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08 November 2006 @ 12:07 pm
School Violence  
This morning, I got cavendish's okay to post something which I would very much have liked to post yesterday, but chose not to, because none of us knew if, and in what way, the latest incidents at Cavendish's school would make the news.

For those of you who don't know him, he's a very engaged teacher at a local vocational college. Someone who works his ass off to provide good, interesting English and Chemistry lessons, and who tries hard to treat all this students in a fair and human manner. And believe me, especially the latter isn't always that easy, as Cavendish's school not only offers the regular, usually traineeship accompanying courses. They also have special classes for the poorly qualified and the drop-outs with virtually no comprehension, no communicative or mathematical skills. It's like one great pool for the underprivileged, the badly socialised; the frustrated, helpless and violent.

Yesterday, a kid belonging right into this group attacked one of Cavendish's less popular colleagues with a broomstick. According to witnesses, the assault happened right on the school yard and came out of nowhere. Quick, brutal blows, executed with a lot of force. The broomstick broke in the process. Had Cavendish's colleague been hit on the neck or head, he'd probably be paralysed or dead. An ambulance transported the shocked, bleeding man into hospital. So far, no one has been able (or wants) to identify the escaped attacker.

But as if the act of violence committed by one severely disturbed individual wasn't enough, here comes the truly frightening bit: A quite popular opinion among students seems that the beaten-up teacher actually deserved what happened to him as some form of payback for his often less than fortunate teaching methods.

Apparently, our current educational system not only breeds time bombs. It also doesn't seem to care whether those forced to deal with these time bombs actually possess the necessary human skills and personal charisma for such a highly demanding job.


This morning, Cavendish's school was in the local radio news. Quite possible the story is all over WDR2 by now.
 
 
Current Mood: indescribableindescribable
 
 
 
Selenaselenak on November 8th, 2006 02:26 pm (UTC)
*shivers*
Cavendishcavendish on November 8th, 2006 04:03 pm (UTC)
*shivers*

Shivers indeed. What makes me shiver most, however, is that our school seems neither to have a way to help teachers who apparently do have problems, nor have any means to really do something or actually care for underprivileged children.

Because this is basically the famous "tip of the iceberg".

Frank
Bimo: Coopbimo on November 9th, 2006 08:50 am (UTC)
I was pretty upset as well, when Cavendish told me the story. That incident happened just that tiny bit to close to home...

Cavendishcavendish on November 8th, 2006 03:57 pm (UTC)
Hi there :-)

Thanks for the entry. (AND the kind words; I do think you exaggerate a little ;-) on my qualities as a teacher; but the rest is very true.

I'll write a post myself when I have got some more time over the weekend.

Again thanks

Frank


Karenquiller77 on November 8th, 2006 04:27 pm (UTC)
Scary isn't it? My hubby teaches in a junior high (middle school?) and the growing disrespect in the general population makes me not at all surprised that a more disenfranchised section of students would side with the attacker. But it is frustrating. I'll be one of those little old ladies (okay, maybe not little) who goes on in a quavering voice about how much better it was when I was young. And I'll be right. ;-)

Cavendishcavendish on November 8th, 2006 04:34 pm (UTC)
>and the growing disrespect in the general population

On the German bestseller list, there was a book this year, written by a mother of a primary school child that was called "Das Leherhasserbuch" which does (not quite literally) translates as "why we (should) hate teachers."

this actually does not make life much easier.

>it was when I was young. And I'll be right. ;-) I am not sure about this. There would be stories to tell about my school days in a basically working class environment.

The frustrating thing is that we do not see (manbe not even want) a solution to the problems at hand.

Frank
Karenquiller77 on November 8th, 2006 04:43 pm (UTC)
Well, I think I'll be right in one sense: there was a basic level of courtesy that people extended to each other in years past that doesn't seem to happen any more. (Young people being more often rude to the elderly being one of the examples that really irks me.)

The problems are many and complex. Maybe those trying to present solutions are feeling overwhelmed.

But that book? Whoa. Whatever happened to the idea that teachers and parents are partners in the child's education? (Unfortunately my hubby has dealt with people who have that attitude.)

Kathyh: Kathyh Buffy daykathyh on November 8th, 2006 05:50 pm (UTC)
A quite popular opinion among students seems that the beaten-up teacher actually deserved what happened to him as some form of payback for his often less than fortunate teaching methods.

That's terrible. Sadly violence in schools seems to be escalating everywhere and incidents with knives are becoming a problem here. A few years ago a headmaster was actually stabbed to death by one of his pupils, which was an extreme incident admittedly and horrified everybody, but more and more young people carry knives now. It's a nasty old world out there sometimes.
Cavendishcavendish on November 8th, 2006 06:48 pm (UTC)
>It's a nasty old world out there sometimes.

ANd it makes you afraid at times when you realise that you are in the middle of it ;-)

I read the following nice sentence on a bumper sticker the other day:

"Be a hero - be a teacher" ;-))