Whatever Happened to Civility?

After escorting my students to the bus Monday, I walked back into the building just in time to see one of the football players run down the hall and practically tackle another of the players and put him in a headlock.

“B-Boy,” I said, “get your hands off him.”

“We’re just playing,” B-Boy said.

“I don’t care. You keep your hands to yourself.”

Grudgingly B-Boy released his erstwhile prisoner, and the two of them walked back up the hall, where the rest of the team was waiting for their coach.

I went to my classroom picked up a few things and locked the door. As I approached the still-waiting football team, I saw that B-Boy had yet another student in a headlock.

“B-Boy,” I said, “for the second time, keep your hands to yourself.”

“This is my turf,” B-Boy retorted, “and here’s the line.” He drew an imaginary line on the floor with his foot and dared me to cross it.

“That’s it,” I said, “you’re not going to talk to me or any other adult like that. We’re going to the office.”

Fortunately, the acting principal was available, and I filed a discipline referral. After he read the report, he assured me that the principal would take care of the matter in the morning. To B-Boy he said, “You’re to report here to the office at 7:30 tomorrow, with your parents.”

This morning I learned that B-Boy has been suspended for the rest of the week; he won’t return to school until Monday. Along with the suspension, I think that B-Boy should write me a letter of apology.

You think that’ll happen?

Nah, I don’t either.

Whatever happened to consequences that fit the crime—and civility?

Posted on September 29, 2009, in administrators, civility, consequences, turf wars. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. They won’t write you a letter. Sadly.

  2. I’m so sorry you had to deal with this. Don’t hold your breath for any sort of sincere apology. Civility is MIA in a large part of society.

  3. Thanks for being an advocate for civility in these uncivil times.

    All one need do to discern where the bar is set is to turn on Faux Snooze and take notes. Or go to a “town meeting” where the Raging Zombies out themselves.

    Not that “liberals” are always far above that level of discourse; I’m taking a break from socio-political commentary, as I found myself ranting more than I’m proud of.

    Anyway, thanks for holding the line.

  4. I don’t know If I said it already but …Great site…keep up the good work. 🙂 I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

  5. You know, MMT, I don’t think our society values civility anymore. . .not at all! If they did when would not see half the things we watch on tv . . .you know, I wished our administrator would make the kids write letters of apology when the kids disrespected us! And personally, I have never though suspension was a valid punishment, at my school after the suspension they get to make up all missed work. And it makes true punishment the responsibility of the parents. . .. and parents are NOT doing it here. Basically the child sits at home for a few days watching tv.

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