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Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I teach, and my District allows teachers (and students)to press charges with police for aggressive behavior, which stops some of the threatening behavior quite quickly, when a student knows (especially high school age)this can be a consequence. I think it depends on the District's policy, because where I work it's the opposite--they remove the kids--they also have a school for kids doing juvenile detention time--the kids that are violent end up there and still get an education, each student wears a color-coded jumpsuit that allows a teacher to know the minute the student walks in the door what "status" the student is. (ie: suicidal,violent, etc)and that status/color changes as the student's mood does, which sounds like jail, but actually gives a safety buffer to everyone in the room,to have a heads up on who could cause a problem(and that could mean bodily harm) and if you've made it into juvenile detention for violence, you gain consequences--yet,some of those kids have an easier ability to get a diploma than some of the kids in mainstream classes!

It's easy for a District to write a no harrassment/no bully policy into a student handbook with their own definition of the bullying/harrassing...maybe that's what this school needs to do (where your teachers comment the kids won't be removed until a level of violence increases).

We have a no bully,harrassment policy that's super strict, and it removes kids for that reason. They just do not tolerate it at all.

Another part of the problem, as I understand it, is that Chicago doesn't have enough spaces in the "therapeutic" schools for all the kids who might benefit from a different setting.

I should also mention that people often trash Chicago teachers, but the ones I've known have been very dedicated, compassionate people dealing with tough, sometimes demoralizing conditions.

It boggles my mind how challenging some public school settings are. My hat's off and prayers go out to teachers and administrators who pursue this calling.

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