Fight at school

jbuck919
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Fight at school

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:41 am

This may seem like a silly thing to share, but I'm still upset about it, so here goes.

I have only ever broken up a fight twice, once at my old school in Maryland and then today. In the first case I had great success with the recommended technique, which is to walk up to the students and shout "stop." (Believe it or not, that usually works.) That one was in the hallway before school started and I just happened to stumble on it.

Today was much weirder. I was with my good seventh grade class section, the one with bright students that I think I can fundamentally trust (the other section is a collection of monsters of whom I expect something like this might happen). I look up, and two students are, I think play wrestling (standing up). This is already unacceptable as exaggerated horseplay. So I go over immediately to tell them to stop, and they seem not to hear me. In fact, it is obviously now a serious fight, and they will not stop so I have to physically push them apart for their own safety. I have never touched a student in my entire career except for a supportive pat on the back for my special informal mentees. In the process of separating, additional blows were exchanged, which resulted in one student getting a bloody nose (which he cleaned up himself in the boys' room).

The thing is that these are two great kids who are actually friends. It was something that got out of hand for no reason I can tell. They have both been suspended for three days and lost all possible privileges for the quarter. Their parents had to come in and pick them up. They will have huge consequences at home, because all basicallly good kids have strong parenting. (One of them is bilingual in Greek, and I imagine they'll call over Grandma Sophie to whip his ass if needed.) And it was all for nothing.

This was a matter of school rules, and I would have dealt with it at the teacher level if I had the option, but I would have gotten in trouble myself if I had not raised it to the administrator level. I have half a dozen students I might expect this of and I watch them like a hawk. But not these two, and I remain very upset and saddened by my teaching day. Sixteen years, and what do you get?

Thanks, for letting me share.

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Post by Ralph » Tue Oct 17, 2006 1:22 pm

You did the right thing. Kids get into fights and this one hardly seems like a lopsided assault.

The day is long past when a teacher can intervene and terminate an incident like this one without involving the school administration.
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Post by Haydnseek » Tue Oct 17, 2006 1:29 pm

Maybe the fight resolved something or will lead to a resolution. When I think back to school days I can recall situations that would have improved by means of a fight - win, lose or draw. Long-simmering anger, resentment, shame, etc. may be less healthy, and even lead sometimes to greater violence, than if a few punches are thrown followed, one hopes, by a handshake.
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Post by Holden Fourth » Tue Oct 17, 2006 3:30 pm

As a fellow teacher who works at a good school with essentially good pupils I can tell you that occasionally, boys will be boys - especially at that age. Our school would react in exactly the same manner and I concur with them. Hopefully what these boys will take out of this is, that in some sections of society, violence is never, ever the way to solve your problems. They'll survive this and probably be good buddies again.

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Post by Ralph » Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:29 pm

Holden Fourth wrote:As a fellow teacher who works at a good school with essentially good pupils I can tell you that occasionally, boys will be boys - especially at that age. Our school would react in exactly the same manner and I concur with them. Hopefully what these boys will take out of this is, that in some sections of society, violence is never, ever the way to solve your problems. They'll survive this and probably be good buddies again.
*****

Increasingly, girls fight too.
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jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:12 pm

Ralph wrote:
Holden Fourth wrote:As a fellow teacher who works at a good school with essentially good pupils I can tell you that occasionally, boys will be boys - especially at that age. Our school would react in exactly the same manner and I concur with them. Hopefully what these boys will take out of this is, that in some sections of society, violence is never, ever the way to solve your problems. They'll survive this and probably be good buddies again.
*****

Increasingly, girls fight too.
I don't know how you know that Ralph, but it is true. We've also had girls suspended for fighting this year, incuding two of mine (thanfully not in my purview at the time).

The aspect of this that I am having difficulty dealing with is the shock at the students involved. I will have to call their parents one way or the other even though they have already been suspended. They are good, good kids who just had a bad moment. Maybe there was an insult involved. Who knows, they are so young.

BTW if DoDDS were a state, it would be the second best in the US (Massachussetts would be the firstl.) So I don't teach in deepest darkest, but like every teaching situation, it has its problems.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:24 pm

If I had been suspended for every fight I got into at school I'd never have attended at all. Can't recall a week going by without a stoush, although there had to be one or two. Being the new kid in every school, and half-bright, you provoke violence just by breathing in and out on their turf.

