“First Day Back and We Had to Call the Police” Monday January 9, 2017

Fairfax County Public Schools and their Steps to Maintain School Security

Apparently having the police come to escort a child to the school office is not that uncommon. And it had to be one of my students, of course.

Basically, Tyrese came in pissed off about something. I think he might’ve said that he didn’t get to eat breakfast, which is kinda stupid considering that we provide breakfast for him. But anyway, he was late to school and he came in with his coat on.

So, like an idiot, I asked him to take off his coat and hang it up. He said,”No. I don’t wanna.” And it went downhill from there.

At first he decided just to sit there with his arms crossed and I had already decided that my attention will be directed towards the students that are behaving. I ignored Tyrese and didn’t give into his defiance. Because that’s what he wants. He wants to get in an argument with me. He wants to engage me. By ignoring him, I’m not giving him what he wants.

We start our morning journals and Tyrese starts making faces at one of the girls. I tell her to just ignore Tyrese. But first she laughs because he sticks his tongue out, then she engages and starts sticking her tongue out back at him. Now I’m getting upset because I told her to ignore him. I tell her if she can’t focus she can move to the back table. It continues, I eventually move her to the back table.

But Tyrese already has his mark. He leans back in his chair and waits for the girl to turn around. She eventually does, Tyrese sticks his tongue out again and she squeals again and tells me “Tyrese is still making faces at me!”

I give Tyrese another warning to do his work or he can stay in at recess and do it with me (although I don’t really think he minds). He doesn’t start his work. He eventually gets bored and starts walking around and bumping into everybody’s chairs.

Please remember, there’s nothing I can do. I can’t physically force him to sit down, I can’t yell at him, I can only give him his direction and threaten to call home if he can’t behave, which I do and he doesn’t care.

I reinforce everybody for ignoring distractions until Tyrese eventually steps out into the hallway. I’m actually thankful that he’s out of my classroom and I slowly walk to my door and close it. That’s when I actually do make physical contact with him.

The door can’t be slammed, it closes slowly. Before it closes Tyrese puts his foot in the doorway to keep it from closing. I take my foot and push his foot back into the hallway. The door closes and locks him out.

At this point, we’re moving on to science. Which is actually a really cool lesson complete with a fun video. Tyrese starts knocking on the door and I tell the class to ignore him. My lesson goes well. The kids are laughing, I’m having a good time. And I like that Tyrese wants back in.

There’s a window on my door and eventually I see Tyrese walk away. That’s when I use my cell phone to call the office through the switchboard and tell Principal Belstead that Tyrese is wandering the hallways.

I reopen my door and I don’t hear anything else about Tyrese for the rest of science and into social studies. Until we see two police officers walk past my classroom and Principal Belstead come to grab Tyrese’s backpack. She also asks me for the work he has to do. I give it to her.

I find out later from Ms. Baker that both she and Principal Belstead went to get Tyrese and he ran away from them. She said he eventually ran upstairs to the second level at which point they had Mary our custodian block one stairwell while Principal Belstead called the police. They were worried that he might run out of the building. Apparently Ms. Baker and Principal Belstead are trained to physically stop a student if he’s being a danger to himself or others, but in this case they thought it best to call the police considering how large he is for an 8 year old. They also called Tyrese’s mother, but she said she wouldn’t be able to make it until lunchtime.

Which meant that our city’s finest had to be called to escort a 2nd grader to the principal’s office.

Ms. Baker said that when Tyrese’s mom finally did show up to pick him up and bring him home that she was screaming at him. She was furious that she had to leave work, furious that they had to call the police, and furious that he didn’t even have a good reason.

What a great way to start the new year!

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