Saturday, March 15, 2008


It's been tense at work. The Boss smells mutiny. He only has a short amount of time left until retirement, but he's determined to go out with a bang.

Four years of Big Boss's No Discipline Plan at our school is beginning to reap it's rewards. I've lost track of attacks/assults on teachers. We are a rural school and should not see these things. Just these past two weeks, we've had 3-4 attacks (including grabbing and twisting of teachers' breasts), rolling down the hall, writhing during assemblies, running out of the classrooms, running out of the building, specific threats to shoot various teachers, and things I don't know of, because it's all supposed to be a "big secret".   

Big Boss said during lunch in the faculty room, that he quit entering our Discipline Referral Pages into the county's computer program, because our school always had the most referrals. 

One 10 year old student told me "Screw you!" during class. I pointed to the door and out he went, off to the office to tell the Boss, "screw you!" (which he didn't do, too bad). The teachers were in an uproar. Boss and kid came to "apologize" at which point Boss said, "But Little Johnny here says that you said....." and so it goes. 

Little Johnny says he didn't understand it was his group's turn to perform. I said, your entire group is standing up, and you're laying on the floor and you didn't understand it was time to go?! Then when I told your group they did a good job, you reply, Screw you!?!!

Big Boss always brings the kids over to "talk" about it, at which point he says, "But Little Devil Child here says that you said...blah, blah, blah, something to make little devil mad, thus justifying his actions... At which point I say, "But that does not excuse Little Johnny's actions. He should have done the right thing regardless...."

Anyhow, in the particular Little Johnny case mentioned above, Big Boss says to me, "But Little Johnny is improving..." Thus ends conversation, and the consquences (none). 

One week later Little Johnny attacks and shoves another teacher. The consquence? Little Johnny is sent to his homeroom teacher and the school janitor to ask, What should be done when a student pushes a teacher?

Mr. Homeroom teacher responds, "That's assult on a teacher. We have state laws about that. The student needs to be suspended."

Big Boss replys, "It all depends on how you look at the law."  

Mr. Homeroom teacher says, "No, it does not depend on how you look at the law. It's Assult on a Teacher. That calls for Suspension of the student."

Big Boss responds again, "It all depends on how you look at the law." And he walks out of the room. 

So Little Johnny did not get suspended. And we're wondering if he's going to bring a knife to school next. There are a number of Little Johnnys/Little Janes at our school....

Big Boss would rather deal with angry teachers than irate parents. 

And we are counting down the days. 


sophanne March 15, 2008 at 8:28 AM  

Indeed all hands are tied. I'm growing so weary of "we must teach the students what the expectations are." Not punish them. Well you know what-They've got those expectations figured out- if they behave inappropriately, someone will tell them what the expectations are and they are "set loose" to repeat the pattern. Actions with no consequences. I'm all for a positive approach but it's most unbalanced as it stands now. Our Big Boss is the same. I'm just grateful that (after hearing some stories) our end of the county continues inrural bliss (for the most part)

throwslikeagirl74 March 15, 2008 at 9:35 AM  

Ick. I'm so sorry. The principal at my school right before I left was also weak in discipline. All the involved parents pulled their kids out and took them to private schools and now, 5 years later, the school which I truly loved teaching at is on Academic Watch. Makes me sad to see we weren't the only one. At least he's leaving soon. :)

Olga March 15, 2008 at 11:30 AM  

I'm floored that this is going on at your school!! I can't even form an outraged enough comment! I'm so sorry you have to be subjected to that kind of thing .

Mountain Mama March 15, 2008 at 11:35 AM  

I am so upset- I don't even know what to say. I guess I can say, "he will retire eventually!"

Heidi Ho March 15, 2008 at 9:14 PM  

Schools all over are this way, unfortunately... We are seeing similar behaviors...both from children and administration. My opinion is there is a "higher order" controlling the suspending (or lack there of) in our area. I'm sensing frustration from administration too at times...Like there is no option past a certain point.

I have a theory..(in jest)...I think they are having some sort of contest..ya know? The school with the least amount of referrals gets a doubled budget next year....or even better...a trip to the Bahamas for the principal!!!hahaha

I do agree with Sophanne, the pendulum swing to positive approach is a good one, except they have let it swing too far. If there is no "then this will happens" to the "what if I do this?" in these kids' minds, then there is no end to the havoc they can create.

My final thought: I think there are soooooooo many parental threats with lawyers and law suits on administration, that they are fearful to breathe too loudly or they may become the scape goat. I mean people, I've heard threats to sue because they were asked to pull their car down, or because it was raining and their child was getting wet, etc... What happened to send your kid with an umbrella if there's rain in the forecast??Duh!!! Or..the novel concept of put your kiddo on the bus? But I think the big bosses are just too fearful to address it in this manner! It's like we're missing the forest through all the misbehaving trees!!! and what about all those other "well-mannered trees" in the forest...I fear they are going to get caught in the crossfire!!!

Sharon March 25, 2008 at 3:52 PM  

I'm a fifty-something, and even though I feel like an old biddy saying this, the world sure is a different place than when I was a kid. Of course, I thought it sucked that teachers had so much authority during the 1960s when I was growing up, because sometimes they were verbally and physically abusive. But the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction, and there are no easy answers. I regret it's an atmosphere where teachers, staff and students alike fear for their personal safety.

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Hmm, seems somewhat redundant. I'm a mom of 2 lovely ladies. I'm the wife of a triathlete machine. I'm a general music teacher in a public school. I like to take pictures of things, especially things i consider beautiful. I like to share. As long as it isn't food. Enjoy!

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