[untitled continued]

I can’t believe [untitled] generated so many responses… my response was so long that it warranted a new post… here’s some source material: Kindergartner Charged With Felony Tantrum. Also this must-read article on how schools are turning discipline over to the police as standard operating procedure: http://www.advancementproject.org/reports/ArstdDvpm_5.pdf. (I know I said must read, but truthfully I haven’t read it yet. I will…)

My points with the original post (and the original article, I believe):

1) police are not equipped to handle children; if they create a children’s unit with trained children’s counsellors and child-sized handcuffs and keeps them isolated from adult criminals, well then maybe that’s O—- what the hell am I saying? that’s still messed up. I know many of you will even deride this half-way solution as “too liberal”, so I guess that’s not a smart idea on my part.

2) there are a lot of things that people do that we don’t like, but criminalizing the activity is the not the right thing to do. I’ve ranted on this before — the long list of marginally bad things that we’ve criminalized has marginalized crime in general. you all know how I feel about seatbelt laws, cellphone-driving laws, etc. throwing a tantrum in school should not be a crime. the kid should have received punishment and consequences, but from the school and parents and not from the state.

3) teachers who complain about being “victims”, “assaulted” by a 6-year-old are pansies; if they are backed into that corner by liberal lawyers, well that sucks, but it doesn’t change the fact that adopting a victim mentality like that makes you a weak person. if the situation is so horribly dire, grow a pair and leave. go find a school that will back up and support their teachers, or find another vocation where you are not expected to be treated like a punching bag for troubled youth. trust me, I’d much rather see the institutions change to empower teachers than see them all leave, and I’m not saying that this would be an easy decision or process, but life isn’t easy or fair. deal with it.

and I know you’re all going to think this is a huge stretch, but I believe the impotence of teachers and loss of control in the classroom is directly related to the fact that it’s a public institution. if educational institutions were privatized and could decide who gets to stay and who is expelled, that would contribute to a solution. this gets back to my whole “get government out of education” theme…

another point, branching off #3 above — the whittling away at teachers rights/power in the classroom (to the point that they are helpless victims of a 6 year-old) seems to be directly comparable to the reduction of our individual liberties in the name of fighting drugs, terrorism, immigration (etc). I try to demonstrate examples where conceding power and decisions to the state is a bad idea, I’m accused of being a liberal (which I am, in the classical sense, not in the Liberal-vs-Conservative sense). so which is it? please, choose one side or the other, just stop being hypocritical.



Filed under dumbfounded, I believe the children are our future

79 responses to “[untitled continued]

  1. I am a believer in public education, but I would love nothing more than to see the US Dept of Education abolished.
    We all benefit from an educated electorate. BTW, I have never known a teacher who complains about being a victim. What I do see is teachers every day “dealing with” the problems that parents will not address.

  2. re: teachers as victims… Specifically, I was referring to the teachers in the incident/article. They referred to themselves as victims (or maybe the cops did).

    I was going to leave it at that, but I also meant it generally for when I’ve heard teachers (and apologists) say, “well they can’t do anything, the school/system is stacked against them”. That thinking may not use the word Victim specifically, but it describes the mentality, and it seems to be widely accepted as true.

    I’d like to see teachers rise up and buck that stereotype. I’m not holding my breath. I’ll also draw a parallel with unions, who tend to paint workers as victims of management. And what’s the most powerful force in American education? The teachers union. Coincidence?

  3. The NEA is a crock. The only reason my mother is a member is that she cannot afford the out of pocket expense of an attorney if she is sued. For a few years, she simply carried a personal liability policy, but the simple fact is that my folks cannot afford the initial expense.
    Teachers unions are (in my experience) less than useless. Collective bargaining? You’ve got to be kidding. There is no stick, only carrot.

  4. Angela

    Criminalizing the activity is not the right thing to do????What???? It was a criminal act. Wheather it was child or adult…it was a criminal act.
    The NEA is useless!!!! Teachers put up with this shit because we have to. Go to a school that will back up their teachers???? When you find a “public school” that does this, let me know….. I’d love to apply! Can’t raise a family on the income that a private school would pay. Rise up and buck the system = loosing my job. Can’t do that!
    Let me say, I LOVE my job. I fully agree that the child should have been taken away. Why sacrifice all the lambs ( other students) for one lion??? I don’t bitch and complain about my job! It’s hard but I love it. I also see many teachers taking on the role of nurse, parent, counselor, etc….because the parents aren’t doing their job. Bottom line: If you decide to have children, PLEASE raise them with morals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. KP

    [st4rbux] it’s like you try to piss people off when you say these things. Schools WILL NOT and CAN NOT do anything with serious discipline because we will be sued by liberals like yourself. Move to another job? I chose this career field because I love it and I’m good at it. I should not have to change career fields because kids can’t follow rules and parents can’t control their kids. That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard you say.
    Privatizing education is something we’ve discussed and I agree with. Public education is guaranteed and too many people take advantage of that. We are no more than babysitters to about 1/3 of our school population.
    As far as criminalizing the behavior, you are way off there too. Angela covered that so I won’t waste any more time.
    The kids that have no respect and tell you to shut up to your face or actually physically assault teachers…what are we to do with them [st4rbux]? Really what should we do?

  6. KP

    read your required reading….once again it’s all about racism and only tells of a few incidences of needless arrest. it fails to mention the hundreds of times that were necessary because schools cannot do anything or they will be sued and parents refuse to believe their little babies can be wrong.

  7. Yes Angela, criminalizing marginally bad behavior is the wrong thing to do. I’m sure your own child has lashed out and hit someone sometime in their life, even if it was only you. Should you have dealt with that, or should the child have been charged with felony battery? Or that time you hit your kid, I suppose that should be felony battery too? Good god people, it called context.

