Friends, Violence, and Haters

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by justfluttering, May 6, 2009.

  1. justfluttering

    justfluttering Rookie

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    May 6, 2009

    I see friends slap friends hard across the neck as a greeting. Girls punching boys in the arm as hard as they can. Boys knocking fists until their knuckles bleed. Boys punching walls and desks. One boy broke his hand twice in a week and now broke his cast off. One boy was suspended for getting paid to staple the skin on his arm.
    I have a group of 5 girls (got to love my 2nd hour) that are verbally abusive to each other and now they have started in on me. They hurt each other as much as possible by saying mean thing to each other, cutting each other out of activities and parties.
    Girls that share boyfriends while saying nasty things about each other. Nasty things written on desks and lots of pushing and shoving. Boys that touch each other and say they are "butt buddies." Kids that take anything they can apart, like the lab stools and the computer mice. I patrol the classroom constantly just to keep things intact and in good shape. One boy as he walks to his seat will casually put the A/C on and freeze out the class. Other kids pick up any pens or pencils I have out on my desk. I have to hide everything I use. Kids "pranking" each other constantly. Wallets, iPods and phones disappear just to reappear after the owner has a fit.
    When parents say their kids are being bullied, they have no idea what goes on during the day. It's not just being called names, it's having nasty things written on your desk, it's being hit and pushed all day long, it's having your homework and classwork taken by the kids next to you and not being able to say no because if you say no the problems escalate. It's your wallet disappearing only to reappear back in your backpack minus your money. It's the big kid in your class helping you eat your lunch every day. It's the girls talking about what you look like when you change in gym class or asking you in class loudly if you got your period yet. Sigh..
     
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  3. justfluttering

    justfluttering Rookie

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    May 6, 2009

    Somedays I think that my students were raised by wolves...
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    :wow:
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I agree.... wow.

    I say it's time for martial law. Bullying is bullying, and it's time for zero tolerance.

    Talk to the dean or whoever, and let him or her know you're about to lower the boom. Then talk to the kids and do it. Any infraction-- any nasty word or vandalism or touching of the AC or anything else, and they WILL get detention or whatever it is. They are to keep their hands to themselves and on their own property.

    Keep at it until they learn the meaning of civility.
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 6, 2009

    That presupposes a dean or AP who's got the cojones to follow through, of course, and deal with the inevitable whining from parents who believe it can't be their angel...
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Good point.

    But you don't punish attitudes. You keep it concrete and punish behavior.

    "He put his hands on another student's neck." "She punched another student's arm."

    Keep it clinical and address the behaviors, not the attitudes.
     
  8. KLSSwimmer

    KLSSwimmer Habitué

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    May 6, 2009

    Oh justfluttering - I am even seeing this in my elementary school room - I would love to hear other people's comments as well!
     
  9. justfluttering

    justfluttering Rookie

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    Yesterday, a girl came in yelling obscenities. Her iPod had been stolen. I sent her down to the office. A few minutes later the AP and two security guards showed up. They interrogated several students and left. One of the boys they interrogated said loudly: OH, you better watch out, that AP is a dangerous man. He'll give you ISS! The whole class laughed and thought it was hysterically funny. There are no real consequences. After-school detention? Nope, not if the parents don't agree to it. Saturday school? Nope, the parents have plans for the weekend. The most abusive student I have just came back from week in California. She had a great time. Failing grades, horrible behavior, and no make-up work. Another kid was allowed to go to a special activity BECAUSE he is failing all his classes. His abscence would not impact his schoolwork was the logic.
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm so sorry.

    You and I teach on different planets. Today was our Senior's last day; the deans were a VERY visible presence!!
     
  11. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    I am shocked by this. But, not surprised. Some kids don't take school consequences seriously. What about law enforcement?
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I don't think you can pin this entirely on the kids.

    If the administration can't or won't do anything, pack mentality is going to take over. (Hey, I read Lord of the Flies as a kid!!!)
     
  13. justfluttering

    justfluttering Rookie

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    What wears me down is the eye rolling, the rude tones, the nasty looks, and the smirks. I get so tired of being made fun of under their breath. The AP can't do anything about a bad attitude, he can only act if a student is defiant or disrespectful. My students are all going to be lawyers, they know exactly how far they can push it and what they can get away with. If I don't SEE the kid mess with the A/C but he is sitting by it with a big smile, I know what happened but I can't PROVE it. I KNOW who sits where, but with 5 classes, there are 5 kids sharing that desk. So if I don't SEE the kid write on the desk, I can't PROVE it. I get so tired by the whole stupid game the kids play all day long. When did school become a court house? Some darn kids are a major pain each and every day, it has taken a whole semester for the admin to begin the process to move one kid out to the alternative school!!!! Good grief...
     
