I was shocked when I read an article about a teacher in California whose students tried to poison her with rat poisoning… twice! (First in her coffee, and the second in the frosting of a cupcake.) The three students who have admitted to this act were ten years old, and all three of them have been expelled and relocated to a school for students with disciplinary “problems”.
Many things came to my mind after reading about this incident.
Such as: why? Why would these three students want to poison someone? Why did they want to poison their teacher?Did the teacher have a good relationship with these students? Were there any misunderstandings between the students and the teacher? Was there anything going on in the school, in the classroom or at home that might have contributed to these students decisions? Did they understand what they were doing?
I further began to think of our role as an educator. One of the students who was interviewed about these students stated that “I heard that they reason why they did it was because they didn’t like the teacher… Because [they’re] strict.” I have no idea what this teacher was like or what the school was like and in no way am I denying that what the students did was wrong and illegal and that no one deserved that, but I wonder if these students would have ever thought of doing such a thing if they had thought differently of their teacher. As a teacher we are in such an influencing role, and I think that how our students perceive us means a lot. That being said, no teacher, or no person is ever going to connect with every person or every students that meet.. And it is unrealistic to think so.
A lot of people (the local teachers association included) believe that these students should have charges pressed against them (even though they are ten years old). I do not think agree with this statement, although I do think that action should be taken to ensure such an act does not occur again, and to ensure that any root causes of these students actions are discovered.
What are your thoughts? What do you think should happen?