Friday, February 16, 2007


Security guards are not what they used to be. In our school, we had an entire group of them at one time. Everyone knew them and they knew everyone, kids included. One day someone decided to disband our little force and send them all over the city.

Now, they come, they go, and no one knows from one day to the next who they actually are. Worse, no one is sure what they actually do.

Kids walk up and down the halls wearing hats, talking on their cells, and listening to their ipods. Security guards watch passively. They don't ask why they're in the hall, and they don't ask why they're violating school rules. At a recent meeting, I heard an administrator say, "It's like we have a dozen extra kids wandering the halls."

A few weeks ago, while on my hall patrol, I saw three security guards standing in a corner, while a chronic truant huddled with them discussing God only knows what. I approached the kid and sent her to class while the guards continued their chat.

Why do they watch? Well, I'm told it's because they want to avoid confrontations. If they were to say, "Hey, kid, take off the hat, put the phone away, take those things out of your ears, and go to class," the kid might have a bad reaction. As we all know, bad reactions are bad.

It's different for teachers, apparently. I would not hesitate to say any or all of those things to each and every kid in my class. And the fact is, such remarks may indeed cause confrontations.

But by avoiding them in the hall, they're letting the kids know rules don't matter. And frankly, support like that is worse than no support at all.
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