Re: DSM: Watching My Back

John Axtell (
Mon, 12 Feb 2001 13:46:14 -0800


Do you feel "safe" in the school you are in?

If so why? Is it the parents or the students that make the difference, if any?

Are not the legal problems pretty much the same?


Bruce Smith wrote:

> Dana,
> Your post brought me a sinking feeling and a few nasty flashbacks. Although
> there are many things from my teaching days that still disgust me, one of
> the worst was the need to constantly second-guess even my friendlier
> interactions with students. The fact that treating students like people
> could bring me under suspicion, the fact that I had to cover my ass just
> for being a human being, frustrated me to no end. I continued to be
> friendly to my students, yet at the cost of constantly worrying if just
> being nice was going to get me in trouble. Grrrr!!!
> This paranoia of teacher-student interactions is pervasive and entrenched
> in traditional schools. For a variety of reasons, teachers and students are
> almost never allowed to relate to one another as individuals.
> In my less friendly public-school interactions, I once had a sort-of
> stalker, too: a girl who wrote me notes, and often showed up at my other
> job. I went very quickly to the school counselor, who was extremely
> helpful. Another person starved for the attention that her school would
> never provide (or allow).
> >But it seems to me that
> >if children are always treated with respect, as they always are at SM
> >schools, then they will respect everyone else including the adults, and
> >that "stalking" incidents and threats would occur much less often.
> Bingo! I am SO grateful to be at a school where profound respect and
> genuine human relationships are the order of the day.
> Good luck sorting this out.
> Bruce
> p.s. You may be interested in an article I wrote for AVS's newsletter,
> entitled "When Students are
> Treated as People." You can find it online at:

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