Thursday, October 11, 2007

Day 27

I've been warning Lukie all week that Timothy--soundly beaten in every fight he's been in--was targeting Billy for his next attempt. Having been floored and bloodied now by several girls and the shortest eighth grade boy at Booker T., Timothy has been verbally sparring with Billy in Language Arts class. Billy is a diminutive and smart-alecky gay; he is adored by the fashionistas in the eighth grade, and often makes suggestions to Lukie about changing her hair style. Billy is in many ways a walking stereotype; he's also mean-spirited, funny, and tough.

Yesterday Timothy called Billy a "fag" and a "dick eater." I quickly intervened and made sure Timothy understood that we would not tolerate that language in class. Lukie spoke at the same time to Billy, who had earlier taunted Timothy for stuttering while reading a passage aloud.

Today Billy again teased Timothy during reading, and Timothy got out of his chair. Lukie quickly stopped him. Billy said "Yes, you try and fight me. Everyone knows you always get dropped on your neck."

Eventually I had to take over the class because Lukie had to take Timothy and Billy out in the hallway. A new child, just transferred up from the first floor, got out of his seat, scaled a bookcase, and started dancing on its top. Lukie re-entered the classroom and re-established order. She asked for a volunteer to read a paragraph on the overhead. Somebody yelled out "That's a big one! I'm afraid to read the big ones."

Lukie said "I need someone to read who is not afraid of a big one." Treyona fell into this unintended trap, raising her hand. "She ain't afraid of a big one," Yasmine said. "She craves a big one!" That was the end of any semblence of instruction in Language Arts today. The second class--usually angels all--completely fell into pandaemonium.

And, on the way to lunch, Timothy was upended in the stairwell after trying to grapple Billy, who flipped the much larger boy over with no problem. Both of them were arrested by the school police officer, and both are suspended. This is the second suspension for each.

1 comment:

MD said...

Gods' turbans and tutus.

You know, I was suspended once in Baltimore County Public Schools for three days for having too many 'unexcused absences.' I feel my IQ points slipping away every time I reread that sentence. But that's nothing compared to what you're dealing with daily.

How can any large differences be wrought without the help of parents and the community? Why would any teacher want to attempt their trade in a schools that make you look over your shoulder at every turn?

You have my undying respect because there's no way I'd take that job.