When did adolescent school children stop respecting adults?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Jerseygirlteach, Jun 21, 2012.

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  1. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    I saw this heartbreaking clip of an older female bus monitor being brutally bullied by middle school children.

    warning: there are a lot of profanities in this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_mj0MxLHBk&feature=related

    I cannot even begin to tell you how angry this made me. Yet, I'm not completely surprised. When I taught middle school last year, I saw how cruel some kids could be to each other. I also saw how little consequences there were for kids who choose to behave inappropriately. Many parents opt to believe their child's account of things over an adult and the kids know it. This is compounded by the fact that school employees must take care not to say or do anything threatening in any way or else risk legal action against them.

    This message is not lost on children. My son came to me when he was in 2nd grade and told me that he thought I should recommend to the principal that a teacher's assistant get fired because she supposedly yells at him and his friends when they are too loud at recess. He argued to me that no one is supposed to yell at a child.

    Don't misunderstand my post. Most adolescents are good kids and want to do the right thing. Most of the kids on that bus were probably horrified by the actions of the few that could be heard. But too many of them probably felt no fear in eviscerating this poor woman for their own personal amusement because society has taught them that kids are very special and should be coddled and adults are on or beneath their level.

    I would bet a small fortune that many or most of their parents would say "My kid would never do that" if that woman reported to the parents what had happened without the videotape evidence.

    What do you think can/should be done to change attitudes so that kids relearn to respect adults?
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I believe that the biggest influence on a young child is the parent.

    Children have to be taught at an early age to respect others. By the time they reach school age, that influence begins to wane and peer influence increases.

    Parents should stay involved in the child's school life well beyond the elementary years (where parent involvement in school traditionally decreases).

    A child who knows that they will be receiving consequences at home for poor behavior at school will generally refrain from the poor behavior.

    Those are some of my quick thoughts. I, too, am appalled by the behavior of these children. One of the parents was interviewed on a morning show this morning and he said his child is receiving consequences, but he just didn't seem that concerned. That could just be my impression, maybe someone else who watched the interview has other impressions.
     
  4. Peregrin5

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    Wow. I would recommend every single one of these kids for suspension, possibly expulsion. I'm surprised the bus driver didn't stop the bus and simply kick out the kids. That is totally ridiculous.

    As to not yelling at kids, that is BS. Sometimes a kid needs to be yelled at, right up in their face. Sure you might get in trouble for it, but it's simply unacceptable that this happens. I got in the face of a student and yelled right in his face when he told another student to kill herself. He accused me of "pushing him", but I calmly told my side of the story and the VP understood. I felt bad afterwards for getting emotionally involved, but sometimes it is necessary.
     
  5. Peregrin5

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    Wow. I would recommend every single one of these kids for suspension, possibly expulsion. I'm surprised the bus driver didn't stop the bus and simply kick out the kids. That is totally ridiculous.

    As to not yelling at kids, that is BS. Sometimes a kid needs to be yelled at, right up in their face. Sure you might get in trouble for it, but it's simply unacceptable that this happens. I got in the face of a student and yelled right in his face when he told another student to kill herself. He accused me of "pushing him", but I calmly told my side of the story and the VP understood. I felt bad afterwards for getting emotionally involved, but sometimes it is necessary.
     
  6. BumbleB

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    I have definitely seen the lack of respect in my first year as an educator. Even though I'm young, there is still a VAST difference in how I was raised and how these students are taught to behave. When I was growing up, any adult (teacher, police officer, cashier at the grocery store) was my superior and was to be respected with no questions asked. Nowadays, respect is negotiable. Students think that we have to prove ourselves worthy of being respected based on their criteria. And respect can be taken away based on similar meaningless criteria.

    Ten or fifteen years ago, students on that bus would have respected that bus monitor just because she was an adult. Ok, maybe some of the more vicious kids would have been whispering back and forth about her looks if they did not like her for some reason. But never would they have voiced that to her face with such cruel intent. The whole video is just appalling, and really shows what students are capable of doing without structure, discipline and consequences.
     
