The following was a post I left in the comments section in response to an article covered by msn.com. It highlights an incident that took place in Franklin Township, NJ which is not too far from where I lived and went to school. A special education teacher had a student, an 8 year old boy who was repeatedly violent. He regularly hit and kicked another small boy and smacked the teacher whom is said to be a small woman with a height of 4 feet, 11 inches. She had about 8 students in her class and there is no indication of an aide for security purposes. The 8 year old boy smacked her yet again, knocking the glasses off her face and her immediate reaction was to slap the boy back. He was not seriously injured. The teacher is being allowed to keep her job but she is suspended for a full school year without pay and there are no details regarding any disciplinary action for this kid or any other measures to modify the situation to ensure the safety of the other students and the next teacher brought in to teach the class. A Parent wrote in on NJ.com stating that her son was in this teacher’s special ed. class a few years back and she seemed to be a lovely woman and there was never an indication of a problem. This parent goes on to maka a valid point that this teacher should never have had to be continuously subjected to such a situation. Though special ed. students are a different case, this incident sheds light on the uproarious problem of violence/bullying/abuse that is viral in all of American School systems and it continues to get worse because little if anything is done- there is no accountability. However, a viable solution is not a mystery. The following is very brief and was written on a whim, but it was worth saving. Take a look.
Oh, we need to reform the whole system of protocol for violence in the schools because some of you have no clue how bad it is today and it’s a problem in EVERY school in the country.
Thank You to those who pointed out that such a violent child should never have been allowed to stay in that classroom to continue abusing others. We don’t know what his disabilities are, but I’m willing to bet the chances are greater that he enjoyed hurting and upsetting others with no repercussions. Not only was that teacher slapped multiple times by this kid but she was nearly helpless to watch him hit and kick another small child. Likely he didn’t respond to verbal commands and what else was she to do? With this going on, there is NO learning happening in that room- I promise. At the very least, this teacher should have had an aide, a sizable man to react and restrain this kid. I feel badly for her. I hope she sues the school system and wins. She’s more than justified.
As for bullying and physical abuse in our educational system in general, kudos to the ‘NJ Mom’ who pointed out why schools turn their heads and do nothing. I went to school in central NJ from K-College and my Mother was a teacher in a NJ urban school district (middle school) with some violent kids. We have some experience. When they say middle school is the worst, they know what they’re talking about. I was hit, kicked, had books thrown at my head, by mostly one boy in particular. He had choice sexual remarks and asked why I didn’t do something to make myself look better. I was 11. That was just one problem. Some of their teachers were a whole different issue. My Mother had to go to school time after time to address this with the Principle. I was doing everything to avoid going to school. I wasn’t learning because I was so over-wrought with anxiety. The school called this boy’s father in a few times and he was a big, fat, loud, arrogant, nasty, Italian guy who gave my Mother the impression he probably smacked his wife every time he didn’t like the look on her face. He gave hell to the school administrators instead of disciplining his kid and the school became afraid to deal with him. My Mother finally had to pull me out of the school and temporarily put me in the middle school where she was teaching. But this wasn’t really a better situation and it was costing her a lot of money to send me there. From there she spent the money to put me in Catholic school which was a little bit better.
The point I want to make is that the parties responsible aren’t being held accountable. The schools are not being held accountable for enforcing the means necessary to maintain a safe environment for the children and teachers. If the Parents are notified and decide to do nothing, they are not held accountable, and the kids who decide to abuse others aren’t help accountable. There was an article the other day that went viral about a school bus monitor that was being physically and verbally abused by four kids. Luckily a fifth kid videotaped it on a cell phone and put it on the Internet. All of the sudden, the school had to start answering questions and then so did the Parents. Violent, abusive kids need to be escorted out of the school in handcuffs by the police. Their age does not and should not exempt them from the law. The Parents will then have to fork over bail money to get their kids out of jail and then reappear in court. Meanwhile the kid isn’t on on a mere suspension playing video games while the Parents are at work. That would a good move in the right direction. The schools who don’t want negative stats would win b/c it would be a great deterrent. It would be a win/win situation. The kids taken to jail and charged with assault/battery, etc… would have to serve time in Juvenile detention, do community service, etc.. The Parents would face fines, be required to make alternative arrangements for their kids’ education…Don’t you think these inevitable consequences would put a fire under the tails of those apathetic Parents whom aren’t implementing effective parenting? I certainly believe it would. Most importantly, there would be a reasonable overhaul in changed attitudes with kids who will think twice about such deplorable behavior and Parent’s will once again deal with early signs of bad behavior before it’s destroying the life and education of another kid or the career of an adult working in the educational system.
Need I go on with reasons why it is so utterly imperative that this type of action be implemented? If you want to dispute my proposal, precede your argument by doing a Google search of bullying-suicide and read about the children who hang themselves because they can’t tolerate the abuse any longer and foresee suicide as their only freedom from the torment, fear, and shame upon which they are inundated with daily. Can you imagine your child coming home and crying to you every day, begging for you to do something, even after you’ve tried everything in your power? However, you feel helpless because the school district and even the law seem to be against you in the situation? What if every day that you went to work, you knew certain people would be waiting for you at the entrance to knock you to the ground and beat you as much as they had time for and then throughout the day would steal your things, smack you around every time you walked by, leave you with bruises and welts…The aforementioned NY bus aide was told by one of the four children that her family probably wants to kill themselves to get away from her. Her son had committed suicide years prior. Don’t underestimate the mental and emotional damage. To be later updated…………………