Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Disruptive students

Anonymous wrote:

"Nina Esposito just sent out another disgusting "bide my time" email regarding the lack of options when dealing with disruptive students and claiming in the same email that teachers don't want students suspended necessarily. She's right. We want them thrown out. Nina, what's Clayton? Isn't that an option? To her,no. Her option is to send out a survey so she can read the findings three months later when school is over. How many students are enrolled in Clayton, Nina? Is it filled to capacity as it should be? Answer: not even close. Nina, you are weaker than the Student Code of Conduct handbook. "

24 comments:

Questioner said...

One of the issues with Clayton is that when Roosevelt set up this alternative, at great expense. he never mentioned that it would be necessary for a student's parents to approve referral to Clayton. And so, there was no discussion of what would be done to make Clayton an attractive option, and what would happen when students refused to go. Just images of the tranquil classrooms that would result if the Board would just agree to Clayton.

Anonymous said...

I'm not very familiar with Clayton or the process - schools can suggest that students be transferred there if they have behavior problems in another PPS school? What is the program? Is it academic classes or do they do other things to improve a child's behavior? Do students stay there until they graduate or age out? What type of behavior would cause a students to be sent there? I'm accustomed to classroom teachers managing conduct within their own classrooms, with careful use of referrals to the office and detentions, which don't work if they are a teacher's only methods.

PPS teacher said...

Let's go back twenty years or so. Teachers could expect help from administrators in those days. Disruptive students could, and would, be removed from classrooms - at least on a temporary basis. The needs of the kids who wanted to learn took priority over the needs of a few disruptive students.

Then came "Discipline with Dignity". Now we have "Restorative Practices", which is even worse. The priority has shifted from trying to keep classrooms orderly to trying to help individual disruptive students. That doesn't sound too bad, does it? Well, it is bad. Entire classes now get put on hold for the benefit of a few disruptors.

Anyone who thinks this process can be reversed is, sadly, dreaming. The genie is out of the bottle. The best we can hope for is that some day the Board reinstitutes genuine Honors classes. Then uninterrupted learning can occur at least somewhere in our schools.

Anonymous said...

It's sad to think of unruly classrooms and the admin refusing to face it.
What about making the parents MUCH more accountable? Would that work? This will not end well when more and more parents reject PPS as a viable option.

Anonymous said...

Admin/ restorative advocates etc will not face : every time a class is disrupted, or a learning student is injured they go home with a story. And a parent asks, "what did the teacher do?" The variations of "nothing" keep happening-- Trust me-- "called the kid's Mom" means nothing to the parent or child whose day was ruined. It seems like NO ONE cares about the kid who is sitting every day trying to learn. These parents ARE involved-- and the others-- they have no clue and often no desire to even suggest that their disruptive students settle down to school. Yes, they have problems-- but so does the poor student sitting day after day trying to learn.

Anonymous said...

Stick a fork in the PPS turkey---it is DONE! The pop-up timer has been sticking out for years.

Anonymous said...

There needs to a school like Clayton for elementary students. Most of the PPS students in my Hill District school are peaceful and just want to learn. It is a VERY small percentage of students causing ALL of the problems. It's time to send them to a school like Clayton.

Nina thinks if she says something enough times, it becomes true. Her new line "teachers don't want suspensions" is her new "Don't you just LOVE RISE" Remember how she shoved that down our throats while telling us WE wanted and WE liked it.

I don't want supensions, I want expulsions. It's downright abusive to the majority of students who want to learn and enjoy being in school. They are suffering at the hands of a small amount of chronically disruptive, violent, and verbally abusive students. These students need a more intensive and restrictive environment where they can hopefully rehabilitate themselves and where they can at least only disrupt other disruptive students.

They want us to sacrifice 18 on task and engaged learners to save one or two chronic offenders with uncooperative parents??? Today I had 15 students sit for at least 15 minutes today while a girl physically attacked and assaulted me over items that she was told to put in her locker, then proceeded to tear down curtains, kick over furniture, and destroy the room.

Then we lost even more instructional time locating security, finding the girl after she ran off, writing referrals, and putting the room back together. The rest of the class was just sitting there quietly through ALL OF THIS just waiting for me to continue the lesson.

There are one or two children daily in EVERY classroom stealing instructional time from other students. It's abusive and wrong and it is why we are losing good students. Some of the parents are as bad or worse than the kids. It's complete lawlessness. It's so unfair to the majority of nice students who are held hostage by these few children.

Instead of spending millions of dollars to create community schools and restorative practices for a few bad apples in each school, it would make more sense to just create a school for the students who need instense behavioral help. Please let the other kids learn. I've said this again and again to Nina and told her this in that daggone survey, but she is pushing this down our throats.

I guess the only option we still have as teachers is to press civil and/or criminal charges against students or encourage the parents of children who are victimized by these students to file charges. If Nina's children or many of our principal's children were sitting in classrooms having their time wasted or being abused by these students, something would be done about it.

Questioner said...

