Thursday, May 18, 2006

Code Yellow

This was supposed to be humorous post in which a second grader, who, for the first two months of his first grade year, I swear I thought was a girl, is being carried off the playground - again - by myself and three other male teachers while he attempts to bite us and manages to pull the Bruce Banister/Incredible Hulk, "Don't make me angry, you wouldn't like me when I'm angry" line on us between mid-air chomps.

Then this post turned into a somewhat less humorous post in which my lunch was interrupted by an all too familiar scream coming from the office - the scream of a fifth grade boy on meltdown - again - and pitching a fit that would give my two-year-old a run for her money in a contest. It turned into a post in which I left my lunch and assisted my principal and school counselor as they attempted to separate this young man from three other students doing their best to protect their friend from the teachers who have gone, and I quote, "Out of control!"

It became a post in which just before the kids were coming in from lunch recess the school intercom beeped on. Screams and thuds were followed by the school secretary's mild voice asking, "Do you want me to call a 'Code Yellow?'" the code for all the male teachers to go to the scene of a student who can't handle society anymore and do what needs to be done in order to remove the student from the situation. Three minutes later I found myself in war zone. In the principal's office was a girl crying in frustration and rage. The counselor's office held the screaming boy from earlier - his mom on the way to take him home, away from the principal she has called "Satan." And in the conference room I came face to face with a student yelling, "Get out of my way! I WANT MY SHOE!!! GIVE ME MY FREAKIN' SHOE!!! LET ME OUT OF THIS ROOM!!!" over and over again. I stood in front of him, following orders, while he screamed at me and eventually made snot-wad sounds while pacing back and forth - staring first at my shoes and then at my face. It became a post in which this red faced eleven year old tried to juke me and then dove between my legs in order to get out of the room to find his shoe only later to become so agitated that he ran his head into the wall, giving himself a bloody nose.

It became a post in which a fourth grader assaulted - thirteenth assault this year - a fifth grader on the playground during AM recess and was taken away in a police car, lights flashing, hands cuffed.

I don't really know how to end this. I thought this was going to be a post reflecting on the unrealistic expectations placed on the education system. I thought this could be a post on the breakdown of the "American Family," or possibly how great the American education system is in light of the insanity above. But, I don't like the feel of any of those options. There's something not quite right about it. These kids deserve something more, something better.