And no, those four marks represent the word “H-E- Two sticks”, not the other word. Although I have to admit, I don’t know what word that teacher was thinking at that moment it happened. She was slapped. Slapped hard. By a first grader. Seriously?
I remember 7th grade, George Gershwin JHS in East New York, Brooklyn, Felicia hit our teacher. No, I can’t remember the teacher’s name, but I remember hers. We were shocked, but suffice to say, what followed next, shocked us even more. The teacher hit her back! It turned into an all-out, hair-pulling brawl! All the students were screaming, the librarian was yelling for help, it was total and complete chaos!
I had a student in another class elbow me, hard, when we were on a class trip. I allowed my class to get on the ferry first, and he didn’t appreciate that. (The teacher and I had decided to alternate) I couldn’t do what I wanted to do to him, so I told my principal when we returned. My principal at the time, arranged a meeting with the boy and his parent. He was made to apologize, and was suspended for two days.
What do you do when a student hits you? Even more importantly, what can you do? What are your options? I know hitting a student back is not a viable solution. (Even though laymen I have shared this story with beg to differ). BYOG (Bring Your Own Gun) is such a scary option, you would think I made it up.
What message is being conveyed to the other students? Does it affect the way the students view you in the classroom? I guess it would depend on the how the teacher and administration handle the situation.
My friend’s husband told her if a student hits her again, she should go straight to the principal’s office and put in for medical leave. But another friend pooh-poohed that solution. She said it would leave the other students, the ones that don’t hit, without a teacher, and I agree.
Thank goodness this was a first grader, but I know there are situations where older students hit their teachers. I’m sure the consequences are more serious, and the damage done to the teacher is more serious than a red mark on the cheek. How many teachers return to work after being hit by a student?
In a society where violence is depicted on television and video games as fun and games, how hard is it to get our students to understand, life is not a video game. When you hit someone in “real life”, it hurts!
And the bigger question is, what can be done to protect teachers from being the recipient of this behavior?