    Now a 15 year old boy hitting a woman teacher? I could see how that might be legitimate battery and I wouldn’t be surprised to see charges. But this girl was 6 years old.

    You sit there and cry out “But it was a criminal act!!” — but do you even know what she was charged with? [I can’t wait for a response, so I’ll tell you.] “Disruption of a school function.” The offense covers “everything you can think of that you did as a kid” in the words of a public defender. Including shouting “whoo-hoo” while two other students fight. Does that make any sense?

    The other thing she was charged with was “Resisting Law Enforcement Officer without Violence” — laughable really. What is a 6 year old going to do when someone tries to grab her? At least the officer said “without violence”, despite the fact that she probably hit/kicked at him a bit too. If he upped that charge, she’d be doing hard time, never mind juvi-hall.

    as for raising kids with morals — we’re working on it. but I’m also raising my kids to understand that crap like this incident is reprehensible in a free society. and if someone tries to railroad my kid with trumped up charges like this, I’ll fight the system with every ounce of my being — after I discipline the child at home.

  8. kevin

    Amen [st4rbux]

  9. KP

    do you want your child to have to witness crap like this?

  10. Yes [st4rbux], my child has roughed housed around with other boys and I handled the situation. Not in school however, WHERE IT WOULD DISRUPT THE LEARNING OF OTHERS. However, I teach my boys manners and NEVER, EVER, in either of their school years have they disrupted a classroom. Hell, they never have really been in trouble because they respect their teachers.
    What’s the difference between a 15 yr. old BOY hitting a WOMAN teacher. Wheather your a male or female…two wrongs don’t make a right. Maybe this is the same 15 year old who got away at 6 years of age hitting adults. Bottom line: IT’S WRONG!!!! CONSEQUENCES SHOULD FOLLOW!!!
    No kidding the charges were, “disruption of school function”. Isn’t that what happened???????
    And no, as a kid I never threw a tantrum and became violent with my principal. I never kicked and pulled the hair of an adult. I was a respectable person who instills these same beliefs into my children!!!!!!!

  11. kevin

    Or maybe the 15 year old was a 6 year old who was arrested and became a self fulfilling prophecy.

    I for one wouldn’t want my child to have to experience this. Either side of it.

    And are we all so naive to believe that even with perfect parenting a child may still sometimes act out?

  12. “The kids that have no respect and tell you to shut up to your face or actually physically assault teachers…what are we to do with them [st4rbux]? Really what should we do?”

    Kick them out of school. This would require schools to be more like businesses, where they could say “we reserve the right to refuse service for any reason.” (Can businesses still say that? Probably not.) Maybe more like an employment agreement — employer is at will to fire, employee is at will to quit (at least in Maryland and other “at will” states). Of course, that requires significantly more-free (free-er?) markets for education.

    Oh, Duh… more like higher-ed; kids get thrown out of college/university all the time. Do they sue? Maybe, but it doesn’t seem to be a huge deal/impact. Mostly they find another university that will take their tuition dollars. See, by attending university students accept certain conditions. By attending public education, the student (nor parents) is not bound by any such conditions, thus the problems. You need some kind of contract, and tuition/purchasing confers such a contract.

    And I don’t know how many times I have to repeat it, but I am vehemently opposed to unwarranted lawsuits. I don’t understand why you keep painting me to be something I’m not, and like I’ve told you before, if you don’t cut it out I’m just going to cut you off. Your choice.

  13. have a little respect for exclamation point and question marks, they don’t grow on trees you know. save some for the rest of us.

  14. actually, you brought up the other thing about your arguments that I find humorous/unrealistic: good gracious, outbursts might “DISRUPT THE LEARNING OF OTHERS”!!!!!!!

    I don’t know about you, but school was always full of passing notes, class clowns, worrying about if that girl a few rows away liked you (or even knew who you are), sarcastic answers, people who talked just to hear themselves speak (maybe that was later in college)… all of these things could fall under the category of “disruption of school function”. Seriously, if being a class clown was a criminal offense, I would have been considered a hardened, three-strikes-you’re-out felon. (I was THAT funny.)

    Anyhow, the whole idea that the classroom is some sacred place of learning and focused mental fortitude is ridiculous, and to hear you and Killer say things like that just makes me laugh. Ha ha. Like that. Ah, it’s good to hear myself laugh again, this topic has my bp up in stroke range…

  15. KP — which crap?

    I’m not so worried about my kid witnessing crap like a kid freaking out. Seriously, I don’t think the violence this kid unleashed was the kind that would be damaging to the other students. If anything, I expect my kid would say, “Wow, that kids messed up. I don’t want to be messed up. I should study more.” Something like that.

    Witnessing a fellow student being handcuffed and led off by police… I’m not sure how I feel about that. It might demonstrate to them that their dad isn’t crazy about America becoming a police state. I hope it wouldn’t scare them into complying with whatever authority figure the nanny-state props up in front of them. I’m hoping by the time she’s school aged we’ll have a voucher system that will let me choose which school she goes to. We’ll see.

  16. LOL, I just read back the comments and couldn’t figure out why Kevin was saying contradictory things. I wasn’t paying attention that Kevin is not KP. Duh.

    Thanks Kevin, glad to see you back.

  17. KP

    well [st4rbux] we finally agree…public schools have no authority to kick kids out because of a stupid law that guarantees a free and appropriate public education. while the law itself has lofty goals, it’s interpretation has been totally lost. no longer is education seen as a privilege, it is seen as a right and when that happens you have no accountability anymore. privatize education and kick out the pieces of crap…but where do they go? i agree it makes for safer schools overall but those pieces of crap have to go somewhere.

