Location: Texas, United States

I am a teacher with 33 years experience in public education. The purpose of this web log is to critically examine the present state of education in our great country and, particularly, in Texas.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Can we just have common sense is reporting that a 13 year old middle school student has been suspended for "assault" with a rubber band. I cannot know the specifics of this situation. If this media outlet can be trusted, here are the basics of the "assault". The student found the rubber band. He slipped it on his wrist. His science teacher demanded the rubber band. The boy tossed the rubber band on the desk. As a result he was charged with a Level 4 offense. This is the highest level offense in the school discipline code. This places the incident with the rubber band at the same level as arson, assault and battery, bomb threats, and explosives. The thing that apparently places this event in this category is that the school code of conduct does not discriminate between a rubber band and a stick of dynamite.

The boy received a 10 day suspension for this heinous act. Additionally, he may be expelled period. Just brilliant.

There are a couple of things that need to be considered here. First, the boy may have thrown the rubber band. He may even have snapped it. The report says tossed. What he did may have been overtly rude, maybe not.

The boy would have been well advised to place the rubber band on the desk rather than toss it. Perhaps, he needs to be given instruction in polite behavior and respect for needed authority. I don't doubt that what he did may have been perceived as acting out. I wonder if, when he decided to toss the rubber band, he decided to put the teachers eye out. I doubt it. I would imagine that he behaved like a 13 year old boy. He may have been irritated by the teachers demand. But, this begs the question of intent. Did he intend to attack the teacher with the rubber band. Again, I doubt it. Did he perhaps act with a little bit too much "one facial hair" bravado? Perhaps. About the time boys get a bit of facial peach fuzz some of them tend to think they are a cross between Tarzan and the California Governator - Awwnold. They simply start acting like things are bigger than they are. Silly - yes. Criminal - No. Now of course, he may have decided to kill the teacher with the rubber band by tossing it on the desk. Let's grow a brain.

The teacher may have asked a bit rudely. I am not proud to say that I have, just because the day mortally reeked, driven a kid or two to distraction in my thirty years of teaching. Some days should just be put out of their misery. I have yelled at kids. I am guilty of saying "shut-up" to a kid from time to time. God forbid in the old days I even paddled some for being a "cheeky" little kid. I wanted to tape one to the wall with duct tape and actually said I ought to duct tape you to the wall. Then, of course, the kid wanted me to do it and begged me to do it the rest of the year. He still teases me, 5 years later, because I didn't have the nerve to do it even after his mother told me to go ahead and she would come take a picture. (I still secretly wish I had taped him to the wall after it became the joke of the year). Especially seeing as how I let them duct tape me to the wall. It actually works. I taught science and physics to Pre AP students O.K.

I have seen teachers yell at kids to give up rubber bands. And, I have seen kids angered by the tone. I find the tone in many schools today to be a bit uncivil on the part of the teachers. So, I ask this simple question.

Is there anyway we can somehow not react to a rubber band like it is a hand grenade. And can the parents please help their kid with the idea of respectful behavior.

And, for heavens sake can some of the loonier school districts out there figure out how to think??????? Please, is there a way you can not make us all look like a pack of drooling idiots.

Lets all just get a clue. The poor kid didn't throw a hand grenade. He tossed a rubber band. Unless you actually are a drooling idiot you should be able to tell the difference. And if you profession is working with kids one would assume that you are cool, collected and capable of grace under pressure. And that if you see a rubber band tossed you will not freek out, mess your pantaloons, and start babbling in new languages. Once again, for those who missed my point IT WAS A FREAKIN RUBBER BAND. FOR THIS WE ARE GOING TO DERAIL A KIDS WHOLE EDUCATION.

What can you possibly do if a kid actually does produce a weapon at school. I guess you are sharpening the blade on the school guillotine. Most likely you set it up at lunch so all the kids can eat while the rubber band thowers' heads fall in the basket.

Schools are often pits of leadership challenged adults who have few to no skills at leading children.

The just freakin brilliant decision to expell this kid for 10 days and pssibly just put him out of school will effectively end his education. What will happen is that he will be placed in a backwater program where he will get the benefit of worksheet after worksheet with little to no instruction.

Plain stupidity doesn't really bother me. It is aggressive stupidity that gets me going. This is an example of agressive stupidity in its purest most malignant form.

Go ahead with this crap schools, you will single handedly bring the ultimate failure of public education. Only a freakin genius could think that a level 4 charge is the appropriate response to tossing a rubber band. I hold these educators in absolute, undiluted contempt. You need to go dig fence post holes before you do real damage in your current career. Please go perpetrate your complete inablility to put two thoughts together in a profession that deserves you - like snark diddling.

Save our children from ourselves.

You can read the article here.


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2:34 AM  

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