Video: Texas teacher stands by while bully repeatedly slugs student in class

posted at 8:48 am on May 11, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Should teachers intervene to break up fights in classrooms? That’s the question posed by Fox News in Dallas-Fort Worth last night after a YouTube video showing a very one-sided fight made the rounds. In the video, which picks up the altercation in progress, one boy punches another with the requisite bully flourishes while the victim stands as passively as the teacher off to his side. Teacher groups responded by saying intervention is a “tough call,” as school districts don’t always compensate for injuries in breaking up fights. Better to wait until an administrator wanders by, they say:

Video: Teacher Watches as Students Fight: MyFoxDFW.com

The video shows 17-year-old Michael Milczanowksi getting punched over and over during geometry class. His teacher stands by watching as he appears to take several blows to the head.

While it may seem the teacher could have intervened, a teacher’s union president said that is not what teachers are told to do.

“In today’s society which is a violent society, you do not touch the student. That should be left up to the administration,” said Rena Honea of Alliance-AFT. “I believe that that is for the safety of number one the students, but for the individual teacher as well.”

The district said it has no policy on how teachers should handle student fights because every situation is different.

Today’s “violent society” in schools might be violent precisely because schools don’t exercise authority like they did 40 years ago. Contra the notion aired in the second half of the spot, schools have always had big kids that presented disciplinary problems.  What they used to have were teachers who took charge, not stand passively by while mayhem ensued.  And if the argument is relative compensation as the determining factor, well, perhaps we should go back to what compensation profiles looked like 40 and 50 years ago.

This case doesn’t fit those weak rationalizations, anyway.  The kid involved is not some huge linebacker; it’s a skinny teenager who appears to be no more than half the bulk of the teacher.  Moreover, this isn’t even really a fight.  It’s one kid beating on another.  The risks of intervention seem rather low in this instance, while the long-term risks of non-intervention are much higher.  Every kid who sat in that classroom and saw their teacher either be too afraid or uncaring to stop a bully will never look at that teacher or school in the same way ever again, and probably authority as well.

If we want to teach that violence is its own reward, is “today’s violent society” any surprise?

What do you think?  Should teachers stop fights in schools?  Take the poll:


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Really? I’d intervene as a parent or a passer-by.

Passing the buck is more evidence of our failing public school system and its enablers in the AFT. Sheesh, how much garbage have we had to listen to about how educators are “taking seriously” the problem of bullies? This video shows just how seriously they are taking it.

JohnTant on May 11, 2011 at 8:52 AM

And then they wonder why students don’t view them as authority figures.

Respect is earned.

John Deaux on May 11, 2011 at 8:52 AM

It isn’t even that it is part of their job. I would think most adults, especially adult men, would step in here. I just don’t understand at all how this teachers actions were “for the kids.”

sammypants on May 11, 2011 at 8:55 AM

In today’s environment, teachers just can’t risk it. I’ve known teachers that have broken up fights and gotten fired for it. The parents of the kid or kids complain to the school board that the teacher “injured” little Johnny, and the school board caves and fires the teacher to try and prevent a lawsuit.

Blame our litigious, self-absorbed, entitled society.

AngusMc on May 11, 2011 at 8:55 AM

Teacher groups responded by saying intervention is a “tough call,” as school districts don’t always compensate for injuries in breaking up fights. Better to wait until an administrator wanders by, they say:

The inmates have taken over the asylum and no amount of money will help to educate them.

darwin-t on May 11, 2011 at 8:55 AM

The quote from the union goon says it all.

As a father of two toddlers rapidly approaching pre-K age I am desperately searching for alternatives to them having any kind of exposure to these “teachers” down the road.

These people make me sick

Sugarbuzz on May 11, 2011 at 8:55 AM

Fine, you don’t want to intervene then the parents will have to do it. That vid would make a fine piece of evidence for having that punk expelled or introducing his parents to the wide, wide world of litigation.

Bishop on May 11, 2011 at 8:55 AM

It’s unfortunate…but a teacher (and the school) can get in a lot of legal hot water for simply grabbing a kid by the arm. My cousin teaches grade school…and there have been times a student has punched her…and she can’t touch that kid.

A lot of these “trouble” kids should be put in special classes…but the parents won’t have it, and there’s nothing the school can do.

JetBoy on May 11, 2011 at 8:56 AM

This cannot be……..schools are BULLY-FREE ZONES (I know because the Federal Dept of Education made it that way).

One of the big reasons that kids are acting like this (and on thousands of non-video’d instances) because schools need to bust their little bleeps!!!

PappyD61 on May 11, 2011 at 8:56 AM

I’m a hockey referee, so I know altercations. We have instructions not to intervene when two players are throwing punches at each other, but in a one-sided situation like this, you intervene immediately.

Glenside on May 11, 2011 at 8:57 AM

When I was a kid, you were more likely to be injured by the coach breaking up a fight than by the guy you were fighting. And yes, there were always coaches “on duty” during recesses. If this kind of crap would have occurred in a female teachers room, a male teacher would have been called in about 10 seconds.
Good God. This makes the case for us home schooling our kids after elementary school. This is pathetic.

