Thoughts on this article?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by HaoZi, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ac/20110606..._teacher_who_punched_student_in_selfdefense_1

    "Putting aside any fallacies in parenting (which is gravely obvious by the actions of the male student who provoked her and the female student who yelled after the teacher punched him)"

    I'd like to send the writer our kids for a few weeks and see if they manage to parent them any better. Maybe the kid is really just a jack*****, there's plenty of them out there. Maybe he's a kid with problems like our kids. Would be nice if they had even researched if this kid has problems, is in therapy, or anything else.
     
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Don't get ME going... really.

    There are MULTIPLE problems with that article.

    Given the scenario (size diff etc. and age of student), I don't think the teacher needs to lose her job - but she might want to get some additional training on multiple fronts. I used to work for a lady who was an ex-teacher (she left because she couldn't stand the "system", not because she didn't like teaching)... probably weighed no more than 100 lbs, not much over 5 ft tall... and her first class was a gang of toughs - the kids no other teacher would take. Except... nobody knew about her "alter-ego"... SO... a couple of months in, the "gang" decided it was time to put this teacher in her place and take over the classroom. The biggest, toughest kid confronted her - she took the altercation into the hallway (where there was more room), and in 2.5 seconds, had this kid pinned against the wall and no way to struggle out of her hold. He went white (fear), and there was a huge ruckus raised by his parents... but the teacher won. Turns out... she had a 3rd-degree black belt in some martial art. The students hadn't moved in on her during the first weeks, because they were not sure about where her weakness was (she sure wasn't timid)... and when they pulled the "trigger", they got a lesson. Neither she nor the rest of the teachers had a problem with that gang for as long as she taught at that school.

    Reporters in general are no longer "investigative" - they just regurgitate whatever drivvel someone shovels out to them. So... who REALLY wrote that story?

    Having said all that... I TOTALLY agree that most of these "problem kids" are kids with problems.

    I've been told by PhD level researchers... that it is now estimated that 40% of the prison population has undiagnosed learning disabilities and/or other "missed" health issues (coordination, etc.) - and personally, I think that figure is low.

    How much could we change the world, if we could actually do the right thing for ALL of our kids, at the earliest possible age?

    (please. start a revolution. The new leader of the world needs to be a difficult child-trained Mom.)
     
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Okay, I read the article and now I understand what was going on. This is a difficult child (no surprise there).
    Don't know if that's a Special Education classroom, but if it is, the teacher should have had better training (not to mention, her first punch missed and barely got his jaw ;) ). If it's not a Special Education class, there's an even bigger problem with-mixing a kid like that with-the gen population.
    What a mess.
    I read some of the comments on the Yahoo article and there are definitely some parents there with-special needs kids. Bravo that they posted and blasted the writer!
    This writer clearly has no idea of what this kids parents are up against.
     
  5. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I think the article said it was art class. I left my comment on the yahoo link.
     
  6. keista

    keista New Member

    WOW Even more interesting that the STUDENTS voted her as "Teacher of the Year" last year.
     
  7. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I'm sorry, maybe I am missing something here. Are you all saying that this teacher had no right to punch this kid in the face following his abusive and intimidating behavior in her classroom? She was the only teacher present and none of the other students were able or willing to come to her defense...instead choosing only to video the exchange.

    What should she have done when backed into a corner after being chest bumped? Not only should the kid be expelled from that school, she should get her job back and be heralded for taking back control of her classroom.

