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Attacked by my student

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics and Training' started by Readyrod, Oct 24, 2011.

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  1. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    The main point here has already been established: don't ever ever ever touch the students - PARTICULARLY not to wakeup someone who is sleeping. There's a reason why they say to never wake a sleepwalker. Many people who are forcibly awoken will immediately drop into panic mode. It's an evolved survival trait. In the jungles way back when if something woke you up at night it was most likely trying to eat you - you come up fighting for survival.

    After the situation has escalated it's too late.

    Realistically, the student is there for an education. If they chose to not partake in the lecture, thats fine. He might be ok with failing, or he might even already know the material. Regardless - in this situation you let sleeping dogs lie. Continue your lesson plan and don't touch them (and for goodness sakes don't involve other students by asking THEM to wake someone else).

    At this point the boat may have sailed on this one though. Apologize, do the sorry dance, and hope for the best.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  2. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    You had another teacher in the room? What was she/he doing that they couldn't have quietly gone over and lovingly nurtured the youth to alertness?

    NEVER touch the student, call for the dean - your room has phone
     
  3. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    I'm not sure where this happened but stateside you have to be VERY careful about physically contacting students. You have to follow disciplinary procedures to the letter. Back in the day teachers used to be able to keep physical control of the classroom, but in this lawsuit happy country that has changed. That doesn't mean there is no recourse. You just have to follow procedure and get the student removed. In some ways it was better when there was physical restraint. Expulsion ends up doing a lot more damage.
     
  4. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    Folks,

    Let us leave off the 'this or that martial art is tha heat' aspects of this discussion, please. If merely putting hands on a student is a bad idea, anything else that goes further is pretty much a worse idea.

    And we're not going to be able to solve all the problems of society here. Let's not go off topic by trying, OK?
     
  5. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    It appears to me Readyrod, this student does not want what is being given to the other students, an education. If his sleeping in class is any indication, he probably spends the time he should be sleeping at home, roaming the streets getting an education there. You aren't responsible for his upbringing on the home front! My feeling, of his being waked up by touching, or spoken word, and thrashing out, grabbing for a weapon or whatever, is total BS! He was more than likely totally aware of the situation, just waiting for the opportune time to strike out, you happen to be the struck person. The days of the Catholic nuns striking the back of hands with a wooden ruler might be over, I never attended Catholic schools so I can't speak of concise involvement or time frame, but I know when I attended public school, if I slept in class and was waked up, a note went home with me and I had my Pop to answer to! Now, after Pop got through with me, I'd gladly taken a ruler across the knuckles.
    Hopefully, this student will be dealt with by the school, the other teacher will stand up with you, and things will get back under control, God help us all if not!
     
  6. Readyrod

    Readyrod Member

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    I don't think it's as serious here but no matter, from now on I'll be following that one to the letter.

    No phone.

    I agree but he was trying to get me out of the classroom where he could try to do some real damage. If he wasn't scared of a classroom of students and another teacher seeing him get me out of the classroom what would he have done when there were no witnesses? This was getting dangerous so it had to be stopped. Next time something happens (not necessarily in the classroom) I want to be able to break contact. He had such a strong grab on my shirt that the fabric tore.

    Yea, the problem is that if you don't have class discipline none of them get an education. I worked in a class like that. The teacher wanted the students to "like" her. I've never seen a worse pack of little animals before. And I mean it, they were little animals. You could tell that the good students were suffering. The good kids here work really hard and deserve better.

    That's what I'm starting to think. He was certainly fully awake when he attacked me.

    My mom went to Catholic school and from the sounds of it some of them could be pretty cruel back then. She told me of a left hand student who was beaten till she used her right hand. I spent a year in a catholic elementary school and didn't much like it but now I understand why they were so strict. Teenagers need discipline.

    Well I'm off to work at another high school. I'll be meeting with the vice principle of the problem place this afternoon and we'll see what happens. I'll keep you posted.
     
  7. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    Perhaps you can get this miscreant transferred to another class where the teacher can find an interesting to get his undivided attention. Hopefully one the size of a sumo wrestler.
     