If I'd been allowed to stay home for three days for fighting, I'd have started swinging first thing every morning.

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Post by jbuck919 » Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:26 pm

Brendan wrote:If I had been suspended for every fight I got into at school I'd never have attended at all. Can't recall a week going by without a stoush, although there had to be one or two. Being the new kid in every school, and half-bright, you provoke violence just by breathing in and out on their turf.

If I'd been allowed to stay home for three days for fighting, I'd have started swinging first thing every morning.
Cultural differences, Brendan, I imagine.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by miranda » Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:37 pm

My best friend works as a teacher in a charter school in Albuquerque, NM. She has to deal with fights in her classroom--among both girls and boys--nearly every single day. I don't know how she does it.

And at the public elementary school that I attended in rural Maryland, there were fights at least once a week, and often more times than that. There were a lot of fights that went on in the school bus. It seemed to happen mostly among the boys, but the girls would occasionally fight each other as well.
Last edited by miranda on Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Brendan

Post by Brendan » Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:38 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Brendan wrote:If I had been suspended for every fight I got into at school I'd never have attended at all. Can't recall a week going by without a stoush, although there had to be one or two. Being the new kid in every school, and half-bright, you provoke violence just by breathing in and out on their turf.

If I'd been allowed to stay home for three days for fighting, I'd have started swinging first thing every morning.
Cultural differences, Brendan, I imagine.
Which culture? America? Malasia? England? Australia? I went to school all over the world.

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Post by jserraglio » Tue Oct 17, 2006 7:19 pm

I have two friends who teach in the Cleveland School system here. At their school, a tough school in an already tough district, a fight broke out in the hallway one day.

The fight was between two teachers.

Fortunately, order was quickly restored when students intervened and broke up the fight. The teachers were summoned to the office and reprimanded.

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Post by Ralph » Tue Oct 17, 2006 8:20 pm

jserraglio wrote:I have two friends who teach in the Cleveland School system here. At their school, a tough school in an already tough district, a fight broke out in the hallway one day.

The fight was between two teachers.

Fortunately, order was quickly restored when students intervened and broke up the fight. The teachers were summoned to the office and reprimanded.
*****

Teachers fighting? What will happen next?
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Post by jbuck919 » Tue Oct 17, 2006 11:17 pm

Brendan wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
Brendan wrote:If I had been suspended for every fight I got into at school I'd never have attended at all. Can't recall a week going by without a stoush, although there had to be one or two. Being the new kid in every school, and half-bright, you provoke violence just by breathing in and out on their turf.

If I'd been allowed to stay home for three days for fighting, I'd have started swinging first thing every morning.
Cultural differences, Brendan, I imagine.
Which culture? America? Malasia? England? Australia? I went to school all over the world.
I don't believe I'm sharing the board with a Roman Catholic Australian habitual troublemaker. The way you describe yourself you sound as though you should have been in juvenile detention if not jail. If you have that kind of past, it's fine, but it is not normal anywhere in the world as far as I know.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Wed Oct 18, 2006 12:40 am

I was hardly the most aggressive child in any of the schools I went to. But refusing to Pledge Allegiance (not being our flag) and the fact that back in those days the black kids finding out they could beat up on us without causing much fuss (foreigners being even worse than blacks in the Deep South in 1970) basically put a target on our backs.

The Hampton School, one of England's finest, was hardly an institution for deliquents and such. Nonetheless, being the new Aussie boy also made me a target. At home, it was fine at military schools but as soon as I went to civies that old target went back on.

That you have lived such a sheltered life is admirable, but don't make assumptions about my character based on your ignorance.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Oct 18, 2006 12:55 am

Ralph wrote:Kids get into fights and this one hardly seems like a lopsided assault.

The day is long past when a teacher can intervene and terminate an incident like this one without involving the school administration.
Too damn bad too. I think the educational world would be much better off if the adminstrators would make space for kids to settle things among themselves rather than hovering over them like ill-equipt exterminators trying to prevent infestations of embarrassing bugs.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Oct 18, 2006 12:57 am

jserraglio wrote:The fight was between two teachers.

