When I first started teaching, one of the big issues was gangs.
I can remember sitting through presentations that taught us what to look for.
Behaviors. Colors. Symbols. And the always scary bandanas (we banned them just to be safe).
As teachers, we had to be careful and diligent so our schools and communities wouldn’t be taken over by these hoodlums.
They were coming from the city in souped up Chevys and we had to be ready.
Evidently, we were the first line of defense against crack-dealing gun-toting gang bangers.
I did my best, all while focusing on trying to get the 9th graders to stop talking in Keyboarding class.
Turns out, my best was pretty good because as far as I know the Chicago gangs left our farm kids alone.
As I look back, schools can sometimes be overly proactive.
If it’s new and scary, we do everything possible to stop it.
Sort of like cell phones.
Eight years ago, they were going to ruin our youth.
Actually, they probably have but not in the way we anticipated.
Educators thought if students were allowed to bring them into school, mayhem would insue.
It would be worse than a gang member who had swine flu and computer problems all rolled into one.
Cell phones were the enemy.
And we would crush them.
Turns out we were all idiots.
Now we all have cell phones and we can’t put them down or turn away.
Cell phones have stolen our attention span, but our kids seem to be okay.
Just a tip – if you see a student wearing red, blue, or black… call the authorities. There’s a pretty good chance they have guns and drugs. I learned this in my meeting 18 years ago. Or they could, simply look good in red, blue, or black… but don’t take any chances.