“You Just Supervise This Area.”

Even Pony seems worried instead of angry.

Even Pony seems worried instead of angry.

A whole lot of questions have come forth about the Homecoming Game and Dance. That makes sense, and they will be answered. However, first I need to address another thing, 24-Hour Comic Day.

24-Hour Comics Day is an annual international celebration of comics creation. On this day, creative folks take on the 24 hour comics challenge: to create a 24 page comic book story, normally months worth of work, in 24 straight hours. Many participants gather at official event sites including comic book stores, schools, and libraries. Others take part in private gatherings, and many work on their own.

Every year since 2004 this event has taken place. It was this weekend this year, and I made an important decision. First, that I wasn’t going to attempt to do this at all. Sometimes a page takes me more than an hour, partially because I am not a pro. Secondly…having gotten home from the Homecoming Event at one in the morning, and needing time to process the events of Homecoming, I decided to not do a weekend post either. Every once in a while that happens, and this week was one of those times.

It was on Sunday afternoon that I drew today’s art and the next day’s, and they both firmly address Homecoming in our usual fashion. If you scroll up and check the art, some sort of dragon burning parts of the Edu-Mountain, with the protagonist not stepping in…that suggests something grim.

The school day ended, somewhat without fanfare. All of the Homecoming Court Nominees needed to meet with the Leadership Teacher, and Leadership, in turn, was supposed to decorate the gym. A small handful of the leadership group stuck around to do decor, and even fewer of those were useful. The sashes declaring the King and Queen came with a mistake on them, so at the last minute, I needed to sew entirely new ones, and iron on glitter letters. All of these are the kind of simple organizational crises that one expects from a high school dance. It was no trouble…and each was dealt with calmly and in order.

The candidates for Homecoming needed to be presented at half time, and there was only a vague plan for that. With my assistance, the Leadership teacher made it work reasonably well…there was almost a snafu of contradictory information given to the announcing girl, but that had been handled in advance. She simply didn’t know who had won in the voting, and as a result, couldn’t announce them. That was intended for the middle of the Dance itself.

Once the Dance started, my role was simple. I was given a metal detecting wand, and students needed to be scanned on the way in. There were two scanners assigned, one for each gender, and any bags coming in needed to be searched. In the wake of this past week’s shooting, that was a Serious job. Serious, but straightforward, and no real problems came of it. The students then showed ID at the next station, and were admitted to the Dance.

The Dance was well attended, and things were going pretty well. Then, at about Eleven Thirty PM, “IT” Happened.

Inside the Dance, two students got into a physical fight. Administrators and police leaped into action, pretty efficiently. In fact, that’s why the protagonist is sitting around uselessly in the art…despite being there as a supervisor, I was called upon very little, and had very little to do. The two students were easily located, and began talking with authorities…something I was very much not part of. The dance was then promptly ended, and students dismissed from campus.

I was called upon to assist with the dismissal, and then take custody of one of the cash boxes that held money received from the sale of snacks. A student of mine, during all of this got into some serious trouble for speaking his mind…loudly, and to police officers. There was very little I could do to assist that student, and I hope that it all works out well. It seemed like there would be stiff consequences.

I have no idea how this will affect future activities, if at all.

For me…it had a profound effect. This kind of thing…it’s what I’m USED to, as the day to day, happens all the time reality of Public School Education. I haven’t yet seen it at this school and as a result found it pretty jarring. In fact, it upset me more than you would think. It’s another part of the reason I didn’t draw over the weekend before Sunday…I was trying to wrap my head around this information.

Is this just what Public Education is? Should there be a very real expectation of violence at schools? Those were the questions on my mind, and I haven’t yet resolved them to my satisfaction.

The Admin Staff responded quickly, efficiently, and had the situation under control very promptly. That was pretty refreshing to see, after the reality of my previous school…where there were several fights per day, and very little was done to prevent, stop, or pursue consequences. Here, the staff were on their game, on point, and that was good.

They didn’t put me to much use, which seems both good and bad. Technically, it is very much not my job. Still, I had signed up to supervise, so clearly I’m willing to help. In the absence of orders, i did make myself quietly useful, and took on sensible supervisory tasks. Perhaps that is what they assumed would happen, that I would self assign sensible tasks in support of them. I’m not sure.

It was said that we needed more supervision, and more reliable supervisors. I can’t argue with that.

I certainly wonder what the next school activity will wind up being like. In fact, I would argue that we needn’t have any more dances…we lost money on the activity, and three students wound up in serious trouble that they could have avoided. Perhaps it could all be put on hold until Prom.

I do know that it strongly affected my motivation, my drive. I have to question what we are doing with public education, when these things seem to keep happening. Granted…it’s one fight. Doing the multiplication, one fight per seven weeks will get me to a total of about six fights, total, by the end of the year. Compared against the several fights exploding per day at my old school site, it almost seems like I’m being ridiculous.

Except…I’m not. We handled the door to a school dance with Airport Style Security Measures. Clearly, this is a Serious Issue, and even with four teachers and four administrators on hand, plus a local police presence, a fight STILL happened. What does that say about the decision making process of the young people involved? Or the ones that surrounded it, to watch, like a pay per view event?

What does it say about our culture, in general?

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