Fortunately, order was quickly restored when students intervened and broke up the fight. The teachers were summoned to the office and reprimanded.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Post of the Day Award to ya, J. Erasers at 40 paces.
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Post by Madame » Wed Oct 18, 2006 12:58 am

Ralph wrote:
jserraglio wrote:I have two friends who teach in the Cleveland School system here. At their school, a tough school in an already tough district, a fight broke out in the hallway one day.

The fight was between two teachers.

Fortunately, order was quickly restored when students intervened and broke up the fight. The teachers were summoned to the office and reprimanded.
*****

Teachers fighting? What will happen next?
A principal duking it out with a parent ... and everyone laying side bets? :)

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Post by Madame » Wed Oct 18, 2006 1:31 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
Ralph wrote:Kids get into fights and this one hardly seems like a lopsided assault.

The day is long past when a teacher can intervene and terminate an incident like this one without involving the school administration.
Too damn bad too. I think the educational world would be much better off if the adminstrators would make space for kids to settle things among themselves rather than hovering over them like ill-equipt exterminators trying to prevent infestations of embarrassing bugs.
Yeah, and if one of them gets knifed ... oh well, stuff happens :shock:

I like Pierre Dulaine's idea -- let them work it out in ballroom dance competition -- direct all that energy into tango, rhumba, cha-cha, fox trot, waltz

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Post by Madame » Wed Oct 18, 2006 1:51 am

jbuck919 wrote:
I don't believe I'm sharing the board with a Roman Catholic Australian habitual troublemaker. The way you describe yourself you sound as though you should have been in juvenile detention if not jail. If you have that kind of past, it's fine, but it is not normal anywhere in the world as far as I know.
I know a kid who ended up with a broken jaw because he let his alligator mouth overload his hummingbird ass. I dare say that if you said something like this to someone 3 feet in front of you, you'd likely get your clock cleaned. That is exactly how fights start.

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Post by living_stradivarius » Wed Oct 18, 2006 2:23 am

jserraglio wrote:I have two friends who teach in the Cleveland School system here. At their school, a tough school in an already tough district, a fight broke out in the hallway one day.

The fight was between two teachers.

Fortunately, order was quickly restored when students intervened and broke up the fight. The teachers were summoned to the office and reprimanded.
The fight was undoubtedly between a band and orchestra teacher.
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Post by jbuck919 » Wed Oct 18, 2006 4:31 am

Brendan wrote:I was hardly the most aggressive child in any of the schools I went to. But refusing to Pledge Allegiance (not being our flag) and the fact that back in those days the black kids finding out they could beat up on us without causing much fuss (foreigners being even worse than blacks in the Deep South in 1970) basically put a target on our backs.

The Hampton School, one of England's finest, was hardly an institution for deliquents and such. Nonetheless, being the new Aussie boy also made me a target. At home, it was fine at military schools but as soon as I went to civies that old target went back on.

That you have lived such a sheltered life is admirable, but don't make assumptions about my character based on your ignorance.

I was severely bullied as a child so don't make any assumptions either. The difference between then and now is that teachers are expected to be responsible for the safety of their students. The conditions have been raised. I do a fairly good job of this, which is why this incident so surprised and upset me.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by jserraglio » Wed Oct 18, 2006 4:32 am

living_stradivarius wrote:The fight was undoubtedly between a band and orchestra teacher.
Band and Orchestra?

If it were not for the generous subsidy of the Cleveland Browns (the local pro football team), these kids wouldn't even have scholastic football.

None. Zilch.

Ohio State University's football team is ranked #1 in the country this year largely b/c Glenville High School had this subsidized football program that produced the likes of Troy Smith and Ted Ginn.
Last edited by jserraglio on Wed Oct 18, 2006 5:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by jbuck919 » Wed Oct 18, 2006 4:57 am

I don't want to give the impression that I have a rough school. I know what rough schools are like, and as far as I know none in DoDDS is. A fight now and then will happen in any school, and it is a matter of randomness whether one is the teacher who has to deal with it.

