Three boys are dry-humping the class furniture.
We should be used to it by now. It happens throughout the day, every day, often accompanied by grunts and moans. Just as with dogs, they will use any available surface: the cupboard doors, the corners of desks, the backs of chairs.
The Office has expressed only token dismay at this behavior, and has suggested that I find more stimulating class activities to distract the boys from their non-academic pursuits.
I am a first year teacher in a Special Ed classroom. I have been assigned no mentor. No supervisor has yet visited my classroom, or me.
Nothing I’ve tried within my four storage-room walls has worked. (We have been illegally stuck in a half-size storage room rather than a classroom.)
I request a conference with each of the children’s parents, with an administrator present. I am told by The Office that this can instead be addressed at the annual Parent-Teacher conference.
I request that the offending children be removed to a class for children with emotional problems. The Office refuses, with this reasoning: “Those classes are really terrible places, with severely disturbed children. Do you really think that these boys will benefit from being placed with kids like that?”
These boys ARE kids like that!
I honestly do not think they would be any worse off, and they might get the help they need. What I am certain of is that if they are allowed to continue, the rest of my students won’t stand a chance of getting the help they need.
If I were the school administrator confronted with such a situation, I would, in the following sequence:
1) Discuss the matter with each of the children together and individually, to see if this is simply a case of jacking the new teacher around;
2) Arrange for another adult to drop in on the class to mentor, and help control the activities;
3) If the acts continued, refer the families to social services and send the children to the school psychologist.
If I were a parent of another child seated in a room like this, with a non-responsive school administration like this, I would threaten a lawsuit for exposing my child to sexual behavior and risk of sexual assault.
If I were other than a first-year teacher, having to put up with this and watch my other students sit through it, I would film the behavior and then plant that lawsuit idea myself.
If your own administration is shirking their responsibilities and leaving you and your young charges with a student who is a risk to them or you:
Plant a seed and watch it grow:
Initiate a carefully-worded discussion with the (sadly) total of one or possibly two parents who are actively involved in seeing their special ed children succeed. Subtly let the parent(s) know what’s going on. Invite/encourage her/him/them to drop in often and observe.
Administrators don’t have to pay attention to discontented teachers. But if discontented parents make enough noise, that can make them nervous.
(Don’t forget to first keep a log and take video to document the situation and what steps you’ve already tried, and what steps the administration has not.)
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