  18. KP

    you would cut me off….the reason i keep bringing up things is you hadnt really answered the question until you said privatize and give schools the right to REFUSE TO ACCEPT STUDENTS IF THEY CAN’T ASSIMILATE. i offer a differing viewpoint and you’d censor it? talk about hypocritical….

  19. Sorry, I wasn’t clear. What I was upset about, and what I will cut you off for, is if you misrepresent me — I’m not a liberal (in the sense that you use it), I’m libertarian. And I’m not someone who advocates suing people to make a point. Those are examples of things I might cut you off for… this is my house and I won’t be misrepresented.

    I will not cut anyone off for diversity of opinion.

    I guess the other reason I might cut people off is if they refuse to use reason and logic, at least a little bit, in addition to their opinion. You get pretty close to that line sometimes too. 🙂

  20. O.K. I will hold back on all the question marks and exclamation points. It just annoys me that people not in the school have such strong opinions as to what should happen.
    [st4rbux], I believe you and I are the same age, so when we were in school EVERYTHING was different. The schools weren’t data driven like they are now. When an administrator walks in my room he or she is looking if my objectives are posted, if I’m following the pacing chart (some even make sure it’s not even one day off), is active learning taking place. We don’t have a minute to spare because of all this NCLB. This year I have had children have outbursts where they had to be removed from my room and it totally disrupted the precious little time I had to teach that skill….. all because of 1 child. Is this fair to the rest of the class? (Look 1 ? mark ) NO!!! (sorry) As a teacher I am tracked now by how well my students perform on MSA. So if my students can’t concentrate due to some idiot, it reflects ME! While you might find it humorous, it pisses me off that many students have to put up with just a few idiots and miss out on good lessons. I’m even considering private school for my oldest next year, but I don’t think I can truly afford it. Also, I’m not too impressed with the qualifications of the teachers at the private schools.
    Also, you just can’t kick students out of “public school”. I’d love to but you can’t. You mentioned that Killer and I keep mentioning the classroom being a “sacred” place to learn. I can’t speak for Killer but with NCLB and what we are expected to do….it needs to be a place to learn. Not a place where just a few idiots ruin it for the entire class! Maybe you should walk in our shoes for a year or two?

  21. KP

    who me??? never never…look in a perfect world we wouldnt even be talkign about this…but sadly too many people wont speak out against this. and while it isnt the only reason things are so bad you can chalk up the lack of action to NCLB. but thats a whole other story….

  22. Sadly enough it has to come to this…. we wouldn’t have losers blasting people away in the learning facilities of this country if we actually paid attention to kids (and had the authority to discipline them)… Did we have this type of situation when we were in school? No. can you make a direct correlation between the freedoms we give chldren now and the patterns of rage-based behaviors, yes. DOn’t mean to hijack this and make it a ‘cho’ thread, but come on, somethings got to give.

    We used to have these things called ‘Alternative schools’ where they taught things like controlling your anger and auto-shop… do they still have those? or are 90% of the students who go to a general public shool qualified to be in them right now, instead of littering our General schools with crap….

    If I were a teacher, I’d have a Desert Eagle on my hip and a collection of my targets from the range to show those little f’ers how good my shot was, or would that be too much like demanding respect?

    I’m just glad that by the time these kids are in charge the liberals, not that I’m calling you one…………!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????????????? will have whittled our society down to a whole country of raging freedom, free to do whatever they want with no consequences… That seems to be where we are going anyway, might as well jump ship on trying to maintain any kind of order.

    Police state is not what I want, the right to set kids straight, be it through a little action or a lot of action…

    I beleive the children are our future….. that song was written when parents and teachers were still allowed to discipline kids…. I’d hate to hear what kind of song they’d write about the kids nowadays.

    Wait folks, I used a lot of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!’s and ???????????????’s…. I should be free to do so, even though someone who is ‘in chrge’ thinks I shouldn’t…….. and the pandemonium begins…

  23. I will raise the right hand of sarcasm on this one, I am (for the most part) just trying to get a rise out of you…….

    just refer to my orignal response, it has my opinion on the matter…….

  24. ok, you say NCLB sucks and I want the feds out of education; so maybe we’re on the same page about that.

    as for me teaching, do you really think that’s a good idea? with my anti-establishment bent? I’ve often said I’d like to teach, but conventional wisdom is that teachers are underpaid*, and I don’t aspire to be underpaid. maybe once I’ve got enough bankroll to be ‘financially independent’ and after I’ve learned something worthy of teaching others…

    [* I disagree with this conventional wisdom, but teachers I know get mad about that too.]

  25. I think my one remaining ovary has just shriveled up and died. Natural selection at work, folks.

  26. oh Kelly, that is so MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    thanks for making us chuckle.

  27. [st4rbux],
    I totally agree NCLB sucks and that the government needs to get out of education. I don’t know how you are evaluated at your work but they truly look at how our students perform and that is a reflection of us. Even though we can NOT control who is in our room, and we HAVE to put up with disruptions all the time. Does this seem fair that a teacher should be evaluated this way?
    I was only joking when I said that you should come teach. As I tell my own dad…. you wouldn’t last one hour before physically hurting someone 🙂

  28. As for the pay issue– my mother isn’t interested in more money, and I would wager that most teachers feel that way (there are many higher paying jobs out there for someone of her qualifications). She teaches because she lives for those moments when a student finally understands how the mitochondria works. She thrives on the days when a former student (usually one of her PITAs) comes back and says, “Wow, Mrs. H, I really learned something in your class.” I will even be so bold as to say that if any teacher is NOT teaching for reasons like those, he should be out of the classroom. Merck is always hiring reps.

