As per my deal with Pledge LA, I have been relatively positive in the Mad Max-like environment of our school. I have followed the “chain of command,” such as it is, and done my best to levy criticisms that only stick to two categories: instruction, and student safety. I have tried to be patient.
At this point, some seven weeks into school, student schedules are still “flexible” to say the least. Safety is nonexistent, as fights are erupting on campus with an alarming regularity. Often, they are the same kids, key players who have determined, accurately, that there are next to no consequences for their actions. Tardiness and truancy are rampant, which is unusual in middle school, especially within the first quarter of the school year.
This artwork is about precisely that. We are past the point where out of classroom people, like counselors and Instructional Specialists, like Campus Supervision Aides, can get away with not doing their jobs, and doing them well. CELDT testing needs to happen, and furthermore, baseline data for students needs to happen. I need stable, accurate rosters so that I can give fair grades. My students have to assume that they can get through the day without being hit by another student, or otherwise harassed.
So…I’ve started to straight up say to people, “Do your job.” That’s it. I’ve been standing in the face of out of classroom personnel, and after an incident, quietly but firmly said, “You need to do your job.” Or “You need to get your staff to do their jobs.” My favorite response was on Wednesday, from an Instructional Specialist who said, “What are you talking about? I was right there with you.”
The last time I heard that, over a safety matter, it was a lie too. It made it very easy to take the second day of Rosh Hashanah off for observances.
As I understand it, that was a wise choice, as my school became something of a demilitarized zone. Two security lockdowns in my absence, both with shots fired. Spent casings were found on our school steps…or so I was told by another staff member.
That, though, is a tale for another day…Monday, most probably.
The artwork above is about the sheer amount of menace, of cajoling that it takes to get documents from the school, that are in fact Public Record. Granted, a California Public Records request can be made, but that takes time, as well as its own kind of cajoling and menace. I’ve started to assemble the things that I need to make some pretty important points, but it’s an uphill battle. People don’t want to be held accountable, especially when all the minions of evil know that the ship is sinking.
Next Issue: Sunday Bonus Post!