  7. Jerseygirlteach

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    This illustrates part of my point. Let's say the bus driver did just that and there was no video of the incident. (NOTE: The only reason there is a video of the incident is because one of the boys was so proud of this behavior that he taped it on his phone and posted it on Facebook.) Little Johnny gets kicked off the bus miles from his house with no adult supervision around. His parents would sue, and the bus driver would be fired or possibly arrested. Kids know they have a lot of legal protection. Again, I'm not saying it should be otherwise, but something needs to be done because this is not as unique behavior as we would like to believe.
     
  8. Cerek

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    Kicking them off the bus far from home would not be acceptable or responsible of the bus driver. Once they come on the bus, the driver is responsible for their safety until they reach home.

    However, turning the bus around and taking the kids back to school, making the parents pick them up there and informing the parents the kids are no longer allowed to ride the bus due to their behavior WOULD be completely acceptable and well within the schools' rights. While we DO have to provide a free education to all kids, school systems do NOT have to provide free transportation. That is a privilege and, as such, can be taken away when it is abused.
     
  9. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    If you haven't seen Blackboard Jungle I suggest you do. It is a fantastic commentary on the behavior of kids in schools - specifically their lack of respect for adults and authority.

    Also, it was made in 1955.

    I don't mean to imply that things aren't worse now, I simply mean to point out that the warning signs have been there for decades, arguably centuries. We know what makes disrespectful kids. We just don't care to do anything about it because it would mean we, as adults, we actually have to follow rules ourselves.
     
  10. Math

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    Exactly what I thought when I saw this video last night. Those children were way to comfortable doing what they did. If I were the bus driver I would have pulled over and probably would've told them to shut up. This video just makes me so mad. These kids had nothing better to do? Especially them touching her as well. Those kids need to be on the show "Scared Straight".
     
  11. AlwaysAttend

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  12. callmebob

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    The problem with this is that the other people on the bus should not have their safety taken away because of the students that are allowed to stay on the bus. Depending on the students age you should be able to kick their @ss off the bus and tell them to walk. The idea of taking them back to school may not help because they could continue to be harmful on the rest of the ride.
     
  13. BumbleB

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    Yes, it seems that movie is more focusing on education systems and teenagers in large cities. New York, Chicago, etc. Now it seems like every suburb in America has its group of troublemakers. Sign of the times, I guess.
     
  14. callmebob

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    The other part that is just as disturbing, there should have been some kid on that bus who could have stood up for her and beat the &^%$ out of those boys. Just awful. That is the first thing that needs to happen when those boys go back to school, a group of kids who give them the business.
     
  15. Math

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    :lol:
     
  16. Peregrin5

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    That's so weird. My high school bus driver had no qualms kicking me off the bus miles from home when one of the students threw a sandwich at me, and I tossed it back at them. >_< (He only caught me.)
     
  17. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    These kids' language is appalling. They need more than soap in their mouths.
     
  18. Cerek

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    Bob - if you listen to the video, it seems to be mostly girls that are bullying the monitor. Not that that makes their behavior any better or acceptable, but chances of a group of boys waiting to repay them at school is very slim.

    Peregrin - It might be different in an urban setting where kids could catch a city bus or taxi home, but my district is very rural and the kids could literally be miles from home with no way to get there but walking. And if something happened to one while they were walking home, I would never forgive myself, no matter how badly they acted on the bus.

    At the very worst (if a fist-fight breaks out on the bus), I am supposed to pull over at the first safe spot, stop the bus and then stop the fight. Then I would call the school on the bus radio and ask for the School Resource Officer to come get the two fighters off the bus. Yes, that means we would sit there until the SRO arrived.

    I've driven my share of rowdy kids before. When they would get too loud, I would simply stop the bus (on the side of the road) and tell them we weren't moving again until everyone was in their seat and not talking. Only once did I ever have a kid try to get smart with me about that. I stopped the bus and told them we weren't moving until everyone was seated. One kid said "You HAVE to get me home on time because I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon." I said "That's not my problem. My only obligation is to get the students on this bus to their homes. I don't have ANY time limit or schedule that demands I do it by a certain time. If you want to get home on time, you need to sit down, be quiet and STAY that way till we get there. Otherwise, I can take you back to the school and your mom can pick you up there." He chose to sit down and be quiet for the rest of the trip. The other students made the same decision.
     
