May 2006...Teachers in the news
Sad, sad state of affairs in this part of the country. Lots of depressing stuff in the newspaper. Two stories which have really caught my interest are below. In the first, a bunch of 1st and 2nd graders sexually assaulted another classmate on their school playground. Staff members have been disciplined for lack of attentiveness, and the boys who committed the assualt have been, I believe, expelled. I'm sure that most people reading the story were/are shocked that kids so little would do something like this. I was, too, but not completely.
That behavior comes from somewhere. It's astounding the things my first grade students have seen...movies I wouldn't let my teenage son watch! Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Scary Movie...the list goes on and on. Or the kids who come in and tell their teacher (and, make no mistake, they tell us everything...things we never wanted to know!!) about their mom's boyfriends and having to go over there and sleep on the couch while mom was with her boyfriend. Don't have their homework because they left it at the boyfriend's house because they were asleep when mom brought them home in the middle of the night. Or the heartbreaking number of kids who've been sexually or physically abused. They are everywhere. Kids learn from everything they see, do, and have done to them. And then, too often, they perpetuate that circle of violence.
In the second story, a teacher has been arrested for the attempted murder of a high school student. Left her for dead in a field with a broken neck for 30 hours. Many facts aren't clear. It appears that they met when he student taught in her class; he was not currently her teacher, but they had recently reconnected. Lots over email. I'm sure that the story will be increasingly sordid as more facts come out.
Thank goodness, there are lots of GOOD things happening in education, most teachers are wonderful. But boy, bad week in the news.