God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen - Jars of Clay - listen now

Friday, November 16, 2007

More Public School Goodness

Could the insanity highlighted in this post, Your Public Schools In Action, be related to the violence and chaos described in this article?

Battle-scarred 'Sub' In L.A. Barrios Speaks Out
There's no teaching going on at LAUSD – only confinement of the sort one may find in a penal colony, complete with walkie-talkie-carrying wardens and bullhorns. And I have "confined" at many different schools within central Los Angeles in the last six months. Many students scream "suuuuuuuub" when they see someone like me – a "guest teacher" – in their classroom and trample anyone and/or anything as they push and shove their way inside.

Recently, I was privy to a narrative by a teacher in which he complained that after a one-day absence, his classroom was in shreds and wall posters were torn down. His VHS player and flash drive with all lesson plans were stolen as was his computer. Lab equipment was broken and tagged with gang symbols in permanent marker and completely nonfunctional. He was subsequently informed that his substitute teacher had walked out of the classroom numerous times throughout the day and had left the students to themselves. He wondered how the substitute could be so irresponsible and how he would break the news to his seventh-graders about their tagged notebooks with profane language and two-weeks worth of work in the garbage. Oh, woe!

Among other things this substitute teacher has endured:
  • I was present, in fact, during a violent melee involving hundreds of students that brought in several police squad cars and helicopters flying overhead.
  • I always try to leave one classroom door open because I am often afraid for my life – my life.
  • I was deliberately body-slammed on the head by two to three large young men in a P.E. class of 53 students... The LAUSD case nurse assigned to my case labeled my attack "boys will be boys."
  • I've been harassed and pelted with the same Halloween candy I bought as a treat for the students on Oct. 31, 2007.
  • In the pandemonium that usually ensues at these "underprivileged schools," the bungalow class door handles that I reported as missing came off upon touching, fell off, and the students began using these door handles as weapons...
I'm not sure what needs to be done to reform the curricula in our schools, but these criminals, and that's what they are, should be treated like criminals, not students.

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