SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Calling Home Can Be Career Ending

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Calling Home Can Be Career Ending

 On or about June 13, 2022, I received a 48 hour notice to meet with my principal concerning..."VERBAL ABUSE." For several days I wrecked my brain trying to figure out what I could have said. My erstwhile chapter leader assured me not to worry. That if this were real verbal abuse OSI would be taking the lead. 

So we finally meet and I find out what I am being accused of. Before I continue be sure you are sitting down and/or holding onto a loved one. This will be quite shocking to the system. 

I was accused of telling the student that I will call her mother. This shit cannot be made up. 

I told the student I would call the student's mother. Oh the humanity.

All this happened on May 5, 2022. It was a sixth grade class. The students were doing independent work, and I was doing what any teacher would do. I was walking around helping and supporting students. However, this one particular student was not doing the work assigned and instead using the class time as a social gathering with students sitting nearby. 

I decided that since I am the educator and the adult I would do what I learned many years ago. Non-verbal communication. I just walked over and stood behind the student to facilitate the student getting back to work and to end the socializing. 

Immediately the student talked to me as if I were the child. "Move away from me," "I don't want you behind me." For some dumb reason I assumed I am the teacher and the student is a student. I decided not to move due to the belief that once I walked away the student would revert to using the time for socializing instead of classwork. 

The attitude continued. I said if this continues I will call home. Something I have heard and seen in the school all year. Even by the favored gentry. Even the Heavyweight Champion of the school. 

So the meeting was on a Thursday. I wrote this piece on June 19, 2022. Two days later, June 21, 2022 as I was leaving at 2:40 PM EDT I was asked by a secretary (who felt horrible) to sign a letter to my file. I said that I have to get to my per session position and wished to go over the letter with my chapter leader (She was not in that day). I also mentioned I have 24 hours (I could be wrong) and will take care of this matter the following day. 

The very next morning I get called in to meet with Numero Uno. Numero Uno admonishes me for refusing to sign. I never refused to sign I told Numero Uno. I just wished for time to digest and take in the letter (I did make a photo copy). I did bring up that in the letter Numero Uno wrote that I was trying to "intimidate" the student. SMFH!

Have you ever read Chancellor's Regulation A-421? It is so vaguely written that anything can be considered verbal abuse. 

A. Verbal abuse1 is defined as language (written2 or oral) about or directed toward students, that: 

1. Belittles, embarrasses or subjects students to ridicule; or 

2. Has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance or ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program, school-sponsored activity or any other aspect of a student’s education; or 

3. Has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s mental, emotional, or physical well-being; or 

4.Reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his/her physical safety; or

5. Reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause physical injury or emotional harm to a student.

Where is the line drawn? What happens if I'm talking to a student about baseball? The student tells me they are a Mets fan and I say I am a Yankees fan? Or that the Yankees have owned the Mets for years in New York. Could I be written up?

Can a teacher be written up for telling one student that he or she needs to improve? Or by telling a student that their behavior will keep them in at gym?

What of using ClassDojo? What of any in class behavior chart? 

Funny how Numero Uno decided to write me up while my return to the school was up in the air. 

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow Unbelievable BS!

Anonymous said...

Retire, asap. You’re a highly paid ATR with a target on your back. Every day in a classroom is like a dance through a minefield. My last day in a Bronx classroom I had a desk thrown at me and was asked by the principal why a good kid like that would throw a desk at me, ie what did you do to cause it. Eventually you may lose your temper and risk losing a lot more.