Thursday, May 8, 2008

Still at It

I feel that I should clarify, given recent events, that I don't believe in violence against children. I don't even really believe in corporal punishment. But I really need to communicate that this school is over the edge. The rates of violence against teachers and suicides from bullying are growing and growing in Japan. At this school, right now, that is an ever present threat. If someone doesn't crack down on the bad kids hard, right now, the situation is only going to get worse.

It happened again today. I had visions of going to 3-4 today and talking about yesterday. Giving everyone a chance to discuss how they felt it was appropriate to act in school and class. Giving them a chance to discuss which rules they thought were uneccesary. I get to class. The bell has rung. A good number of kids are still outside. Sakakibara, who is in the class, is standing outside the door with Sakamoto from yesterday and Kuroda who thinks he's the balls. I said "Get to class." to Sakamoto and he blew me off, just like yesterday. I told Sakakibara that it was time for class, to which he responded, "Fuck you. Shut up!" The thing about the Japanese school uniform is that it makes a good handle. I tossed Sakakibara in the door and shut it behind me. He squared off to fight me. I said, "What do you want Sakakibara? What do you think you are going to do?" And turned my back on him to talk to the rest of the class. He couldn't really think of an answer but teared up and tried to act tough, which is natural. I think he came back after me, but Inoue Sensei caught him and took him outside.

Some other kids started yelling and someone kicked my door. They are really at the point where they have to stop. They are getting dangerous towards any teacher who says no to them. At some point Sakakibara tried to charge back in after me but I ignored him and the Kyoto Sensei got a hold of him. He joined class for the last 10 minutes.

Apparently he is pissed because his dad just got out of jail and his mom was on drugs and now they might leave here and move to Tokyo. That is rough. That is too much stress for a 15 year-old to deal with. It also doesn't give him a right to treat adults and other kids like garbage. My parents got divorced when I started junior high. All through elementary school we were under pressure over whether we would move to Arkansas or not, depending on the ups and downs of marriage. I never thought it meant that I could treat my teachers like shit. My neighbor killed her husband and got sent to jail and their kids still went to school and behaved. Kids at my junior high had their parents killed in the first Gulf War and plenty had parents in jail or on drugs. It doesn't mean you can say "Fuck you. Shut up." To a teacher. I don't enjoy being a hard-ass about it, but shying away from the problem doesn't help.

I should also point out that for a kid with those kinds of problems, a Japanese junior high school is a much more supportive environment than my junior high school. People care if you have problems and will go out of their way to help you. You don't even have to do school work.

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attempting to silence the voices in my head.