Who Needs Caffeine?
When you work at my high school . . . before 7 a.m. there was a huge fight in the front lobby between Texas & Louisiana students. I came around the corner from the teacher's lounge to see my smallest teacher (I am the Fine Arts Department Chair and the youngest DC here - yea for me!) in the middle of at least 200 students - no exaggeration - attempting to keep two big guys from fighting. Before I could even think twice, I haul ass to where she was and pull back one of the guys. By this time, two of them are shirtless and the crowd is growing . . . when the crowd gets too big, it is hard to figure out the guilty parties! Within seconds, several other teachers and Assistant Principals were there along with our fearless Principal (she kicks ass)!
The student that I was pulling away was very aggressive and kept pulling away from me and trying to go after the "Texas Bitches". Did I mention this is a male fight? After a few minutes we got the two Louisiana students into the counselors office, found one of the Texas students, and managed to move the crowd into the cafeteria. I later found out that my teacher was choked in the fight by one of my students (one of the shirtless) to get her out of his way for more fighting!!!!! OH MY GOD! Now, I am a woman that can hold her own, but it still scares me to think of what these "kids" are capable of.
For those of you that don't live in this area, you may not know that it has been a rough transition integrating the people displaced from Hurricane Katrina & Rita. Stories have been all over the news about fights in school and more crime/violence in the community. It really is sad. During my eleven week Maternity Leave, I sat at home and read email after email about the conflicts on our campus. Rumors that students were bring guns & knives to campus to help "resolve" the problems. Since I returned to work last week, it has been obvious that there is a change in the atmosphere. It is tense and you don't want to say the wrong thing to hurt anyone's feeling or rub them the wrong way.
I think it's time to look for a new job . . .