In addition to parents having to agree to a placement, Clayton reportedly also cannot accept students with an IEP or special education, or adjudicated students. With this alternative not solving problems at the 6-12 level, it would not make sense to expand it to elementary school. Maybe the money that would have been spent on an expansion could be used instead for an aide for classrooms that need one- so that the aid could write the referral, etc. or better yet assist the student before things got to a crisis point.

Anonymous said...

Clayton was only designed for non IEP behavior issues. Many severe behavior problems with IEP's would be served in an ES classroom. I also think McNaugher is a school for students with IEP's and behavior problems. Clayton was designed for behavior problems with no IEP or disability that contributes to or causes the behavior.

Who said Clayton not working? Is it not filled with students? I'm sure it is. Are the schools that sent their disruptive students to Clayton regretting that choice? If the child was chronically disruptive in any other district, they would be facing expulsion. Parents should be given a choice between Clayton and an expulsion. That would solve the choice issue. By the time a school has enough documentation to send a child to Clayton, I'm sure they have amassed enough for an expulsion. The other choice the parents have is to do their job and control the kid.

Extra aides is not a sustainable option. Adding two aides per class, for the two most disruptive students will cost what? $100,000 a year per class? That's millions of dollars per school per class and students are still distracting the other kids. Maybe the parents should be charged a fee for this. These children we are talking about have no diagnoses, no behavioral IEP, no medical cause for this extra need. They are just "bad" and they are getting worse as they learn there is no accountability or consequences. The teachers are trying everything they can. Soon there will be neighborhoods where no teachers will want to teach, because with no rules or order, the only thing we can do is try to find a place to work where there are more parents who are doing their jobs.

Put these kids in a school together and send the intensive help to that school. They need it. They are not learning appropriate behavior at home. Parents can accept the placement or be expelled. The way we are doing things is causing children to lose their lives as teenagers. They have no sense of right or wrong and no respect for authority. If the child has no IEP or disability causing the behavior, then there is only so much the teacher can do and only so much the other children should be forced to endure. Parents can do their job or hit the road. The parents don't even care about disciplining their kids anymore because they know they can send them to school, let them act any old way, not pick up the phone or attend meetings with teachers, etc. and there wil be NO CONSEQUENCES. At least a suspension hassles the parents and gives them some incentive to reinforce good behavior.

Anonymous said...

Oliver citywide does behavioral support for IEP students too.

Anonymous said...

http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/letters/2017/01/22/Schools-superintendent-Anthony-Hamlet-deserves-credit-for-progress/stories/201701220184

Nina doesn't work for us she works for the board. we need to come together and let her know we are not going to allow her to shut our voices out. Hamlet paid this company of course they are going to praise him for hiring them. He used tax payers money to come in and look at our infrastructure when I'm pretty sure that's his job. We paid him, to pay someone else, to give him recommendations on how to do his job. Can I hire someone to come in and tell me what my students need? She has lost her fire and is an ineffective leader

Anonymous said...

As a taxpayer, I worry how much Mr Hamlet is going to blow-up the budget.
He should have come with the answers, not commission studies with taxpayer money.
When is he expected to make the difference? How long?

Anonymous said...

He just spent more tax payer money hiring 75 teachers, parents, and principals to meet for more than 40 hours each to review reading curriculums and make a recommendation. He then decided to go against the committees decision and stated in the agenda review meeting that basically it was his choice and he is not concerned that a committee of people who actually know how to teach reading does not agree with his decision. At the same time releasing a press release stating this is what the committee chose. Waste of tax payer money and time. He is still lying and where is Nina??? Probably writing a letter now to defend him.

Anonymous said...

11:16, That's what I was afraid would happen. Plus, the Board giving him a blank check to make him appear successful since they have so much invested in his hire.
Wasn't he supposed to come with a skill set?
I worry about a big property/school tax increase.

Anonymous said...

Any teacher who wants to expel students and charge parents needs to leave the district NOW. Go work somewhere else, you are causing children harm.

Anonymous said...