  8. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    Next time something happens (not necessarily in the classroom) I want to be able to break contact.

    That's understandable. If you don't mind, open another thread here on H2H/MA, and ask about what works effectively in the circumstances you envision having to escape from.
     
  9. Ringolevio

    Ringolevio Member

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    Temper, temper!

    Here's the part that everybody seems to be missing or ignoring:

    Readyrod:
    When you lose your temper you lose control of yourself and of the situation.

    Furthermore...
    Are you quite sure you're an English teacher?
     
  10. rexesq

    rexesq Member

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    Wow Readyrod it shows you just how quickly a situation can go from everyday stuff to scary in an instant. Martial arts are a good idea, of course only to be used as a last resort when you are facing bodily harm and have no other options. Hand to hand combat and being able to disarm or even just (fairly) painlessly disable and hold someone can make a big difference.... as you said, just one swing from him makes contact and you could be in serious trouble.

    I was going to try to give you some legal advice but I know nothing of the laws of Japan, so I am of no help there.

    'Tis a very good thing another teacher witnessed the incident. And I also completely understand what you say about allowing students to sleep and the like and in so doing, possibly losing the respect and control of the enviornment.

    -rexesq (AJ)
     
  11. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    It being Japan, you should have hit him in his honor, do something fun like call his parents and tell them how their education money is being spent, make him the 'bad student'

    and let a VERY conformist society do the rest.
     
  12. Readyrod

    Readyrod Member

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    Yea I know, English spelling messes with my head. When I'm online or writing email I got two little devils fighting in my head, one for grammar the other against.

    Yup, gotta work on that one.

    I agree on both counts. As I said I was so surprised he got me to the back of the classroom before I resisted much.

    So I went to the meeting and the other teacher backed me up. This was good as I pointed out that now we know he is a liar. The other witnesses, the classmates were a mixed bag. That's the problem with too many witnesses I guess. The student who attacked me now claims that I grabbed him and tried to drag him to the back of the classroom. I pointed out that that was unlikely as he is both bigger (at least a little) much younger, and stronger than me. I doubt I would be able to drag him anywhere and I certainly wouldn't want to drag him out into the hallway where he could pound me out. I think they are on my side. I also showed them my shirt, which was in rough shape and certainly didn't look like I was the one in control.
    So they need to go back to the other side and talk to the kid and we will see what happens. I feel somewhat safer.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
  13. Ringolevio

    Ringolevio Member

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    Teachable moment...

    'Sorry to belabor this, Readyrod, but I think this is a real "teachable moment" for you.

    Readyrod:
    Aha, but the martial arts skills to which you aspire would negate the discrepancy in age/size/strength. So I'm sorry, but pointing out that discrepancy now is a cop-out; you can't have it both ways. If you're gonna provoke a younger/bigger/stronger fellow, you'd better know something he doesn't know.

    Again, it's about control. You set the wheels in motion and gave up control of the situation by your first action (nudging him awake). Then you gave up the high moral ground by letting your anger show.

    By the way, in high school I used to doze off all the time; maybe it was because when school let out for the day I didn't go home, but rode the subway to a restaurant where I worked 'til 10 or 11 p.m., and then went home to do my homework.

    So, for all those who say that sleeping in class meant that the student had been out gallivanting around rather than being studious, I guess you've never heard the term "worked my way through school".

    My teachers -- who certainly didn't take my sleeping as an insult! --would wake me up, but they'd do so by dropping a book on their desk or otherwise making a sudden, loud noise, not by stopping the lesson to approach me and cause a scene. I would wake up slightly embarrassed, and their control of the class would remain unimpeded.

    I sincerely hope this helps.

    Cheers, Ringolevio
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
  14. NoAlibi

    NoAlibi Member

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    "Loco Parentis" (sp?)

    "Loco Parentis" (sp?) = In place of the parent.

    I went to a Catholic school and this was the teachers' modus operandi. The nuns believed that everyone there was going to get an education and no one was going to interfere with that process. Make no mistake that I didn't like the ruler across the knuckles, but that was much preferred to having a parent taking off work to come to your school.

