Dennis did not want to change desks

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Dennis kept talking to his neighbor so I asked him to change desks. He responded with “a string of profanities” and was asked to go to the Dean’s office. He never arrived.

Eduhonesty: We call this “abusive language” and “defiance.” I assure readers that the whole class was riveted to this interchange by the end. In an ideal world, a security guard escorts Dennis to the Dean’s office, but sometimes security is too busy to arrive quickly (Frankly, I’ve experienced a number of times when they never arrived at all.) so I’m pretty sure I just sent him out the door, referral in hand, to staunch the flow of curse words and get the class back on track. I’m not allowed to leave the classroom for liability reasons. I most likely asked some other teacher to watch his progress down the stairs, if anyone was in the hallway, but somehow he made his escape before he reached the Dean’s office.

He got one hour of in-school suspension for cursing me out, a fairly typical penalty. I could have raised a ruckus about that, but we were all clear this boy had some real emotional issues. A coworker once said that he thought this student would be the one to shoot up the school if it ever happened. I did not disagree. That boy entered school angry every day. The social workers were unable to help much. He reacted much better to men than women — but the available social workers were all women.

The saving grace to this situation — this is a sad, sad post — was that Dennis missed an enormous amount of school. On a good day, he stayed home.