  19. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    This was so heartbreaking to me. We discussed it today with our students. We didn't show them the video, but we read a book about bullying recently and spent a lot of time discussing how your words make others feel and the repercussions of what you do and say on the video. My students are young, 10 years old, but they're saying inappropriate, mean things to each other and they're also on Facebook all the time. So it was a discussion that needed to happen. In the book we read there was actually a boy who'd been told his mother should die because he was so ugly or something along the lines similar to what those awful children told the monitor. Then in the book the boy's mother happened to die shortly after. It was very similar and I wanted the students to know this really happens and that there are things we can do and say to stop it.
     
  20. Peregrin5

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    I have deep respect for bus drivers, considering all the bus rides I had in High School and the students they have to deal with. I remember kids in the back of the bus openly smoking marijuana, and got into an open fight with one of them when they were being jerks to my friend (throwing things at her and jeering at her). He was way bigger and won, but I found a dried piece of dog dung and threw it in the back windows as the bus left, and they never left me alone after that.

    I lived in a rural area too though. I actually would be more scared to deposit children in a highly urban area. O_O People there are dangerous.
     
  21. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    If there were girls voices in the video doing any bullying then I did not hear it, probably because I didn't get that far. I got to angry to continue watching the whole thing. If that were the case, then some girls needed to be at the school ready whoop up on them. I'm just saying, they needed a whoopin.
     
  22. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    The bus monitor mentioned boys in her interview.
     
  23. alioxenfree

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    They were boys as far as I could tell. At least 3 of them were boys (including the one holding the video camera). I thought one of them was a girl because of the sound of the voice, but I saw part of his face on the video and it was a boy. I guess their voices haven't changed yet. They're only in seventh grade, so 12, 13 years old?
     
  24. roxstar

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    First I will say, like all of you, I was DISGUSTED by this behavior. Kids behaving this way towards other KIDS is nothing new (very wrong, but nothing new), but I have to say that I have never witnessed that level of disrespect towards an adult before.

    I guess I will be the first person to comment on the bus monitor's reaction. Does anyone else feel like she let these kids do this to her? She was reacting to them like another child would. Ignoring, awkwardly commenting etc. If she was the bus monitor, was it not her job to monitor and stop this this type of behavior? Please do not misunderstand me here, the behavior was appalling and these kids should have consequences for it, I just feel like she could have handled the kids some, even if it was ineffective. Am I way out in left field here?
     
  25. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Who knows how long it was going on for and maybe she tried to handle it and deal with it in the past and nothing changed or nothing was done and maybe she just gave up and figured it was going to happen no matter what she did?? I don't know. Maybe she thought for some reason it would reflect poorly on her and she'd lose her job? Also, let's not forget she's not a teacher. Often at least at my school I find the school aides are not as knowledgeable about how to deal with behavior issues. Unfortunately some of them where I work just scream at the kids as an answer to that. I'm lucky my lunch aide was very willing to take advice and suggestions from myself about how to deal with behavior issues. (Although of course I wasn't having issues as severe as what was seen in the video.) I'm going to assume she felt powerless to actually do anything about it, which makes the whole thing even sadder.
     
  26. Jerseygirlteach

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    I agree with iteachbx, although it is a valid question. Would she be capable of stepping in if it were another child being bullied rather than her?

    Regardless though, I don't think it's productive to blame the victim here. If she were one of the kids, we would never say that she was to blame because she didn't fight back. I honestly hope that the outrage this has brought on causes these kids to feel a fraction of the humiliation they imposed on this woman.

    By the way, I can't even believe that they call her by her first name! What is the culture of that school where they even call the staff by their first names? I know that's a pretty small issue considering everything they said to her, but it stuck out to me.
     
  27. teach42

    teach42 Comrade

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    If I were the parents of one of those kids, they would get a whooping when they came home and never see the light of day again. The parents of these kids should be so embarrassed of themselves for raising such disrespectful and foul-mouthed children. I hope the kids get expelled and the bus monitor press charges. They should all have a criminal record that will follow with them for the rest of their lives. The actions of these kids don't even surprise me that much because these days, they're allowed to get away with everything at home and in school. They're not taught respect at all.
     