    I didn't appreciate their mission about me getting an education until I got to high school. My education was so thorough that I breezed through high school as an "A" student. Good work habits derived there also carried on through college and doctoral educations.

    Perhaps your defense might be presented that as a teacher you truly are in place of the parent and you would do what would be expected of that parent to control that unruly child in that particular situation. The school's policy in that regard can make or break your case. Good luck.....Doc
     
  15. otcconan

    otcconan Member

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    Situations like this are exactly the reason that even after doing my student teaching I went into retail.

    Kid threatens to "cap" me. Makes finger pistol and the motion of firing gun.

    I talk to him after class. "So you like guns?" He says, "Yeah." I say, "I like guns too!"

    Not a problem from that kid rest of the semester. But it could have gone much worse for sure,
     
  16. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Member

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    I'm probably not going to add a whole lot to this discussion, but I'll reiterate a couple points and disagree with another:

    1. Don't touch the students, period.
    2. Don't awaken someone by shaking them or nudging them. As mentioned, they make wake up in fight/flight mode and decide (unconsciously) to fight.
    3. Don't make light of a situation like the one in which you found yourself. One poster suggested a humorous comment. I disagree wholeheartedly. This is a serious situation and you should (It sounds like you did) represent yourself accordingly.
    4. Don't let a student (or anyone else for that matter) make you angry.
    5. There may be reasons, as suggested by another poster, that a student falls asleep. I also worked a job until 10:00 or 11:00 in the evenings when I was in high school. Frequently, I had to do my homework after I got home. Droning teachers made my eyelids heavy.

    I do a lot of volunteer work with kids - mostly from late grade school age on up. There are much better (for your career) ways of waking a sleeping student. For example, I'll often walk to the vicinity of their seat and continue whatever I was doing in close proximity until the message gets through.
     
  17. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    What did the vice-principal have to say about all this?
     
  18. wadcutter45

    wadcutter45 Member

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    How does this thread have anything to do with firearms or self defense strategies? I've seen more relevant threads closed.
     
  19. Cop Bob

    Cop Bob Member

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    I like the "Air Horn" idea... not bad... At the Academy, we have been known to use blank pistols.. But this wasn't a police academy...

    As far a Martial Arts.. I recommend it, but not for, or why one would think.. Fear the warrior with a smile... he is the one that will get you... Reference the thread on "The Look"

    Martial Arts are great for self confidence, and self control... In this situation, you lost when you became angry... The trick is to not loose control, of yourself, your emotions, or the situation.... It is hard to anger a man that knows he will always finish on top.. Martial skills do just that.. I like Kuk Sool Won, lots of hand reversal movements, upper body work, bone and joint manipulation, pressure points, many very simple a subtle moves.. many of the moves used by Secret Service to quietly move people in a crowd, or compliance techniques.. are from that style..

    Shooting is a martial skill, one that instils confidence, would certainly not apply here, but it is a confidence builder, another wrench in life's tool box.

    As far as him sleeping in your class, yes it would anger me too, but would I wake him... No, because the only person that is loosing is him... As stated, we need ditch diggers too..

    Learn to walk with confidence so that people will not try you... again, "The Look"... that is gained through self confidence.. how you gain that can take many routes.. This experience is part of that trip... I wish you well... let us know how it turns out..
     
  20. Purgatory

    Purgatory Member

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    You know what's amazing about this to me?

    They have cameras everywhere these days--EVERYWHERE--even in plenty of places 'most' of us would prefer they were not.

    Why, with all the crap they're using 'OUR' tax money for, don't they have security/surveillance cameras in classrooms?

    Yes, that would be a lot of cameras, but I'm certain if someone with some clout wanted to make a case for cameras in classrooms, with the rash of violence in schools in the last couple decades, alone--including incidents of this nature, it wouldn't be all that difficult.

    For the safety and security of our children AND the faculty, not to mention their value in all the inevitable court cases that will surely increase in the near future, cameras in the classroom should be a no-brainer.

