No one knows what the future holds, but I am counting down the days until the end of the school year. By my count, there are ten more days with children and eleven more counting are close out day. My new job begins now in mid June. Of course, that is a long story by itself, but I can't complain how it has worked out. I even get a week in between to recharge my batteries. Oh boy, do they need to be recharged.
Today, I got kicked in the privates for the second time in three weeks. I've been doing this for fourteen years. In the first eleven, I was cussed at every now and then, but never physically threatened (much less assaulted). Furthermore, I had never even met a teacher that had been physically assaulted. In three years at my current school I have been bitten, kicked in the privates twice, and had any other assortment of injury attempts. Today was the last straw. My assistant principal decided I may have been hurt and informed our administration, I was required to go to a doctor where a nurse fondled my private parts and I had a urine test done to see if I was on drugs. This was all procedure mind you, but remember that I was victim.
When I returned to school, I noticed that the girl was not only still in school, but wandering the hallway on her own. She of course stopped to laugh at me. Sometime in me snapped. I spoke with the assistant principal and she was trying to send the student home, but mom would not answer the phone (the girl had already been suspended that week). She was too young to give a ticket to and there wasn't a paper trail necessary to send her to our centralized school for discipline problems. In other words, there were a lot of excuses as to why she could not be held responsible. Certainly doesn't make my genitalia feel any better.
It was the last part of the discussion that floored me the most. Seems we cannot hold them as responsible as others because it is likely not their intent to hurt us. Well, we are splitting hairs there. When the child kicked me two times in the leg and then aimed for my crotch it was clear to me what the intent was. Now, get in touch with her inner child, her zen, or whatever but in the good ol' days we had hard and fast rules for this. It doesn't have to be a paddle or a switch (although I'm leaning that way for this girl). It just needs to be the same and it needs to be enough to make students understand that they can't do this.
Throughout my three years at the school I've been told that some of these kids just don't know any better, They aren't getting good parenting at home. They have ADHD or are oppositional defiant. Those are all very real considerations, but if we expect every other child to keep from hitting their classmates and teachers then we must do so with them. Yes, we can give them some accommodations but ultimately they must be held to the same general standards. If we don't then we aren't helping them. We aren't being understanding. We are doing them a great disservice and that is the saddest thing of all.