Sugar Land on May 11, 2011 at 8:58 AM

“What’s all this talk about violins in the classroom?”

Shy Guy on May 11, 2011 at 8:58 AM

The same culture that allows the murder of 45 million unborn since 1973 stands and allows the victim to be assaulted?

WHO KNEW?

PappyD61 on May 11, 2011 at 8:58 AM

in today’s ‘violent society’ you do not touch a student? so, you just let them inflict blows on another? so much for parents trusting that schools will act to protect their children.

homeschool. the parents let the kids duke it out– heh

ted c on May 11, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Better to wait until an administrator wanders by

 
Jeez, where do people get the notion that this approach is okay?
 

“Because of this transition to a broader, NATO-based coalition”
 
- President Barack H. Obama

 
Er, nevermind.

rogerb on May 11, 2011 at 8:59 AM

In today’s environment, teachers just can’t risk it. I’ve known teachers that have broken up fights and gotten fired for it. The parents of the kid or kids complain to the school board that the teacher “injured” little Johnny, and the school board caves and fires the teacher to try and prevent a lawsuit.

Blame our litigious, self-absorbed, entitled society.

AngusMc on May 11, 2011 at 8:55 AM

Yeah? How about the parents of the kid getting beat on sue this teacher and the school board for not protecting their kid?

Vince on May 11, 2011 at 9:00 AM

OT

Common Sense wins again

Under pressure from more than five dozen House lawmakers, the Navy late Tuesday abruptly reversed its decision that would have allowed chaplains to perform same-sex unions if the Pentagon decides to recognize openly gay military service later this year.

WoosterOh on May 11, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Unbelievable. Sickening. Pathetic. Outrageous. I can only sputter in disbelief at the drivel offered by these fat assed idiots as an excuse for not intervening when this stuff goes on. What utter creeps. No wonder kids don’t have any respect for these people. I’m glad my kids are grown and well out of it.

surrounded on May 11, 2011 at 9:00 AM

A lot of these “trouble” kids should be put in special classes…but the parents won’t have it, and there’s nothing the school can do.

JetBoy on May 11, 2011 at 8:56 AM

Special classes at Juvenile Hall

darwin-t on May 11, 2011 at 9:00 AM

I’m a hockey referee, so I know altercations. We have instructions not to intervene when two players are throwing punches at each other, but in a one-sided situation like this, you intervene immediately.

Glenside on May 11, 2011 at 8:57 AM

And I play ice hockey and I appreciate that!

Patrick S on May 11, 2011 at 9:01 AM

In today’s environment, teachers just can’t risk it. I’ve known teachers that have broken up fights and gotten fired for it. The parents of the kid or kids complain to the school board that the teacher “injured” little Johnny, and the school board caves and fires the teacher to try and prevent a lawsuit.

Blame our litigious, self-absorbed, entitled society.

AngusMc on May 11, 2011 at 8:55 AM

Nailed it. In today’s society, the benefit to the teacher from breaking up a fight is far outweighed by the risk of something going wrong when they try to do it.

It shouldn’t be that way, but it is.

furytrader on May 11, 2011 at 9:01 AM

It’s not that our society has become too violent. School fights go back as far as, well, schools. Our problem is we’re too litigious. Teachers are afraid of lawsuits.

However, THIS video looked staged. Why would the “victim” stand there so still, not trying to cover his head or protect himself–not even flinching?

Dee2008 on May 11, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Good God. This makes the case for us home schooling our kids after elementary school. This is pathetic.

Sugar Land on May 11, 2011 at 8:58 AM

This is an argument that I have with my public school indoctrinated wife about every other week. I don’t want my children exposed to the rampant stupidity and ultra liberal orthodoxy (redundant, I know) infecting American academia

Sugarbuzz on May 11, 2011 at 9:02 AM

When I was in 10th grade (1968) in Newport RI, my History teached asked me to come out into the hall for a minute. When we got out there, he said, “You’re distrubing my class” and backhanded me across the face. Hard enough that I have yet to forget it!

Needless to say, I didn’t disturb his class anymore.

Larr on May 11, 2011 at 9:02 AM

Texas is number 44 in the country in public school ratings. Both speakers representing DISD are poor speakers. Maybe just Maybe DISD should raise their standards for hiring for administration positions. Public Schools have insurance to cover the cost of law suits. The teacher could have broken up the fight. He looks like he didn’t have any control over his classroom. He should be replaced with someone competent that can control a classroom.

Dr Evil on May 11, 2011 at 9:02 AM

This is just insane. If you cant even be sure your kid is safe at school then the school is broken.

WisCon on May 11, 2011 at 9:03 AM

I’m in my 50′s and teach at a middle school. I jump right in to the middle of a fight and impose myself between the students and I don’t wait one nanosecond.

Nowadays public schools have become prisons where we incarcerate our youth until their 13 year sentence is over. It’s tragic.

