Middle school teacher resigns amid horrific abuse from students

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/07/03/middle-school-teacher-resigns.html


Anybody who would VOLUNTARILY go back to middle school/junior high has my respect. And my pity.

edited to add…I keep thinking of the scene with Ash in Alien:
“I can’t lie to you about your chances, but… you have my sympathies.”


“We are here today not to dispel anyone else’s truth. As you know there are always two sides to every story,”

Wow, from !A to A as fast as a middle school kid who is practicing their manipulation skills.

At least she didn’t separate the unselfaware statement/ knowing lie from her false intent with a mere comma.


I have several family and friends who are teachers, and nobody… nobody wants to teach middle school. The kids are just the worst.


My mom was a para for BD kids for many years. I know she had seen some crazy stuff, but holy cow this school… I am not sure what they need to do, but it needs to change. It sounds like something from an 80s movie.

I know there have been criticism about how school systems set some students up to fail, but at the same time chaos sets them ALL up to fail. I understand some kids lack role models and proper parenting and have issues from home that is brought into the school. It sounds like more resources are needed to combat this.

ETA - Middle School BD kids.


In the ole century they [teachers] were allowed to beat us, ah the good ole days.


That is hard to watch. Especially when you contrast that report with this short video from 3 years ago about the same teacher – when she was teaching 6th grade.


Yet another example of why we need a greater number of small public schools with smaller class sizes and smaller student bodies. It’s not just a matter of teacher to student ratios, it’s also a matter of the sense of community. Adults have difficulty maintaining their humanity when stuck together in large, arbitrary groups. How the hell can anyone think that children would be better at it? They’re even less self-aware than adults tend to be.


Middle school is a barely-contained horror show of hormones and sociopathic, half-formed minds. I went through NYC teaching fellow back in the day, and the middle school teachers were always the first to walk away from the program, and always with a look in their eyes like they couldn’t believe what they’d seen. Anywhere middle school appears to be working, they’re either doing something very different from traditional schooling, or it’s all an illusion of stability.

IMHO all kids from the ages of 13-16 should just be incubating, waiting to emerge from their cocoons into high school. Vision quest, manual labor, art camp, or some kind of rotation of the three, but all with in-depth emotional support. Whatever it is, they certainly shouldn’t be just left to their own half-developed devices to struggle through the classrooms and locker rooms in a mini-high-school environment with the expectation that they will be able to act like fully-formed young adults.


Whenever I meet someone who teaches junior high, my standard joke is to ask if he gets danger pay on top of his salary. In this case, it wouldn’t be so funny.


Middle school students (grades 6-9) are difficult, frustrating and challenging. Especially when being raised in an anarchic environment. They will also surprise you again and again with acts of kindness that seem to come out of nowhere. Loyalty is everything and social alliances are at the core of their perceived standings.

Developmentally speaking, the age where adolescence starts is where children react to the realization that the world of their peers is larger and more complex than the world of the parents/grandparents, and that it’s the opinions of peers that matter when it comes to what will make a difference in their lives.

Honestly, the progression of children through adolescence is one of the most fascinating times to watch and be part of. And as a part time teacher from the distant past (teaching in a stable, well supported environment) I feel lucky to have spent time with a variety of teenagers, watching them cultivate and adapt their own personas to their perceived social needs and talents. Even though I’m way out of the teaching field now, I wouldn’t trade my experience with teaching younger adolescent children (grades 6-8) for anything.

Having said that, what this teacher had to deal with is way beyond tolerable. It’s as if the community is creating a system to transform human beings into monsters through systematic devaluation of their humanity and their compassion. The really difficult part will be trying to turn them back into human beings once the transformation is complete.


Anybody else think it would have been appropriate for the school board, after the shocking and show-stopping presentation by the resigning teacher, to set aside business as usual and spend at least five minutes thinking about, talking about, or at least acknowledging what they just heard? Instead of going on as if nothing had happened?


The NRA wants school teachers to be armed.


Living in Baltimore, these types of stories are quite common among teachers in K-12. And while school itself is sometimes a part of the problem, the reality is, you really can’t understand what is going on here unless you look at what these children’s lives are like outside of school. Between what they deal with on the streets, and inside of their own homes, schools and teachers are given an often impossible job of trying to teach, when even a handful of kids who are totally off the rails can bring learning for everyone to a halt. Heck, there was an entire season of The Wire that focused on this.

How does one even begin to attack the larger issues at play here? I would submit that it has to be holistic, otherwise it’s a waste of time. And we are not even close as a society to wanting to attack these issues holistically. Sure, you can say family and bad parenting is part of it, and it is, but that too rolls up to bigger societal issues that many folks don’t even think exist.

I don’t have kids, and thank goodness. Doing my part for the global carbon load, heh.


To be fair there’s only, what, a few thousand ways that could go terribly, terribly wrong.


Such hyperbole. There aren’t that many targets children.


Ah, yes, but shall you bring down the children with precise center-mass shots in .40 S&W? Gory .45ACP headshots? Workmanlike 9mm double taps? Find them behind soft cover with surplus 7.62x25mm Tokarev rounds? Bring down the whole class with precisely controlled gouts of automatic fire in 5.56x45mm? Those surplus M4s have to go somewhere, after all, why not double English in room 105 with Ms P?

See. You’ve neglected the combinatorics of the issue.

(I am the rare and endangered pro-gun leftie, but for the love of all that’s whole and at least half of the things that aren’t don’t arm schoolteachers.)


My son just finished ninth grade (in Seattle’s Central District), so his middle school years aren’t too far behind him. I never knew how good he had it. Middle school for him was almost completely drama free. The biggest problems were some boring teachers and classes and a too-strict teacher or two. I can’t imagine how horrible all our lives would have been if we’d lived through something like that Wisconsin school.


Well thank Dog that DeVoss is going to get rid of those filthy public schools and replace them with glorious private schools!! The children will be so much better off and will have perfect manners!!



This is right on.

I can say (anecdotal evidence, but here it is) my daughter’s middle school experience was fantastic (only 2 years, as 6 was her last year of upper elementary). It was due to the fact that her class was so small (10 students at most) and in a Montessori setting. Her teachers were able to give more individualized attention because of the class structure and the students were given an increasing amount of responsibility over the 2 years. Last year, the teacher had them basically plan their entire trip to the beach - including budgeting and making dinner each day they were there (and they came in under budget). Kids can do this stuff, they just need the opportunity and the expectation that they do.