Surprise! All security was pulled from my school Monday morning for a hearing downtown. None of the kids could go through scanning (metal detectors) so hundreds of high schoolers ran around the square my school is located in.
This is how my Monday started. I got off the train at the usual location - right in front of the stair case that will lead me directly to the appropriate exit I want out of the subway. (yes this intentional) I walk a block and turn a corner and to my surprise I see HUNDREDS of high school students outside my school. Odd I think to myself as I wave to a few students standing in line to enter the school and find my way to the teacher entrance.
Inside the school it is silent. You could hear the cars honking outside and NO ONE is around. No students, no security. Nothing. Well this is bizarre I think to myself, as I scan my elevator pass to head up to the sixth floor where I teach, but at least it gives me a few minutes to set up my classroom exactly the way I want it.
The building I work in has 8 floors. Each floor can hold roughly 500-600 students.. potentially more. It's a HUGE building. The school campus itself houses 6 different high schools, with a charter elementary school coming in next year much to the dismay of the high schools in the building. It's very political but I wont talk about here, at least not in this post. The campus I work at is one of the more dangerous in the city. Don't get me wrong it is not the Bronx or Brooklyn, but it is still plagued with all sorts of issues found in an inner city school. At least enough for my school campus to be highlighted in those famous education documentaries about the privatization of education. Fights, multiple lock downs, out of control students. One year a student even threw a chair out the window and hit a pregnant lady on the street. I wish I was kidding.
Since then the campus has decided to now play Beethoven in between passing periods in attempt to tame the beasts. I don't believe its working, but I guess I don't see the results. The school I teach at is very non-violent compared to some of the schools in the building. The only trouble we have is when our kids mix with students from other schools. That's really the only time fights break out.
Back to my morning, I step off the elevator, the hallways are still empty. An announcement goes off and says "All teachers in the building please report to the first floor to help with the scanning. None of the security showed up to work today and we cannot let students in the building."
I roll my eyes. Seriously? They want me to go help students through scanning... after they announced there's no security in the building. I DONT think so and I ignore the announcement to go make copies.Why would they make such an announcement that students outside could hear? "Hey kids, guess what there's no security in the school today! That means if and when we finally let you in you can create all the chaos you want!"
Gossip among the staff begins shuffling around.
"whats going on with scanning?!?"
"I don't know, but I heard there was a security hearing downtown that they were required to go to."
"Well I heard that the people in charge of campus affairs knew this was going to happen and decided to do nothing."
"Yes. It is."
"Are you going to go down to help with scanning?"
"Ha ha. What do you think?"
"Gotcha, well I'm going to go finish making copies."
"This is outrageous!"
So anyway I continue on with my morning, still unsure when the kids are going to arrive. I tidy up my classroom. I wipe down the whiteboard, organize my books, fix my bulletin board, change my clock, and prepare my space exactly the way I want it. My first student walks in 30 minutes after school official starts announcing she was the first one to go through scanning. I tell her I'm glad she's here and we chill for about 15 more minutes waiting for the rest of the kids to arrive.
Meanwhile, mind you, there are at least 2000 students outside waiting to come into the school. Now guess how many of those students are actually going to wait in line to come into school? Yeah.. about 1/4 of them. So meanwhile the other students are out there having a great time running around the city doing who knows what. High school students EVERYWHERE. Some even came to school on time, for probably the first time in their lives, saw the line and promptly said "oh HELL no" turned around and took the next subway home. I only know this because my students told me the student who did this. I pretend of course to be appalled/surprised that student would make such a decision, but secretly I love it. I wish I could have come to work saw the chaos and said "OH HELL NO" and turned around and went back home. I'd love to have a zero tolerance policy for bull shit, unfortunately, my job doesn't really allow me to do that.
About 45 minutes after school is supposed to start I have roughly 15ish kids so I decide to begin class. I mean, I really didn't want to teach first period anyway. What does my time matter reviewing functions with students who are already behind on their math? Clearly my time is not teaching these youth is not important if you do not allow the students in the building in the first place.
I told my students they were robbed an hour of their education and that they should be upset about it. Of course, they laughed at me and were like "you cray miss" I even had one student come in (late) and say "I'm not doing any work first or second period!" And he did not lie. BUT REALLY. What high school does this type of thing happen to? Apparently mine. If I was a parent and my student was in that situation whoever was in charge of the scanning decision would be getting a whole ear full from me.
So anyway, today, Tuesday, the security were magically all back in their places. Guess what they told people... really... I dare you to take a guess. If you worked in the school security and didn't show up to work on Monday because part of the security was down at the hearing what would you say?
You'll never guess, but this is what they said. "Oh..... we forgot... to set our clocks forward."
I mean that's kind of ironic isnt it? I mean I teach statistics so I might know a thing or two about the likely hood of EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU forgetting it was daylights savings and showing up to work an hour late. Do you REALLY think that's going to fly? Especially in our modern world with things like cell phones that automatically update the daylight savings time? Aside from the cell phone statement, even before cell phones was it EVER acceptable to show up work an hour late for daylight savings?
What a joke.