The problem in DoDDS, as I have posted before but it has been a long time, is heterogeneous grouping. And sometimes it can't be avoided because of enrollment levels. But especially in math, the entire normal distribution in the same classroom does not work very well. Because of socioeconomic concerns, the US military, as excellent as it is, does not generally produce the brightest children. But there are a few, and they deserve not to be dumbed down. My students still come to me for help with their math homework, even though my official schedule has nothing but social studies. It is one of the things that keeps this short timer going.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Wed Oct 18, 2006 10:56 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Brendan wrote:I was hardly the most aggressive child in any of the schools I went to. But refusing to Pledge Allegiance (not being our flag) and the fact that back in those days the black kids finding out they could beat up on us without causing much fuss (foreigners being even worse than blacks in the Deep South in 1970) basically put a target on our backs.

The Hampton School, one of England's finest, was hardly an institution for deliquents and such. Nonetheless, being the new Aussie boy also made me a target. At home, it was fine at military schools but as soon as I went to civies that old target went back on.

That you have lived such a sheltered life is admirable, but don't make assumptions about my character based on your ignorance.

I was severely bullied as a child so don't make any assumptions either. The difference between then and now is that teachers are expected to be responsible for the safety of their students. The conditions have been raised. I do a fairly good job of this, which is why this incident so surprised and upset me.
I made no assumptions about your character. Do you know the difference?

But forget that nonsense. My basic point that offering a three day furlough from Hell for fighting might instigate pandemonium even in Tartarus remains. For some of us school = nightmare, and any way out would have been accepted gratefully.

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Post by jbuck919 » Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:48 pm

Brendan wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
Brendan wrote:I was hardly the most aggressive child in any of the schools I went to. But refusing to Pledge Allegiance (not being our flag) and the fact that back in those days the black kids finding out they could beat up on us without causing much fuss (foreigners being even worse than blacks in the Deep South in 1970) basically put a target on our backs.

The Hampton School, one of England's finest, was hardly an institution for deliquents and such. Nonetheless, being the new Aussie boy also made me a target. At home, it was fine at military schools but as soon as I went to civies that old target went back on.

That you have lived such a sheltered life is admirable, but don't make assumptions about my character based on your ignorance.

I was severely bullied as a child so don't make any assumptions either. The difference between then and now is that teachers are expected to be responsible for the safety of their students. The conditions have been raised. I do a fairly good job of this, which is why this incident so surprised and upset me.
I made no assumptions about your character. Do you know the difference?

But forget that nonsense. My basic point that offering a three day furlough from Hell for fighting might instigate pandemonium even in Tartarus remains. For some of us school = nightmare, and any way out would have been accepted gratefully.
I understood your basic point, Brendan, appreciate it even. It does surprise me that anyone intelligent enough to post here as you do had school difficulties at that level, but I think I do get the picture. Believe me , with all the credentials I have, I could recount horror stories myself.

The weird thing about suspension as US school punsihment is indeed that it ends up being a reward. The other way of looking at it is that it lays everything on the lap of the parent, who is primarily responsible for upbringing in the first place. The problem with this case is that if I had been allowed to, if I could have gotten away with it, I could have dealt with it at the classroom level. These were not bad boys, and believe me, I know what bad boys are.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:23 am

John,

Worse for me was finally get out of school and into the academy - only to find it even worse it its own way. No violence, just student radicalism. In my youthful folly I was thrown out of an anarchist for being a non-conformist (seriously - I refused to become a Vegen because some punk bands in england wrote songs like Meat Means Murder) and ostracized because I wouldn't steal the plans for Pine Gap (a joint intelligence installation with the USA) from my father for a protest. As if my dad had such plans sitting at home or office!

Couldn't get employed fast enough. In those days having the IT "knack" was more important than certificates, so never looked back save with disgust. My parents, my brother and my own curiosity and reading addiction taught me more than most schools - although having been to a few I knew how to spot the good teachers and steer their way, although learning how to fudge your grades and subjects so you don't get straight As on arrival at a new school was far more practical survival technique.

But I had to be taken out of woodwork/metalwork shop after being attacked with hammer for the second time at one particular school. The three stabbings/cuttings I received before that didn't register, and when held and attacked with a claw hammer I went kinda nuts. So I was removed from class.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:26 pm

Madame wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:
Ralph wrote:Kids get into fights and this one hardly seems like a lopsided assault.