  29. kevin

    Angela, I do feel bad for you. I think it’s a damn shame that NCLB has led to so many constaints on teaching. But that said, I still don’t think two wrongs make a right. It’s not right to punish kids for being kids. Maybe that’s the whole problem with school these days. We don’t allow kids to be kids. Is there even still recess any more? Where is the opportunity for children to learn socialization skills? Kindergarten used to be this place, but now it’s all about learing to read and get ready for your first standardized test.

  30. Kevin,
    Don’t feel bad for me! I love my job. But you took the words right out of my mouth, by just saying it’s all about standardized testing. I love to come in and “teach those teachable moments”. The students and I have a GREAT rapport….they are awesome. It’s just not how “we” grew up. I don’t remember having to take soooo many tests and feeling the pressure of these tests. And as a teacher, I know I’m judged on how my students perform. So when an idiot is disruptive…they should be removed. I can’t say this enough: why should the others suffer?

  31. kevin

    I don’t think it’s fair that you’re judged based on how your students perform. I said it before that even with perfect parenting you can have an ill behaving child. The same thing applies to teaching.

    You say why should the others suffer. But are the really suffering in relation to students 20 years ago? Or is it you the teacher, trying to reach unreasonable expectations, that is suffering? [st4rbux] talks about all the disruptions that have always gone on in class, from note passing to tantrums. I saw enough of these things and still managed to get a good education.

  32. actually Angela, at work I am evaluated, at least in part, by the performance of my team (aka subordinates). this is different than the teacher/student dynamic in many ways, I understand that, but there are similarities… a significant part of our goals are for technical certifications, and for those goals it’s not as much about the learning process as it is about getting that cert. kind of like NCLB standardized tests. someone (many years ago now) was actually let go because they failed to pass a test after failing it in consecutive quarters. of course their manager wasn’t fired — I guess that would be your point.

  33. The simple laughing, note passing, goofing off in class isn’t a big deal. Most qualified teachers know how to handle this “small stuff” and still teach and the children still learn. I’m talking about the kids who don’t take their med’s that morning (parents responsibility) and yell and scream at you and tell you to (excuse my language) “fuck off’. Or our special education population that are mainstreamed into the room that lay all over the floor, run out of the classroom, or just throw their work back into your face. This goes way beyond the “simple stuff” of just passing notes, and laughing at friends. Like I said, many people are making comments on their own experiences when they were in school 20 plus years ago. Well things have changed drastically and teachers are still held accountable (NCLB).

  34. ok, we’re all settled on this “NCLB is bad” theme, let’s not forget the origin of the discussion, “criminalizing our children is bad”.

    and comments are closed.

  35. ok, my wife said that closing the comments makes me look small (cowardly?) so they’re open again.

    have at it.

  36. So [st4rbux], you get to work with highly qualified team players…..who get their work done? That’s how it should be. I get a list of 25 plus students with academic levels anywhere between K – 4 th grade (remember I teach 3rd) and many have multiple learning disabilities and I’m still suppose to pass “technical certification” or NCLB. See the difference? Let alone the pay. All kids are not going to learn at the same rate. No kidding….but we are still held accountable. This year I have a GREAT group ( two classes not great) but I have had 10 plus years of situations that would never have happened when we were in school.

  37. Amanda

    It’s beyond note passing or being the class clown to get a few laughs. Even in those cases, didn’t most of us have an amount of respect for our teachers, even if we didn’t like them. Or better yet, we knew our parents would kick our asses if a teacher called them to say we were disruptive in class.

    Unfortunately, some children have no respect, because they are not taught it at home. You are the product of your environment. Some parents do what they can, and their kids act out. Some parents hardly do anything, and their kids learn no valuable lessons. Where do kids go? Who cares about them? The public school systems. When you have parents that don’t care it produces kids that don’t care. Those few individuals can effect an entire classroom that’s run on standardized testing and teacher limitations. What would happen today, if Killer or Angela took a ruler and rapped some child’s knuckles? Christ, I remember the fearsome PADDLE I saw hanging around the principal’s office when I was a kid. Where is it now? How much back-up do teachers get from the administration?

    In a world where most families are either single parent families, or have both parents working, kids can be placed in the background with the business of generating the income to survive life. Not in all situations, but certainly much more than when we were kids. My mom didn’t work. My parents are still together. The divorce rate know is fifty percent, or close to it I believe. Kids and parents are dealing with that more than we did growing up and if effects them.

    Look, this all started on an article about a six year old being put in handcuffs, which is an extreme in my opinion. What’s sad is the reality of the situations schools and teachers are in today. Schools are different then they used to be. Not just in the curriculum. In the kids, in their environments and with the damn NCLB. Kids have to go to school. Period. Where do you put the ones with issues? The ones who don’t care? The ones whose parents don’t care? How fair is that to the ones that do care? How is a teacher, with constraints on how to physically handle a child, in an overgrown, overcrowded classroom, who has a deadline to reach so her kids will pass testing, deal with an incooperative child who takes up 10 minutes of a 50 minute class period?

  38. Well said Amanda. I’m exhausted and feel like I’m saying the same stuff over and over again.

  39. kevin

    I don’t know where you put the ones who are disruptive, but the answer isn’t jail. You can’t use a law as broad as “disruption of a school function” to weed out anyone who might have a negative affect on test scores.

  40. No they are NEVER weeded out….they keep coming right back. They realize that “they” have control.

  41. shit I don’t know. just stop handcuffing children under, say, 13. that’s all I’m asking. I’m not here to solve teachers problems. boo hoo, school is not like it used to be, life sucks — this is getting old. we can’t teach them; we can’t put them to work in factories cleaning gunk out of gears in massive machines with their tiny hands. what a dilemma.