I have heard rumors that a committee on student behavior in a school is actually planning a program for teachers to create lesson plans to teach kids how to act when going to the bathroom and how to conduct themselves in the halls between classes. So now it is teachers who have to teach the kids what should have been learned at home by grade 3? When it becomes the teachers responsibility to teach kids how to behave, how are we going to raise any scores on any assessment? THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT SCHOOL, ASSESSMENTS or OTHER PEOPLE. The kids don't care because the adults in their lives don't care. I am sure a large percentage of you liberal "don't blame the kids lets use restorative practices" backers do not want to hear this but, your beliefs are and will destroy public education in Pittsburgh. The level of student disgraceful behaviors has grown so awful in the last five years, normal people who act and know how to be respectful, would not believe how kids talk and act in front of adults. The only conclusion I can come up with is these kids model the behaviors of what they see at home. Kids today use the "F" and "N" word every sentence they speak. There is no other conclusion as to why these kids talk and act like they do. Their role models at home act like animals, and their children are a product of what they see and hear from the day they were born. I actually don't blame the students. Most don't have a chance since they have not been exposed to "normal" behaviors, and come to school with the only things they have learned at home. What breaks my heart are the few "good" kids who have loving and caring parents and have to try and learn in a class where many kids just walk around bullying others, cuss at teachers, walk in and out of classrooms, throw books, pencils, chairs, and have no fear of being stopped because of the lack of consequences. Restorative Practice is a joke. The kids are street smart enough to understand nothing will be done to them when they destroy educational settings, and steal the education from the few good students who go to school to learn. The people who think this system will work are either reaping financial benefits, or are just clueless. NO KID WILL CONFORM WHEN THY KNOW THERE ARE NO REAL CONSEQUECES FOR THIER BEHAVIORS. NO KID WILL LISTEN WHEN THEY ARE TOLD AT HOME TO NOT CARE ABOUT THE TEACHERS. NO KID CAN LEARN WHEN THEY COME TO SCHOOL REEKING OF MARIJAUNA EVERY DAY. The topics that kids talk about today are drugs, guns, sex, and how to get more. The thing that excites kids today are in school fights and who can video and post the fight online first. The cell phone is destroying a whole generation of young adults who have no idea how to regulate their behavior, and do not know right from wrong. People of Pgh listen, your educational system is in shambles because of the few in power who refuse to admit the real problem. That problem is the "PARENTS" The parents need to have some type of intervention program that will teach them how to be parents. At the rate of decline that I have seen, soon there will be some unbelievable awful episode or event that will shock even the most seasoned and experienced educator and law enforcement officer. Something awful will happen and if the powers that be don't soon come up with a plan to save our children from their parents this event will open the eyes of many (maybe). I hope those in power will heed this warning but of Course it wont happen. How dare someone even mention that some of the parents of our kids are not doing a good job. No, the problems are always blamed on discrimination or prejudice. The mindset that the educational system is built to discriminate against children of color is ridicules. Since a portion of a culture refuses to admit to its inability to conform to societies rules and regulations, all that is left is to play the "blame" game. Blame it all on others, but do not dare blame those who are the problem.

Anonymous said...

Posters like 10:52 have no clue. I'm sorry to be rude, but you have no clue. I teach in an elementary school where we have had to lock children out of classrooms to stop them from attacking children and teachers. A child actually took a fire extinguisher and tried to bash a locked door open to continue the assault. Teachers are being injured. These behaviors are harming and traumatizing the children. The teacher who wishes to have these violent children removed so the other children can feel safe at school is NOT harming children. School is the last safe space for many of our children and they are being terrorized by a small percentage of children who need a different type of placement. If a parent refuses to meet with the school, refuses to pick up the phone, refuses to speak to the child, etc. then what do you suggest should be done? That is criminal in my eyes. If a parent refuses to take a child to the doctor, sends a legally blind child to school for months or years with no glasses, sends them with rotting and abcessed teeth, etc., then the solution is to put doctors offices in schools??? These are criminal and abusive behaviors. I would expect to be cited for treating a pet with such blatant neglect. It's cruel and abusive. Yes, community schools can help children, but parents need to held accountable too. Most kids eat breakfast at school, lunch at school, go to an after school program until night time where they are fed, take home food from school for the weekend, etc. Now we want to provide medical care and even more services. What exactly are the parents still responsible for?

Anonymous said...

7:49 and 4:47

What do you do to help yourself get through your day?

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to have a camera in the classrooms? Would the kids behave differently if they knew their behavior would be documented. Please don't tell me privacy laws forbid it.
If so, how about in the back of the classroom where you don't see many faces. I think if teachers spoke up about what really happens in classroom we would have more demand for change from the public. Do teachers feel they have to keep this secret?

Anonymous said...

8:28, PPS teacher here. And I think having cameras in the classroom is an excellent idea! There are cameras in the school hallways, so why not in the classrooms?

Maybe a lawyer will correct me, but I believe that in Pennsylvania you can legally videotape a person - or group of persons - without their consent if no audio is recorded.

But of course a PPS teacher would first have to get permission to set up a camera in his/her classroom. And that permission would never come. A camera would ruin the narrative that it's all the teacher's fault.

Speaking of cameras, like most PPS teachers I've broken up hallway fights. And many times I was told afterwards that there's no video of the fight. Because the hallway camera was "broken". Yeah, sure it was.



Anonymous said...

In the digital age of camera phones.......who needs permission?

Anonymous said...

11:15, PPS teacher here (again).

It's true that in this digital age, permission wouldn't be needed in order to record something. Just hit the record button.

But prior permission would be needed if a teacher wanted to use the video as evidence of some sort. Because without permission the teacher would be targeted. It wouldn't matter what horrors the video might show. The teacher would be targeted for recording without permission.

When in doubt, blame the teacher. If at all possible, blame the teacher. If a student starts a fight, blame the teacher. Etc, etc. That's just how the PPS rolls.

Anonymous said...

Some classrooms, at least in high school, have cameras where valuable equipment is at risk. High tech classrooms most likely. Dice and Sci-Tech come to mind. It has been a few years since I had a high schooler, so parents, please chime in here, or maybe security staff know details.

Anonymous said...

6:17
I had a camera in my classroom. It was linked to the digital recorders in the security office. No audio. The recorders held the video for 16 days. it was then automatically deleted. Security did not usually show the video to teachers or parents. A copy of any segment could be burned to disc if needed for court.