm taking this very seriously. I'm shocked some of you think he should have just gotten a slap on the wrist.
     
  37. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I have found that discipline and counseling are often completely separate entities at my school, and one never knows what the other is doing. Counseling is not a standard part of our discipline process, so it wouldn't happen unless explicitly requested.

    I would recommend that you go ahead and speak to the counselor directly and ask him or her to meet with this student regarding this issue.
     
  38. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    So what if we changed it up a little...let's say instead of a teacher, it was another student. A disabled student, that this kid called a name and attempted to kick a crutch. Do you still chalk that up to immaturity? And by you I don't necessarily mean you, but more the people who make decisions at your school.

    Also, in response to this thread in general - just because some school's cultures are such that simple assaults, threats, and verbal assaults are the norm, doesn't make it right, or mean that all teachers should just have to deal with it. Personally, I think it's wrong to respond to someone asking a question with "well, I have to deal with it, so should you", or even worse "I've had much worse happen to me, so you should be grateful the student didn't knock you over". Why? Why should everyone have to accept criminal behavior by middle school students just because others choose to? And to be grateful the student missed his crutch? Come on. :dizzy:
     
  39. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I think it was criminal behavior and I aint buying it is immaturity by a 7th grader. The kid has serious problems. His actions prove that. I wonder what his parents think of his actions. I think 5 days was good and anything else like that warrants more. Maybe an alternative school.
     
  40. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    People often think assault happens when someone hits or hurts you. Assault is the act of creating apprehension of an imminent harmful or offensive contact with a person (from wiki, I'm too lazy to find a better source, but I know the legal definition is similar). You can be assaulted when no contact has been made. If contact was made, it becomes battery.
     
  41. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    This.
     

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