First class: I'm standing by the classroom door. Lukie is starting a lesson about summarization. A 15-year-old in a grey hoody with his jeans around his knees pulls open the door and tries to get in the classroom. I bar his passage--I don't recognize him, he's out of uniform. He says "muthafucka I'm Emmanuel's brutha." Two male students in the class salute this interloper, who tries to push past me but I'm not moving. Emmanuel looks terrified. Grey Hoody moves along, banging on lockers and cursing and looking at me with eyes dull and emotionless as old nickels.
Apparently there was a gang fight between middle schoolers yesterday evening. Often adult gangmembers or older teen gangmembers will try to get into the school to harrass or beat kids who are in rival gangs, or who are in no gang at all and have somehow offended the powers that be.
In middle school I worried about zits and uncontrollable erections; I don't think my life was ever threatened.
Class two: a six-foot two behavioral problem named T.J. wanders the class saying "suck my ass" over and over. He yells out the window, he calls Lukie a bitch, he tells me he'll sue me if I touch him. I'm tempted to discreetly push him down the darkened stairwell where nobody goes. The kids think there are ghosts down there. T.J. asks to go the bathroom, disappears for twenty minutes, and returns to get an office referral. Turns out he was already suspended yesterday but nobody told us. Not surprising considering that the Administrators are all "acting" in their positions; all the qualified APs and Ps have quit or been transferred and nobody in their right mind would take on our school in its current state of chaos.