Female Teachers stopping fights.

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by graceful, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. graceful

    graceful New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 24, 2014

    Sorry to make such a serious post for the first time on this forum, hopefully it isn't too bad of a forum etiquette. :sorry:

    Recently there have been many open fights here at the school I teach, I'm not sure if it is dares or just drama, but we've been having 1 or 2 the past two weeks which is quite insane as according to the school's records, we've only has 2-4 fights year-round the past couple of years.
    Anyways, during some recent fights I have noticed the male teachers that usually stop these things are generally standing around, letting students tear each other apart. Now, I am not saying that the male teachers HAVE to jump in because they are male or anything, but I generally expect teachers to do what they can to stop a fight if they see one. But either way, we've had female teachers jumping in trying to stop these things but we have had one teacher injured during this.
    I, myself am female and am also the youngest teacher at this school so I do not have any issues pulling a couple of guys or girls apart.
    We do have a resource officer but he is piled in work due to the number of fights and often is not present to handle these things lately.
    Im starting to wonder why it is specifically that male teachers are not doing anything. The school board has arranged a meeting this Monday since it is a teacher workday and we are supposed to discuss the fights and things. Ive asked some other teachers if they were going to say anything about the teachers not doing anything, but they said that they weren't planning on bringing it up although theyve noticed.
    Should I say something at this meeting or just leave it to the school board to decide?
     
  2.  
  3. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1,163
    Likes Received:
    3

    Oct 24, 2014

    I've never seen a teacher stop a fight physically before... only security.

    When I was in high school, there was this once female social studies teacher (maybe mid-50s), that could literally stop a fight just by yelling "STOP!" in her very projected, booming voice. It was quite a sight.
     
  4. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,333
    Likes Received:
    500

    Oct 24, 2014

    We are instructed to give verbal directions to students to stop fighting but not to physically attempt to break up a fight. The other teachers are likely doing exactly what they are supposed to do.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,495
    Likes Received:
    2,532

    Oct 24, 2014

    I would never intervene in a fight. I don't want to risk injury to myself or others. I would expect other teachers to act similarly, regardless of gender. Let people who are trained to do so be the ones to break up fights.
     
  6. graceful

    graceful New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 24, 2014

    I will admit that our school is quite stretched on funds-- other public schools in our district have multiple officers but our administrators made the decision to approach the school board and cut security in exchange for a 1:1 technology. It is great for the learning environment but I feel our students have noticed the lack of security which may explain the recent fights. I didn't approve of this decision at all, believe me.

    We right now have 3 officers but theyre all loaded with work so us teachers have been instructed to physically stop fights when we see them.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,495
    Likes Received:
    2,532

    Oct 24, 2014

    I'll add this: If another teacher threw me under the bus or reported me to admin for not breaking up a fight, that other teacher would be on my naughty list. Forever. Breaking up fights is not in my job description, and it's not in any other teacher's job description to decide whether I should break up a fight.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,495
    Likes Received:
    2,532

    Oct 24, 2014

    For real? What does your union have to say about that?
     
  9. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2013
    Messages:
    1,016
    Likes Received:
    38

    Oct 24, 2014

    I won't touch a fight. I'll yell and if I personally know a kid and have a good relationship with them, I might try to talk to that student, but I won't touch it. I did spray water on 2 fighting girls once. That worked because they freaked out about their hair. :p

    We had a straight race riot at my school today. Teachers formed a human wall between the two groups, but only cops, security and few teachers (football coaches, etc) physically got involved in the fighting.
     
  10. graceful

    graceful New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 24, 2014

    Unfortunately I'm teaching in a state that does not have teacher unions. Ridiculous things happen here.
     
  11. Rox

    Rox Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    19

    Oct 24, 2014

    You may want to ask what the proper protocol is when a fight happens. Are you obligated to break up the fight? Intervene some other way? Call security? Do the answers change if a teacher has/has not been trained?
     
  12. graceful

    graceful New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2014
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 24, 2014

    Thanks for the ideas.

    Also in response to those of you who have suggested I and other teachers do something verbally, I'm afraid it would not have much effect. The kids have a habit of chanting and cheering on fights when they happen, and the few times a shout to stop has been attempted, I don't even think the students heard us.
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,727
    Likes Received:
    1,147

    Oct 24, 2014

    You-plural might find you get better results with a really loud referees' whistle.
     
