Over and over people reading this blog have complained that there are no consequences for students who commit disruptive and often times criminal acts in the schools in both classrooms and the halls. I happen to agree that disruptive and criminal behavior is not acceptable. The contract, believe it or not, covers disruptive student actions.
Here is Contract Article 9:
ARTICLE NINE PROCEDURES FOR HANDLING SPECIAL BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS
The Board agrees that the pro cedures and policies concerning the problem of disruptive children, embodied in the Special Circular which is reproduced in Appendix B following this Agreement, will not be changed during the term of this Agreement, except that the Chancellor may modify the circular, provided that the Union finds such modification acceptable. The provisions of the circular shall be subject to the grievance procedure and to arbitration only for the purpose of determining whether there has been a failure to comply with the procedural steps prescribed in the circular.
Here is Appendex B:
APPENDIX B SPECIAL CIRCULAR 1.
A child who threatens or engages in physical violence to himself, his/her fellow students, or a teacher may be directed by the teacher to report immediately to the principal or other designated supervisor under such escort as is prescribed by the school. Such pupil shall not be returned to the classroom without consultation between the principal and the teacher.
2. Pupils who so seriously disrupt the classroom work as to impede effective instruction may be reported by the teacher to the principal or other designated supervisor. Such report shall be in writing and shall contain substantiating data on the behavior of the child.
3. Upon receiving a report of violent or disruptive behavior the principal or his/her designated representative shall make a suitable investigation and shall promptly initiate a course of action that will best serve the needs of the school and the child.
4. If the problem is not solved in this manner after available courses of action have been taken and the decision has been reached by the principal that the child still so seriously disrupts the classroom work as to impede effective instruction, the child should be referred to other facilities within the school. If no such facilities exist within the school the principal shall refer the case to the community or assistant superintendent under existing procedures.
5. Each plan of action should involve the parent, the teacher, the child and other appropriate personnel. No final decision on placement or care should be arrived at without such participation.
6. If action by the principal is unduly delayed or if the child is repeatedly returned to the same teacher’s classroom or if a series of actions by the principal does not resolve the issue, the teacher may appeal to the community or assistant superintendent. The community or assistant superintendent shall set up an appropriate procedure for review and disposition of such cases. If the community or assistant superintendent finds that the continued presence of that child in a regular classroom so interferes with instruction as to be seriously detrimental to the interests of all the children (including the particular child), he/she shall, if consistent with applicable law, direct that the child not be returned to a regular class and follow appropriate procedures for the proper placement of the child.
7. There shall be established in each district a panel to hear appeals from the decision of the community or assistant superintendent. The panel shall consist of a teacher selected by the Union, a parent selected by the local school board from a list of three names submitted to it by the district parents’ council, and a third member selected by the community or assistant superintendent who shall be employed by the school system in the field of psychology or social work or guidance. The panel shall have the power to make recommendations in writing to the Chancellor who shall make the final decision on the appeal in accordance with applicable law.
During the first year of this circular the Chancellor will render his/her decision within 30 days following receipt of the panel recommendations and thereafter within 15 days.
Most teachers won't touch this clause to take action with a disruptive student or groups of students. The reason is adminsitrators would tie the teacher up with red tape and then possibly retaliate and blame the teacher.
If we were a real union, we would have a collective campaign to use Article 9 to ensure that our members are safe. This could be publicized so teachers know the UFT is fully supportive of classroom teachers collectively enforcing our contract.
Article 10 of the contract is about school safety. There are Chancellor's Regulations and the SAVE law too. Teachers don't use the contract, rules, regulations or laws mostly because many of us are afraid nothing will be done and the UFT will not back us up or has no power to support us. Student behavior is a problem, but the usuelessness of the contract in many schools is a much bigger issue because what is on paper is meaningless.
Go ahead folks; now you are on topic commenting on student behavior.