Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The surreal world of discipline within an American public school Part II

This kid, who had a D or so, was now a TA for some teacher. He could spend the rest of the trimester (about 3 weeks) sitting on his duff, stapling papers, for an A. 
Despite covering my bases,  I was the one being blamed for this debacle.  I had made my classroom rules clear, given warnings, taken abuse from this kid.  I had let the parents know, hoping to head off any escalation in the conflict, and they had continued to go after me.   I had contacted the principal and let her know that I had been on top of this and despite that, this "child" had continued to disrupt the class and misbehave.  Furthermore, he seemed hellbent on creating issues for me.

I emailed the principal that summer and asked what her protocol was for complaints.  Normally, the first person parents should talk to is the teacher.  That's exactly what she told me and I let her know AGAIN; that the parents had gone straight to her and never spoke to me.  When the Summer ended, I sent copies of this jerk's papers to the parents.  These were the papers where he bragged about misbehaving and was unnecessarily critical of me.  It was addressed to the father.  I wrote "If this was my child, I would want to know what was going on."  Approximately a month later, I received an envelope in my classroom from the parents.  The writing was so poor, I presumed that the kid might have written it.  Nope.  Mommy, the reading teacher, was no scholar.  Now she was telling me that I had waited too long to send their child's "work," and that this now constituted harassment of their child.

Let's see.  She was telling me that she would have actually responded to any indication that her angel was misbehaving.  Well.  I assume she knew he was working on the yearbook.  Wouldn't she have wanted to see the pages he contributed to?  Hmmmm......no 8th grade boy's basketball pics.  God.  The hypocrisy of it all. This letter indicated the parents would go to the school district's board meeting to attempt to have me removed as I "didn't belong in a classroom with children." If you care to see this teenager in action, google "mr. jingles goes boom."  It shows this young man blowing up a frog with a fire cracker.  They are real pillars of the community.


It was disgusting to me, after all I had been through. I contacted Karen Horwitz, from NAPTA.  She asked if she could use the story for her book, White Chalk Crime.  It's there on page 166 or so.

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