Mojave Mark on May 11, 2011 at 9:04 AM

So tell me, Teachers Unions, if this punk bully had pulled a a knife and proceeded to stab this student in the chest, you still insist it is not part of the teacher’s job to intervene?

How about it being part of what one would expect from a HUMAN BEING to intervene?

pilamaye on May 11, 2011 at 9:04 AM

The douchbag teacher should be fired, the douchebag throwing the punches should be jailed.

Disciplining the student filming the incident is like disciplining a student for talking in class for reporting a fire.

Im am glad I don’t live in Dallas if this is an indication of what passes for classroom behavior. The so called teacher is most likely in the union and this doesn’t fall under his job description

Kuffar on May 11, 2011 at 9:05 AM

Remove the word teacher and replace it with a generic term. For our example we will use the word citizen. The message now being sent to the children is that it is okay as a citizen to stand by while another person is bludgeoned.

Any wonder the news has stories of people just standing around while somebody gets mugged. They have been taught that this is the acceptable action by example. The one theme is most of those stories also seems to be that an elderly person will step in to intervene. We cheer for the senior citizen who stands up to the thug on a bus or whacks a would be purse snatcher but you don’t see many stories of the under 30 crowd doing the same thing.

This makes the men and women serving in our Armed Forces all the more special. They volunteer to step up and protect the weak and oppressed in spite of being taught that such a response is wrong and to be condemned.

Children learn by mimicking the actions of their elders and those placed in positions of authority. I guess my survivor instinct is too strong. I won’t stand idly by and watch somebody get beat up and I don’t think about lawyers, administrators or anything else before taking action.

Just A Grunt on May 11, 2011 at 9:05 AM

It’s easy to say a person should do some action when you are sitting in an armchair in front of a computer enjoying your anonymity. Teachers aren’t hired for their physical prowess. Maybe the teacher could have acted a little more forcefully, or quickly gotten someone else to take care of the problem.

Rode Werk on May 11, 2011 at 9:06 AM

Intervene and take a chance on loosing that public pension…not on your life buddy.

wheelgun on May 11, 2011 at 9:07 AM

The teacher could have broken up the fight. He looks like he didn’t have any control over his classroom. He should be replaced with someone competent that can control a classroom.

Dr Evil on May 11, 2011 at 9:02 AM

They’re specifically told they cannot get physically involved. It’s ridiculous.

JetBoy on May 11, 2011 at 9:07 AM

James Belushi needs to ride in to the school parking lot on his motorcycle carrying a baseball bat and deal out some justice.

fossten on May 11, 2011 at 9:07 AM

If the school districts would fight these lawsuits and we had a loser pays law, maybe this bs wouldn’t happen.

The guy says it’s a tough call, it’s a tough call. For a liberal it is.

Vince on May 11, 2011 at 9:08 AM

Two words: tort reform.

Dee2008 on May 11, 2011 at 9:09 AM

JetBoy, this thread is still alive and a post is awaiting your response.

rogerb on May 11, 2011 at 9:09 AM

A lot of these “trouble” kids should be put in special classes…but the parents won’t have it, and there’s nothing the school can do.

JetBoy on May 11, 2011 at 8:56 AM

That’s not true, I am in Texas – there is a handbook the schools hand out, it states statues and Texas state laws. The parent is well aware of what their children’s misbehavior in degrees constitutes reactions, in school suspension, sent to alternative school, and if they act out in alternative school- a judge steps in, and they get sent to a boot camp situation where they get some much needed discipline, and they continue their classes. A lot of the boot camps are full of fledgling gang member wannabes – this is what Texas is dealing with.

Dr Evil on May 11, 2011 at 9:10 AM

Our problem is we’re too litigious.
-Dee2008 on May 11, 2011 at 9:01 AM

This.

BobOfTexas on May 11, 2011 at 9:10 AM

Would “zero tolerance” rules cause the victim to get in trouble for fighting back?

rogerb on May 11, 2011 at 9:10 AM

That teacher should have pulled out her 38!

ohiobabe on May 11, 2011 at 9:11 AM

A nation of cowards. If I were that teacher, Job be damned I’d punch that rotten jerk in the nose.

Of course, I was bullied some in my school years. Kinda biased against one sided fights.

Cheesecakecrush on May 11, 2011 at 9:11 AM

I taught in two low socio-economic urban/suburban school districts for 25 years. I had one fight in my classroom which I promptly broke up against school district policies. The School district said if a student was injured you were liable. They wanted us to call for security. The problem was that by the time security got there a student could have been seriously injured anyway. I made it clear at the beginning of class that I wouldn’t tolerate disruptive behaviors of any kind and that students who did so would be removed permanently from my class (Chemistry, Honors Chemistry, AP Chemistry). After the first student is checked out and sent to underwater basket weaving because they wanted to test the system I had everyone’s attention and no more problems. Other teachers would keep asking why I didn’t have any problems. I would tell them and they would say you can’t do that because it isn’t fair. I would ask them if they had a 150 IQ or could run a sub 5 minute mile. When they answered in the negative I would say I do and I can and that life isn’t fair get over it. If you want to control your classroom you have to set the standards and adhere to them (hot stove analogy: touch a hot stove it burns you with no do overs). It really was that easy. I left teaching when the administration began interfering with my classroom standards and decided I couldn’t teach chemistry anymore because my students were doing to well and it was embarrassing to the other district chemistry teachers.

chemman on May 11, 2011 at 9:11 AM

rogerb on May 11, 2011 at 9:10 AM

Yes.

chemman on May 11, 2011 at 9:12 AM

In a sane, just society, yes, the teacher should intervene. Unfortunately, this is the USA @ 2011, where an intervening tescher may well find themselves out of a job, on the recieving end of a civil lawsuit, in jail, or some combination of the three.

