A Teacher who has been HIT BY A HIGH SCHOOLER NEEDS ADVICE!?

Question:I told all of the students to take out their HW and put it on their desk.(This was just a spot check)

One student refused and had a C.D. player on. I took the C.D. player off of his ears and asked to see his homework. He pulled out a paper that said F**K YOU! (I know this kid has issues so I just said AND YOUR REWARD FOR THAT IS A DOUGHNUT, do you want it chocolate, sprinkled or glazed?) In my class a Dougnut is a ZERO! When I checked the next person's paper in his row, he grapped me by the neck from behind and it felt like he tried to choke me. I got him off of me and he punched me in the face. I picked his NARROW AIZ UP BY HIS SHIRT AND SLAMMED HIM AGAINST THE WALL AND RESTRAINED HIM! Then he looked really scared and started apologizing.

1 Wk later his parents filed assault charges and now the head principal has placed me on suspension,
QUESTIONS
1. what do I do?
2. Was I wrong for restraining him?
3. Should I have let a snotty noise 15yr old beat the sh*t out of me?




Answers:
1. what do I do?

Get a lawyer.

2. Was I wrong for restraining him?

Nope. You are allowed to protect yourself from bodily harm. But, the question I would like for your attorney to ask at trail and your hearing is..."What training did your district give you in the proper procedure of restraining children at the building level."

3. Should I have let a snotty noise 15yr old beat the sh*t out of me?

Absolutely not.
I'm a teacher too so I sympathize but I think your mistake was physically taking the headphones off the student. You should have noticed that he was wearing them earlier or just asked him to take them off instead of taking that action yourself.

I hate to say this because I know what kind of crap teachers have to put up with but you actually started it with that action. If it was unprovoked then yes you have a right to defend yourself, but technically you assaulted him first.

Its important not to get vindictive with grades as well. I know that grades are one of the few tools with which teachers can have influence over their students and you do have a right to give him zero but I wouldn't have done it in such a dramatic way.

Stay calm and calmly tell him that he gets zero and I would not encourage jazzing it up with the doughnut act.

If you do approach a student that won't do as you ask then it is important for you not to yield but it is just as important not to get angry (difficult but important). If you lose your temper then you have lost control of the class.

Don't forget that for a lot of high school students getting the teacher angry is a game and they win if you get angry and you win if you manage to stay calm but firm.

P.S. - I have a similar story to tell if you are interested, just ask (I don't want to ramble on too long here)
You need to get a good lawyer. Schools have certain policies inplace.Provoked as you were by his actions you should have taken steps to ask the lad to take off the earphones.If he refused to do so at your request then you should have had taken him to the principal.You have a right to protect yourself but there were better methods of handling the situation.
1. Call your union rep! They will refer you to a lawyer!

2. Call the police and press charges against him for assault.

3. File a one million dollar law suit against him for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

4. Call local TV news stations and tell them your side of the story. Try to generate as much publicity as possible. There have been a couple of national news stories about teachers being seriously injured by students, so your local news will jump all over the story.

5. Call local conservative talk radio stations. They will definitely take your side over an out-of-control, violent juvenile delinquint. Don't be afraid to use the kid's name on the air, many, many times.

6. Burn his house down! (okay, that may be a bit extreme...)
1. what do I do?

You acted inappropriately on two separate occasions. First, you provoked him and humiliated him in front of the class. Your language and attitude was inappropriate, and if you acknowledge this kid has "issues", then surely you should know how carefully you need to treat him.


2. Was I wrong for restraining him?

You didn't restrain him, you attacked him. By you own admission, you "slammed" him against a wall. That is aggressive and dangerous. Restraint is when you passively hold a child to prevent harm. You didn't prevent harm, you caused it.

In fact, generally you shouldn't even restrain a child - simply remove yourself and all the other students from the room and leave him in there.

3. Should I have let a snotty noise 15yr old beat the sh*t out of me?

If that is you see children, you shouldn't be teaching at all. And if you honestly think your actions were right, you shouldn't be left near children ever.
1. I guess you find a good lawyer since the school district is not supporting you.

2. Yes you were wrong for restraining him. Its sad, but true. Not to mention you slammed him against the wall...that's not part of restraining someone.

3. Of course not, but there are other ways of handling an out of control student.

Frankly you sound like a hot head. If you cant keep your cool and keep your hands off students, you have no business teaching these days.

There were many many opportunities to prevent this from happening. If you ripped headphones off my head and I was a hormone raging 15 year old with issues I would have given you a mouthful too.

You are a poor teacher in so many ways. In fact, from your description you have done just about everything you can do wrong as a teacher. I really cant help you, nor do I want to.
Go immediately to your union rep! He grabbed you. Your union rep should act as your liason. You should talk to no one without a union rep present. If you don't have one on cite, contact the union directly. They really are there to help you!
Maybe you reacted with a heavy hand, maybe not. The fact is, teachers are humans and we react like human when threatened. The teacher union really can get you out of this jam. I don't know where you are so I can't send you directly to a site.

Good Luck!!
This is why I refuse to do high school. These punks have learned that they can be agressive and mommy and daddy will get angry and sue. Instead of realizing that their child has a portion of the responsibility.