  28. Cerek

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    Several good points in the last few posts. The voices sounded like girls, but I didn't think about the fact the boys are only around 12 years old and their voices haven't changed yet.

    I also felt the monitor was entirely too passive and responded awkwardly towards the kids, but I'm sure it is because she DID feel powerless in the situation. We have no idea how many times they've acted this way towards her or other kids on the bus and any attempts to stop the behavior may have generated parent complaints about their child being "picked on" or may have just been met with NO follow-up consequences from admin. If you report bad behavior and nothing is ever done, it wouldn't take long for you to realize you're wasting your time. So the monitor could have been more assertive and authoritative, but we don't know what has happened before this incident was recorded. The fact that one of the boys felt confident enough to record their repulsive behavior speaks volumes about the LACK of consequences he felt they would face.

    As for kids using first names with staff, I see that more and more often. Some teachers allow it and some kids just do it anyway. I don't allow it in my room because I think it blurs the line between teacher and student a bit too much. I DO want to connect with my kids and let them know I like and care about them individually, but I am STILL the teacher too, not their buddy. When kids ask my first name, I tell them it is "Mister". :cool:
     
  29. JustMe

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    Agree.

    Happened when I was in school more than once, and rightfully so.
     
  30. JustMe

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    I am unwilling to in any way place any fault whatsoever on Karen for being too passive or what have you. I won't even touch that with a ten foot pole.
     
  31. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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  32. Ross

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    "When did adolescent school children stop respecting adults?"

    When we let them.

    We let them watch awful television programming.
    We let them play hideous video games.
    We let them act poorly in front of us without meaningful consequences.
    We defend outrageous behavior when reported by others. ("Not my child.")
    We let the students be in charge of the school hallways.
    We let the students act like a mob when boarding the buses.
     
  33. JustMe

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    I agree.
     
  34. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I remember being at a train track as a young student and a High School student yelled something. Our bus driver looked back in her mirror and told all of no more talking the rest of the way home, if we did someone would have to bring us to & from school!!! It was a LONG half hour home!!!
     
  35. greendream

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    Thank you for posting this video. Now, whenever someone brings out the old saw about how kids are really the same, and it's all nostalgia, etc., I can point to this concrete example. Did any of you ever see this happen thirty years ago? I know I never saw anything CLOSE to this growing up, but honestly what I saw in that video doesn't even shock me. I could see my own students doing that very thing if they thought their target was passive enough to get away with it.
     
  36. dizzykates

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    I saw this on the Today Show this morning and it just made me sad. I can only imagine that she was dreaming of the end of the year and wanting this job to be done. Those students are unbelievable and I have seen it in my own school aswell. The consequences students recieve do not out weigh the priviledges they have (phones, games, , etc.) I had a parent call and tell me I needed to get her son's grade up because he can't keep his cell phone if he gets less than a B and it was the end of the year. She would have had to take it away all summer if I gave him a C...not problem you can't enforce your own consequences...Sorry, got side tracked, but really, it's an illustration of how little power parents feel they have and how little wrong their children can do. He got the C he earned...
     
  37. DizneeTeachR

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    Dizzy...did the parent really think you were going to change his grade?!?! That's just crazy you are the teacher...they are the parent....
     
  38. roxstar

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    Please understand, I was not blaming her in any way, hence the beginning of my post. I was more or less curious enough about her and her role with the students. She seemed like a student to me.
     
  39. roxstar

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  40. DizneeTeachR

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    I don't have hearing aids, but could this have caused some confusion.... with all the noise on the bus, plus being hard of hearing.... I know she did give them "stink eye looks"!!
     
  41. Reality Check

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    I find it interesting, outside of this message board, the reaction of the public to this video. The outpouring of sympathy and raising of money to send this bus monitor on a "deserved vacation."

    Not that I don't feel the same sympathy for her as those people, but they don't seem to realize that teachers are subject to the same sort of taunting and abuse 180 days a year.

    I guess if there's no video, there's no sympathy or outcry to do something about it.


    :confused:
     
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