Brutal beating at a DeKalb middle school. In school. In supervised suspension.

A poster asked that we  discuss an upsetting cellphone video out of DeKalb County capturing the attack of a child at Cedar Grove Middle School by another student.

Channel 11 aired the footage and interviewed the mother of the victim about the attack on her 12-year-old by a 14-year-old during supervised suspension. The mother told 11 Alive her son has a broken nose.

(Note: The news report calls the school Cedar Middle, but I confirmed with DeKalb Schools it was Cedar Grove.)

A couple of quick points:

  1. Someone was poised to record this attack. The assailant should not be the only one facing punishment if an accomplice was involved and this was an orchestrated event for a video. (An aside: In all these alarming classroom videos we have been seeing, the blasé response of the other students is unnerving.) I asked DeKalb Schools spokesman Quin Hudson today whether the student who recorded and posted the assault was punished, and he said he couldn’t give out any information due to privacy requirements.  “We are very limited in what we can say due to the age of the students,” he said.
  2. It took the teacher about seven seconds to reach the boys and stop the assault.  A lot of blows rained down in that short time, which shows how quickly these incidents can happen and cause serious harm.

With that, here’s the video of the attack and the news story:

Reader Comments 0

178 comments
moralemess
moralemess

One reason you see extreme behaviors such as this and the bullied substitute teacher in Chicago that is making the rounds, is that the little incidents are just not dealt with when kids are young. When tripping someone in the elementary hallways repeatedly, stealing supplies or food from others, shoving, spitting receives no punishment, these bullies in training don't magically start behaving honorably in high school. All i the name of having a clean school record of disciplinary actions. Elementary do-nothing administrators are a part of the problem. And the kids in the classroom that want to learn suffer.

hssped
hssped

All the videos posted over the last few days....animals.  It is disgusting. 

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@hssped 

Once you start thinking of human beings as "animals," you have to move only a short step to treat those people as subhumans, which solves no problems, and, in fact, exacerbates any problem.  Moreover, those perceptions are not spiritually sound.

elementarypal
elementarypal

It is the end of a long, dreary day.  The buses have gone.  The teachers have gone. But I am just sitting down to start the paperwork that is piled on my desk from the work of the day.  You see, I didn't get much done in my office because I was dealing with students.  Some of them were in my office because they were in trouble.  Some met with me in the media center to discuss a book we are reading.  Two grade levels needed a little extra supervision in the cafeteria, so I did some lunch duty.  Two students, who were in trouble, ate their lunch in my office.  I spent some time in several classrooms, not because I needed to do an evaluation, but because I wanted be a part of the learning.  So, please be careful with the generalizations that administrators are all bad guys who are out to get teachers while we sit in our offices and do nothing.  I assure you that my colleagues in my district have spent their day doing the same things. 


Another point of clarification - while the teachers do not evaluate the administrators, they do take an climate survey that reflects how they feel about their administrators and the job they do.  Believe me, this blind survey allows for teachers to have their say. 


And finally, teacher evaluations are yet one more "darned if you and darned if you don't" pieces of our jobs.  If we don't give teachers honest and frank evaluations we are criticized for being too easy on the ineffective teachers.  If we do give honest and frank evaluations, we are bullies who are out to get teachers.  It is my job to give teachers feedback that serves to help them be the best they can be.  I do not take delight in giving any teacher a poor evaluation. 


I didn't just fall off the turnip truck, I know there are poor administrators.  There are also poor teachers.  And poor doctors, and poor accountants, and poor parents, and...well, you get the picture.  If we spend our time looking for solutions instead of looking for someone blame, we might actually accomplish something.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@elementarypal Your post reminds me of the saying that a dear lady, admin assistant to the department head of the program I was in at FSU, had on her wall:  Students are not an interruption to our work; they ARE our work!

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@elementarypal 

Well said.  Especially this sentence:  "If we spend our time looking for solutions instead of looking for someone blame, we might actually accomplish something."  Everyone who reads this blog and who posts on it, should heed those words of yours.  Thanks for your service to students, teachers, and to education, itself.

