Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Suspended for Cell Phone

I met Beatriz at the beginning of the school year in this same class. She took an instant dislike to me. (That's putting it mildly. She developed a deep-seated hatred of me on sight.) So, when she saw that I was her sub for the day, she was not pleased. She had some not nice things to say about me which she said outside the door to the class before class started.

Of course, I could hear everything.

Beatriz started off challenging me right away. And as I was only going to be there for two days, I wasn't planning on getting into it with her. If she wasn't going to do any work, it was her grade. I heard her say something about the continuation high school, and I laughed to myself. If she's really going there soon, she's going to be seeing a lot more of me.

But this is just the set-up.

Beatriz and her friends thought it would be funny to play their music on their cell phones. Or maybe they weren't thinking. I gave them the usual warning (that is, I told them to put them away or I would take them away). They put the phones away.

And I knew immediately that I had been too lenient. The rest of the class let me know. They didn't say anything, but their manner told me loads.

Oops.

But there was no help for it now. I couldn't very well go and take Beatriz's cell phone from her when it was where it was supposed to be--away in her pocket or her backpack. (I don't know where it was. I didn't see it.)

I got busy helping another student.

I turned to go back to the front of the room. I glanced Beatriz's way and saw sitting on her desk--her cell phone. Now I had cause. I held out my hand.

"You're not taking my cell phone."

She had been warned. In fact, I don't have to warn her. School policy states that a seen or heard cell phone can be confiscated. So, I was well within my rights...

She wouldn't give it to me. So, fine. She gets a referral. (She refused to follow my instructions.)

This is already getting long, so I won't go into the argument she gave me over that referral. Eventually she left. After school I checked. She never made it to the office.

Okay, fine. Now she gets a referral for not only not giving up her cell phone but also for not going to the discipline office.

At the end of the next day I checked in with the discipline office. Curiosity. Did they talk to Beatriz? Turns out, Beatriz ended up suspended from school. Over a cell phone.

(The punishment for having a cell phone out: cell phone gets confiscated. A parent can pick up the cell phone after school the same day. End of punishment. And considering this all happened 6th period, Beatriz would have lost her cell phone for maybe a half hour.)

I am not looking forward to seeing her again. Although, the look on her face when she finds out I'm at the continuation high school all the time... Might be worth it.

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...


Have you ever hated someone on sight? Have you ever taken something so minor to such an extreme?

25 comments:

  1. Oh my. I don't think I could handle that kind of tension. Okay, I could, but it would give me an ulcer.

    True Heroes from A to Z

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  2. Oh my goodness. They don't pay teachers enough!!
    My heart goes out to you.
    Trisha Faye

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    1. Thanks. Sometimes I do feel like I need combat pay.

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  3. I always wonder what deep-seated issues a person has to dislike someone without even giving them a chance. For students, it's likely a dislike for authority figures in general...and a desire to rebel. You probably could have been anyone and she would have done the same thing.

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    1. Possibly. Or I could remind her of someone she hates. Or we met before in another class and I just don't remember her. Ah well...

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  4. She deserved it, imo. I can't believe the shite kids get away with in school these days. My feeling is that cell phones should remain in their lockers. It's just plain rude to be using your cell phone in class. They might as well be talking while the teacher's talking, which, essentially, they are.

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  5. My sympathies with you. I always hear about some students who would not listen no matter the consequences!

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  6. ugh! Such a silly, illogical thing to do on her part! My sympathies are definitely with you on this one!!

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  7. I don't think I'd ever take a so-called principled stand over a cell phone rule like that. But, then, I'm not a teenager anymore.

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    1. If she had just kept it put away after I warned her, it wouldn't have turned into such a big deal. And then she challenged me on it...

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  8. I’m curious about Beatriz. What is her position in the social hierarchy. Is she a leader type? I give you a lot of credit for dealing with this sort of thing. Also I feel sorry for Bea’s parents.

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  9. It sounds like she was being contrary for the sake of being contrary. I doubt she'll ever admit to herself that it was her own fault she got in such a mess.

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  10. I feel for Beatriz because you wonder what baggage she is carrying and she's far too young to carry it, know what I mean? At the same time, I sympathize with you becaue it has to be a nightmare to try to teach over cell phones, so a clear policy has to be enforced or the kids would be on their cell phones 24/7 during class time.

    Son lost his cell phone one time during class where I had to go and retrieve it at the end of the day. I was not amused, this was a long time ago, LOL, now that I think of it since he graduated in 2007 and that happened a year or so prior. I told him he would lose it permanently if I ever had to go and retrieve it again. I never had to, though I know he text during class......

    betty

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  11. When I taught English in Japan, a lot of students had their phones out and it was hard to say anything because sometimes it was to use the translator apps (although I never really approved of that either). Sometimes I'd go look over their shoulders though.

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  12. *opens mouth to say something, nothing comes out. Shakes head and shrugs* Really? Sigh. I don't envy you at the continuation high school either. It's already been said but it's true, teachers (of all sorts) don't get paid nearly enough.

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  13. At least most nine year olds don't have phones here but they do have footy cards, novelty erasers and various other annoying distractions which fill my top drawer until the end of the term :) I feel your pain!

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    1. Just wait. It won't be long before parents start giving their 9-year-olds cell phones. (I've heard of some parents giving them to 10-year-olds, so it won't be long...)

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  14. Goodness me, what a troubled child! The students at my youngest son's school in the UK (a primary which is the same as an elementary school) have to hand in their phones at the start of the school day and they collect them at the end - a good policy because why would they need them whilst at school?

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    1. I like that idea. Too bad they can't implement it here. Too many students. Too many cell phones.

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  15. Not hate, but strong dislike sure. Minor things to extremes. No, I usually keep my molehills manageable. It's tough when people push your buttons, and I find it hard to understand people's behaviour sometimes.

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  16. Things like that always start minor, that is why there are rules and procuedures in place - but if those rules and procedures aren't followed then it will be taken to extremes. It starts at school but kids don't realise (I'm sure I never did, although I was a goody-two-shoes) that it continues afterwards as well.

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    1. True. I guess we did her a service, showing her that if she insists on being belligerent, the system will push back.

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  17. In my daughters school cell phones are not allowed... and even if they take it, for some emergency, they put it on the silent mode.... Its very challenging to deal with this kind of situation.,,,

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    1. Their phones are supposed to be off (or at least on silent). That's the policy. But teenagers...

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