The day is long past when a teacher can intervene and terminate an incident like this one without involving the school administration.
Too damn bad too. I think the educational world would be much better off if the adminstrators would make space for kids to settle things among themselves rather than hovering over them like ill-equipt exterminators trying to prevent infestations of embarrassing bugs.
Yeah, and if one of them gets knifed ... oh well, stuff happens :shock:
Most of these confrontations don't end with weapons. Kids need a way to work things out that acknowledge the need for violence occasionally. This hysteria that kids have to be protected from conflict and competition is just creating a bunch of sissies who don't know how to take care of themselves or to be normal kids. When parents and administrators ban dodge ball and tag as too exclusionary, too competitive, and too dangerous for school playgrounds, we're headed for trouble.
I like Pierre Dulaine's idea -- let them work it out in ballroom dance competition -- direct all that energy into tango, rhumba, cha-cha, fox trot, waltz
Cute, but not a solution to the underlying need to duke it out.
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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Oct 19, 2006 4:07 pm

No, wrong. Fighting is always an inappropriate solution, and it is the job a the teacher to prevent it from happening, though it is an imperfect situation.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Oct 19, 2006 4:29 pm

jbuck919 wrote:No, wrong. Fighting is always an inappropriate solution
See what I mean? Of course fighting is not always an inappropriate solution. Sometimes it is the only solution. To pretend that fighting is never appropriate is to breed a bunch of lazy whiney cry-babies who always expect 1) someone else to fight for them (like the hot-house brats of the elites that go to places like Columbia and Berkeley, then want to ban ROTC from their campus); 2) to get some higher authority to intervene on their behalf; or same thing, 3) settle matters in court. Much more of this kind psychobabble and the country is doomed. Nobody will know how to defend this country from its enemies.
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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Oct 19, 2006 5:48 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:No, wrong. Fighting is always an inappropriate solution
See what I mean? Of course fighting is not always an inappropriate solution. Sometimes it is the only solution. To pretend that fighting is never appropriate is to breed a bunch of lazy whiney cry-babies who always expect 1) someone else to fight for them (like the hot-house brats of the elites that go to places like Columbia and Berkeley, then want to ban ROTC from their campus); 2) to get some higher authority to intervene on their behalf; or same thing, 3) settle matters in court. Much more of this kind psychobabble and the country is doomed. Nobody will know how to defend this country from its enemies.
Nope, wrong. Schoolyard fighting of the kind I had to deal with is always wrong. It just is.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by living_stradivarius » Thu Oct 19, 2006 5:50 pm

Corlyss_D wrote: See what I mean? Of course fighting is not always an inappropriate solution. Sometimes it is the only solution. To pretend that fighting is never appropriate is to breed a bunch of lazy whiney cry-babies who always expect 1) someone else to fight for them (like the hot-house brats of the elites that go to places like Columbia and Berkeley, then want to ban ROTC from their campus); 2) to get some higher authority to intervene on their behalf; or same thing, 3) settle matters in court. Much more of this kind psychobabble and the country is doomed. Nobody will know how to defend this country from its enemies.
It's good to look down on fighting as a means of resolving personal conflicts, even when it the 'ONLY' solution (can't really think of a scenario in which it is in the schoolyard context). I don't believe John's mentality breeds "softies". Rather, it imposes self control.
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Brendan

Post by Brendan » Thu Oct 19, 2006 5:57 pm

living_stradivarius wrote:can't really think of a scenario in which it is in the schoolyard context
Try the circumstance alluded to above: two guys holding your arms while another attacks you with a claw hammer. What would you do?

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Post by living_stradivarius » Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:02 pm

Brendan wrote:
living_stradivarius wrote:can't really think of a scenario in which it is in the schoolyard context
Try the circumstance alluded to above: two guys holding your arms while another attacks you with a claw hammer. What would you do?
Of course, I meant it in the modern context, in which rules against such (egregiously violent) behaviors are enforced.
Additionally, the non-violent mentality prevents the escalation of conflict to such a point. It is precisely lack of communication and ebbing antagonism that leads to school shootings today.