Looking4truth
Looking4truth

About five years ago, I had a sixth grade boy corner another boy in the back of my room during class change, when I was required to be in the hall.  Other students came to get me.  I ran in and went over to the fight and picked up the attacker (who by this time had the victim on the ground).  I immediately called an administrator and self-reported the incident. 


When the parent of the attacker wanted to attack me for putting my hands on her precious darling bully, the principal and the AP were both on my side.  I guess administrators like that are few and far between. 

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@Looking4truth Your story reminds me of two funny experiences.  We had a very violent student who had kept the classes he was in in thrall. His teachers had become exasperated by the lack of effective help they were getting.  One day he had one of his "events" in the principal's office--tore the room up, and stuck the principal, the AP, the SRO, and the Superintendent (who happened to be there.)  The four of them had a hard time restraining him.There was a lot more understanding of what was involved after than (although it did not get better.  The teachers just were not made to feel bad because they couldn't control him.)


Just prior to this, we had gotten this new principal (same one in the story above).  She had lots of experience in a middle school classroom as well as a middle school AP--thought she had seen everything, and that elementary school would be a breeze.  Her first day (a few months into the school year) we had a runner--he ran out the door, across the street, and into the downtown area, with her and several others giving chase.  After that, I don't think I ever saw her in heels again!

Astropig
Astropig

I may get into trouble for typing this, but I really wish that the attacker has picked the wrong kid to attack.As in, I wish that the victim here had been a tae-kwan-do or karate prodigy that would have just beat the snot out of his attacker.


I was playing second base for my high school in 1979.A kid from our big rival came in (spikes high) to break up a double play that I was trying to turn once. He hit me like a Mack truck. When I finally fell back to earth, our shortstop (who was a Golden Gloves boxer) was putting him in the emergency room wit a rat-a-tat-tat on his face.We settled things that way,back in the day. 

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

If the administration in many schools will not back up teachers with students who are out-of-control, parents and teachers, I seriously am suggesting that teachers' unions should have more teeth to get education under control.

Moreover, in Georgia, teachers should lobby the legislators and the public for a change in Georgia's "right to work' laws so that authentic teachers' unions will have impact in this state. It is past time for "Southern" paternalism of teachers and of women to continue into the 21st century.

readcritic
readcritic

@MaryElizabethSings

Teachers fear for their jobs. They are not even allowed to talk to the press. Someone needs to go undercover and investigate how principals/administrators handle discipline issues. The TKES evaluation goes only one way...administrators get to manipulate the documentation in the teacher's file. Teacher need to be able to evaluate the administrators. 

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@readcritic 

There is power in numbers.
Try not to "blame" administrators but try to work with them to improve education.

readcritic
readcritic

@MaryElizabethSings @readcritic

Much easier said then done. Administrators will not deal with discipline. Under no circumstances are teachers to write discipline referrals. Teachers are not given the authority to make the judgment calls for their classes or students. Teachers must obey without question or comment or they are told to find a new job while being bullied, harassed, manipulated, terrorized and then threatened with bad evaluations. There is zero support and UNION is a dirty word in the South. Teachers still work as indentured servants and are at the beck and call of administrators. Administrators rule by intimidation and a teacher who tries to help solve problems is seen as the problem. I am sure there are some good administrators who support the staff somewhere, but the experiences noted in these comments prove they are few and far between.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@readcritic 

P.S. I stayed after hours at school many days, building a full reading program for the whole school.  I expected no extra pay for that service.  The principals knew that and they were more than willing to accommodate my request for back up with discipline problems the first 2 weeks of school.  I knew if I had the attention of students the first 2 weeks through disciplinary means, I would have them for the year.   My elective classes were always full because I delivered instruction which students and their parents were hungry for them to have.  I could not have done that if I had allowed discipline problems to have gone unaddressed. It is not in my nature to allow students to walk over me as their teacher.  Where there is a will, there will be a way - orthodox or unorthodox.
 