  14. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    6

    Oct 24, 2014

    There were a handful of teachers at my old school who volunteered for training for this type of thing. If we underwent the training, we got paid a small extra stipend for being a first response addition to security. Those teachers who had not gone through any sort of training were only to make verbal attempts to stop a fight and call security. It made no difference if we were male or female.

    As I was one of those teachers who was trained, sometimes I felt like I was a boxing coach instead of a math teacher (inner city school, very rough neighborhood). In the absence of such a policy though, I would not physically intervene, even though I've been trained to do so.
     
  15. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    2,489
    Likes Received:
    1

    Oct 24, 2014

    I'm a female, and I've broken up fights before. Fortunately, we don't have many at my current school.

    We have no policy about breaking up fights at my school. I personally could not stand by and watch two kids beating each other up and not intervene, hoping that someone would get there soon. I personally could not stand in front of a parent and explain that I stood by and did not try to seperate the students because that was someone else's responsibility. It would not sit right with my conscience. And I'm stressing that that is just me.

    I've also never seen a single teacher, male or female, stand by and do nothing at all, whether it be physical, verbal, running to the phone, or working crowd control.
     
  16. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,949
    Likes Received:
    17

    Oct 24, 2014

    My Union warns against any teacher trying to break up fights because many teachers have gotten seriously hurt - sometimes on purpose with students using the chaos as an excuse to hurt a teacher.

    Still, I break up least 3 fights a year - which means I do sit back and wait for help most of the times. In the moment, I don't want to risk waiting for help/a pick up/school police and a kid gets seriously hurt. This was especially true when I taught MS since HS boys can sometimes muscle into the crowd and break things up - if they want to ...

    A few years ago, two of my 7th graders got into a fight and our team of female teachers tried to stop it but we couldn't break it up. One kid was stomped to the ground so badly he had to be taken to the hospital because he was unconscious. I will never forget having to explain to his mother what happened and why no one stopped it.
     
  17. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,931
    Likes Received:
    1,123

    Oct 24, 2014

    I would not get involved in a fight, not even with girls (girls can be worse by the way). I will not risk my safety, and although some students will be aware that it is a teacher there, so hitting them would be very serious, many of them are so angry that they don't care about anything.
     
  18. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,841
    Likes Received:
    51

    Oct 24, 2014

    I always tell kids "I won't stop your fight, so you better be able to hold your own until a police officer gets here!"

    But really, I'll prevent fights (had to do that a few times this week). This is when kids are bucking up, yelling, getting in each other's faces and such. I'll go over and pull them away or stand in the middle and push the kids apart. But if they're swinging, I'll call the office to get a police officer, find a male teacher if one is nearby, and keep the rest of the kids away until someone else comes to stop it. If I'm bigger than the kids fighting I wouldn't mind stepping in, but the kids I've been pulling apart lately are way bigger than me. No way I'm jumping in the middle of that!
     
  19. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,393
    Likes Received:
    1,545

    Oct 24, 2014

    The one time I ever physically came between two students after one struck the other, the other teacher in the room was furious with me. Not because I risked my safety (I was a foot shorter than both students but have martial arts training and acted instinctively), but because she wanted the other student to get at least one punch in so they could both be suspended. Still not sure about that reasoning.
     
  20. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,771
    Likes Received:
    53

    Oct 24, 2014

    I spent three years working at a high school where fights were a fairly regular thing (I'm going to guess at least 2-3 per week, almost always in the hallways or cafeteria, outside of school after dismissal, and once in a while in the classrooms). My classroom was a bit off the beaten path so it wasn't as common to happen by me, and the one time it happened in my room it was with a sub. But when it did happen, I called security and did not attempt to intervene. One of the female teachers in my dept was hit in the nose when just trying to stand between two girls in a fight (she was fine, girl who hit her - accidentally by the way, she was going for the other girl, not the teacher - was expelled). The teacher knew one of the girls well from her class and was trying to talk her down.

    I always felt my personal safety came first and that it was security's job to break up the fights. And quite frankly, I have zero strength so would most likely be totally ineffective in any attempt to break it up anyway. I'd try however to get the kids who were cheering the fight on into a classroom and out of the hallway to minimize the likelihood of the fight growing and to just help reduce the chaos of the situation.
     
  21. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,770
    Likes Received:
    1,002

    Oct 25, 2014

    I'm male, and I wouldn't physically break up a fight. I don't expect female teachers to break up fights either. In fact, the advice I did get regarding fights, is to let the kids get a few good punches in first. That way, they're tired, and they probably don't want to go further and will let you stop them verbally (I don't know if this is good advice or not, but I thought it was amusing).

