Friday, May 21, 2010

Houston Charter School Teacher Who Beat Up Bully Deserves To Be Heard

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After listening to the entire context of this teacher who was caught on tape giving the little "Street Pirate In Training" a dose of his own medicine I am not quite ready to render a total indictment against her.

The school as a whole has discipline problems and the administration appears to put the teachers in an untenable position.  

The boy that was roughed up by the teacher teased a special needs child, degrading her for his own aggrandizement. The teacher was working to knock him down a few notches.  I think that she was initially wanting to challenge him as she squared up against him.  She had him pinned and then started dragging him.   Had she stopped right there I doubt if we would be talking about this.  She went too far as she struck him.

I am not sure if those strikes to the boy's head where slaps or closed fist blows. She did cross the line. However the general response by which she stood up to him should be supported.

We cannot turn the tables on her without making sure that he too is disciplined for his actions. Failing to do this will teach this boy that if he acts up to the point of provoking the authority figures to act out against him, he will eventually escape accountability as the society cracks down on those who "should have known better".

When will HE be expected to "know better"?

The cell phone video of a Texas teacher beating a 13-year-old student shocked the nation, but the teacher involved said in an exclusive interview that while nothing excuses her actions, there's far more to the story.

"I don't want anybody to think that I am actually here to excuse myself concerning that video," teacher Sherri Davis told "Good Morning America" today. "But there is so much more to what is going on concerning the kids, concerning the teachers and the day-to-day activities there [in the school]."

Davis, formerly a teacher at Jamie's House Charter School in Houston, said she was attempting to defend another student and, perhaps due to lack of training and adrenaline from breaking up a fight earlier that day, lost control. The boy she is shown in the video attacking, she said, had a violent history with teachers and students alike.

"These kids are just, basically, laying around on the floor, just being hostile. And this young lady was in the middle of the floor. The door was locked shut and the kids were there, kind of mimicking her. This particular young man, Isaiah, was bouncing around in a threatening, bullying position," Davis said. "I have adrenaline that is already building up with the fight that just happened minutes before."

Davis said she "lost her emotion" and attacked the boy. For nearly a minute she slapped and kicked 13-year-old Isaiah Johnson and no one, including faculty, stepped in.

"Clearly I do not justify my own response, but what needs to happen -- there needs to be a system designed that protects the kids," Davis said. "I should not be the protector for the child that was in immediate danger."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am somehat a believer in "the video tape doesn't show the whole picture." I was shocked at the teacher, but even after watching it I was thinking ... what would make a woman do this? Especially a teacher? I don't condone her actions ... but ... I tend to agree with your line of thinking. I also think more men should be in the classroom, I really feel that boys that age need a man's presence, especially if they don't have it in the home. Women may have to resort to the kind of scene you have here, maybe that is a biased, old-fashioned way of looking at it, but that is how I feel. Sometimes I think boys of a certain age will ignore a woman (it's just the nature of the beast) but if a man speaks something to them, they think twice.