According to B'more school policy, cell phones are forbidden. But the kids are ingenious at smuggling them in through the metal detector and they know how to hide them so the door monitor with the wand misses them too. They conceal them in shoes, in undies, in bras, in hoods of coats. And they text and listen to music and take pictures during class. Half the time when I bust them making calls or texting it's their parents on the other end.
It's getting ridiculous: hard enough to teach, after all, without competing with games and the Internet on phones. And today a girl in my homeroom called up her crew after she was insulted by another girl, and there was a gang of outsiders all of a sudden in our building trying to beat down a sixth grader. Imagine back to the ridiculous drama of middle school which you endured, and then imagine having the ability to broadcast your fear and rage out to adults who "got your back." That's what kids do these days, and often the adults decide to come into a school building and "teach a lesson." That's what happened today. Oh, and there was a melee outside involving 7th and 8th graders. I'd been hearing about it all day, and when my 6th grade class complained about me not taking them outside last period, I said "you are staying right here. I know about the plans for the fight, and you are not going outside for anything until I decide it is safe." They were very upset, and every time there was a noise in the hall everyone rushed over to look forlornly out the windows while I stood blocking the door.
2.5 weeks until spring break...
The fight happened but the school police were outside and stopped it quickly.