This was originally posted April 23, 2007.
8th graders! Grrr!
The teacher warned me that her 5th period was a bit unruly, so she advised that I have the students line up before letting them into class. Since lunch was right before 5th period, I figured that the best way to accomplish this was to take my time getting to the classroom. I had a 6 minute passing period. I got to class with maybe 2 minutes before the bell.
They were all congregated on the sidewalk in front of the classroom. Well, most of them were. Some were on the grass. And about five boys were tossing around this stuffed Fred doll (Fred of the cartoon Scooby Doo). "Tossing": picture them flinging the thing at each other like a weapon, using it as a baseball bat, and stomping on the thing.
As it turned out, the teacher was right. They came into the classroom much more calmly than they probably would have otherwise. But the poor Fred doll? By the time I started class, it was in pieces. One boy had the head. Another boy on the other side of the classroom had the torso. A third boy threw away one arm and one leg, and I lost track of the other arm and leg.
I was unable to find the owner of the doll. No one knew where the boys had gotten it from. And the whole incident was disturbing on many different levels. However, there is one good lesson from this: never give a 13-year-old boy a stuffed doll. He will likely destroy it just for "fun".