I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mr. Big "A" and Discipline Dysfunction.....

It started out pretty innocuously.  Big "A" transferred from one middle school over to another in the 7th grade here in Pensacola.  But "Big A" started getting into trouble at his new school.  Nothing serious at first, nothing really too terrible.  He was caught selling candy in violation of school rules.  He was tardy.  He started to become a disruption.  nothing too bad at first.

Soon, Big A was blatantly defiant to district personnel, and willfully disrespectful to other students.  Big A liked to push his weight around, figuratively and literally;  As a seventh grader, he stood 6' 1" and weighed in at 270.  He was a big kid.

Soon, these referrals started to stack up (eventually there would be 16 in one calendar year, sixteen!)

At referral number 5, Big A committed a significant infraction;  The teacher that day recorded on the referral she wrote that Big A was "Bullying the same female student again, calling her "ass-crack" every time he saw her.  This student was upset, and did not understand why Big A was bullying her, and she did not like it.  The teacher used the word "Bullying", in her write up--but for reasons that I do not understand this infraction was not coded as bullying in SESIR.  

Other referrals came, Big A used demeaning homophobic slurs on some students, taunting others calling them "Bitches"

He confronted a female staff member outside, intimidating her to the point that she reported feeling threatened.

Big A even shoved a teacher that was trying to keep him from fighting with another student.

Fast forward a few referrals later, and Big "A" was walking up and down the halls of his school, using the "N-Word" over and over, loud enough that other students and faculty can hear it.  When 

asked to stop shouting this, he was defiant and said he "didn't not have to."

Referral 14 was a big one, as Big A was harassing a male student, taunting him, walking behind  him, menacing him and trying to fight this student.  It became such a spectacle, that a teacher had to physically intervene to protect the other male student from being attacked, keeping this smaller student in his class until Big A reluctantly left the area.  In the referral, this incident was referred to by the teacher as harassment, however the SESIR code entered for this event was defiance and fighting.  for this, his fourteenth referral, Big A received one day in-school suspension.

Referral number 15 was a terrible one.  On the bus, Big A punched a much smaller female student in the face.  Punched a girl.  In his file, it is listed as a behavior contract violation, and he received a three day out of school suspension for this violent transgression.

If only someone would have given this student some serious consequence at 15....If only.  But no, we don't want to "give up" on a student, that's what I'm told, so the next week Big A was back in school.

Unfortunately, Big A was not done with his violent, aggressive and abusive  behaviors for this year.  On the bus this year just before Christmas, Big A went on a rampage, assaulting multiple female students on the bus, touching them, groping them, exposing his genetalia to them, and making threatening statements to them such as "Bitch let me touch your PXXXXXy" and "I'm going to get that pXXXXy tonight.  He grabbed three young girls, as young as 12, by their crotches and breasts, and also stuck several of them with the pointed end of his comb, something referred to as "shanking!"
He pulled out his penis and attempted to get one of the girls to touch it.

These students were terrified and did not report this.  A brave student who Big A also terrorized and threatened did report this, and Big A was subsequently arrested and charged with a third degree felony.

His punishment, as recommended by the superintendent?  

Expulsion this year and next?  No

Change of placement this year and next?  No

The recommendation, which I voted against, was to remove Big A for the rest of this school year only.

Yep, if Big A gets himself comported enough to finish 8th grade at his current alternative program, he will be right back in our regular high school starting 9th grade on time with all his fellow students and also his victims from 7th and 8th grade. Football, extracurricular programs,  check-- he won't skip a beat.

Nope, I voted against this because I am disgusted by the leniency and the number of chances this student has already wasted and I believe he is a danger and I believe by keeping him in the regular school we are putting other students at risk.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wonder if teachers and administrators just tell the students to "stop" and use methods of nagging, which only incites the students. There is a big role to play in how adults handle student problems, and most of the time adult responses do not actually teach students the skills of conflict resolution. For example, most of the time when there is a fight in a school, the person who caused the fight is usually told to stay away from the other person, instead having any real conflict resolution session between the two parties.

Geez, this sounds like the little kid version of warfare.

Little kid version:
Kid 1: "You're a a dumb white kid in a all black school!"
Kid 2: Shut up!
Kid 1: Make me!
Kid 2: *hits kids 1*
Kid 1: *hits kid 2 back*

Adult version:
Adult 1: Stupid Muslims!
Adult 2: Stupid Christians!
Adult 1: Let me get my bomb!
Adult 2: Oh yea, I have a bigger bomb!

I don't think every kid can be saved, but most can be. A lot of times how we respond to situations, like conflict in schools, can make or break the situation. It's not to undermine other important facts, but if we keep having negative attitudes towards students, instead of cultivating attitudes that problems can be solved *better,* then things will get worse. A book by John Hattie called "Visible Learning" speaks all about this. It's incredible because it is backed by results.

Finding intelligent who think like that is difficult.

Sometimes I wonder if you just defend teachers, even the ones that really aren't that good, because they're an important part of your voting block.