Friday, April 11, 2008

Oops ... They Did It Again

Yesterday it was 3rd graders plotting against their elementary school teacher. Today there has been a video released of six 14 year old girls beating up a former friend; this video spread like wildfire on UTube. Today there was also video of a young boy exposed to horrific bullying by other students at his middle school; his parents are filing a lawsuit. This swell of violence caused by children is growing and becoming more prevalent and it seems the video of these "incidents" is everywhere, from the television to the radio to the internet.

This swell of violence reached a crescendo this morning when I saw a cell phone video of a student beating up a teacher. A high school teacher from Baltimore was sitting at her desk, when a female student approached the teacher. Some type of verbal exchange was made and the student moved closer to the teacher and told her she was going to hit her. The teacher replied, "You are in my personal space, please step back." The student repeated her threat and the teacher replied, "If you hit me, I will defend myself."

The student then hit the teacher in the face, knocking the teacher out of her chair. Cell phone images, recorded by another student, show the student sitting on top of the teacher. The student can be seen savagely beating the teacher around the head. The other students watched and cheered the fight on; one student video taped the fight with the cell phone. Only one student went for help.

When the teacher was finally able to escape her attacker, the Principal blamed the teacher! The Principal said the teacher used a "trigger word" when she said, "If you hit me, I will defend myself." What the hell is a trigger word? Are teachers taught what trigger words not to use in class?

This teacher has not been back to work since the attack; she says she is too afraid to return to her old school. And what about the student who assaulted the teacher? No charges were filed, but the student was suspended. Suspended - not expelled! What kind of message is this sending to the other students? And this is not the first time a studen had assaulted a teacher in this particular school.

The problem is there have been no consequences for students who attack a teacher. These children are not being disciplined; their parents are not being held responsible. This has got to change.

Teachers need to be protected from these "rogue" children. If a student harms a teacher, I feel they need to be banned from that school, but this alone will not stop a child who has been raised with violence. The parents need to be charged, or at least held responsible for their underage children. If we don't stop these violent children now, what kind of world will our children inherit in 20 years? I, for one, don't want the leaders of tomorrow coing from a history of vilence and aggression because this will only lead to more villence and aggression - WAR - throughout the world.

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