Definately get your teacher's union involved. Hopefully, you belong to one. It could get very messy. Especially if you cannot get students to confirm the details of the situation the way you describe. It will be a battle of "he said, she said." And if the kid is popular, you may run into some liars covering for him.

Like I said, contact your teachers union ASAP, they should provide free legal help.
I'm sorry to be so blunt, but you can kiss your teaching career goodbye in this district. They will let you go, probably before your case goes to trial. I agree with the other responders that you need a lawyer to help you with what to do legally.

You were in the wrong. Period. You are supposed to be the adult, which means that you handle conflict in an adult and professional manner. You will not get (and probably do not deserve to get) the respect of students by embarassing them in front of their peers, snatching their belongings away, using sarcasm, and certainly not by using physical force against a child. Sorry, but high schoolers are still children even when their bodies are bigger than their teachers' bodies. You escalated a simple and common situation of a kid not being ready with his homework into a physical confrontation. You provoked the whole incident. Grow up and accept responsibility.

For some kids, their pride is about all they have. You can't take it away with impunity. The kid was wrong to retaliate, but I doubt he would have beat you up. Although I've never had anything even close to this happen to me, if it did, I would send a kid running for help in the next classrooom. Most boys back down once their "honor" has been restored. I'm so sorry this happened.
You were in the wrong. Legally when a child hits you you can defend yourself by walking away or putting your hands up to defend yourself. You can NOT put your hands on them. Period. Is it fair...well I'm not sure but it is the law. You started the situation when you physically removed the headphones from his ears. This was mistake number 1. Mistake number 2 was the smart a** comment you made to him about the zero (it heated the confrontation) and mistake number 3 was when you "slammed him against the wall and restrained him." In my opinion 3 strikes you're out. Say goodbye to your teaching license. If I were you I would stop speaking about this incident, even on the internet where you think you are anonymous, get an attorney and hope for the best.
Counter sue and file your own assault charges against the student.
I am so sorry that you are going through all of this. While you shouldn't have taken the headphones out of the student's ears, YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING TO DESERVE BEING CURSED AT, CHOKED OR GRABBED!

For God's sake, you are a human being! I don't care what some of the people here say, had someone - anyone - suddenly grabbed them the way he did you, they would have done the same thing! It is not like you turned around and hit him! I swear some people are living in fantasy land!

Get yourself a lawyer and fight!

Good luck!!!
If you really were defending yourself against his physical attacks, then I don't see how you could be fired or sued or anything. Are you a member of your state's teacher organization or union? If you are, you should be covered for legal help. If you're not, I would contact someone in HR and ask them for some legal options. The head principal is most likely placing you on suspension through protocol or to cover the school's butt until the situation is resolved. That sucks for you, but I have a feeling that would probably happen at lots of other schools as well. If HR is of no help, you may want to consider seeking your own legal advice. You could have technically filed a suit against him. I wonder if it's too late to do that. Please remember that when a situation arises in which the safety of your students may be threatened, your first priority is to secure their safety. It sounds like restraint was a necessary move, but I agree with everyone else in that your mistake was physically removing the headphones (why does he have them in class anyway?). I hope things work out for you!
This is definitely the time to get a lawyer, and start building a case. It doesn't really matter what really happened, but what will eventually appear to have happened with the student, and it all can change by whose telling the story. My suggestion is to hire someone that can be very aggressive on your side to either get the case dropped or to ensure that you win and go after them. And I'd imagine that the sooner you do this the better. They may suggest you press charges and collect documents before they disappear.

To answer your question... Get the lawyer. You're not wrong in definding yourself... maybe... but you are wrong in restraining him unless you are certified to restrain... which may lead to some gray areas. And yes, it would have probably been better to let him beat the sh-t out of you. He still would have been expelled, and you may not have had this problem... It doesn't mean that you weren't right- it just means you do have a lot of serious work to do now.
You should talk with your rep from the local district and make sure you have legal representation. Since states differ widely in what one is allowed to do should one be attacked by a student, it is up to your state laws as to what can happen. In my state you have a legal right to defend yourself even to the point of holding a child down/against a wall. You would be expected to do the same if the child attacked another child. I would certainly look into filing a police report and possible law suite against the child/guardians since he did attack a public official (yep, technically that is what a teacher is). I would also consider filing an unsafe work environment complaint if your administrators wish to discipline you further. Part of the problem with most teachers is that they always want to be the good guys and rarely stand up for their own rights as humans.
well for starters you were wrong for taking his cd player off his ears. you do not have the right to be able to do that. if he refuses to take the player out then you simply remove him from the class by calling security. doing this would have saved all this from happening. second when this happened you should of had him removed from your class and arrested for assault. because you failed at making the correct decisions you deserve what your suspension. as a fellow teacher i am concered about your professionalism. what to do? hope your union helps defend you as they may be required to do depending o the state. you were not wrong for restraining him but in certain states you are only allowed to do so if you have gone through the proper training in how to restrain someone without hurting them. no you should not have let him beat you but there was better choices to make.

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