I also doubt that you were placed in such a situation without some escalation of conflict, which may have involved some intermediate retaliation on your part in response to initial offenses against you.
Last edited by living_stradivarius on Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Brendan » Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:16 pm

The schoolyard zoo was a result of the implementation of the first wave of liberal ideas in schools in Australia. Open Plan was the idea, which meant putting kids from all years in to the same massive classes and such. So as the smallest and youngest kid in class (always ahead a year or so) I got to show the older and bigger kids (and some over 18 Pacific Islanders) how bad they were at math and reading and history etc before joining them in the playground.

Worse, the school was set up so that the deliquents were separated fromt he bright kids by the library - but the bright kids were thus isolated from the cafeteria, gym, woodwork/metalwork shop etc. I wasn't the only kid cut up and my fingers were never smashed with a hammer. It was all designed to let kids be kids - and mayhem ensued. You didn't have to do a thing to be attacked, so a smart-mouth like me caused offence just by existing.

Schools today may be more pacified (I doubt it), but the education standards are appalling. That sonetimes one has to fight is a simple fact of life everyoine needs to learn, IMHO. People can be mean and violent and deciated to it for long periods without much rationale.

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Post by living_stradivarius » Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:21 pm

Learning self defense does not preclude adopting a mentality against physical violence. I do believe some personal experience is necessary in order to initiate one's education in self-defense, however.
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Post by Brendan » Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:36 pm

Learning self-defense is also a very different attitude from accepting bullying or pacifist indoctrination. As far as I was concerned all this leftist fluffy sounds-nice policy meant was that all I learned at school was how to fight and despise teachers, academics, student radicals and the leftist lies/education policies that failed me and every succeeding generation of children in the West.

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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:53 pm

Brendan wrote:Learning self-defense is also a very different attitude from accepting bullying or pacifist indoctrination. As far as I was concerned all this leftist fluffy sounds-nice policy meant was that all I learned at school was how to fight and despise teachers, academics, student radicals and the leftist lies/education policies that failed me and every succeeding generation of children in the West.
Now you are being foolish. The two young kids I was forced to dicsipline like and admire me, and the fieeling is reciprocated. You seem to have gone through something that is a little beyond my ken.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Thu Oct 19, 2006 7:05 pm

The education debate is ongoing and deeply set in this country. Not being foolish at all: a lot of folk here are disgusted at our schools and their entrenched idealogues.

From http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/st ... 83,00.html

EDUCATION Minister Julie Bishop's call for a national curriculum and her criticism of ideologues in the education bureaucracies met a predictable wave of outrage. How dare she, cried the teachers unions and their friends. Concerns about curriculum being politically correct, the argument goes, are simply a ploy used by conservative governments to maintain power.

Pat Byrne, the head of the Australian Education Union, reflected this view when she argued last year: "The challenge for us is to frame our position in a way that can successfully counter the culture war that is currently being fought ... This is not a good time to be progressive in Australia; or for that matter anywhere else in the world!"

Never mind students being made to deconstruct the classics in terms of "theory". Never mind Australian history being taught from a black-armband view. And never mind geography being redefined in terms of deep environmentalism and multiculturalism. The late 1960s and early '70s was not only about Woodstock and moratoriums. That period was also about the Left's decision, drawing on the works of Marxists Antonio Gramsci and Pierre Bourdieu, to take control of society by taking "the long march through the institutions".

Bourdieu argues that education is a powerful tool used by those more privileged in society to consolidate their position. Based on the concept of cultural capital, the argument is that there is nothing inherently worthwhile about academic studies or the Western tradition.

The Left's belief that the education system is simply a tool used by the capitalist class to reproduce itself explains much of what has happened since the early '70s. The much-criticised Victorian Certificate of Education developed during the '80s was based on premier Joan Kirner's belief that schools must be transformed as "part of the socialist struggle for equality, participation and social change, rather than an instrument of the capitalist system".

Meanwhile, teacher education became controlled by activists such as Doug White, Bill Hannan, Bob Connell, Dean Ashenden, Simon Marginson and Allan Luke. In a textbook widely set for education courses entitled Making the Difference, the argument is put: "In the most basic sense, the process of education and the process of liberation are the same. At the beginning of the 1980s it is plain that the forces opposed to that growth (have) become increasingly militant. In such circumstances, education becomes a risky enterprise. Teachers, too, have to decide whose side they are on."

