Friday, April 25, 2008

Well, I guess I'm journaling about my fun times at the elementary school.

I went in and they said "the child" was having a great day. I know that can turn on a dime, though. I had a feeling he was going to be trouble, and normally I would have prayed that off, but it happened so quickly. The teacher was in and out of the class talking with OTHER kids who were in trouble, and directed everyone to open their science books and discuss with others how heat is transferred. The child, "C" was looking at everything else. I told him to get his book out and he said no. I said, "First warning. Get your book out." He gets up and starts slamming his desk around and throwing stuff around. I'm fascinated, frankly, and tell him to stop-2nd warning for not complying with getting the book...he won't stop or comply, so I tell him to leave the room and take a walk. The teacher wants me to take his book, try to work on the assignment (ha) and maybe he could see the video at 2pm.

I follow him and we chat a bit. I ask him why he got angry over doing school work and that I had to mark him as one warning for disrespect of school property because he tossed his desk around. He gets mad and kicks a door. I tell him that's the second warning for disregard of property. (He gets 2 warnings for each part of behavior) I've already put in a call to the SpEd teacher. He grabs the clipboard pen-on-a-string and pulls it...just about pulling the clipboard with it, but I hold the clipboard because I'm afraid he'll get smacked in the face. Should have let him. He jumps over to me and grabs the clipboard and twists around with it in front of me. My finger is in the metal part. The SpEd teacher comes around seeing this scene and her first words are: "Honeeey, what's wrong?" He sticks out his lower lip and starts pouting. The teacher asks me about what happened. . .she says, "Did he 'tap' the door, or actually kick it?" My head is screaming, "It doesn't matter. He was disrespectful to school and me, and that is that." But, I tell her, "He kicked it." Which he did. So, she tells me, as he is turning lights off and on and sputtering obnoxiously, to go get someone in SpEd who is CPI trained (Crisis Prevention Intervention). No phones? So, I go. What do you think about this?

I found this online. I would have failed miserably on this because I don't remember any songs from "South Pacific."

Snow is streaming from the sky as a short yellow school bus pulls up to a red brick building that is well on the plus side of fifty years old. A young girl, approximately ten years old, exits the bus through an open window and runs down the pathway to the building. She hurls herself into the school and within a few feet finds her classroom. The ceiling of the class is gnarled with enormous steam pipes, anywhere from two to twelve inches in diameter. The pipes are already at work, grunting and hissing their way to heating the class. The girl grabs a pair of scissors and opens them at her throat. "I’ll kill myself now if you don’t sing a song from ‘South Pacific’." The kid’s eyes are wild and her greasy hair is matted to her forehead. I begin to hum a few bars of ‘Happy Talk’ as I calmly take the scissors from her hands. She quiets down almost immediately. I help her take off her thin coat and note that her feet do not have socks on them. Class has started on a Monday morning in an upstate New York public school.~~~Antoinette Magaletta McClure, teacher of emotionally disturbed kids and author of Pipe Dreams.



Robert said...

wow karen. Your experiences there just continue to show the effects from anti-discipline approaches in handling behavior problems. I'm reminded of that song where the kids take their teacher and throw her out the window of a tall bldg to see if she will bounce, there are no absolutes and all morality is relative so whtever happens to her is ok. I send you a salute major hugs and thanks for the work your doing there sister!!!

Missy said...

That story is incredible. It's hard to imagine what I would do. You have to respect any training - naive or not - that can handle that with such calmness day to day.

Persistent, consistent boundaries is the most loving thing you can do for a child. And they will fight you every step of the way, especially if no one has ever done it for them. It sounds fairly close to describing my relationship with God. :) But it's definitely where my security comes from.

Oh, and they should have phones. Duh?

Big hugs. Do what you can while you can, that's all.

codepoke said...

Sister, I really don't have any wisdom for you. I know you'd do the right thing for these kids if only your hands were not tied. My sympathies are entirely yours.

In these things, the worst is the feeling of shame that others seem to consider themselves so far above you. I can only say that arrogance is not truth. You've got truth on your side.

You're the sane one.

NoVA Dad said...

I don't know how I would have handled that; I'm having a challenging time enough with my daughters right now.

My father taught special education for 18 years, until it got to the point where it burned him out. I still, to this day, wonder how he was able to do it for so long -- it definitely takes a special person to be able to do it for that long (or even on a temporary, fill-in basis).

... Paige said...

Sounds like they needed to have "safety" scissors at that school.
I suppose if it had been me, the kid would have killed herself and it may have been for the best.
I have a problem with kids/people who control others by way of threats.
I really believe that those folks who want to kill themselves don't advertise it they just do it. I have known 4 people that have done i. A nephew, a friend and 2 co-workers. I has dated a couple of guys that said they were gonna do it I told them they were a lot braver than me, cause I wouldn't want to face God after I killed someone. But go ahead if ya want and then I hung up the phone. Neither one did.
I know God will give you the right words and power when you need it. Hang in there!

Milly said...

In no way are they helping the children by allowing them free range. My little autistic guy was held accountable. I will say that I thought I might do a bit of battle when he lost it on the way to school and attacked his brother. When I arrived at the school I had his brother go in and I followed “C” in I grabbed him so that he wouldn’t follow his brother. He ended up in my lap on the floor. One of the teachers tried to take him from my arms. I didn’t let go until I could see the change in his eyes. I could see how trapped he was. I cried all the way home. To see those eyes. These kids need to be held accountable and they need for someone to show they care. By calling them sweetie and allowing them to do wrong is only passing the buck. Keep giving a damn.

Kansas Bob said...

I am wondering if the real battle may be spiritual? I got nothing else.. just admiration for one amazing Karen!

Don R said...

Peace to you....