    Edited To Add: Yes, this would give Big Brother yet another avenue to use against us in many ways, but we've been walking that fine line since Government was created.
     
  21. cambeul41

    cambeul41 Member

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    In similar circumstances, I sign to the rest of the class what I am going to do and then either slam a book on my desk or sometimes slap the sleeping students' desks. By the time their heads come up, I am some distance away. Typically, they do not know what awoke them.

    Once, I dismissed the class, closed the shades, turned out the lights, and left the sleeper to awaken in a dark, deserted room.
     
  22. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    I'm not a union guy, normally, but in this case - call your union. They may not save your job, but they probably have some legal assistance for you. My wife is a member of a Texas teacher's union. While the state of Texas is "right to work" and teachers have fewer protections than a death row inmate (no joke...), the union does provide a lawyer for her should the stuff hit the fan. She has had to use their legal assistance phone line a few times. Paid for itself with each of those phone calls.

    I asked my wife (who is also state certified to be an administrator, but has not yet found an admin job) her opinion. She said based on your story she would suggest:

    • Take a deep breath and sharpen you knife. You'll be eating crow.
    • Call your union.
    • Apologize to the kid and his parents --- with witnesses present.
    • Apologize to the principal for losing your cool.
    • Proactively find info on an anger management program. Print off or pick up a brochure. Have that paperwork in a file in your hand when you go to the principal; if you sense the meeting is going south and he's going to reprimand you, pull that out and show a proactive approach - "I was thinking about taking this class/program to help me better cope next time." By you getting in front of it and volunteering, it might [MIGHT] keep it out of your file.
    • Be ready to be persona non grata for a while. Touching a kid like that is a big no-no.

    Q
     
  23. o Unforgiven o

    o Unforgiven o Member

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    I sure hope "our" tax dollars are not going to a school in Japan. :confused:
     
  24. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't know what you're asking. Should you tell the truth in the meeting? Of course. Tell them exactly what everyone would have seen. You tried to wake him up and he threw an elbow at you and you shouted at him and HE GRABBED YOU and drove you toward the door. You struggled with him and stopped things before he got you out of the classroom. Your anger isn't at issue since it didn't cause you to grab or strike him. Don't let the discussion drift off of the objective facts. Don't elaborate. Don't editorialize. Your opinions don't matter, only the facts. Student sleeping in class, student threw elbow, teacher shouted at student, student attacked teacher, student tried to drive teacher during struggle out of classroom. Why he threw the elbow or your emotional state when you yelled at him isn't relevant.

    The other question you seem to be asking is what sort of self defense training would have improved your ability to keep the student from manhandling you. You want skills that allow you to prevent your being hit or grappled successfully by someone that isn't trained and to do so without damaging them. That narrows the field and allows you to pick from what is locally available.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
  25. Purgatory

    Purgatory Member

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    Just wanted to point out that we can't be too careful these days when it comes to 'kids' and underestimating their 'skills.'

    It's pretty likely most junior high and high school kids have not been trained militarily, but you'd be surprised how many of them, from as young as elementary school on up, have learned a lot of the basics of sufficient fighting and rendering someone incapable of defending themselves or unconscious.

    Mixed Martial Arts is so epidemically popular today that kids are teaching it to other kids from what they see on UFC and then research on the internet with step-by-step instruction on YouTube, etc.

    Your average male junior high school student is well versed in basic standing fighting skills as well as basic judo and choke holds.

    It's like any sport or trend that has ever existed in society, if all your peers know how to do it, you better know how to do it too or you're left standing alone and a lot more of a target for those with the desire to test out a new technique.

    And all that's kinda scary.

    The kids at the local high school near me meet on the weekends on a regular basis and park their vehicles in a circle facing in with their headlights on and have fights in the middle. It's a regular occurence and you can see it from a pretty busy thoroughfare.

    When the cops come, everybody scatters and some get nabbed, but it's not enough to stop it.

    My point is just that kids are a lot more worthy adversaries these days because it's 'IN' to know mixed martial arts and growing to be as popular as any traditional sport out there, if not more.
     
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