To the Bitter End: Fighting in Our Schools

To the Bitter End: Fighting in Our Schools

A recent fight in my classroom forced me to think about adolescence, society, and our fascination with violence. 


I helped break up a fight in my classroom the other day.

It wasn’t even my class – it happened during a period when a colleague teaches in my room during my prep.

Class hadn’t started yet and students were filtering in, taking their seats, and chatting. I was packing my things to leave to go grade papers in the library. Suddenly, two girls started a back-and-forth verbal dispute – and it escalated quickly. Everyone in the room quieted as the focus turned toward the girls. Continue reading “To the Bitter End: Fighting in Our Schools”

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Let’s Talk About Saggy Pants

Telling male students of color to pull up their sagging pants is almost reflexive for some teachers. But what are the deeper implications of this practice?

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When I was in 9th grade, I wanted a pair of JNCO jeans. If you don’t know what JNCO jeans were, count yourself lucky. They were jeans with absurdly wide leg openings – some as wide as the waistline itself – and pockets large enough to carry around a good-sized dog. They were, in a word, ridiculous. (Seriously, you should probably Google Image search them right now just to jog your memory back to that dark place in the 90’s where JNCOs reside.)

But, my friends were wearing them, I liked my friends, and I wanted my friends to like me. Ipso facto, I wanted a pair of JNCOs. Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Saggy Pants”