ATRs, the unrepresented -- no elected representatives in the UFT

"The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which other rights are protected.
"To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery, for slavery consists in being subject to the will of another."
Thomas Paine, First Principles of Government

Hello, ATRs are suing

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Teacher is attacked on duty. The DOE and the UFT do little to help

An ATR returns to the classroom, and she is attacked by students in this middle school. The DOE blames the victim and the UFT gives minimal assistance. This is just the beginning of the story.

During the '11-'12 school year, I was assigned an ICT class with a significant number of students with behavioral problems. The students quickly realized that the response to their antics was anemic at best, with generally no consequences. I had begun making the administration aware that the behavior of the students was getting more and more dangerous as the lack of consequences was causing them to push the envelope, as 8th graders will. This culminated in a fight breaking out in my classroom, and two BIG 8th grade boys, running at full speed in the classroom, plowed into me, knocking me into the desks, chairs and the crate of books I was moving at the time. I was out on Line of Duty for seven months, during which I had surgery to repair my knee and four rounds of epidural steroid injections to ease pain from six herniated discs in my back and neck. I was SHOCKED when I was sent back to the same school, but went back with modifications and was given the Wilson reading program to teach for the '12-'13 school year.

This year, I was assigned full classes (though I have nothing in writing from my doctors lifting my accommodations and I am still being treated for injuries incurred as a result of the fall). I have two ICT classes that I see with NO second teacher, and the discipline in the building is virtually nonexistent, or too little to really make an impact on a school culture of complete disrespect and anarchy. The entire seventh grade has essentially declared war on me – I am subjected to continual race baiting, called “white bitch”, threatened with being beaten and/or shot on a daily basis. Students fight, threaten, use table legs as weapons, throw rocks, candy, and pens at me while I work with students, etc. I have been documenting and reporting these incidents DAILY to both my school administration and the UFT, with little to no response. I was terrified of being hurt again, and made this clear. My worst expectations were realized yesterday, when a student who had just been returned to my class after a Student Removal (she had sprayed perfume in my face), began a long racist diatribe about how she can do whatever she wants “to this damn white bitch and the school can’t do SHIT because it’s just a school. It ain’t no police or anything it’s a damn school and I am a child so I can do whatever the fuck I want to the white bitch. I’ve about had it with this bitch – she need her white ass kicked”. She then pushed between me and a table, used her body to shove me out of the way and knocked me to the floor. I was taken out of the building in an ambulance for the second time, and the injuries to my back are now aggravated and I am once again home in pain.

The union, outside of a brief call to tell me to make sure I fill out all the required forms, has said nothing, in spite of the fact that I had been up to the borough office TWICE in two weeks to tell them that I feel unsafe and fear for my health in the building. I am still waiting to see if they dare send me back to this school.

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