We missed some of the days this past week because it was abnormally cold and 1) they were afraid of ice on the roads 2) they worried about the kids walking to school or waiting for the bus and 3) they were concerned about pipes and heat in the schools.
So, when the kids finally came back from break they were rowdy and not willing to work. I teach a lot of seniors this year and somehow someone has told them this is the best year of their life so they don't have to conform to anyone else's expectation.
Friday won the prize though. One of my students was caught spitting dip into a cup. When confronted by me, he decided he had nothing to lose, so he started whaling on the poor kid sitting next to him who was completely unprepared for this.
It took the resource officer, an AP and several of the kids to pull them apart.
While it means I will not see the perpetrator again this school year, it also means he is at risk to never graduate and there is nothing I can do to change the inevitable.
The perpetrator comes from a single parent home. He has been in trouble before. His reading and math levels are below average and he has no incentive, no internal push to change any of that.
Bill O'Reilly said recently that true poverty is caused by bad personal decisions (which several took as black people's problems are due to bad personal decisions). I see it daily. Too many of my students would rather take the easy way out (they talk about where to apply for food stamps and other government handouts) rather than put the effort into changing the path that they are on.