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SundayKittens's avatar

My students trashed the classroom when I was absent. What should I do?

Asked by SundayKittens (5834points) August 24th, 2010

What is a fair way to “punish” 140 high schoolers? I’m not sure what hour did the majority of it, but I am livid. Paper airplanes, cut-up paper, busted ink pens.
The substitute has already been put on blast.
I need ideasssssss! Planning period is almost over!

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23 Answers

LocoLuke's avatar

Require them to clean up, regardless of involvement, pay for any damages, and hold an assemble if possible. In addition, send a notice out to all parents of what has occurred, and if it’s within your authority, see if you can impose some number of mandatory community service hours on them. An apology letter to the substitute is due as well.
Edit: spelling

janbb's avatar

Unbelievable! Hard to punish when you don’t know who it was. Maybe all of them should write an essay on respecting property? I think @LocoLuke‘s ideas are really good too.

Seek's avatar

I’m sorry, but it sounds like you need to consult with your school’s head of discipline, and perhaps the principal. Imposing menial labor on the students without prior approval of your superiors can very likely get you into trouble.

BoBo1946's avatar

If you check with a good student, they will tell you in private. I’m sure you have a “pretty good” idea now.

LocoLuke's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr ooh didn’t think of that. Definitely consult superiors before disciplining. Feel free to give them an earful to begin with though. The actual punishment doesn’t have to be immediate, as long as it’s within a reasonable amount of time and they know that something will be coming.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

My dad’s favorite punishment to give to me was: to dig a hole. Whenever I misbehaved, I had to go outside, grab a shovel, dig a big hole, and fill it back up. If he wasn’t satisfied with the first one, I started over. I learned really quickly not to piss him off.

So, with 140 students, I imagine you can get quite a massive hole goin’. Become a subcontractor for some local construction, let the kids do all the hard work, and pocket the cash. Muahahaha! That’ll teach those little brats.


SundayKittens's avatar

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities We are having renovations made to the school…this could work.

LocoLuke's avatar

@SundayKittens I’m pretty sure that there is a law against forcing students to do labor though… you might be able to fit it under community service and give them a choice between a large number of hours elsewhere, or helping renovate the school :P
I’m not sure I’d trust the renovations of my school to pranksters though, personally I’d rather leave it to the professionals.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I’d definitely talk to the school administrators to see what your limits are. I think @janbb‘s idea about an essay is a great idea.

gypsywench's avatar

Give them unnecessary homework. They’ll hate it. That’s the best way.

Aster's avatar

Terrible. Call an assembly. Speak to some privately, one on one.
Pile on the homework and call parents in case they tear up notes you send home. Send the worst offenders to detention. Do not let them get away with this. They’re laughing about it behind your back.

LocoLuke's avatar

@gypsywench unnecessary homework… that’s positively evil. But certainly a good way to get back at them. @aster has something good going there. I also agree that if you let them get away with it, they won’t let you live it down (either take it as license to do worse or simply won’t respect you).

gypsywench's avatar

Make them sing their answers aloud in class. I had this new age teacher that would try to make us do that in a college-prep class no less. It drove me up the wall. Sorry to hear about that.

ucme's avatar

Put on a realistic Dylan Klebold costume (you can hire one from sickos “R” us) & frighten the little fuckers into submission. No offence intended :¬) By the way, substitute teachers, boy do they get it from both ends.

Aster's avatar

This behavior should be put on a highway billboard entitled: “ARE YOUR KIDS PRACTICING SELF CONTROL?” We should all ask ourselves: “why” are kids out of control? We had one kid who threw paper airplanes, much to my delight. But to trash a classroom is vandalism. The next step would have been for one of them to have lit a match.
Do society a favor and come down hard on them.
Do I smell permissive parenting? Hm?

Seaminglysew's avatar

I am sorry that high school aged children would do something so stupid. I would love to know the outcome and how you do handle it.
Good Luck:)

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

My thoughts run to flogging and thumbscrews. Whatever you decide, clear it with Administration first. They love to dump on rank and file teachers whenever the little shits mommies and daddies complain.

muppetish's avatar

I was in a high school class where the substitute was completely incompetent at controlling my peers—and this was senior year in an AP course, the supposedly “intelligent and well-behaved” group. They went through our instructor’s desk, shuffled through his personal belongings in the cabinets, and said the most foul things about him. The sub just sat there and let them do as they pleased. I was too afraid to mention anything in class, but I reported it privately to the Vice Principal, with whom I was on good terms, and personally apologized to my teacher when he returned the next day. I think your best bet is to work with the administrators and see whether any student is willing to come forward and say what happened. If not, don’t feel guilty about blanket punishment. Sometimes students screw it up for everybody and the teacher can’t be blamed for being unable to figure out who did what.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@ucme I don’t’ think kids would recognize him.

ucme's avatar

@papayalily Yeah you’re not wrong. Maybe a mildly upset madman then.

SundayKittens's avatar

Update: My administration was alerted. Fear was instilled. I even had some volunteers to clean. Thanks for the suggestions!

Seek's avatar

…and we heard the lamentations of the women. That is good!

That0neguy01's avatar

Yea id say give them all extra assignments and long boring essays cuz honestly, im still in highschool and ISS or detention really isnt that big of a deal. homework is what kids usually hate the most lol. id say make them write a few page long essays on boring topics worth alot of points and they’ll learn to respect the classroom more hah. trust me

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