Children do not raise themselves. You have to teach them morals and values. You have to set boundaries and implement consequences when they’re compromised (and they will inevitably be compromised). You have to express your expectations and above all, impart basic right and wrong.
Knowing that, someone is falling down on their job. Because the day that a kid feels comfortable plucking/slapping/swatting her teacher—an adult—upside the back of her head, it’s a flashing neon sign that home training 101 has not been taken seriously. It happened in a Baltimore school when a student humiliated a substitute while her classmates laughed heartily. Someone pulled out a cell phone camera and the whole disgusting incident has gone down in YouTube infamy.
There have been all kinds of natural disasters—hurricanes, mudslides, tornados, floods, and tsunamis—but I’ll be darned if this couldn’t be just as viable a sign of the end of the world. When we live in a society where children feel bold and brazen enough to harass a standard object of authority, I don’t know what the heck could be next. On top of being despicable, it’s downright scary. I wonder how her parents felt when they saw this video. If their reaction was anything other than out and out, hide-me-under-a-rock, wait-until-I-get-my-hands-on-her outrage, I have no hope.
I was a substitute teacher, too, once upon a time, also in the Baltimore public school system and I have nothing but sympathy and compassion for the poor mistreated woman in this video. My first day on the job, a girl screamed me down because I refused to let the class play spades and threatened to wait for me in the parking lot.
But because I was barely five years older than her—I was just out of college and was subbing while I waited for my first “real job” to come through—I didn’t take too kindly to her attitude or her blowhard shouting. I checked her like we were just two girls on the block, complete with neck-rolling and hand-waving. I didn’t have any problems with her or any other student after that. I guess word got around, which is really good since I can’t fight to save my life and some of those kids were taller, stockier, and much, much more sturdily built than I was then or now.
There’s no defending this kind of behavior because even someone who was raised in the most deplorable households and living situations knows that you’re not supposed to hit your teacher. I mean, that’s just as basic as it gets. So come to her aid if you want to, but I think this trifling-acting child needs to be removed from the classroom and put in some kind of remedial training since she 1) doesn’t respect authority, 2) doesn’t respect the opportunity to learn, which makes her a distraction to other students, and 3) needs a refresher on the kindergarten lesson of keeping your hands to yourself.
How should this student be disciplined for her behavior?