The Blackboard Jungle

days spent beating back the seeds of doubt

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The siege of the doughnuts.

Dwain has had a bad day today.

Miss B has had a bad day today. She asked Dwain to stop selling doughnuts to other boys at a profit in her classroom when she wanted them to leave. She picked up the bag containing two doughnuts and held it, asking the boys in her room to vacate.

Miss H has had a bad day today. She stepped into Miss B's classroom to encourage the waiting crowd of fifteen year old onlookers to leave the room and wait for Dwain at the stairs a short walk away, and was sworn at for her patience. She was subjected to a torrent of doughnut-related abuse.

Miss J has had a bad day today. She stepped into Miss B's classroom when she heard the screaming and shouting of Dwain, who wanted his property back. She stepped inside at exactly the moment that Dwain decided that he really, really wanted those doughnuts.

Miss J, Miss H and Miss B were then physically held hostage in the room for twenty minutes; by Dwain, who refused their exit until he got his two mouldy doughnuts back.
Mister B is having a bad day today. He didn't bother to turn up when radioed to come calm down the situation in Miss B's room.
He didn't bother to turn up when informed of the siege situation that had then arisen.
He later didn't bother to turn up or to apprehend Dwain over this matter, so the teachers and the students are all full of red-eyed, victimised grumble about how it was dealt with, about what we say to our students when even good boys like Dwain are allowed to do as they wish to such a degree.
Mister B's name is now mud, and he will bear the brunt of the blame for the matter of the doughnuts.

In the spirit of initiative and free enterprise, meanwhile, Dwain got a half day in the choky, and his doughnuts given back.
The school positively encourages free enterprise and bartering of sweets for profit.
If only we could devise a way to allow them to convert good grades into immediate gratification, just as the doughnuts do. Imagine what they wouldn't do to get a good teacher, like Miss B, or Miss H, or Miss J, if that were to happen.