So my current school is in many ways a step up from my old school. The level of violence at the March, for one, is far lower than that at the Book. I saw kids lying in their own blood about a dozen times in my year and a few months over West; although I've seen several fights on the East Side (including one last period in my room this afternoon) today was the first time I saw a child in a pool of her own blood at the March. I didn't need to see it today. I will think of that big red blotchy Rorshach stain on the cracked cement for a long time.
Samsara is a heavy-set girl who is impossibly sweet-natured. She is at most 5 foot tall and likely weighs 170 pounds. She always accessorizes colored hair bands with rings and bracelets and bows. She is gentle and silly. Today she got beat-down after school and was left lying in a pool of her own blood, twitching, as several dozen students stood around and laughed at her and pointed. All because a bigger tougher girl got the idea that Samsara was "running her mouth." Likely second-hand information, and likely from an instigator who just wanted to cause turmoil. I doubt Samsara said a word until she was confronted for saying things she never said, and then she likely tried to give as good as she got. Once she got knocked down, there was a free-for-all of head-stomping, which is the unfortunate and merciless MO of City middle-schoolers, whether they are beating random adults at bus stops, or each other. And the girls are often worse than the boys.
The girl who knocked Samsara down is in my homeroom. She was talking smack in the hallway after last period and I pulled her up about it, and pulled her aside for counseling, and another teacher joined me, and we thought we had cooled things down. Obviously not. By that point the news of a fight had spread through the school, and once you're billed as the main attraction, failure to perform is not an option. So Nike, the girl in my homeroom, had to step up and punch her target, and once her target was down Nike's "crew" had to stomp her face in. If they didn't stomp her face then they might be targeted themselves. They waited until they were a few feet off campus and in the alley which leads to the school. Some teachers rushed out and chased the belligerents away but the damage had been done.
A sixth grader should never get her face stomped into concrete. A sixth grade girl fight should be over when somebody is knocked down and crying. The ambulance should not have to come and fetch a sixth grade girl off the driveway of her school, brace her neck and put her on a back board and restrain her while her legs and arms are twitching and she is saying "I can't open my eyes. My eyes don't work. What happened to my face?" Her class mates should not find this entertaining. Her mother should not have to come up there and see it, and the elementary kids next door should not have to leave school and step over pooled blood on their way home.
Days like today make me want to take a couple percocet with a couple whiskys. Days like today make me wonder what the fuck I am doing here, instead of living in Vancouver or some place where this shit doesn't happen.