Students will be able to create an outline for a persuasive essay.
Today we learned that it’s wrong for a kid who says he needs a tissue to get the box and my tape dispenser and proceed to tape a Kleenex mustache across his face. We also learned that just because he is of a race other than white, it a) doesn’t make him any less wrong and b) doesn’t make me racist to call him on it. Because, apparently, any time I call a student out who is not white for doing something out of line, it’s because I’m racist. I recognize they are kidding around, but it’s extremely disappointing to hear how often they toss around words I don’t think they fully understand. It reminds me of the South Park episode where the fourth graders discover if a kid calls Child Protective Services and tell them “My parents molestered me” (typo intended), their parents magically disappear and they have the whole town to themselves – without having any idea what they are saying or the consequences of their actions.
This lack of understanding is playing out on the secondary school level in a neighboring school district that has experienced multiple evacuations recently as they discover bomb threats written in bathrooms. They of course must take each one seriously, and student after students is getting arrested as copycats step up in their place. Students have discovered that they only have to sharpie a threat with a time somewhere it can be found, and school gets canceled for the day; this has happened at various campuses in the district no less than nine times in the last two weeks. Rumor has it they are going to lose spring break soon if it doesn’t stop. I’ve talked this over with my students about why students in that district are morons to keep joking about this, but I think it’s sad the lack of forethought the students involved have. I think (at the ripe old age of 23), “Was I that dumb in high school?” The answer is, most likely, yeah, but now that I’m older and wiser (again, 23), surely I know better by now, and it is my duty to impart the wisdom of my years to my students and convince them to not do stupid stuff like this. If the loss of spring break doesn’t work, I imagine the district will start removing all doors on the bathrooms, as this is where the threats keep revealing themselves. Since one of the most important things to teens is privacy, I imagine this technique would certainly have some effect.
I read your blog frequently and it is so eye-opening! What patience you must have to deal with these kids each and every day. You're in the trenches, doing the good work and I'm thankful these teens have you teaching them. Rock on!