Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Flies like a butterfly, stings like a bee...

As you have figured out by now, I work in a school part of a non-lock down, juvenile prison facility. We have a school and a residential living facility.

And about six weeks ago one of our teachers got punched in the face. She's a little bit of a thing and she was trying to break up a fight between two big guys and she got socked in the face. It was an accident and could've happened to anyone in that situation. She got hit hard enough to be taken to the ER and got stitches. No concussion, no need for facial reconstruction surgery, just a really good black eye and some stitches- 5 of them. She missed school for about 3 weeks.

According to her story at the time, it was an accident. The boys in the fight said it was as did ALL of the students in that classroom.

But it's turned into a bog damn, drama.

If I was in the situation and was stupid enough to step between to big teens boys who were set to pound each other, then I would understand it was an accident and be back at school in a day or two.

I would not show weakness and miss three weeks.

These boys did not go after her with the intent to hurt her. Actually, when questioned later the boys didn't even know she was hurt.

The boys are expelled from our school. They are now doing on line learning. One kid was sent to boys' prison school. The other one is still at our facility awaiting a decision from his county.

We are all trained to handle these situations. But every single person in the trainings are told if we- the staff- know we can't stop the fight, are out numbered or if the kids are bigger, then wait for help. It doesn't matter if you are male or female, those are the rules of thumb. She weighs in at about 90 pounds and there were two of them and one of her. She just got caught in the middle of the foray.

I feel like this was made into a HUGE ordeal. It could happen to any teacher at any school in the world. Kids fight. Adults who try and break it up can get hurt. It is what it is. It doesn't make it worse because it was at our facility.

I hate the drama created by this.

I've taught in three "regular" public schools and I feel safer at Alcatraz than I did at any of the others. We have two "emergency response teams" if we have a problem. One can be there in less than 30 seconds. No public high school I know has this. I remember when I was at a middle school last year and a kid was screaming and swearing in the hallway and all the teachers locked doors and called administration for help, it was about 5 minutes because our principal was in the high school NEXT DOOR at a meeting.

More than likely our kids won't come to school armed unlike regular high schools where kids can carry in a fire arm in a back pack. Columbine mean anything to anyone?

We are trained through a nationally recognized program which trains people to handle crisis in a therapy setting. Not only are we trained with this 5 days program, we are kept updated on this training 3-4 times a year. Any other public high school teachers get this?

Sometimes I think adults can't see the forest for the trees.


1 comment:

Karen Roderick said...

Wow Maggie, that's a pretty amazing job you have, or rather, you are amazing to manage it. I'm a social worker, and do occasionally find myself in rather uncomfortable situations, and so I think you're right about your colleagues reaction. Surely to stay away so long would make her feel worse, and make it more difficult to settle back in? If help is there, you absolutely MUST use it xx