Sex In the Classroom

Three boys are dry-humping the class furniture.
Three Humping Dogs Memory Sticks

Ever-So-Classy Real-Action Humping Dog Memory Sticks

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.
Wet Floor-Piso Mojado Sign

Don’t Take It Lying Down

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.)

1st Teaching Post: Shocked By a Rock
Next Teaching Post: Browbeating Innocent Ponies


Shocked By a Rock

I am shocked by a rock.
Rock In Hand

If This Met Your Daughter’s Head? Your Son’s?

It is my second day of teaching. I am in my Special Ed classroom when an extremely agitated playground supervisor bursts through the door with two of my fifth-grade students. The supervisor thrusts out one of her hands to show me a rock almost the size of my fist.

“Clyde threw this at Tina’s head as hard as he could! The only reason she wasn’t killed is because she was running away from him, and she tripped and fell just before it hit her!”

Tina is standing there frightened and pale. Clyde is standing there happy and unrepentant. Except at the fact that he missed. Happy? His face is positively beaming. A smile of pride splits it from ear to ear. Even after only two days of knowing him, I believe that if Clyde’s rock had made contact and truly killed Tina, he would enthusiastically add a little victory dance.

Of course, I send Clyde to The Office. The District has very strict rules for protecting the safety of our students. I know that students are suspended immediately for threats alone, with no exceptions, because my poor next-door-neighbor’s 6-year-old was suspended just for pointing his pencil and saying “Bang!”. What will happen to Clyde for trying to bash a girl’s head in with a rock? And he is no six-year old.

Here is what happens: The Office sends Clyde back moments later to rejoin my class.

The Special Ed teaching lesson has begun:

I am here as a babysitter, nothing more. My students are not expected to behave. I am expected to keep them out of sight and out of mind and deal with any problems within the four walls of my classroom.

Several weeks later, after more office referrals for violent acts, The Office responds with this note:

“You are sending students to The Office too often.
Work on your classroom management.”

Great Lesson in “Respect”, District.

The real lesson for the students, and a very effective one, was to follow the Nike Rule: Never threaten–Just do it.

And for me, regarding my classroom management? At no time in my first months alone in my classroom as a new teacher, and a new teacher in a Special Ed classroom with several emotionally disturbed children mislabeled as having learning disabilities, was anyone ever sent to instruct or assist me in how to “work on my classroom management”.

(No Caption Needed)

Not that my classroom management was the problem here, but I think you get my point.
Next Teaching Post: Sex In the Classroom
Originally posted Jan. 1, 2012 based upon a career that ended many years earlier.


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