    The truth is, there ARE kids like this one mainstreamed into ALL classes - they are NOT relegated to Special Education classrooms (in my town, SpedEd classes do not exist) or resource rooms for the entire day. Granted, the kid is a difficult child and I do not think his parents are completely to blame for his in-school behavior; and teachers across the country definitely need more training in dealing with difficult child-type of SpecEd children especially if they work in a district that mainstreams these kids. However, I think this kid's intimidation tactics go a little beyond simple difficult child behavior. To me, his behavior has permeated what is perceived as typical teen behavior - they feel entitled and as though they can get away with anything. They antagonize to see how far they can go and are constantly pushing the envelope with teachers (and other authoritative figures) - because they KNOW they are protected. How wonderful this kid must have felt that he got the teacher fired and got away with his horrific behavior because he is protected by skewed laws. Well, who is protecting the teachers? I'm not for corporal punishment in schools but I do believe regardless of the setting, a person has the right to protect herself and maintain her dignity. If I felt trapped, I might have done the same while at the same time fearing what his response would be if I struck him - she could have ended up severely beaten.

    That kid should be tossed out on his ear - when will he learn his behavior is UNacceptable? Don't we always say that regardless of the disability, our kids still need to learn the difference between right and wrong, appropriate and inappropriate?
     
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I've got to agree with Jo.

    This kid may or may not be a difficult child. I'm not so sure that was the point of this article. I think the point was that teachers are barely able to maintain control in their classrooms given current conditions/restrictions on how they're allowed to handle situations.

    Backed into a corner after being chest bumped? I'd have laid the kid out myself, student or stranger. Everyone has a right to self defense, and that includes teachers. In that instance it no longer matters if a student is a difficult child or not. Chest bumping is a physical threat of violence, in my opinion teacher acted appropriately. If the child had been younger, I doubt her reaction would have been the same as her options would have been different.

    I've seen more than my fair share of typical teen's do this with authority figures, especially teachers, simply because they've figured out they can basically get away with it. If teacher does anything to protect themselves they're nearly always fired.

    And I've seen this type of situation turn mighty ugly mighty fast.

    We had a group of students physically attack and nearly kill a teacher back when I was in HS simply because the worst that would happen is expulsion and maybe some time in JDC. Instead their attack was unprovoked and so vicious.....court tried them as adults and they went to prison. It took other students to nail them on the crime as well.

    Here when the kids were in school we had several students threaten to murder the family of one of the teachers because they were failing his class. They went so far as to stalk him and his family. When he pressed charges.......he suddenly found he no longer had a job. Seriously? And these kids were no difficult children, just TTs who have learned to work the system in their favor. They didn't even get into trouble.

    Here there is no such thing as Special Education. All special needs kids are integrated, whether able to function in a mainstream classroom or not. Even alex was in a mainstream classroom.....although in gradeschool they have Special Education teachers in each grade that handle the IEP students. One per grade, and class is still integrated. That is a setting for trouble. But we've become far too worried over "self esteem" to admit it is a set up for major trouble.

    Certainly children in schools should not be abused, regardless of whether they are difficult children or pcs. But we also have to be wary that we're not so into protecting the students due to fears of lawsuits of parents, that we fail to protect teachers in the process and allow them at the very least self defense.

    Travis was severely abused by a teacher. So I've been on both sides of this fence.

    That this same teacher was voted Teacher of the Year says a ton.

    A totally wrong message is being sent to her attacker.......and to the rest of the students. ugh
     
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, I didn't mean she couldn't defend herself. Looking over it, I see that my responses are pretty bland.
     
  10. april1974

    april1974 New Member

    I think the teacher should get her job back, and maybe she does need some education on how to difuse situations like that and gain control, I doubt this is the first time she has had problems in her class.

    Who knows about the kid, he obviously needs to be disciplined, if my 5yr old gets disciplined for violence then that teenager needs to be disciplined regardless of his diagnosis

    The story about the teacher taking the kid in the hall and putting him into a martial arts hold bothered me, gangs have guns and they aren't afraid to use them, I think her actions were wrong and she put herself and her family in danger by doing that, if she had been attacked and did it in self defense that is different but to do it to gain control of her class I don't agree with it. If the only way you can gain control is through violence yourself you aren't gaining anything, but fear and having your students fearful of you isn't exactly a win win situation. That teacher was lucky, lucky she wasn't hurt because one on one she was fine but what if they did gang up on her?
     
