14 Sep 2014
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Brooms are for sweepin', SWAT teams are for fightin'

Brooms are for sweepin', SWAT teams are for fightin'
A teacher in Detroit will think twice before breaking up a fight again — at least in a way that some of our mothers might have found useful.

Granny did it, on the Beverly Hillbillys; you know Mammy did too. 

On Thursday a nasty fight broke out between two young men in a classroom at Pershing High School in Detroit. Being responsible for the safety of her students, the teacher picked up a broom and whacked one of them on the back a few times, yelling "Stop!" 

She's been suspended for violating the school's corporal punishment policy, and might even be guilty of child abuse.

Child Protective Services will be investigating. 

A teacher who tried to break up a fight.

Forget that this teacher, a small woman, was looking after the interests of her students under stressful, violent circumstances.

She didn't run away, or involve other students in the conflict. Instead she acted strongly and decisively.

Which is precisely why she has to be punished: Kids are allowed to beat the hell out of each other, but nothing more than kid gloves will be available to the person who might have to protect one of them.

Everyone's safer that way.

Except, of course, when badge-wearing, uniformed members of official authority have to be called in. The Rapid Response Team, or whatever. Let the experts handle it, lady. They have a plan.

And don't you tell me kids aren't learning anything in school! One of the students involved in the fight actually said he felt no responsibility for the teacher being fired, because she should have just stood there and let them beat each other until security finally arrived.

Bureaucracy über alles.

They'll  be gentle.

According to her union president, the teacher is officially at fault.

But thank goodness she has union representation! he said, for it has been revealed that the school might really be at fault: Safety procedure requires that teachers have a functioning two-way radio in the event of an emergency. This teacher did not.

Let's hope she's reinstated soon.

But she will return to her duties having learned a few valuable lessons: Don't think for yourself; that's what the SWAT team is for. You're responsible, but not really. Follow procedure. If procedure fails, call your union rep. Repeat Lesson #1.

What a tangled, illogical place, our public schools are.

How did teachers handle these situations before hand-held two-way radios, tax-funded emergency services, and the teachers' union?

With a broom, maybe? 

Critical thinking doesn't fit in the system.


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