  42. I’m outa here. FLL parade bright and early in the a.m. Collin’s team to coach and Austin’s game to watch. On top of pictures for both teams and then the Shorebirds game at night!
    So glad I spent this evening realizing I will never last 30 years in teaching.

  43. Amanda

    I didn’t say the answer was neccesarily jail, particularly for a six year old. Clearly there has to be other alternatives before an immediate reaction like that one. But what exactly? What happens when you do send them somewhere, but it does not help?

    Yet, it seems as though in many cases, there is little to no reaction on the part of the administration at all. What kind of message does that send to teachers and to the kids?

    Or on the opposite end of the spectrum, there is a gross over reaction, like in this case. Or like the case of the young 11 year old in Texas who was arrested on felony charges for tripping a fire alarm.

    Then there are the warning signs you are supposed to look out for in kids. Teachers aren’t just teachers, they play a variety of roles and can get blamed for so many things. Not just bad test scores.

    And we are talking about kids who don’t just have negative effects on test scores, we are talking about kids who are disrespectful to their teachers and other kids, thereby fostering a bad learning environment. Or kids that can become violent. What do you do with a kid who’s thrashing about and won’t remain still? What happens if they injure themselves or someone else in the process of flailing about? Who’s at fault then for not stopping it? It’s a suing society.

  44. Amanda

    And [st4rbux] you can boo-hoo all you want, but I know my kids (if I ever have them) will most likely go to public school and this will be a source of contention for me. I will care about my child’s environment and that includes anyone and everyone in it and their effects on my children.

  45. as long as Karen has anything to say about it, our kids will go to public school too. if I can make a billion dollars in the next four years, maybe I’ll be able to home-school them. that would be my preference, but highly unlikely.

  46. Amanda

    Maybe that is what should happen. The [name withheld] school for higher learning. Except you definitely should not be a teacher…but you could definitely be an adminstrator.

    Principal [name withheld], please report to the cafeteria with your wooden-holed paddle.

    That’ll teach ’em.

  47. Despite what you all say, I think I’d be a fine teacher. And I suspect Karen would be a better disciplinarian (don’t make me spell that again this late at night and after this many beers). And I’d prefer “The ST4RBUX Institute for Liberty, Learning, and Kids Who Don’t Read Good.”

  48. btw, thanks kids for my Best Day Ever: 227 page views yesterday. I know most of that was you guys hitting Refresh waiting for new comments, but still it warms my heart.

  49. Glad to see the discussion went on long after I had to go to bed. Last thoughts: this blog was about arresting a 6 year old who wailed, kicked, scratched, and hit a teacher. While a LOT of details were left out, I see that the school took the proper avenue to ensure the safety for the child, other students, and adults in that building. She was taken out of the room where she became more violent. I’m sure the administrators were trying to reach mother or father or emergency contact and couldn’t ( at least that is what my school policy is). When nobody can be found and a child is this combative they did the next best thing for EVERYONE involved. Once again, I say, “JOB WELL DONE”!!!!!!!!!!! opps…forgot [st4rbux] didn’t like that……HA!

  50. KP

    wow…glad i went to bed early…you all make good points. but angela summed it up with that last comment this morning. until someone comes up with something better then handcuffing kids who threaten the safety of themselves and others is our only option.
    tired of the argument about notepassing and laughing. that is not comparable to assaulting a teacher so stop it all of you.
    [st4rbux] your job is WAAAAAAAAAAAY different. comparing your subordinates to our students is a joke. your subordinates being fired for lack of performance is accepted. we cannot fire our students.
    better question is if a small group of fairly educated people such as ourselves has this much to say on this subject then this is a pretty huge problem.

    btw [st4rbux] you are the ultimate hypocrite for saying you’d rather homeschool your daughter.

  51. kevin

    If I were to concede for a second, that it was appropriate to hand cuff a 6 year old, which I’m not, where do you draw the line? Is there an age where it isn’t appropriate? I have a two year old who sometimes throws tantrums at daycare, even doing these which could potentially cause himself harm. But they know how to deal with it. And they also have the option of not allowing him back at daycare. But what if he’s particularly upset one day and they can’t immediately reach me, is it ok for them to just make the police deal with the situation?

  52. I would like to request clarification on the homeschool/ hypocrisy comment…

  53. Amanda

    “And they also have the option of not allowing him back at daycare.”

    Public schools do not have that option. Okay, there are suspensions that last anywhere from 1 day to 10 days but then they come back. Expulsions are another option, but how often are kids expelled froms school these days.

    I don’t concede that its okay to handcuff a six year old. I know that a situation happened and I was not there, and I really don’t know how I would have handled it. But, if this kid was kicking, screaming and hitting teachers, I would not put up with it. Clearly she had to be contained in some way. If the parent was not contacted first, that’s ridiculous. But if the parent could not be reached…How much can the teacher or administration touch the child without fears of a lawsuit against themselves or the school? Public schools are different then the daycare you pay to send your child too. More kids, less teachers, and different ways to handle the kids.

    Two year old kids throwing temper tantrums is one thing. Its expected. I would not expect my 6 year old to behave that way in a public school or in public for that matter. Right around that age is the time where you should be learning how to conduct yourself in public. Not that crying won’t happen, becoming upset won’t happen, screaming won’t happen or being defiant won’t happen. But biting, kicking, screaming and HITTING your teacher or whatever adult at that age is not okay, and should not be happening. When your child starts hitting at any age,you crack the whip, because if you don’t they think its okay.

  54. Angela: re: “the school did the next best thing for EVERYONE involved”… I disagree, in the end they didn’t do the best thing for Desre’e.

