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.

Monday, May 23, 2005

If you have kids in a public school pray for them.

I just viewed the videotape of the attack on two teenaged boys on a schoolbus by an out of control adult. The article and video can be viewed from this link. The parents handled themselves extremely well in the interview I heard. The bus driver is a very fortunate man. The child he attacked wasn't mine.

Why do parents put up with this kind of behavior from anyone associcated in any way with a school. The bus driver clearly struck the student first. I don't think he feared for his life. If the story is correct as it has been reported (and as we know pigs are flying regular routes around the country) there was a kid who may have been disrespectful of the adult in charge. There also may have been an adult who took God's name in vain in front of the kids, called police then proceeded to go ahead and kick the crap out of the child who came to his brothers defense before the police got there. There is nothing like seeing a jerk about the size of the average gorilla grab a scrawny 15 year old by the neck and shake him like a rag doll. Yep, this winner is real powerful with kids. I wonder how he would be with some of the dock workers I grew up around. They were good men filled with love for their wives and children. But, I shudder to think what might have happened to someone who grabbed one of their kids and nearly broke his neck. There were very good reasons why no one sexually molested a kid in the neighborhood where I grew up. Can you
say vanishing off the face of the earth?

These parents need to get themselves a better lawyer as well. That guy basically apologized for defending the kid. What he should have said in response to some of the stupid questions is something like "Stupid, pathetic, cretin, you don't throttle a kid for being a cheeky kid under any circumstances where there is not a deadly weapon and the threat of immediate death. They need to get a lawyer who hates schools and would love to pull some creep through a propeller backwards. Fire the suit.

Does it matter if the kid misbehaved? Certainly. Do the kids need correction? Yes. Did a kid say something cheeky that started this travesty? Does the sun come up in the east? Were the kids who watched this happen abused? Yes. Should the boys be charged with a felony and spend the next five years of thier lives in juvie? Not in any universe. Would I have blamed any dad who came up to beat the stuffings out of the bus driver? No? If I were one of the authorities in question would I have leveled charges at such a dad who defended his kids from an out of control animal? No, based on defense of ones offspring. If you are a parent who can put yourself on that bus when the driver was shaking the kid by the neck who would not use a tire iron to drive the point about not strangling kids home to him then may your kid have many guardian angels. They will need them. They are not safe around you.

What happened to adults maintaining control of themselves? What happened to adult influence? What happened to adults being able to get along with kids? What happened to the idea of talking to kids. What happened to the archaic idea of teaching the kids as if each one of them was the apple of your eye?

Have we finally come to a time when an adult can actually assault a kid and basically skate while the kid gets a felony. If these two boys have to go through the special hell of a trial, being sentenced to five years in juvenile, and basically lose their youth then this school district should just be closed, it's leadership fired, it's buildings ripped to the ground and the earth salted under it. They have no business being anywhere near kids. Actual human beings should then come to build a real school where kids are taught right from wrong, instructed until they have mastered what it is they are trying to learn, and treated with the respect that comes with birth in this great country. By the way, if anyone wants to reply that I am talking about being weak on discipline go submerge yourself for about an hour. We gave up corporal punishment in most places not because we thought it was bad for the kids but because we were such disgusting pukes that we were afraid we would get sued. We replaced that with running every kid who chews gum through the court system. You think that's an exaggeration? If you do you know nothing about zero tolerance.

Education is in a flaming nosedive.

Kids have to be taught. You see it goes like this. If you want your child to be respectful, treat the child with respect. If you don't want your child to smoke, don't smoke around the child. If you don't want your child to drink, don't drink. If you want your child not to do drugs, don't do drugs. If you want your child to be of high moral character, be of high moral character yourself. If you want your child to show respect to the opposite sex, then show respect to your wife or husband. If you want your child to be honest, don't be dishonest. If you want to be able to tell your kid not to have sex as a teen, then you had better be sure you didn't. Kids learn by example. News flash - if you work in a school you are one of the examples. Join up and get over it. If you can't accept that responsibility, get your sorry butt out of the school business.

The same goes for teachers. It also goes for school bus drivers, teachers aides, secretarys, office workers and the copy clerk. Get over it, if you work with kids you ARE held to a higher standard. You are the example when the parents are not there. Teachers are the only good example in some cases. Everyone who works with kids has a commission given to them by God. We work with precious cargo. We have a higher calling. And, here is a news flash for any simpering jerk who wants to argue that we just have a job then you need to get out of this sacred profession now.

I believe it is time for people who give a care about kids to say ENOUGH. If you want to know why kids in this country seem to be out of control look in a mirror. Our popular culture is just so much crap.

That is why I find this bus problem so horrifying. An opportunity to lead young people was missed. An opportunity to show how an adult responds to stress was missed. An opportunity to show a group of kids that school is not some wretched place they have to spend their days was missed. I can't think of anything that was done right in this situation from the inoffensive lawyer to the gorilla on the bus. We in education are in deep quicksand with the limb over our head more than an arms length away. The time is almost too late. We have to say ENOUGH - NO MORE. Heaven help us all.


Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Parents definately need to set the example, but even then it doesn't always work. We have three children and we don't drink, use foul language, or disrespect each other. We go to church every Sunday and we live our religion. Two of the three have turned out great. Our youngest son decided to follow his so called, "friends" and he's in a hell of a mess. The school bus driver never should have thrown a fist at the kid. It's too bad that things got out of control. I am glad that my children have already graduated, but I fear for my grandson who will be starting school in two years. I almost hope they put him in private school.

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