Thanks, of course, goes to several decades of liberal educational policies.

Cnation on May 11, 2011 at 9:12 AM

So tell me, Teachers Unions, if this punk bully had pulled a a knife and proceeded to stab this student in the chest, you still insist it is not part of the teacher’s job to intervene?

How about it being part of what one would expect from a HUMAN BEING to intervene?

pilamaye on May 11, 2011 at 9:04 AM

Yup. Although, one needn’t look any further than the thuggish “protests” at the WI state capitol recently, to gain an understanding of the “bully/intimidate” mentality that some of these students reflect.

surrounded on May 11, 2011 at 9:12 AM

An old lady broke up the fight at that McDonalds in Baltimore. This teacher is a putz.

ctmom on May 11, 2011 at 9:13 AM

But if you take an aspirin in class…….

Capitalist Infidel on May 11, 2011 at 9:13 AM

rogerb on May 11, 2011 at 9:09 AM

Post (repost) your question there…so I don’t have to go searching around. I’ll be happy to answer it for you.

JetBoy on May 11, 2011 at 9:13 AM

I would have instinctively taken out the bully with considerable force. That is one of several reasons I am not a teacher.

Vashta.Nerada on May 11, 2011 at 9:15 AM

No amount of money will fix this.

faraway on May 11, 2011 at 9:16 AM

And to make the whole situation even more pathetic, had the other kid actually defended hisself, he would have faced the same reprecussions that the aggressor would have suffered.

TQM38a on May 11, 2011 at 9:17 AM

I would have instinctively taken out the bully with considerable force. That is one of several reasons I am not a teacher.

Vashta.Nerada on May 11, 2011 at 9:15 AM
///
I’d have more fun taking down the teacher for allowing it.

ohiobabe on May 11, 2011 at 9:17 AM

I am in Texas – there is a handbook the schools hand out, it states statues and Texas state laws. The parent is well aware of what their children’s misbehavior in degrees constitutes reactions, in school suspension, sent to alternative school, and if they act out in alternative school- a judge steps in, and they get sent to a boot camp situation where they get some much needed discipline, and they continue their classes. A lot of the boot camps are full of fledgling gang member wannabes – this is what Texas is dealing with.

Dr Evil on May 11, 2011 at 9:10 AM

Just going by what teachers I know tell me. They teach here in Conn., which certainly isn’t Texas. I imagine there are parents there who fight it regardless. How successful is it there?

JetBoy on May 11, 2011 at 9:18 AM

One thing I take from the teacher, the union stooge and the education analyst in the news station… I bet the teachers would step in if donuts were involved.

mankai on May 11, 2011 at 9:18 AM

I love the British video outside the jewelry store in broad daylight when a gang on motorcycles arrived and tried to break in by throwing things and banging on shatter proof windows. After a couple of minutes an elderly lady with a mean umbrella started swinging and they all fled, or tried to. Most were arrested thanks to her.

The DISD should hang their heads in shame. What BS “explanations”. I have a feeling that local talkies like Mark Davis aren’t going to let this go by without some heads rolling.

Marcus on May 11, 2011 at 9:19 AM

Glenside on May 11, 2011 at 8:57 AM

My son was in a fight on the ice last season playing Midget Majors. He had 3 opposing players on him in the corner, and not a single ref came into break it up. My kid kept his gloves down for 10 seconds waiting for a ref. When he realized he was alone in this, he started wailing. When the refs finally stepped in my kid had all 3 players down…and ended up with a match penalty. Talk about BS. Don’t get me started on the poor officiating in our district….

jbh45 on May 11, 2011 at 9:19 AM

I can’t watch the video at work. Did the teacher say, “Hey, knock it off” or “cut it out” or “stop it, and go down to the pricipal’s office” or did the teacher call for help?

Because there are many ways to break up a bully pounding, and very few of them have to be physical.

Teachers aren’t allowed to leave the room, so I understand tha the teacher couldn’t run down the hall to get help or anything, but what about leaning out of the door and yelling for help?

What would the teacher have done if the kid was knocked unconscious, wait until a paramedic happened to walk by?

DrAllecon on May 11, 2011 at 9:19 AM

As has been noted above, the teacher would get sued. My Bride taught public school for many years; it’s just a mess with the liability. I have to say this is where the union shines in protecting teachers from these complaints.

