Big Badaboom in the CommunitySchool's underway and everything's running smoothly. This year we have a new system. The idea is that our students get in trouble and get sent to us because they don't know how to behave at school. That seems a strange concept, I know, because we're talking about middle school students, so my instinct is to ask, "How could they not learn how to behave at school in 6-8 years of going to school? It's not submarine warfare with precise calculations and in some respects shooting into the dark. It's thermo-nuclear warfare. All you have to do is get close!"
But if you look at their history, it seems apparent many just never learned, so we're teaching how to behave at school. We have an intake class where new students go into and they have to show a reasonable ability to follow classroom etiquette before they move on to a more academically driven class with more priveledges. In some cases it's working quite well. But there are some who just seem...stuck.
So now I'm stuck between feeling proud of my students that got it, have moved to the regular classes, and where there's a noticable change in attitude...and frustrated by those few students that just can't get their head in the game. But we're trying to show them that we're not just teaching proper school behavior...we're teaching proper life behavior. Because if you don't learn it, your life will be one struggle after another.
Like the local man...adult...who got called to a party by his son because there was some "trouble". The adult man shot and killed a teenage boy...a former student of mine in fact. That, really, should be enough tragedy for one story...but no. Friends of the teen pulled a drive-by at the guy's house...He shot back. They missed, he didn't...luckily no one got killed that time. Another gormer student of mine is now in jail for his part in that incident.
And yet it still gets worse...The adult is white...the teen was black...So then racial tension charged the area. The first two days of school, local schools were on alert status due to what was deemed reasonable information that retaliation was planned from friends of the killed teen. Nothing happened, though.
Then there were rumors of KKK rallies and neo-Nazis coming to town for a demonstration.
All because of one man who didn't know how to behave. A man of no worth has become the fulcrum to a disharmonious community.
Man...This was a downer...so I leave you with some cats.