Monday, September 6, 2010

Would it really be such a bad thing?

I think we should have teacher .vs. student hockey and I would gladly sit in the penalty box for checking or high sticking.

I think I would even get in a boxing ring and just punch 'em in the balls and take whatever happens to me since you're not supposed to hit there.

What about letting teachers have a taser? When I lived in the Wild West, I was working at a branding once. On thing they let me help do was hold a hot shot and goose the calves up the chute, away from their mommies. Most calves wouldn't go quietly or easily so I had a cattle prod called a Hot Shot. It just gave a little juice to the calve to get 'em moving. There was certainly NOT the same as what is in a police taser. While this was going on, a student came up behind me to ask me a question and I turned around and accidentally touched the Hot Shot to the student. Which to me was super cool, but he didn't think so. It sure did give him a jolt- bwahahahahaha! I swear it was an accident. really. But it was still awesome. And there would be nothing wrong with letting classroom teachers all have a Hot Shot. I bet if a school system said we could have 'em teachers would rush to the nearest Big R and buy their own! I know I would. It'd be the best $25 I ever spent!

It's not that I want to hurt my students but I just want to knock some sense into them. We are so touchy- feely and everyone is worried about hurting the kids. I also understand that some adults can go to far with punishments. And I'm a pacifist. But sometimes I just want a situation where I could lay out the kid who told me to "fuck off you fat bitch." Is that too much to ask?

Recently one of the kids at Alcatraz was recounting her experience in an isolation unit. The place where I work will not use physical contact with a child unless necessary and if that happens, everyone has been trained, by a nationally known and respected company in this field, to do therapeutic holds and restraints. This is a last resort option.

This girl student was telling about how she threw a fit in her house and went out the front door. The adult in charge of her house calls a team because she might be running away. So this group converges around this girl. She walks up and down campus, never setting foot off the property. Everyone has to walk with her, talking her "down". She runs in circles and everyone runs after her. She throws her self on the ground and everyone can only stand and talk and sooth. This went on for about 3 HOURS. She never left the Alcatraz campus so she was never able to be labeled as a runner, first of all. And she could scream and yell and call the team of adults trying to help her every name in the book and they can't do anything. She's not leaving or hurting herself or others so she couldn't be restrained. meanwhile, the entire campus is on lock down because you don't want the other kids to know what's going on; they could create another 'situation'.

Finally when she either wore herself out or just gave up could the team actually walk her into the isolation unit where she could shower, change clothes and have something to eat, get her meds and then go to sleep. Seriously. And she stayed there for 5 days as her punishment- for the 3 hour episode and whatever was the catalyst for the episode.

And if your thought of an Isolation unit comes from One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest of Oz on HBO, then get those images out of your mind. The Isolation Unit at Alcatraz means the kids are isolated from the others. They're in their own room with a bed. There are several adults watching them. They can watch tv, read, listen to the radio and sometimes even visit with the other kids in Isolation. It's not a dirty, dark cement hole. There are windows and carpet and soothing murals painted on the walls. It's well lit. There are adults in and out all the time- a nurse, therapist, teachers, counselors, house parents, staff, etc. Seriously.

I couldn't believe she did all that crap for three hours. After about 45 minutes of all the nicey-nicey stuff, I would've wanted to tackle her butt to the ground, use restraints and haul her ass off to the local country lockup for being such a little bitch.

The kids know what they can get away with and they do this sort of crap on purpose. Then laugh about it later; they brag and thinks it's hilarious at what they made all the staff do. The kicker is that no one can do anything about it. Oh, the case managers can make notes in their files and then send those files on to the kid's county judge when the case is up for review. But usually that doesn't have much influence on teaching them a lesson. Unless a kids gets violent or runs more than once, usually the kids get out of my facility when they're supposed to, on their originally assigned release date.

Hence my desire for some sort of sports competition or farm implement usage.



Curley said...

Hubby and I used to say when the kids were younger and we were locked in the car with them on a long trip that we wished that there were "No Bark" collars for kids. Whenever they got too loud or annoying, "zap"! Blissfully quiet.

Wiley said...

Heh. That would teach 'em! And I can understand your frustration. I remember my schooling - a very good school in a very nice area, but we were little shits at times. Some of my teachers came up with fairly creative punishments because there were so many restrictions on what they could do. I remember my history teacher making one of the students in her year 9 class (14-15 yo) sit under her desk holding her hand all lesson. Hilarious. And he was very well behaved for the remainder of the semester, no doubt because the rest of us never let him forget!

I do wonder though, if we are a little too soft on kids nowadays (yes, I feel old and yes, I am turning into my mother). Everything, from school to sports to social activities is centred around building up the kid - which is good until it leaves them with a false sense of reality. Life isn't fair and sometimes your best effort simply is not good enough. There's a real arrogance in the youngsters I work with (and I'm only talking 6 or so years younger than me), and an inability to handle feedback/constructive criticism. I made a few of my employees cry simply because I was the first person in their lives who ever told them "you are simply not making the grade." Some of them have worked hard at taking on the feedback and improving themselves and are starting to meet that standard, while others have moved on to other careers better suited to their skills, and still others sit in a corner nursing a chip on their shoulder. Maybe we do need to re-institute some tough lovin'.