Jay's got a Knife

Today started just like every other day this week- hell. I was late because the lady I drive to work in the mornings was late, so when she’s late to meet me, I’m late to get to work. Lucky for me, the snow caused everything to be running late, so the buses were, of course, late. As my students started trickling in, I could tell that the walk through Little Bricks last night to talk to Nadia’s grandma had been worth my time. She was going to have a good day. Tyler was going to do her best, Jack was going to need a little refocusing, Sean was a hellian and Ricky was not feeling well, and in his own words “just not in the mood.” Jerry didn’t show when his bus got here, and Tally wasn’t in yet either. Jay was, like usual, trying his hardest to have a conflict with anyone that would drop their guard just for a second.

I noticed immediately that Jay was up to something. He was acting sneaky. He was pulling our newest student Jack over to the side to make an ally. My aide noticed something was up to when Jack said to her “I’m not getting involved with all that,” but then refused to say what “all that” was. I saw Jay slide something into his desk, and huddled other students around him to show what was going on. At this point, I didn’t want to make too much of a fuss about anything, I needed to find out what was going on.

Without actually knowing what was happening, I started to write up the incident report. I didn’t know what was going on, but it didn’t feel right, Jay was disrupting the learning in the classroom, wouldn’t do his work, couldn’t stay seated, and wasn’t his usual talk-back self. He was a whisperer. Quiet and sly. As I sat at my desk, filling out the form when Ray quickly came to my desk, almost looking away from me and said in a low, timid voice, “Ms. G, Jay’s got a knife. I think he’s gonna’ use it,” and then walked away as if he hadn’t said a word. I knew immediately that Ray was right. I wrote it into the incident report, and tried my best to keep the rest of the class calm. By this point most of them had seen the weapon, and now that Jay knew he was busted, all he was focused on was finding out who the “snitch” was. He walked around the room cursing at all the new students, he yelled at Nadia, “I’m gonna’ put you in stitches, just like them bitches!” I told my aide what was going on and had her walk Jay to the main office.

When they were gone my students started talking. Jay also had a fake gun (very realistic) in his desk. He told the others that he brought it to threaten Jerry. I was just thankful that Jerry wasn’t here today. I had the fake gun sent to the office. The police came and searched Jay to find that he not only had the fake gun, but he also had a 5 inch switch blade open in his pants pocket, and an empty clip from a real pistol. The police arrested him, took him out to their car in handcuffs. The most the school can do apparently is a 4 day suspension. (This can't actually be possible, right? Four days is just enough time to stew over the events that happened and want to really hurt someone...)

They will probably have a hearing to see what else they can do, because through the whole thing Jay was threatening people, and continued to say that he was just trying to protect himself. Jay’s mom said that the blade came from her fiancé, and that last night it was on the bed, and then they couldn’t find it this morning. Since Jay claimed that Jerry had been the one he was after, and then continued to insist that he Jerry had threatened him first, he will be searched each morning before he is admitted to class.

That's all I have to say right now...

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Anonymous inanediatribes said...

Wow, what a heavy day. I'm glad that nothing violent happened at least. It still is crazy to imagine such young kids with weapons. It reminds me of that first grader who shot a kid in Flint, MI. As an adult, I struggle with fully understanding what a weapon is and the consequences that might arise from actually using a weapon because I have had such little contact with weapons and my most concrete images of them come from the false world of the media. I can only imagine what the perception of a weapon is for a young kid in a violent neighborhood. I am sure that it is askew from what a weapon can really do and how a weapon can irrevocably change the lives of so many when it is used. In fact, weapons don't even have to be used to change lives in negative ways. Its mere presence suggests the possibility of its usage. Anyway, I am glad that you and your students are safe.

3/09/2007 11:22 AM  
Blogger JohnL said...

Jill, it sounds as though you handled this quite well. I'm glad it didn't turn into a confrontation (regardless of whether the knife would've been involved).


3/10/2007 11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow what grade do you teach? ~alyssa

3/14/2007 1:56 AM  

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