Monday, November 10, 2008

Day 4

There are handfulls of kids--five in my first period and four in my last period class--that are completely off the chain. They prevent me from getting much teaching done, and are resolute in their opposition to any disciplinary system. They simply don't care if I call their houses, and they don't show up for detention, and the administrators won't suspend them because they just run the streets for a few days and still don't learn anything, which defeats the purpose of school. Of course not being able to teach the kids who want to learn also defeats the purpose of school.

So I'm working on it, and I've been in this situation before. I feel like I'm close to getting a handle on the March. I've gotten some quality work out of the last-period seventh grade class after they ran roughshod over me my first day, and some of them are hanging out with me after school to clean up and they're giving me drawings to hang on my wall.

Duracell is a kid in that last class. He's about 6'1" and 175 pounds of lean muscle. He likes to throw punches at me which barely miss to see if I'll flinch (I'm used to this from the Book). He also hides behind doors and when I open them he jumps up and says 'Boo!' really loud. I don't flinch, because I'm perpetually hyperaware in the building, looking out for airborne desks and chairs headed toward my face. Children throwing punches and jumping at me I can handle.

Today I turned my back and Duracell had little Crouton by the foot and threw him up in the air for a double back-flip (it was elegantly done but very dangerous). I gave Duracell a sound dressing-down, and then ten minutes later he was clenching Android around the neck. I saw this at the Book too this year--a new tradition called "putting somebody to sleep." It actually originated at the Book with a transfer from the East Side. Now I see it regularly. I had to pry Duracell's arms off Android who was red-eyed and blue-faced by the time I got him freed. Kids are choking people until they go out, for fun.

This shit scares me. One of these youngins is going to pull a 187 when they think they're playing. They just don't give a fuck. Students stand around laughing while it goes on, too.


Swanksalot said...

Re: "putting somebody to sleep", my aunt is in town, and recounted a sad story of a couple years ago that I had tried to put out of my mind. An uncle of mine, in Toronto, lost his 11 year old son - the son was doing some similar asphyxiation game in his room with friends (they called the game "seeing stars"), and the kid died. I barely knew him, but I do know that uncle pretty well, and he's still fucked up about it.

Of course, no matter where or when, kids can't be told shit by adults, but still you are right to be nervous.

Swanksalot said...

Boy, that's a cheery tale. It just sorta slipped out. Sorry!

Nyarlathotep said...

Something similar happened recently to my sister-in-laws' brother and his family. Terrible. Seeing it happen is really disturbing, and I really have to work not to punch kids who are choking someone.