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hopefully, because of these events, the admin is doing a study of the entire classroom content and environment (aka the types of kids there) to see if it is safe. Hopefully, some good will come of it.
     
  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Hopefully some good will come of it. I agree.

    Personally, I think it would be wise if school boards and the like were to not only put into place measures to protect special needs students, but also require specific training for teachers for when such situations arise......self defense moves that can quickly defuse the threat with some means of calling for back up to prevent escalation to protect both teachers and other students in the classroom.

    However it seems, at least around here that school officials don't want to admit that it is a problem, let alone a serious one. (and we're a small town for pete's sake) So it doesn't get dealt with in any real sense.

    I don't think the teacher should lose her job. I do think the student should suffer some real consequences for his actions. And I'm sorry but as for the students who didn't go for help...........ehhhh I'm not so into letting them off the hook either.

    Of course had that been my kid doing that to a teacher..........well, he'd have begged to be arrested so he wouldn't have to come home and face ME.
     
  13. keista

    keista New Member

    Oh, I'm totally on the teacher's side. I thought that was a given.

    Was thinking about it today. The teacher did have one other 'option' - She could have bolted out the door. (looked like she was backed against a door, not a wall) HOWEVER, if she did that, this kid could have turned around and attacked the class. Then she'd still be in a world of hurt, for "abandoning" and "endangering" the other students. I think she just did what her instincts told her to - literally knock sense into the kid. He was so shocked he did not pursue his attack. - difficult child diffused.
     
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Re: teacher and martial arts... you have to understand that this was CANADA (a whole different culture), and over 30 years ago (that's at least 3 worlds away from school today). We didn't have then what we now call "gangs". There were no guns or knives in school, no cell phones for communication (or to record events) - by definition, the teacher was right unless proven otherwise (e.g. sexual abuse, or a history of physical abuse but it had to be repetitive) and this was accepted in the general community, not just in the school system - it was a totally different world. And it wasn't high school - more like grade 8 - but the kid was over 6 ft and 150+ lbs...

    But the point was - the way the teacher behaves, affects how far the students push. If you're a wee thing and come across weak and tentative, you might as well have a sign on your back that says "attack me".

    I didn't notice until I re-read the articles and thread... but this was ART class. in my humble opinion - that may well be 90% of the problem. There is some mantra in the education world right now that believes that it is essential for every single student to participate in ART. Now, I'm not anti-arts. But for some students, this class may well be the absolutely worst possible scenario... they have to be creative, and they have to have good fine motor skills to make anything happen. These kids have been on the receiving end of bullying most of their lives, and the anger and ODD behavior and other problems come out of that - they get so tired of being on the receiving end that they go on the offensive - long before they get to high school.

    Some of these art teachers really push "final product" - as in "do it my way, it will work, and you get a good mark - do it your way, well... you have to do really really good to get a good mark because you didn't do it my way, but I might concede... do poorly, and you get crushed". This is the end of the term - major burnout on all fronts. Major teacher pride on the line - "look what my students did this year". Clash of what??? <sigh> It was an art teacher that almost killed our difficult child - not physically, but emotionally - almost drove him over the edge. We're still trying to recover 3 years later.
     
  15. april1974

    april1974 New Member

    I'm a Canadian. Born and raised. I didn't realize the martial art story was that old, and your right 30yrs ago schools were much different. I remember our school had a strap in it when I was in kindergarden I had the fear of god in me of the principal, I was terrified of the principal because I didn't want the strap! I think our teachers need control back but I am glad there is no more straps since my son would have been strapped a few times by now. Kids need to respect their teachers and all adults. Teachers also need to be compassionate about special needs and realize they aren't god almighty and they don't get to rule with an iron fist anymore. Times have changed, for the most part for the better, I think.
     