  14. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

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    Wow, Just Fluttering. I am curious -- what is the background of most of your students? Do many of them come from homes where this behavior is exemplified, or are many of them traumatized in one form or another? Perhaps they could be acting out what they learn to be acceptable or could be acting out the very strong emotions they feel?
     
  15. justfluttering

    justfluttering Rookie

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    I work right by a large prison complex. At first, I thought I was dealing with the children of inmates. But as I started making phone calls home I discovered that my most troubled, disrespectul, and unmotivated students have parents, a home, iPods, computers, and nice clothes. The foster kids are well behaved for the most part, they sometimes don't have good grades because they move around a lot. Some foster kids have excellent grades and behavior because they have to go to court often. I have many special ed students and most of them are OK because they have several adults keeping them accountable. It's the regular kids that seem to have the most issues. Why? I don't know but some parents work 70 hours a week and are never home. A few parents use their kids as emotional support and text them constantly with bitter divorce issues. Some of my boys act "ghetto" but have never seen a ghetto in their lives. It's like a third of my 145 students have serious issues: defiant, rude, smart mouthed, they write all over themselves, bite each other, pretend to be gay or lesbian, yell, swear, hit each other, cheat, act dumb (I don't have a pencil, miss, I can't work) (What's this? I can't read it, it's too hard)
     
  16. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

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    Wow, Just Fluttering. There are only two reasons I can think of that may explain their behavior. They might be acting in such a way is to get attention. For example, I can't imagine why someone would pretend to be gay or lesbian other than for attention. And the only other reason I can think of: even though your more privileged students are having their financial needs met, maybe they are not having their emotional needs met (e.g. absent or abusive parents). And perhaps because of their background they have not developed the thick protective layer that many foster care kids and sometimes special ed kids (as a result of feeling like a burden) are forced to develop. But of course that is only a guess.

    I wish I could give you some advice.
     
  17. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    I understand what you are talking about. What is missing is the team concept, You, the administration and the parents if you are miss anyone of the team you have the chaos you are experiencing.

    If the Administration does not back classroom management you might as well kiss discipline good bye
     
  18. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    May 9, 2009

    Do other teachers in your building have the same issues going on? I would talk to some of the senior teachers in your building and find out how they deal with it.


    Another suggest would be to invest in a cheap web camera and tape activities in your class room on your computer without telling the students your doing it. Of course, they have to feel the sting of consequences when they are caught on tape or it is meaningless.
     
  19. ANGRY AL

    ANGRY AL Companion

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    I'm afraid what you've described is pretty much the norm at my school day-in and day-out. The one saving grace we have is that we have a room to pitch them to for the period when we've had enough of them (and then, of course, write up a referral on the incident). Believe it or not, that IS an effective tool for us because the school is their social center and if they get pitched out, they can't perform for their friends. Our administration by and large is for sh*t and believes in the "we can't control the kids, we can't control the parents, but we CAN control the teachers" philosophy. But, that's not addressing your problem. How about this? Can you send a student or two to a neighboring classroom for the balance of the period with their assignments? You could work that out with those teachers and perhaps take a problem or two off of their hands on occasion. Perhaps that would give you somewhat of an outlet.
     
  20. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Sounds like where I taught last year. Its why I got out.
     
  21. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    WOW.You are not a teacher,but a prison guard.A teacher cannot do it without the support of the parents,administrators and the majority of the students.Too Many of our schools are run by administrators who fear for their jobs and don't want to make waves.All we read about are test scores,but rarely the lack of respect and discipline in many of our schools.What about the voice of the children who come to learn or the parents who want their child to receive an education,is it ever heard?
     
  22. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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  23. justfluttering

    justfluttering Rookie

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    May 12, 2009

    Some of the other teachers have similar issues. It depends on the grade level.The AP teachers and the teachers with the advanced classes tend to have better behaved students. Today on the school email the big praise went out to the teacher that sent a student to the office only after a behavior contract, several lunch detentions, and numerous phone calls home. When does this teacher get to teach, enter grades, and lesson plan? All this work for ONE student to get a 2 or 3 day suspension. I don't know, but to me the stress, disruptions, and the sheer number of kids that refuse to behave is hard to cope with.
    I agree that seperating kids from their friends works wonders. I was told by the AP that it is too convienent for the teacher to do this and advices against it. But the kids act up to put on show for their friends, a day or two in another classroom with bookwork does wonders. My kids want to be suspended and ISS is full of their friends.
    Now I can see the concern about "seclusion rooms" like in Detroit where adults put rowdy kids in storage lockers and metal cages. Or in Georgia where a young boy killed himself after being put several times in a windowless room alone. But in my school, rowdy kids sit in the back of another teacher's classroom and are expected to work quietly. My students tell me they can focus and work better away from distractions like their friends poking them with a pencil, tossing a paper ball at them, giving dumb answers on purpose, making faces, calling them nasty names, or telling silly stories.
     

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