    And maybe it’s not the schools fault and they reached their limit — you are right that they took several steps to isolate the child and get her to calm down — but in that case the police should have refused to press charges against a 6 year old and treated her as an abandoned child (since her mother could not be located). If this wasn’t a school, say it was a mall, and the kid was freaking out and lashing out in the middle of people, isn’t that what you’d do? No, you guys would throw her in the stocks to teach her a lesson…

    And I know everyone here is raising their kid to be respectful and non-violent, but you have to look at these rules and procedures as if they might be used against your own kids. Kevin made the point earlier, troubled kids can come from ‘good homes’ and ‘good kids’ can have bad incidents. I try to imagine any one of you (my friends here who I know) having this happen to your own kid, and I try to imagine you sitting back and saying, “well, he learned his lesson and this was the best thing for everyone involved.” Honestly, I can’t imagine any of you having that reaction if it was your own child. I have already openly admitted that I wouldn’t…

  55. KP, once again you can’t follow my logic, or refuse to… apparently neither can Angela.

    I didn’t compare passing notes and laughing to assaulting teachers — I said that passing notes (etc) would fall into the broad criminal description of “disruption of a school function”, therefore everything under that broad term should not be considered a crime. Assaulting a teacher should be punished more severely than note-passing; they are clearly different things. Nice try.

    If I ended up comparing my subordinates to students, that wasn’t my intent — Angela said it wasn’t fair to judge her on the results of others and I was just demonstrating that teachers are not the only ones judged that way. I am, managers in just about every industry and organization are, the President is judged by the actions of his cabinet… I even said at the time that student/employee dynamics are very different. Seriously, if you guys can’t follow a logical argument, I’ll just stop trying to explain them to you.

    KP, I don’t have a clue why you’re calling me the ultimate hypocrite (re:home schooling). Kelly didn’t get it either, so I don’t think this is just a case of me being dense. Please explain.

  56. KP, I think the hugeness of the problem is illustrated by who thinks cuffing-and-stuffing this kid was a good idea.

    The two elementary school teachers, the front-line in this whole scenario, think it was great. [shudder]

  57. Pingback: father of the year « name your fear

  58. KP

    shudder? we still have no realistic resolution to the problem of what to do with an overly violent child at school. after all this all we are doing is arguing. what is the realistic solution? what exactly is a teacher or administrator to do on monday in this situation [st4rbux]? tell me please.
    hypocrite cuz you said your 6 year old daughter could handle public school and seeing kids acting this way then saying you want to home school her. duh?
    the few incidents that are an outrage are that. kids yelling whoo hoo and getting handcuffed is ridiculous but there are far more times that the police have a right to be involved.

  59. KP

    and oh by the way holding htis child accountable does teach her and all the other kids a lesson. it teaches them that that behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated adn will be dealt with severely which is a good thing.


    Guess what? I can’t. There are millions of problems/issues in this world for which we don’t have well defined solutions. I’m mostly OK with that, I roll with the punches, most people do. The problem with grand-unified solutions is that they always have unintended consequences. As long as you’re on the side that benefits from the solution you can ignore the plight of those on the other side. Read up on the effects of banning DDT as an example.

    I’m just so NOT OK with the ‘solution’ as it played out in this situation. I think it’s a terrible precedent. I don’t have an alternate solution, JUST STOP HANDCUFFING 6 YEAR OLDS. Like I said before, I really don’t have a problem with what the teacher or school did — isolating her seems like the right thing to do, I would have given her more than 20 minutes before calling the cops, but if her mom wasn’t able to pick her up by the end of school then calling the police was acceptable too. But the cops should not have treated her like an adult and arrested her, and the school shouldn’t have requested them to do so (if they did, that isn’t really clear from the report).

    Children are not adults. Don’t they make you take any Human Development courses in order to become a teacher anymore? Crack open one of those books (my wife just gave me hers from school this morning, fascinating stuff). If you want to treat 6 year olds like adults, go back to the Middle Ages.

    Maybe the whole problem here was with the police department, it’s not clear. And I think the report I reference in the top of this post (the PDF) makes that point — the formal arrangements between schools and police are often not at all clear; cops think the schools are recommending arrest, the schools say their policy is not to recommend but let the officer decide. That ambiguity is dangerous. You don’t care as long as the kid is out of your classroom and out of your hair.

  61. “hypocrite cuz you said your 6 year old daughter could handle public school and seeing kids acting this way then saying you want to home school her. duh?”

    Wow, calling that ‘hypocracy’ is a huge stretch. I still think/hope my daughter could handle seeing that kind of tantrum in class. If she can’t handle that, if that frightens her enough to scar her for life, I will have failed as a parent.

    As for wanting to home school her, there are numerous reasons why I’d like to do that and “preventing exposure to temper-tantrums” ranks pretty far down the list. I’m not even very concerned about school violence — despite the hype (esp this week), school violence isn’t getting worse, drug use among high-school kids is going down… etc. “Teachers that want to treat their students like inmates” would rank pretty close to the top. There are plenty of other good learning/development and curriculum reasons as well.

  62. I don’t get any hypocrisy there either. Look at it this way– I think my nephew (15 year old) would certainly be able to handle donating bone marrow. However, I would rather he not have to go through it.
    My mother, a public school teacher who LOVES teaching has said many times that, if she had to do it all over again she would have home schooled us. As school was not our number 1 social outlet (we had little in common with our classmates, but much in common with our church friends and scout troop mates) it would have been a small loss. I, like my mother, believe in public education, but the current system is broken.
    Having said that, I also want to clarify that much of what one gets out of education (public, private, or otherwise) is dependent upon what one puts in.
    Parents who are concerned about their children’s schools should make themselves known. Mum spent three days sitting in the office of that lovely institution on Beaglin Park Drive, generally squeaking enough to get some grease for my sister’s schedule. It warms the cockles of Mum’s heart when a parent cares enough to show up in her classroom (BEFORE a failing grade), and I would wager that more teachers feel that way than not.