  16. keista

    keista New Member

    Wow, us too. Fortunately son was able to recover when he finally finished the class - olny half a year. The crazy ART teacher wanted EVERYTHING colored in - son does not do colors, he's a pencil sketch kinda kid. He did have to learn certain techniques, but when it came to a project, I purposely steered son to a mostly black and white artist - Escher - no colors for teacher! HA!
     
  17. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    My kindergarten teacher locked me in the closet because I wouldn't lie down for naptime with all the other kids. I was asthmatic and my mom told me to ask the teacher if I could instead put my head down at my desk. She said no, I insisted what my mom told me to do, I ended up in the closet with the doors locked shut in the dark for the 20 minute nap. When I told my mom, days later, heads rolled, teacher was fired, end of her.

    I got over it. And so do many other children around the world - who among us hasn't ever had ONE bad teacher who forced their will on the kids? I just think people should be careful to jump on the 'poor difficult child' wagon in this case. We're all so ready to advocate for our kids that we hardly give them an opportunity to A) advocate for themselves, and, B) suffer the natural consequences of their actions.

    I'm sure the district is petrified of a lawsuit (albeit bogus). Does anyone know if the kid was expelled?
     
  18. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    My main objection to the article was how the writer tried to point to bad parenting as being the cause while saying that was exactly what they weren't doing. I've seen nothing from the student's point of view, know nothing about if this is a kid with known problems, if other kids have felt maligned by this teacher (and art teachers in my experience are notoriously critical). It's the whole slant on everything without objective and fully informed reporting that bothers me.
    Personally I can't make a call on her actions because I don't know the whole story.
     
  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Some things are better, some things are worse. 30 years ago... about 25% of the kids did not finish grade 12 - now, its about 21%... not much different. But there is a difference in the kinds of kids who are finishing, and the kinds who are not...

    What has happened on the school front is that we have changed "which" percentage of kids no longer fit at school. Watching difficult child struggle, I wonder how I ever made it through - so I've been going back over what school used to be like - and difficult child would have done much better, back then.

    Classrooms were quiet and orderly - so, problems like auditory discrimination didn't show up. When the teacher was speaking, you could hear a pin drop (99.9% of the time).

    They taught ONE subject at a time, rather than this blended stuff. So, it when there was a weakness, it was obvious where the problem was, and that area got targetted support.

    They actually TAUGHT key, basic skills - printing, handwriting, basic math, reading, composition - rather than assuming that the kids will just pick up these skills on their own in the stream of information coming at them.

    The day's schedule was consistent - if you had PE after lunch, then it was at that exact time, every single day (unless you were on a field trip). Heavy subjects were ALWAYS in the morning - reading, writing, math. Art - after about grade 2 - was always in the afternoon. So, the kids were freshest when doing the heavier work. At least where I went to school, you didn't need an agenda - all assignments were due on Friday; you could ask for an extension to Monday morning before school (automatically granted if you had been sick or it was a subject you struggled in). If you had more than a week to work on it, a notice went home a week before the assignment started - and the parents had to sign it and return!

    We have a greater understanding of what is driving these difficult child kids - the causes of the problems. Sometimes this helps us know what they need. But the current approach to education now makes it vital for families to get to the bottom of every single possible diagnosis this kid has, in order to get accommodations that used to be "normal course of business" and/or are work-arounds for the mess that school has become.

    Discipline... is either extreme or non-existant - they may not have the strap any more, but some of the toung-lashings I've heard lately (not my difficult child) are more emotionally damaging. There is no easy answer on this one... until we (society as a whole, including the school and medical systems) are prepared to do what it takes EARLY to catch all of the needs of all of the kids as soon as possible and then step up to the plate with the resources to support them. And I don't see THAT happening any time soon. So, we pay huge $$$ for prisons... and not nearly enough for education and medical support.
     
  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I looked up the St. Petersburg Times and TampaBay.com, and there are no updates as of today. FYI.
     
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