Mr. Bingley on May 11, 2011 at 9:20 AM

I feel like an old fogey when I see stuff like this. In my day, there was always at least one male teacher in every school, often a sports coach, who would put these bullies up against the lockers. It was always a bit of schadenfreude when a nasty little punk would get his comeuppance.

There are no alpha dogs in the schools anymore, thanks to the feminization of our school and litigious (read that trial lawyers = liberal left) parents.

Fallon on May 11, 2011 at 9:20 AM

Blame our litigious, self-absorbed, entitled society.

AngusMc on May 11, 2011 at 8:55 AM

THIS.
Thankfully this has never happened in any school I’ve taught in.
But you have no idea how screwed you could be breaking up a fight.
Honestly, I personally would do it anyway.
But you have to understand that teachers are getting sued for all sorts of things.
My NEA trash magazine was talking about how several teachers in KY as well as some other states in that region were sued bcs they did not report bullying offenses properly.
Couple that with touching a student to break up a fight & you get sued & you get this culture in public schools.
LAWYERS & sue happy parents are doing this to our society in general.
So while I don’t agree with standing around with your thumb up your a$$, you cannot really blame a teacher for not doing anything.
Bcs we get it coming & going.
Folks-you just work in this environment for a while & see how it works before you go judging people.

Badger40 on May 11, 2011 at 9:20 AM

They’re specifically told they cannot get physically involved. It’s ridiculous.

JetBoy on May 11, 2011 at 9:07 AM

I am in Texas in the situation above the teacher would have called in 1 or more of the Vice Principals, into the classroom they would have removed both students and put them in separate rooms. It would have been simple enough for that teacher to just have stood between the two students if the aggressor hit the teacher -that’s assault. In fact that student should be brought up on assault charges anyway the police should be involved it was caught on camera. The teacher easily could have blocked the blows by simply standing in between the children – that’s not touching anyone, and he could have sent a student next door to another teacher to get a Vice Principal. The teacher exhibited poor problem solving resolution skills. He comes off as apathetic in the video whether he was engaged and speaking to them or not. Bottom line the teacher doesn’t have control of his classroom, how often does it occur?

Dr Evil on May 11, 2011 at 9:20 AM

However, THIS video looked staged. Why would the “victim” stand there so still, not trying to cover his head or protect himself–not even flinching?

Dee2008 on May 11, 2011 at 9:01 AM

The schools teach the kids to stand still and take it. You cannot respond or defend yourself or you will receive the same punishment as the student who attacked you.

This punishment includes a ticket from the school officer for disorderly conduct, in-school or alternative school suspension and you lose the ability to participate in your extra curricular activities such as sports, band, debate etc. Loser kids have nothing to lose by attacking others but the regular student has a great deal to lose by defending themselves or attacking back. If you are the #1 pitcher on the baseball team and you defend yourself you are potentially off the team. Moreover if you are a girl and subject to the verbal girl-on-girl malicious gossip and you respond you can also lose your extra-curricular standing.

Bully policies are meant to control the average student not to stop the bullies. Regular students are taught to take it and wait for the government (the administration)to care for them.

batterup on May 11, 2011 at 9:20 AM

You guys don’t understand. I used to be a high school teacher, and there’s no way I would physically confront a violent student. Some of them are quite literally crazy, and there’s nothing you can do to keep them out of the classroom.

As for hiring “competent” teachers who can “control their classrooms,” again you don’t understand. The schools have taken away every tool teachers have to control the kids. Everything. You can’t even give them zeros in some schools for not turning in work. You can’t touch them. You can’t make them come to detention. They don’t care about in-school suspension. The school won’t suspend them for long for fear that they’ll drop out and affect the school’s rating and funding. There is nothing a teacher can do to control them, and so even the very best teachers are surrounded by uncivilized animals all day long, hoping one of them doesn’t snap.

I will never step back into a high school classroom. Never. And I was a fantastic teacher. We’re lucky anyone at all is willing to teach high school because it’s gotta be one of the suckiest jobs out there. It’s like asking a truck driver to do his job without a steering wheel or brakes. He’s going to fail because you’ve set it up so that he can’t possibly succeed.

aero on May 11, 2011 at 9:24 AM

Every teacher should have a can of mace in their classroom to use when a child becomes violent. There is no permanent damage using mace and it will subdued the child.

But you really want to know how to avoid this? HOMESCHOOL!

ramrants on May 11, 2011 at 9:24 AM

Schools should not be public nor compulsary. Get government out of the business of education completely and turn it over to the market. In today’s world, with our current culture, this is the only way to solve our education disaster. I know that to many or even most people this sounds extreme and completely crazy, but the market has always figured out a way for everyone to get what they need better and cheaper. Education would not be the exception to that rule.

King of the Britons on May 11, 2011 at 9:24 AM

Is this how terrible our culture has become…kids punch other kids who just stand there and take it, while some nutjob kid walks around with a phone recording video as if it were a boxing match, while the idiot teacher stands off to the side and just watches?

The liberal social revolutions of the 1960s and 70s have slowly destroyed our culture…is anyone surprised this sort of thing even happens?