  63. Last response because I’m sick of this issue. Yes, I stick by the fact that the School did the best thing for everyone involved….especially Desre’e. They put her in a safe environment…in the hands of the local law enforcements. It’s now a police issue, as to what they will proceed to do. Honestly, they’re not enough details to really understand step by step what occured. While Killer and I rarely agree on much…it’s funny that the two school teachers see the important message this sent out. WE are SICK of seeing so much violence in the schools and NOTHING being done about it. Maybe if more schools (like this one in FL.) stuck to their Code of Conduct, at an earlier age, we wouldn’t see all the violence we do now. [st4rbux], where did you find out that school violence has gone down? Just curious? What I have noticed in my many years of teaching is that schools do NOT report their referrals at least not ALL of them. My school last year had the HIGHEST referral rate in the county. So we had to implement a program to reduce the number of referrals. This, in a nutshell, just put more pressure on the the teachers this year to NOT refer students to the office and “just deal with the constant disruptions themeselves”. Don’t want to piss off your administrator by sending disruptive students to the office when her head is already on the chopping block ( due to such high referral rates). This is what Killer and I deal with. So maybe we see this incident in Florida as a positive message being sent out. Let’s put it this way: when a student we have brings in a bee-bee gun to school fully loaded and tells others students what he intends to do with it and he has 1 day suspension…does this sound like an appropriate consequence? And that’s just this past week. There are too many other cases…week after week. So yes, we are sick of it. And No, I don’t treat my students as inmates…..that’s what the local law enforcement is for….hence the FL case. Schools sweep violent acts under the rug…. like in my sons case last year. It took me to actively get the law enforcement and school board involved for the administration to do anything. If you really think school crime is going down….I’d love to know why. Your stats are not accurate because school administrators “cover up” what the public doesn’t want to know.
    I worry about my own son coming to my school next year ( and we are “suppose” to be a great school district ). I just see what really goes on and what or who gets overlooked and am sick of it!
    Also, other people (can’t remember who) also agreed with what this school in Florida did….not just Killer and myself. I don’t believe they are school teachers….I may be wrong.
    An answer….who really knows??? Maybe making the parents more accountable. But I also agree with whoever wrote that,” even troubled kids can come from good homes”. We need a solution. How do drug rates decline? Stricter law enforcement consequences. How can we decrease violence in school ( weather 6 or 16 )….maybe sticking to our code of conduct and not continue to sweep issues under the rug.

  64. Agreement doesn’t make something right.

  65. KP

    this is my last post cuz some of you think that 6 year olds are allowed to physically assault a teacher and the teacher cannot retaliate and the law cannot arrest her and her parent doesnt care so its the teachers fault for not being able to control a 6 year old.
    you already said you couldnt do it, but i beg [st4rbux], kevin [H] and kelly to go teach…..no i dont beg you i dare you….you couldnt do it yet you give us grief for using a resource that we’d rather not use. do you really think we WANT to arrest 6 year olds? you idiots!
    no we dont, but that is OUR ONLY RECOURSE IN A SITUATION LIKE THIS!!! you people are retarded. go bury your heads in the sand and the problem will go away.
    i’ve tried not to go off like this but your liberal pansy ass whining has gone too far. put your kids in an inner city public school. otherwise shut up.

  66. you have completely misrepresented my position.

    but since you’re done, I’m not going to bother restating it or correcting you — I think any reasonable/articulate person reading this entire thread will understand where we all fall on this issue. and they’ll be able to figure out who the idiots are, and who are the ‘retards’, and who is or is not a “liberal pansy ass”.

  67. KP

    you are the master debater..i have to respond to that.

    1. you do not teach so you have no idea what you are talking about. you generalize about something about which you do not understand. you do not see the behavior we see and you do not know the crap we go through.

    2. you bash me and angela, yet we are supposed to sit back and be okay with that. until you have taught dont bash us.

    schools are impotent on discipline because of liberals who want you to be able to do whatever you want with no repercussions. i repeat i do not want to arrest a 6 year old. i would rather she FOLLOW THE RULES. but she didnt. she got violent. uncontrollably violent. she COULD NOT be subdued. this situation was handled correctly. end of story.

    to say you failed as a parent because someone else did something that scarred your daughter is exactly the attitude that leads to these problems. you are willing to accept responsibility for something over which you HAVE NO CONTROL. that dear sir is stupidity…

    again i repeat, unless you have a solution to the problem that is better than the one used, you are only furthering the problem in public shools. that behavior is unacceptable. the action taken (since no staff member could safely physically subdue her) was the only prudent action to take.

    go be an underpaid underappreciated teacher. otherwise shut up about the problems we face which you do not understand. you are creating some serious animosity here on an issue you really dont understand.

  68. In response to Angela’s question about school violence, I admit my claim that “school violence has gone down” was off the cuff — I didn’t have anything to back it up with at the time, but I’ve heard this statement several times this week in response to the Virginia Tech tragedy.

    Now with a little research, I can tell you what I was referring to — “crime victimization rate cut in half between ’92 and ’02”:
    “Most American schools are fairly safe, it’s true, and the overall risk of being killed in one is less than one in 1.7 million. The data show a general decline in violence in American public schools: The National Center for Education Statistics’ 2004 Indicators of School Crime and Safety shows that the crime victimization rate has been cut in half, declining from 48 violent victimizations per 1,000 students in 1992 to 24 in 2002, the last year for which there are complete statistics.

    But that doesn’t mean there has been a decline at every school. Most of the violence is concentrated in a few institutions. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, during the 1999 – 2000 school year 2 percent of U.S. schools (1,600) accounted for about 50 percent of serious violent incidents–and 7 percent of public schools (5,400) accounted for 75 percent of serious violent incidents. The “persistently dangerous” label exists to identify such institutions.

