My husband and I sat on our couch as the video played over and over. I was outraged by the force used in a South Carolina high school… That was my initial reaction. My husband watched with different eyes. My vision was different because I put my children in the student’s place. I saw my children being dragged violently across the room. My husband does many things, sometimes he is a substitute teacher. He watched through a teacher’s eyes and then, because I am a teacher, I did too.
The truth is that my children have been raised to respect adults and teachers in general. If my children were asked to put away something by a teacher or administrator, would do so right away… End of story.
I haven’t seen a panel of teachers discussing what happened. But many ‘experts’ say they the teacher should have handled the situation. I have yet to hear how that should have been done. A student is being defiant in class and doing what every other student is asked not to do. It seems like a simple rule ‘No Cell Phones in Class’… It seems reasonable. So what do you do as a teacher if a students has their cell phone out? If you ignore it then the rule means nothing, and pretty soon everyone with a phone will have it out. As a teacher you have lost all credibility. The principal will tell you that you lack classroom discipline and you may get reprimanded. The state will grade your school on how your students perform on the material taught. It is your responsibility as a teacher to teach the curriculum. You need to teach to the bell giving students as much instruction as possible. So yes, the teacher could have ignored the student initially, but once the teacher confronted her and asked her to put away her phone and she ignored him, all eyes are are on him waiting to see if he was really in charge of the class. It is a pivotal moment. Will he back down and allow her to have her phone? If she is usually a respectful well behaved helpful student then he may have a conversation with her… ‘Is everything ok? Is something going on? Maybe you could take care of that in the hallway to finish dealing with whatever it is that needs your attention’… But if this person is constantly a problem or pushing the limits and challenges him, he will need to assert his authority and insist that she put it away or leave the room.
At that point, she didn’t do either and the teacher was compelled to call for assistance from an administrator. He has already given up precious teaching time to deal with this noncompliant behavior. The girl was still not going to do what was asked. We did not get to hear the dialogue prior to the officer entering.
So before the officer was called in, here are the options… 1. Ignore the behavior 2. Remove all other students from the class 3. Have her parents come to school and take her home 4. Have the teacher and administrator remove her themselves 5. Have the resource officer come and ask her to leave the class (which is what he did before he had to remove her himself).
The question I keep asking myselfy is why she didn’t just put away her phone when asked. She obviously wanted to escalate the situation. What was the point of her being in the classroom in the first place?
The teacher and administrator tried to end the situation by asking her to leave so the rest of the students could go back to learning as soon as possible. This isn’t really a police brutality issue…. Once again it is a parenting issue. If my child got in trouble at school or was discipline at school my response should be ‘What did you do?’
not ‘What did the teacher do to you?’
Ask yourself… If you had been the teacher with a classroom of 30 16 year olds, what would you have done…