TheBlueSite on May 11, 2011 at 9:26 AM

So tell me, Teachers Unions, if this punk bully had pulled a a knife and proceeded to stab this student in the chest, you still insist it is not part of the teacher’s job to intervene?

How about it being part of what one would expect from a HUMAN BEING to intervene?

pilamaye on May 11, 2011 at 9:04 AM

Unarmed? Untrained in control techniques? Alone? Unsupported by your adminstrators? Subject to personal liability when something goes wrong and they injure or kill the knife wielding attacker who was this close to turning his life around? Yeah, I’ll side with the teacher and the eeeeeeeeevil teachers’ union and say it’s not their job to intervene, even then.

Real life is not television. Going up against a knife wielding attacker with empty hands is beyond foolish. It’s a good way to end up dead. I don’t recommend it.

The solution is trained and armed security guards or even sworn law enforcement assigned to the schools who are trained in how to intervene in violent situations and equipped with the tools they need to do it safely and effectively.

Of course, most days there wouldn’t be any fights to be broken up. If there were, it wouldn’t be more than one or two. The rest of the time they would be either sitting around doing nothing, waiting for the next fight like firemen waiting for a fire or they would engage in proactive work like cops. I can’t imagine most school admin types would tolerate people just sitting around, so proactive enforcement it would be.

So the security officers would spend their days catching kids smoking weed or having sex in the bathrooms and writing traffic citations to parents who park in the fire lanes while dropping their kids off and God knows all of you would bitch and moan everytime you had to leave work to go deal with your kid because the security guard caught him cutting class and smoking behind the gym. “Don’t they have anything better to do?” you’d wail. Not to mention the fact that I can’t imagine any of you would tolerate having your taxes raised to pay for any of this.

Dukeboy01 on May 11, 2011 at 9:26 AM

The teacher should have stepped between them BEFORE the punches were thrown, ordered the student back to his seat and if he did not comply, call, or have a student call, the office. This is not rocket science.

The Opinionator on May 11, 2011 at 9:26 AM

It would have been simple enough for that teacher to just have stood between the two students if the aggressor hit the teacher -that’s assault.

Dr Evil on May 11, 2011 at 9:20 AM

It’s already assault, unless high schools students don’t qualify as human beings.

ProfessorMiao on May 11, 2011 at 9:27 AM

Back when I had a young ‘un in school one of her teachers was a former Marine, female. There was a fight one day and while all the males stood around she stepped in and broke it up. She got a dislocated shoulder for her trouble, these were high school aged kids. After taking some time off for surgery and some rehab she was back in the classroom but our daughter told us she was quitting after the end of the school year. Concerned about that I called her to ask why. Was she afraid of the kids? Fed up with teaching?

Her response was no. She loved teaching, would love to continue but administrators had given her a bad review for interfering in the fight and the chances of being retained at the end of the year were slight. She also hinted there was just a slight tinge of accusations of racism also. You see she was white and the combatants were black and in some worlds that is all it takes. With her being a former Marine I am pretty sure she didn’t see black or white. She saw two thugs in serious need of an attitude adjustment. And then there was the whole Marine thing. Administrators made it clear that they didn’t think somebody trained in creating violence was a good fit in the world of academia. Her career field in the Marines was communications, not exactly known for fixing bayonets and charging into enemy fortifications.

Just A Grunt on May 11, 2011 at 9:28 AM

In my middle school years ago, our vice-principal was an ex-welterweight boxer. He knew how to take care of bullies. I’m sure his type would not be welcome in schools anymore.

Vashta.Nerada on May 11, 2011 at 9:28 AM

And here I thought that all that money being taken from us and given to the Education system was “for the children”. Clearly, when a child can’t be protected by the all-caring teachers…it is not “about the children” but “all about myself”. And don’t give me this “I don’t want to get suspended” crap. One teacher that gets disciplined for defending a kid just needs to go to the local news. A local news station would LOVE to run a story of local teacher helping someone’s kid being victimized by bureaucrats. It’s called doing what’s right, even if it breaks a rule.

search4truth on May 11, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Also, I lived in Texas (North of Dallas) for one year and had three children in public schools for that year. I have to say, they are way more serious about discipline and overall behavior enforcement in the schools my kids attended in Texas than they ever were in the Chicago area. They had enforced dress and general behavior codes and HUGE coaches/assistant principals just in case. Just sayin’…

Fallon on May 11, 2011 at 9:28 AM

aero on May 11, 2011 at 9:24 AM

This is why every school district should have alternative schools these kids get sent to. And parents should have to pay a fee for their child to attend (to cover the extra cost of security, child psychologist, smaller classes, etc). If the parent cant’ pay, they can work it off. If a parent refuses to pay or work it off, they go to jail.

Implement these standards and you will see a decrease of violent kids in school. (yes, I understand not every kid with mental/emotional problems is the fault of the parent, but most of them are).

ramrants on May 11, 2011 at 9:28 AM

LAWYERS & sue happy parents are doing this to our society in general.
So while I don’t agree with standing around with your thumb up your a$$, you cannot really blame a teacher for not doing anything.
Bcs we get it coming & going.
Folks-you just work in this environment for a while & see how it works before you go judging people.