Many of those students radicalised during the '60s and '70s went on to become teachers and bureaucrats and they identify education as a key instrument in overturning the status quo. For many, such as the AEU, the Australian Association for the Teaching of English and the Australian Curriculum Studies Association, education was, and continues to be, a key instrument to change society.

In 1998, ACSA published Going Public: Education Policy and Public Education in Australia, described by Alan Reid as a manifesto outlining the "political strategies that might be employed to protect and enhance the social democratic values that lie at the heart of progressive aspirations about public education".

The impact of the cultural Left on education has been profound. Competition and failure are banned. Feminists attack traditional texts such as Romeo and Juliet as enforcing gender stereotypes. In history teaching, instead of focusing on significant historical events and figures and celebrating past milestones, the focus is on victim groups, such as women, migrants and Aborigines.

Over the past 30 or so years schools have been pressured to adopt a leftist stance on issues as diverse as multiculturalism, the environment, the class war, peace studies, feminism and gender studies.

Worse, the idea that education can be disinterested and that teachers should be impartial has given way to the argument that everything is ideological. Meanwhile, the teachers unions deny any agenda.

Kevin Donnelly is author of Why Our Schools are Failing.

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Post by Ralph » Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:49 pm

Brendan wrote:
living_stradivarius wrote:can't really think of a scenario in which it is in the schoolyard context
Try the circumstance alluded to above: two guys holding your arms while another attacks you with a claw hammer. What would you do?
*****Every witness should sing "If I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning, I'd hammer in the evening..."
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Brendan

Post by Brendan » Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:27 pm

Oh how thoughtful and insightful of you as usual, Ralph.

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Post by Ralph » Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:31 pm

Brendan wrote:Oh how thoughtful and insightful of you as usual, Ralph.
*****

Out of curiosity, do you know that song? It was a huge folk hit here decades ago.

IF I HAD A HAMMER (The Hammer Song)
words and music by Lee Hays and Pete Seeger

If I had a hammer
I'd hammer in the morning
I'd hammer in the evening
All over this land
I'd hammer out danger
I'd hammer out a warning
I'd hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

If I had a bell
I'd ring it in the morning
I'd ring it in the evening
All over this land
I'd ring out danger
I'd ring out a warning
I'd ring out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

If I had a song
I'd sing it in the morning
I'd sing it in the evening
All over this land
I'd sing out danger
I'd sing out a warning
I'd sing out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

Well I've got a hammer
And I've got a bell
And I've got a song to sing
All over this land
It's the hammer of justice
It's the bell of freedom
It's the song about love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

©1958, 1962 (renewed), 1986 (renewed)
TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc. (BMI)
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Albert Einstein

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:53 am

Actually, I did know the song. Didn't think of singing it at the time. Maybe that would have stopped the thugs - in someone's alternate reality.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:58 am

living_stradivarius wrote:I don't believe John's mentality breeds "softies". Rather, it imposes self control.
Naive, Henry.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Oct 20, 2006 1:00 am

jbuck919 wrote:Nope, wrong. Schoolyard fighting of the kind I had to deal with is always wrong. It just is.
We'll have to agree to disagree.
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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Oct 20, 2006 1:09 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:Nope, wrong. Schoolyard fighting of the kind I had to deal with is always wrong. It just is.
We'll have to agree to disagree.
Yes, well on gun control I'll give you at least the realm of political correctness in the US, but not this. One person here is the expert, and it is not you.

The other side of this is that I appreciate my friends listening to my personal posts as I try to get my rear end out of here. Letting off steam is very important to me at this time, and you cannot know how much I apprectiate being able to share.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Oct 20, 2006 1:09 am

living_stradivarius wrote:Learning self defense does not preclude adopting a mentality against physical violence.
No, of course not. But the mindset of parents these days is that they have to pretend for the kids' sake that like is like a school playground and some third partywill always settle disputes so all a child, and eventually the adult that child becomes, needs to know is 911. That is so bogus, I can't describe how many ways that is unrealistic. Look at a major party in this country: their idea of national security is the UN. Any actions not sanctioned by the UN are illegitimate. That kind of grievous error had to start somewhere. I nominate the hovering social-engineering nonesense of the NEA.
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Post by living_stradivarius » Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:44 am

ORLANDO, Florida (CNN) -- A 15-year-old high school student died Thursday about two hours after being stabbed at a bus stop on school property, police said.

