Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Return of the Gun Boys

There was another school shooting this week.  That is worrying for many reasons but some of those reasons hit very close to home.  Years ago there was a gun incident at my children's elementary school.  No one was hurt but the parents were, as you can imagine, very concerned.  The gun boys (as I think of them) seemed to disappear from the school, rumors abounded but nothing was known for certain.  One of my children was in the same classroom as one of the gun boys so I took it all very much to heart.

Fast forward to today.  Guess who's back?  Yes, at least one of the gun boys, and yes, he's sitting in a class with one of my little snowflakes.  This pulls me in two directions.  I believe in redemption, though it does not sound like this gun boy is any more mentally stable now than he was then.  I believe everyone deserves the chance for a good education, something the schools in my area provide.  I also understand how disruptive the presence of one or more "acting out" students can be in a group.  I know that as just a parent volunteer; teachers can probably tell a lot more alarming stories.

One of the questions that always comes up when I talk with people about the Philadelphia schools is what do you do with students who have little or no interest in learning and who actively pull the gaze of the teacher and the other students to themselves on a regular basis, to the detriment of the learning environment.  What do you do with a student who destroys the projects or work of other students?  If you start warehousing them this early what hope is there for them?

And what the heck do you do with a gun boy?  To quote The King and I "is a puzzlement."

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