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Wascatlady 

That was a tactic I used with high school students, only very rarely, when some intervention was needed of the moment.  I always monitored that the student remained where he/she was placed.  If he/she did not, more severe punishment from administration would be forthcoming. 


A teachers' union that has power is needed for Georgia's teachers.  The first step is to elect more Democratic legislators in this state.  Republican - status quo - legislators will not be inclined to change Georgia's "right to work" laws (carry over of paternalism). Then, that law must be changed.  Teachers have the right to demand an adequate teaching environment, including quick attention given by administrators for discipline problems, as well as health insurance benefits which are satisfactory, and retirement pensions - not 401ks - when they are seniors, as I am.  Teachers have intelligence and moral courage.  They must exercise it in Georgia to demand the respect - through fighting for real Teachers' Unions - that is not afforded to them, otherwise.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@MaryElizabethSings @readcritic We were not allowed to put disruptives in the hall starting about 2000 I think.  You are fortunate your students went when you sent them, and did not run (we had 2-5th graders who would).


I never had a lot of discipline problems,either, and when I did the administration backed me up.  But I saw many,many teachers who did not get that support!

Astropig
Astropig

@MaryElizabethSings @readcritic


"Georgians, start thinking in terms of Teachers' Unions here.  I will be writing that more and more often. "


You go right ahead,and in a couple of hundred years,when they dig these words out of a landfill on some hard drive,they can laugh at you like we do in 2015.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Astropig 

Do you really think I give a hoot what you write or do, Astropig?  To care, I would first have to respect you.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@readcritic 

Principals are given their guidelines from above.  Following those guidelines means their own survival.

I never had a discipline problem and I am not a military type.  I believe in instruction, but I also believe that the teacher must be the captain of her own ship, not the students.  I have placed students outside of my own door in the hall in their own desks if they did not shape up on the spot.  Waiting for a referral to be addressed two days later loses any impact the teacher would have with her own class.  I have known teachers who called parents on their cell phones on the spot in their classrooms to address their child.

You have to do the unorthodox at times to get the respect - and more importantly, the attention - of students.  The old saying is correct:  "Students will take as much rope as you give them."  After I retired in 2000, I substituted for other teachers in ten different middle and high schools until 2007.  Once, I sent one disruptive student to the office with my note that he needed to be addressed then.  The fellow team teacher (who was also a substitute for the day) said to me, when I threatened to send another student, soon after, that to the office for disruptive behavior, "Better not send another one.  You have already sent one."  I responded, "I don't care if 5 students need to be disciplined, I am not going to accept students who are out of control telling me what to do."  I meant it.  What is the point of being a teacher, if you can't control your own students? The students knew I meant it too and they shaped up.

Georgians, start thinking in terms of Teachers' Unions here.  I will be writing that more and more often.

Deanna03
Deanna03

The sad part.....he will be sent to alternative school for 3 months and DeKalb and be allowed to return to his home school. 

readcritic
readcritic

@Deanna03

Yes, that is true. The discipline problems get put right back in the classroom time and time again. I got a girl back after she struck her previous teacher and had a long list of other offenses. Most  corrective actions consist of administrators writing "talked to student" as the remediation. The current legal system is to blame for many of the issues teachers are forced to deal with on a daily basis. It is easier to control the teacher than it is for the administrator to do anything about a student's bad behavior and class disruptions. Teachers get no respect from students, parents, and especially administrators. It always comes down to what the teacher is doing or not doing correctly to cause the problem. When will the student and parent be held responsible?

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@readcritic @Deanna03 I believe there is a Georgia law that a teacher can refuse to take a student back. If you do that, however, it is the kiss of death unless you are from a powerful family or have years of "faithful service" built up.  Sad, but true.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

"Turns out, the attacker jumped the wrong girl she thought had told another girl something bad about her."

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Adolescent mindset.  Will always be true of adolescents. Earlier in America's history, middle school or junior high school girls would isolate their victims (for whatever silly cause) as pariahs of their "group"; now they beat another up for silly reasons.


