Saturday, February 2, 2008

that's assault, brotha!

no, not me. at least not today. one of the subs at our school was bitten this morning by one of the special ed kids. this little guy is a biter. he's bitten several staff members this year. today, he drew blood--through a sweatshirt. was he sent home? no. does he know it's wrong? they say he does. he's in a self-contained classroom with few kids and many adults. he's getting as much help as is possible.

i've been assaulted twice in five years. in both cases, the assailants in question need more help than is available in a regular classroom. due to the glory of mainstreaming and my "luck"(?) as a male in the school, they were my charges. first case, i'd figured out that the easiest way to calm him when he melted down was to wrap him up. he got a hand loose and frogged me right in the forearm. i had a knot for two days. i think he was sent home that day, but not suspended. in third grade, he was baker acted twice for being a danger to himself and others. he's been in a mental institution for a few years now. most recent one had an alphabet soup of diagnoses. his meltdown quickly deteriorated into shoe throwing, hitting himself, screaming, and scratching me after i removed him from the room. same week, he stomped on another staff member's foot and had a nuclear meltdown damn near every day. sent home? not a chance.

if i had to venture a guess, these are things that my mother never had to deal with as a young teacher starting out, nor were they tolerated by the administration. the defective policy of mainstreaming in all cases hadn't been dreamed up by policy wonks with no basis in the realities of the classroom. in a real classroom, the teacher spends more time and energy on the needs of those few than the rest of the class. sure, some of the neglected will learn in spite of the teacher. the middle majority suffers, while the teacher frets day and night about how to deal with that child and get back to teaching the rest of the class.

workplace safety is something that i never thought i'd have to worry about. i work with kids for God's sake! how far does it have to go before it starts getting better?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're are so right! I never have been assaulted in all my thirty something years. Way back when, I could call the parents. That was back in the days of "Wait til your father gets home." 'Nuf said.After dad had spent the day in the mines, he didn't want to hear little Johnny---oh,no, it was Scott, and Jackie,Kevin, and Eddie or even Becki---was being disrespectful.Disciple and respect---both need to be taught!