Friday, February 27, 2009

Flavor of Love...5th Grade Style

So this week one of my favorite teacher's pets (not really, she just escapes to me instead of going to aftercare and tells me the 5th grade gossip) told me about what a group of some of my fast little girls had participated in.

3 of the girls in my class along with a few from other grades apparently participated in some sort of gathering/competition/???? to win the prize of "girlfriend" for this lil boy who I'll call J.

J is a very intelligent boy, however he chooses to use it to bully every kid in my class both verbally and physically. He relentlessly picks on the other kids for his perceptions of their intelligence, wealth (which none of them have...himself included), looks, clothes, cleanliness, so on and so on. He plays football and is concerned with his appearance, which I guess he feels makes him better in some way. He has no consideration for the feelings of any of his classmates, particularly the girls.

All 3 of the girls "competing" for him have been brought to tears by his bitter teasing on multiple occasions. One of the girls competing actually last week brought him in for a meeting with the local police over sexual harassment (which my principal and her parents said I was primarily responsible for).

The behavior of the girls once friends and still so in name has become unbearable. They behave worse and worse attempting to impress J by showing him their bad attitudes which they hope can match his. They attempt to publicly embarrass each other and alternate weekly between after school fights with each other in the bathroom to claiming themselves as best friends.

I have not had a tv or if so had a tv with no cable for probably most of my life....I would say that makes me different from most Americans. And the longer I teach I become more and more convinced that tv is an unnecessary games too. Obama spoke of it at his address this week, urging parents to turn off the tv and the games and read with their children. I think that an essential part of my childhood were the hours I was spent waiting for my dad to get out of work at the library. The kids I have in my class who willingly will read a book or have parents who will turn off the tv and make them read are so much ahead of my other students.

This may seem like a complete tangent...which it kinda is...but when I was told my 3 girl students had "flavor of love'd themselves for J" I immediately was sickened at the obvious power that tv has over my students. While I cannot start a one-person fight against tv and video games as rotting children's minds I have told my B that if we ever have children that I will lay down the law on both and I guess that's really what it comes down to. Parenting.