    So why are only 26 schools in the country tagged with it?

    The underreporting of dangerous schools is only a subset of a larger problem. The amount of information about schools presented to the general public is at an all-time high, but the information isn’t always useful or accurate.” http://www.reason.com/news/show/36161.html

    Notice they also talk about underreporting being a problem, as Angela also pointed out.

    2006 APA report: “For 10 years, social scientists have been studying the effects of “zero tolerance” school policies, which treat any technical infraction as harshly as possible, without regard to mitigating circumstances, the rule breaker’s intentions, or proportionality. In an August report reviewing that decade of research, the American Psychological Association finds a rich legacy of bureaucratic silliness but little evidence that the rules benefit the kids they’re supposed to protect.
    The report found that one of the major reasons offered for no-mercy enforcement, preventing school violence, doesn’t necessarily hold up: “The data have consistently indicated that school violence and disruption have remained stable, or even decreased somewhat, since approximately 1985.” Referenced here: http://www.reason.com/news/printer/117776.html — I wish I could tell you the name of the full report.

    I’ve got more… just need to do some more research.

  69. This is exhausting, but for what it’s worth…
    “to say you failed as a parent because someone else did something that scarred your daughter is exactly the attitude that leads to these problems. you are willing to accept responsibility for something over which you HAVE NO CONTROL. that dear sir is stupidity…”

    You must not have understood my statement. My goal is to raise a child with the emotional fortitude to handle witnessing a temper tantrum by another student — witnessing such an event shouldn’t emotionally ‘scar’ a child or a teacher. My point was that regardless what the world throws at her, she should be able to cope (and know she can turn to us for support) — the exact opposite of allowing her to be so deeply affected by the actions of others… pretty much 180 degrees from what you thought I was saying.

    As for the rising animosity, I’m not the one who started calling people idiots and retards. And btw, throwing “good sir” into your posts doesn’t make you sound any more civilized.

    If non-teachers aren’t allowed to comment on teaching, then I suppose non-parents shouldn’t comment on parenting. What fun would the blogosphere be if we could only comment on things we were experts on?

  70. KP

    i just feel that you’re not educated enough to speak on a problem you do not understand. regardless of reports the problem exists. i can do a study that will prove without a doubt that you are in reality a woman. stats are garbage and you can manipulate them in a way to say what you want.
    the truth is, and it is coming from two teachers, that there are problems and we need a solution. i agree that handcuffing a 6 year old is pretty insane but what other options we have?
    as far as calling you all idiots, i stand by that. idiot means a person so mentally deficient as to be incapable of ordinary reasoning. while you are certainly not truly a retard you are incapable of reasoning in this issue in which your only knowledge is a bunch of numbers. i do respect you and you are a genius compared to me since i am but a gym teacher. but you know not of what you speak.
    i apologize for calling you people idiots. the word i should have use was ignorant.
    do all the research reading you want, but until you try to teach these kids with these problems, you cannot possibly appreciate what me, angela and every public school teacher has to deal with

  71. [st4rbux] don’t worry about anymore research. Crime hasn’t gone down. It may look like that in some reports you are pulling up but once again, how accurate is that information? Underreporting….or sweeping under the rug.
    I said I wouldn’t post agin, but I looked back again this morning and here are more issues. While Killer and I agree on this issue and others do too…. I hope you are not referring to me as an idiot, and retard. You stated before that, “I can’t follow your logic”. I’d like to keep it clean and just say, “we agree to disagree”. You are an articulate person and so am I. However, I’m not a master debater, and I can’t stand confrontation. Although, I’m getting better at it! I’ve seen Killer’s last few posts and I agree with what he says but how he says it (tone) is harsh. I believe ( I don’t like to speak for anyone else) that this issue hits home to many of us who work in school systems with violent children, and then once we actually follow our NO Tolerance act…people get upset. Wheather the student is 6 or not…no tolerance means exactly that.

  72. I’m so done with this.

  73. KP

    i love you [st4rbux]

  74. Angela, great, let’s agree to disagree. I don’t believe “zero-tolerance” is an appropriate policy for 6 year olds if “zero-tolerance” means calling the cops and hauling them away. If “zero tolerance” meant school discipline, I’d have no problem with it.

  75. KP

    [st4rbux], again i beg you to come up with a better solution. WW[S]D?

  76. KP

    define school discipline

  77. I told you, I’m done with this. That last post was just agreeing to disagree with Angela.

  78. KP

    i just had a long talk with amanda. i realize sometimes i get argumentative, but it’s hard to not get that way when dealing with this. while i have long since conceded your original point that i dont want to arrest a 6 year old, i feel you made it personal with a few comments. when speaking of the fact that teachers feel that this may have been a warranted arrest is not fair to us. in extreme cases i truly feel that handcuffs are our only alternative in public school. am i happy about that? NO!! do i feel it is now a necessary step? sadly, yes.
    so in closing i apologize for being harsh and abrasive. i will work on that. in the meantime, lets try to come up with some solutions to the problem. amanda has challenged me to start a revolution to improve public schools. why not start here? anyone with a valid solution to this (lack of) discipline problem make a comment here and start a new thread somewhere about fixing it so we can move on so 6 years from now poor little baby girl isnt in a jail in gaithersburg

  79. I’ve said it before, there is no simple or unified solution to these problems. “Lack of discipline” is such a broad description, you might want to change the scope to focus a bit more.

    Regardless, you won’t be doing it here — you have your own blog where you can host this solution. Anyone who wants to contribute can go to http://killersrants.blogspot.com/ ; KP I trust you’ll start a post where people can post their solutions.

    This post is closed.