    It's not our responsibility to stop fights. It's our responsibility to notify the appropriate authorities and allow them to do their job. If we try to stop a fight physically, we could be in HUGE trouble. All it takes is a student claiming that I touched them inappropriately while breaking them up, or I hurt them, and there goes my job forever.

    That's not to say that in the heat of a moment, if I see a student being seriously injured, I wouldn't jump in to stop it. But I won't know unless it happens.
     
  22. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    2

    Oct 25, 2014

    You said you have no union to contact. Take another poster's suggestion and get a whistle. Do anything else "hands off" to stop the fight.

    I used to teach that age group and was around more than a few fights. You risk getting hurt - serious charge for the students and risk being accused of hurting the students. No matter what you do or don't do it might not be enough. We used to call security but it would take some time to call and for them to arrive. We would clear all other students out of the way and move any possible "weapons" from the area. I did what I could and waited for those who were trained to intervene.

    The last fight I saw was between two high school girls. Security could not break it up for some time - a really long time. No one else had moved but me when it started. I contacted security and did nothing else to stop the fight. It was one of the worst fights I had seen. Don't know what I could have done short of throwing a bucket of ice water on them that would have made a difference. Two big men with whistles blowing tried to stop that fight and were ignored. They pulled the two girls (who were hell bent on doing serious, serious damage) off each other. The girls did not care.

    Protect yourself. You need to be trained in some way. Contact your local police department and see if they offer any type of training or what they recommend in this situation.
     
  23. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,934
    Likes Received:
    257

    Oct 25, 2014

    I'd intervene in a fight on the street so you darn well better believe I'll do it at my school. I'm a scrawny dude but come on, I'm not going to let that nonsense happen.

    Two weeks ago we literally had a kid choking another one to the point of his face turning blue. Are you really telling me you'd just stand by and watch that happen?
     
  24. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    912
    Likes Received:
    30

    Oct 25, 2014

    We had a young guy a few years ago that was all militant and gung-ho about breaking up fights....................until he got a razor across the face.

    He wound up with a permanent scar and quit.

    I let them beat each others brains out and expect to make it to retirement unscathed.
    :thumb:
     
  25. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,934
    Likes Received:
    257

    Oct 26, 2014

    Your dismissive thumbs up is a sad commentary on the world today.
     
  26. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2014
    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 27, 2014

    You should never break up a fight. A student could say you hurt them, as ridiculous as it sounds. My p once broke up a fight and he was taken away in an ambulance. Stop touching children for any reason and just yell from afar.
     
  27. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,333
    Likes Received:
    500

    Oct 28, 2014

    I've said so many times that I hate emoticons. They often amplify the snark in a post, or add attitude where there should be none. I always seem to read them wrong.

    I agree with not physically breaking up fights between students, but when you add the emoticon at the end it takes on a whole different tone!
     
  28. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,737
    Likes Received:
    1,222

    Oct 28, 2014

    I have broken up fights quite a few times in my 22 years, and I've never had to touch a student. Yelling has always done the trick. If it doesn't stop them, it at least distracts enough to get them apart.
     
  29. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    2

    Oct 31, 2014

    Maybe yes, maybe no. If I could stop the fight I would. I was speaking from experience.

    What physical action could I take in that situation - someone choking someone else? Pull them off? Push them forward? Push them to the side? Typically I use my voice. I have also pushed kids apart and in other instances shoved them outside the locked classroom door. My last experience with a fight was a bit shocking. That was why I said I would not break up the fight. Perhaps if it were something less volatile (tornado of fists) like someone getting choked, I would be able to intervene. The bottom line is that I would contact security or send another student for security, and react in a manner that would not escalate the situation further or I hate to say it, would get me hurt. If they are turning blue, then I have acted too slowly or not been there in time.

    My response would depend on a great deal of things, but my standard response would be to not intervene.

    I work with students who have significant impairments. I have been spit on, hit, kicked, punched, headbutted, pinched, pulled, pushed, and anything you can think of. The last thing I want is for any student to get hurt. I took self-defense training some years ago and also restraint training within the district. It taught me how to talk students down and defend myself. Unfortunately neither training taught me how to break up fights.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 512 (members: 1, guests: 490, robots: 21)
test