Badger40 on May 11, 2011 at 9:20 AM

Why don’t you do something about it?

Vince on May 11, 2011 at 9:29 AM

Just going by what teachers I know tell me. They teach here in Conn., which certainly isn’t Texas. I imagine there are parents there who fight it regardless. How successful is it there?

JetBoy on May 11, 2011 at 9:18 AM

Down here they are all about documentation – if a child is a problem child, they got a folder a thick one, they stack the teachers statements – including correspondence with parents being informed remember they get issued a school handbook citing Texas Law. If it get’s to a point the school is going to sued they pull out all their documentation, yep it’s gotten to that point. If a parent doesn’t want to deal with their little Johnny or Janney acting out, the state of Texas will takeover. Our school is decent but we live next to a sister city, that has a large population of immigrants legal and non legal who have this cultural bent to join gangs – and use drugs, so that effects all the other children. A kind of cross contamination that’s hard to quarantine.

Dr Evil on May 11, 2011 at 9:29 AM

It’s not that our society has become too violent. School fights go back as far as, well, schools. Our problem is we’re too litigious. Teachers are afraid of lawsuits.

***

Dee2008 on May 11, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Too litigious, sure. But too many judges entertain this kind of litigation. Teacher intervenes, nt evident harm caused by the intervention, case dismissed with court costs and attorneys’ fees charged to the plaintiff.

BuckeyeSam on May 11, 2011 at 9:30 AM

This is a Texas thing. When our youngest two were going to high school there – the ‘teachers’ would close their room doors to not ‘have’ to listen to the fights, bullying, name calling that went on. The topper came when I was in there picking up my (disabled after a suicide attempt from so much bullying) son and heard the Vice Principal actually state to a local LEO – We can’t touch them (a student the local police were there to arrest)as she fled out the back of the school. So it’s not just the teachers in TX, it’s the Administrations too. All they want is to collect their Union pay, all the Federal funds that are dropped into their laps via illegal aliens and US military family members but actually providing the kids an education – why bother.

jackal40 on May 11, 2011 at 9:30 AM

The teacher should have stepped between them BEFORE the punches were thrown, ordered the student back to his seat and if he did not comply, call, or have a student call, the office. This is not rocket science.

The Opinionator on May 11, 2011 at 9:26 AM
///
This teacher was probably scared to death of these students and maybe secretly hoping they’d knock each other out so 2 less trouble makers:)

ohiobabe on May 11, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Expel the kid, press assault charges, shame his parents. Let teachers intervene to prevent bodily injury to another student. Risk the lawsuit.

It’s the administrators’ fault here, not the teachers. Yeah, as a human being he should have done something, but they are told to never touch another student. I was told that when I worked in a rural Georgia school for 6 months. County policy; risk of lawsuits.

RW Wacko on May 11, 2011 at 9:31 AM

This almost looks staged to me. Was this a drama class?

And if it is indeed real, God help the children learning in our public school system under these policies.

Oh wait, He isn’t allowed in there anymore. Nevermind.

jjjdad on May 11, 2011 at 9:32 AM

On the one hand teachers are paid to teach, not to police.

On the other hand, this is the environment that teachers that have created by apologizing for and teaching acceptance and tolerance of any kind of behavior. So this kind of incident is largely of the teacher’s own making.

jjrakman on May 11, 2011 at 9:32 AM

I had a kid in class tell me he would”whip my ass’ I turned around and walked up the center isle laughing. I was also prepared to flatten the SOB who was bigger than me. It is the law in Texas that assault on a teacher or the threat thereof is an assault on a public servant.
When parents complained I told them to bring money/lots of money because I would sue for a whole lot more money than they had. If I lost I would appeal and run the cost of their lawyer through the roof as I would drag out depositions forever, if they wanted to use their lawyer at $300+ an hour I would drag it out for days on end plus file for delays.The folks were not to swift so I did the math for them. 300x8hrs x 20 days = $24000. I also pointed out that I would not need a shyster as the district and the teacher assoc had me covered.The superintendent was so impressed with this he ask how in the hell did I know how to do this and I told him I came from the business world and would just love for it to be a test case. We had a new policy to train teachers in “non violent.soft hand intervention.” In other words how to take Johnny down and be covered since we were trained.

Col.John Wm. Reed on May 11, 2011 at 9:33 AM

Additionally, the ban on cell phones in the school ought to be lifted to help facilitate more watch dog filming such as this.

jjrakman on May 11, 2011 at 9:33 AM

The teacher could have taken out a phone, called the police and had the punk charged with assault, which is what this is. This is not ‘a fight’, this was assault and battery. How would that have put the teacher in any jeopardy?

slickwillie2001 on May 11, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Wow, there has got to be more to this. Why is that kid punching the other kid? Why is the other kid just standing there?
Zero tolerance is a huge joke, as are public schools.

