A Teacher's Day

The day in the life of an inner city large urban school district teacher after the high stakes testing ends and there is still three more months left before summer vacation.

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

I have taught school for over thirty years always in the inner city and for the most part always upper grade students. I have two children and I have been married for twenty years.

Monday, June 12, 2006

What Happens to a Students after the Police are Notified

I remember when children either admired or were in fear of the police. I remember a time children respected their parents. I remember a time—well, you get the idea and if you don’t, I guess you don’t remember.

A boy hit a girl on the face with a metal broom in the classroom. He busted her face open and the paramedics and police were called. (See blog entitled A Week to go and Now This below.) The girl’s mother refused to have her daughter hospitalized for stitches. The police were willing to make a police report. The school suspended him for the rest of the year—all of four days.

School ended at 2:45. The boy was taken home by his grandmother. At 3:00 he was outside playing basketball.

I don’t understand this.

I can’t understand this.

But I don’t know what to do.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't stop shaking my head. What does this show the kids? There are no consequences for violent acts which perpetuates more violent acts. Not only that it models the negative behavior for younger students and siblings.

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My guess is the girl and her family are "illegally" in the United States or afraid of some kind of retaliation. I can't imagine too many reasons a parent would refuse stitches for a child but I remember 24 years of teaching in deprived areas of the city without much support - physical or emotional - walking wounded, post traumatic stress more rampant than in veterans returning from Iraq...right here - teachers, students, families, communities.

9:39 AM  
Blogger JayMonster said...

While I am too stunned by the girl's parents response (although the possiblity exists that they do not have insurance, though I do not accept that as an excuse), I am not at all surprised by what you found with the boy.

After all, if he was raised by anybody that had taught him anything in life, perhaps he wouldn't be the type of person he is.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Rose Fisher said...

Your questions are never simple, and therefore the answers are the same. I asked a social worker about this, she said the injured girl should have been taken away from the parent for child neglect. How many children could Cook county hold? The second comment about the broom was "why was a weapon so readily available to a child" in a school setting. My guess is neither thing would work out, too many kids being neglected, anything can be used as a weapon. Our vast ability to communitcate images from far and wide in some sense must de-sensitize our children, maybe they think life is like the media,no one really gets hurt, or cares, its all just images, not reality. Now, the question is, how do we bring all this horror to a sense of reality and compassion for others. I can only think that we start as young as possible and include the parents right from the start so they too can become compassionate and caring individuals. Maybe they just don't know how. I'm sure that most of the neglected ones who are going through the system now won't have a clue.

6:21 PM  
Blogger mishegasmaster said...

what is it w/anonymous commenters? are you so afraid to even put your name up there/ what are you afraid of? show yourself! be human! get into the world! stop hiding!

8:50 PM  
Blogger A Teacher's Log said...

Thanks for the comments.

The girl in question is not an illegal immigrant. She comes from a very fine family--a very large family--thirteen kids and counting, but also a very successful family. So far all of the children but the two remaining in high school and the one still in middle school have finished college.

Nonetheless, the family has insurance issues, no health benefits and they are still live at the poverty level.

What has surprised me so far is how so many of the comments have focused on the girl and no one has focused on the boy and his family. During his second day in suspension, his grandmother waited for school to let out and then told him to go outside and play. What did he dop during te school day? He played his video games, watched TV, and generally laid around the house.

He has still to suffer any consequences at all.

This is why I am amazed.

He lives with his extended family--but his father does not live in his house. It's true his mother drinks to much and takes too many drugs, but his grandmother does not nor does the aunt who lives there too.

Oh, by the way, every classroom I have ever taught in has a broom and dust pan so the children can sweep the floor and keep the room clean. Just so you know, my room is a room of tables--not one single desk. We're a science/reading/writing lab. It's not always easy to keep everything stacked on the tables. Paper and things do make it to the floor. So we have a broom to sweep. I never in a million years thought someone would use a broom to hurt someone--especially after that someone apologized four times.

6:03 AM  

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