It hasn’t been a good day for the education system. In San Diego a student opened fire in a school. Two dead, thirteen wounded and hundreds scarred with the memories and fears.
Closer to home, a seventh grade student hit a teacher in the face with the cast on his arm. He hit the teacher several times. The teacher didn’t fight back. He tried to put his hands up in defense of his bloody face. The child taunted him and kept swinging at him. The boy yelled profanities at the teacher and called him names. “Pussy! Chicken! Asshole!”
One of the other teachers called 911. You could hear the sirens coming from a mile away. The squad car squealed to a stop at the front of the school. The boy continued to hit and chase the bloody teacher. The boy didn’t respond to the police officers.
The officer kept yelling for the boy to stop and drop to the ground. Suddenly, the boy ran up to the officer and hit him twice in the face with his cast. He kept swinging until the officer finally was able to get the boy onto the ground. The boy continued to scream and try to fight the officer.
All of this occurred at the end of the school day. The bell rang and the entire student body exited onto the playground as the officer took the boy to the ground. He was trying to control the aggressive boy. The students laughed, some cried, but most cheered for their fellow student to continue to try and hit the officer. Some jumped up and down and screamed “oohhss” and “ahhhs” when the boy squirmed out from under the officer and managed to hit him in shoulder. The kids clapped and cheered.
I was stunned by the how the authority figures had fallen in the eyes of the children. Children do not hold the same beliefs about teachers or police officers that they did when I was growing up. Never would a student hit a teacher. Never would it be expected by the staff either. It has been as sad, sad day.
(written in 2000)