Michael Nieves died shortly after 4 p.m. at Florida Hospital East with at least one stab wound to the chest, said Carlos Padilla, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

Kelvin De La Cruz, 17, was booked into jail on first-degree murder charges as an adult, said sheriff's spokesman Jim Solomons.

After the stabbing, the suspect "ran under the bus and tried to change his clothes," but was quickly apprehended, Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary told reporters.

Investigators recovered a knife, Padilla said.

"Pocket knives do not belong on school campus," Beary said. "It's hard to prevent, but you do the best you can."

The school has no metal detectors, said Ron Blocker, superintendent of Orange County Schools.

"Apparently, the two students during lunch got into a verbal altercation and a fight," he said. "They were arguing, and when they got out about 2:14 in the afternoon the fight continued on to the bus stop. And there they became involved in a physical fight, and one produced a knife and stabbed the other one in the chest."

The stabbing occurred as University High School in east Orlando, Florida, was letting out for the day, Blocker said.

Solomons said police were investigating whether the incident was gang-related but that it did not appear to be.

"It appears to be a grudge ... over a female," he said.

Afterward, outside the school, a group of students held hands and prayed.
http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/10/19/highsc ... index.html


Being able to fight back does little to solve the underlying problems in conflict escalation. Preventive defense is key.
I have qualified my perspective with the belief that some degree of personal experience in physical self defense is necessary. Letting students 'duke it out', however, can often lead to tragedies like the above. Schools should not only stop fights as they happen, but also create an environment that resolves conflicts before they become violent.
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Post by Madame » Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:49 am

Ralph wrote: *****

Out of curiosity, do you know that song? It was a huge folk hit here decades ago.

IF I HAD A HAMMER (The Hammer Song)
words and music by Lee Hays and Pete Seeger

If I had a hammer
I'd hammer in the morning
I'd hammer in the evening
All over this land
I'd hammer out danger
I'd hammer out a warning
I'd hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

If I had a bell
I'd ring it in the morning
I'd ring it in the evening
All over this land
I'd ring out danger
I'd ring out a warning
I'd ring out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

If I had a song
I'd sing it in the morning
I'd sing it in the evening
All over this land
I'd sing out danger
I'd sing out a warning
I'd sing out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

Well I've got a hammer
And I've got a bell
And I've got a song to sing
All over this land
It's the hammer of justice
It's the bell of freedom
It's the song about love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

©1958, 1962 (renewed), 1986 (renewed)
TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc. (BMI)
Interesting history to this song, it was written in 1949 and sung in a concert by Seeger himself; afterward he was assaulted by frenzied anti-Communist residents and barely made it to his battered car, covered in glass. Paul Robeson also sang 'Old Man River' at that event. The Weavers (of which Seeger was a member) also recorded it that year, but it was never a hit for them. Peter, Paul, and Mary had that honor in the early 1960s, and Trini Lopez had some success with his recording later on. Both words and melody were changed somewhat from the original.

The FBI blacklisted The Weavers but was never able to kill off the song. Early complaints were that only Commies use words like 'peace' and 'freedom'.

Seems like such a tame song today, compared with all the stuff that has come out since then.

I liked a good number of the folk and protest songs of those years, but never cared for this one. Different tastes, I guess.

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Post by Madame » Sat Oct 21, 2006 10:06 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
Madame wrote: I like Pierre Dulaine's idea -- let them work it out in ballroom dance competition -- direct all that energy into tango, rhumba, cha-cha, fox trot, waltz
Cute, but not a solution to the underlying need to duke it out.
I beg to differ -- it diverts the energy to a different kind of competition, takes a lot of physical effort, and it helps diffuse the intensity of the conflict by dragging it out. Make the prize high enough ...

But ... if you insist ... put the kids in a ring with gloves and protective headgear, they get their needs met, behind-the-scenes instigators are neutralized, and the field is much more certain to stay level.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Oct 21, 2006 2:53 pm

Madame wrote:But ... if you insist ... put the kids in a ring with gloves and protective headgear, they get their needs met, behind-the-scenes instigators are neutralized, and the field is much more certain to stay level.
For fights where the school has to get involved, I agree. But it lacks a certain spontaneity for settling hash elsewhere.
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