ORconservative on May 11, 2011 at 9:34 AM

jjrakman on May 11, 2011 at 9:33 AM

agreed.

ORconservative on May 11, 2011 at 9:35 AM

I am so grateful we were able to homeschool our kids.

cadenza on May 11, 2011 at 9:37 AM

I blame the kid taking the beating as much as the teacher that stood by.

DEFEND YOURSELF. My 3 Son’s would have and most likely the bully would have had all 3 of them on him……

I’d have dealt with the chickenscat teacher and principal, and their take a beating rules be DAMNED. NOT MY KIDS.

RealMc on May 11, 2011 at 9:38 AM

The state legislature needs to pass a law protecting teachers and districts from frivolous lawsuits. Anything other than a teacher walking up to a kid and punching them in the face should be exempt from lawsuits.

My sister is a teacher here in Texas and she said they are not allowed to touch a kid. She worked in a minority district for 3 years and then left because of the administration and how they handled bad kids. She would start out the year with 1 or 2 bad kids and have the principles bribe the kids to behave. Well, the other 20 kids in class wanted a cookie, treat, reward, etc, so they started misbehaving just to get the treat. She would start out with 1 or 2 bad kids and end up with a classroom full of bad kids.

She teaches in an middle-upper middle class district now and this is not a problem.

ramrants on May 11, 2011 at 9:39 AM

It was a “gutsy call”don’t you think?

docflash on May 11, 2011 at 9:40 AM

In a just world..the teacher breaks this up.

That is not where we are at.
A lot of teachers are on an island in the schools they work in. They are thrown under the bus by administrations that don’t want any parental and legal troubles.

One of my friends in the gym was a teacher who stood 6’4” and weighed in at over 260 pounds.
He broke up a fight in a lunch room full of over a hundred students and several teachers.
He was stabbed in the neck with a pencil then in self-defense, laid the student flat.
Parents went nuts and the lawsuits went flying.
He was hung out to dry by the administration and most to the teachers did not want to get involved for fear of losing their jobs or suffering a backlash from students.

The PC atmosphere,parents not held responsible for their kids actions,and classrooms that have the patients running the asylum have pretty much created the situation we see in this video.
That teacher has more to lose intervening then just standing there.

Reminds me of the woman raped in the subway in NY while city workers stood by and watched.
They were legally exonerated but how in the he!! you live with yourself is amazing to me.
Unfortunately…”getting involved” has led to to many people getting sued or charged themselves, so we reap what we sow.

I, and I am assuming, many others here choose to get involved….I just can’t stand by and watch someone get beaten or tormented.

Baxter Greene on May 11, 2011 at 9:40 AM

I have a really good story about this. I worked at an alternative public school in Virginia Beach. One of our teachers was going through the wrestling trials to go to the Olympics in possibly the lowest weight class. He is very short, had a crew cut, cauliflower ears and wore cowboy boots. As you can imagine, he was the subject of much derision amongst the students…until there was a fight….. I have to tell you it was a sight to behold. He took down both boys (bigger than him) and held them all by himself. It was artistry. And his stock went through the roof with the students. I am sure things have changed since the mid-90′s but we were all taught and used take downs and holds for disruptive students. I can’t imagine an adult doing nothing even if it’s calling 9-1-1 and taking pictures of the criminal.

Cindy Munford on May 11, 2011 at 9:42 AM

The school has the responsibility to protect students from these kinds of attacks. If the school decides to do so by having security guards break up fights instead of teachers, I can understand that. (In my city, where teachers do intervene, a lot of teachers file worker’s comp claims saying they were hurt while breaking up fights. Sure, a lot of them are bogus, but it still costs the districts money. And, as other commenters have pointed out, there are liability risks.)

But here’s my question… If the teacher doesn’t physically intervene, shouldn’t he at least be calling security? Or telling the bully to get out of the classroom? From what I could see, the teacher literally just stood there.

Outlander on May 11, 2011 at 9:42 AM

I spent 20 years working in Special Ed.
The idea that you stand by and let a student be punched is completely absurd.

ORconservative on May 11, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Name the teacher, Shame the teacher.

moochy on May 11, 2011 at 9:48 AM

Its called having control of your classroom.

red131 on May 11, 2011 at 9:49 AM

We saw the follow-up story on the 10 o’clock news (WFAA Channel 8) last night, and the teacher looks like a convict. Also, they pointed out that there are several YouTube videos of fights at Seagoville High School (search YouTube). In one, military recruiters break up a fight between two girls, in the hall.

Seagoville is a separate city in SE Dallas County (it’s most low-income), and its schools are in Dallas ISD. There’s a medium-security Federal prison there, along US 175.

Ward Cleaver on May 11, 2011 at 9:51 AM

If the teachers actually cared about the children, they would lobby the president and Congress to allow them to discipline children and restore order in public school classrooms.

Instead, since it’s not about pay or benefits, they don’t give a hoot.

Another reason I will send my children to private schools. The teachers in public schools do not care about anything except pay and benefits.

NoDonkey on May 11, 2011 at 9:51 AM

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