The Essential Skill That No Teacher is Taught

A crazed student initiates a physical altercation with a teacher.

Unfortunately, it is not an uncommon occurrence.

But even still, after all my years of experience, I have no idea what the best way to handle such a situation is. Early in my teaching journey, I refused to defend myself against an emotional young boy who delivered a tirade of punches aimed at my ribs. I decided I would rather take the punishment than risk losing my career.

Interestingly, teachers update their first aid and anaphylaxis skills yearly so that their response will be informed, calm and conducted with a duty of care.

Surely, helping teachers navigate a scenario like the one in Miami would be beneficial. 

Video of the violent altercation was posted to social media after the student and the teacher were filmed brawling inside a classroom at Miami Central Senior High School on Monday. The teacher is seen pulling on the girl’s long hair and putting her into a headlock while pressing her onto a desk. She then loses her hold on the student, who charges the teacher and slams her to the ground as her classmates can be heard screaming, ‘Oh! Oh!’ A male student is seen pulling the schoolgirl off of the substitute teacher, who gets on top of the teenager and pins her to the ground.

The footage, which is approximately ninety seconds long, does not show how the fight began, although Miami-Dade Public Schools officials said the student was not supposed to be in the classroom. Other students at the school identified the teacher as ‘Ms Ferguson’ and said she is known as a nice teacher, according to WSVN.

For those who questioned my decision to let the child strike me, please refer to the official response by the school district which, even after the video went viral, referred to the well-being of the student before the safety of the teacher.

In a statement on Monday, school district spokesperson Daisy Gonzalez-Diego said: ‘Miami-Dade County Public Schools does not tolerate incidents that jeopardize the safety and well-being of students and staff members. We are deeply troubled by the behavior exhibited on this video.’

 

Special Announcement:

I am donating 100% of the royalties of my hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian, during the month of January to those affected by the devastating bushfires in my country, Australia. This book is perfect for children aged 9 to 14 and the ideal class novel for Upper Primary students. Please leave a comment to indicate your purchase. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link.

 

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2 Responses to “The Essential Skill That No Teacher is Taught”

  1. CARL R D'Agostino Says:

    I know the school as I taught in the district 34 years. These altercations are much more frequent than data indicates as well as are student on student fights. Many are never reported or deleted from district reports. I came pretty close to this level of violence at least a dozen times in my career. Most were a result of a student erupting uncontrollably due to being off his or her meds. .

  2. Michael G. Says:

    Thanks for the comment, Carl. What is the best way of handling such a situation?

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