Monday, November 05, 2007

Day 45

I must admit I was getting cocky. I mean, crazy stuff has happened at school the last two weeks, but it's the same crazy stuff that always happens. I can handle that! The crazy stuff had become routine.

Any student of literature knows what happens when a protagonist exhibits such hubris: A Rude Awakening.

I'm kneeling down helping TR with his graphic organizer. Tollia asks to go the bathroom. I tell her she can't go because we have a fifteen-minute rule--nobody is allowed in the halls fifteen minutes before or after class change. She begs me, and Lukie says "Tollia you know better." A teenage girl busts into the classroom. "Tollia, who is the boy who be fuckin' wid you?" she screams. Behind her comes an adult woman, swearing at the top of her lungs. "I will fuck up the mother fucker in this room who is messin' with my baby. Who the fuck is messin' with my daughter?" Behind the woman is a large teenage boy with the air of a gangbanger, and a red kerchief on his head. I jump up as Lukie gets in the woman's face and says "This can't happen in my classroom. We need to take this into the hall."

"Bitch I am telling you somebody fuckin' with my daughter in here and we are going to jack him up. I got my other sons and their cousins on they way here." I pull the lever and call for the school police. I get in front of the gangbanger and start walking him back toward the hall. Now other kids in the classroom are taunting the woman and she is threatening them with physical violence if they don't leave her baby alone. Some of them she is calling out by names. "I know whey you live," the mother is screaming. Some of the kids say "yeah we know whey you live too, bitch!" Tollia is mortified, and slips into the hall. Lukie gets the mother and the son and daughter out the door and I step into the hall with them and shut the classroom behind me. Tollia's mother is screaming about us not protecting her baby. "You don't protect my baby from that boy I am bringin' a crew up in here to fuck him up. He will leave school on a stretcher." I tell her I had no idea anyone was touching her daughter, and that had I known I would have dealt with the situation. "We can't have adults in this building threatening kids," I say, and the mother gets in my face "What would you do, bitch, if it was your daughter?"

I turn to Tollia. "What happened?" I ask. She says Shaq kept putting his hands on her. I told her that she needed to tell a teacher immediately and that we would stop it. "Anyone touches you and you don't like it, I will jack him up," I tell her. She doesn't want to go back in the classroom. "Don't be scared, girl," her sister says. "I will fuck all them kids up myself if they fuck with you." Her mother says "Never be scared. You have brothers. You have cousins. They will fuck those kids up if I tell them to." Meanwhile I am slickly putting my key in the lock, pretending to unlock the door to let Tollia in the class, when in fact I am locking the door so I can shut it behind me.

The school police never showed up. This confrontation lasted ten minutes, and the class was a mess afterwards. The students were taunting Tollia for her mother's behavior and threatening to go over to the Family Dollar where she works and "fuck her up." Tollia looked devestated. Lukie spent five minutes talking to the class about all the different inappropriate behavior we'd just witnessed. Yasmine said "Yo Miss L, if she had hit you we all had your back. We'd a banged that bitch!" Tollia was crying and fled down the hall. Shaq looked like he'd pissed hisself.

Tomorrow is Election Day. A day off from this mess.

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