Adolescents always model the adults they see around them.  The society as a whole has become selfish and adolescent, as I had written earlier.  There is enough blame to go around besides the parents, including those of adolescent mindset on this very blog.  Look within; refrain from pointing the finger at others.

Teachers, do not accept bad behavior in the classroom and insist that your administrators back you up.  They will know you are right.  Tell them.  You will get results by meaning it and being assertive, not only with students but with administrators (in a respectful but serious way). The truth has a way of prevailing through its moral authority.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

I doubt the school could tell us, but perhaps the victim's mother could say why these boys were in ISS?  The same ISS for more than one grade?  I would bet it was for wildly different infractions!

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Rory_Bellows 

That has happened 45 years ago when I first started teaching and it will happen years from now. Stop it and get administrative back up, if the students will not stop it at your directive. Let's put these things in perspective. 

PJ25
PJ25

@Wascatlady Is ISS so popular now it's segregated by grade?  In my day it was everyone in the same room. 

Squirrel_Whisperer
Squirrel_Whisperer

@Wascatlady She said her son had never been in trouble before, but that he and another boy were throwing paper at each other. If every middle school boy who had ever thrown paper were put in ISS, there would be no boys in the classroom. Maybe there was more to it than simply throwing paper. If not, the kid shouldn't have been in ISS. My opinion based on 26 years of teaching middle school.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@PJ25 @Wascatlady IDK, but having younger kids in with older sounds like a bad idea, if you are dealing with infractions like threats or assault.If you are dealing with gum-chewing,not so much.

readcritic
readcritic

@Wascatlady @Squirrel_Whisperer

Children do not tell the whole story and get their friends to corroborate and embellish their untruths. The administrators then interview the very students who have long list of discipline referrals and believe them over what the teacher says and the teacher is given a bad evaluation and made to work under the scrutiny of a Professional Development Plan, which is never-ending. Administrators have their tactics. This is why teachers leave the profession in large numbers.

Angela Rowe
Angela Rowe

This is just pathetic, the student should definitely not ever be allowed back in this school and the parents and or guardians should have to suffer financial loss in a major way. The children have no respect for each other, authority or themselves.    

gadem
gadem

@Angela Rowe But the group think echo chamber crowd don't want police officers in the schools. It's like they want full blown anarchy.

PJ25
PJ25

@Angela Rowe You have it all wrong.  This is acceptable behavior now and to discipline them isn't PC and could quite possibly be racist. 

slydawg
slydawg

All children go to school displaying many of the traits their parents exhibit in the home, including trash talking and taunting. If it's not bullying, then you deserve to get your trap closed shut for writing a check you can't cash.

Teach your children to keep their mouths shut and go to school to get your education and stop trying to he a bad a***. If they're cursing out teachers and administrators, what on earth do you think they are saying to their peers? Again, this does not apply to situations of bullying. Why were any of these students in ISS to begun with? Bad behavior or lack of attendance.

The world is not a utopia, and our children will never live in one. People are getting murdered and beaten every minute. This is not news.

The inevitable question : What if it was your child? Bullying, I have a problem with it, but bad behavior? Then my child earned it and will have to take that lesson going forward.

JeffCriswell
JeffCriswell

So the attacker goes to juvenile jail and never returns to a public school. Anyone filming also is kicked out of school, forever. Make it hurt or these folks will not care. And yes, these schools are basically worthless because of the troublemakers who could care less about getting educated. I dare any self respecting parent to go and actually spend time in these "urban" schools - then tell me how great they are doing. Yes, in my day if a kid did even a fraction of what passes for normal in these schools he /she would be kicked out on the spot. 

Krod07
Krod07

I believe that we should go back to the ole' way of doing things in times like this! "an eye for an eye!" When one is the "victim" they should be able to defend themselves without consequence. Everyone has cameras these days and a camera would prove that it was in self defense. These days, the parents are not being held liable for their childrens actions. Its not just peer pressure that kids may feel the need to show out in front of others. Its the poor choice of peers they choose to hang with. Parents should always be involved with their children and KNOW the kids their children hang with. I have been known  to turn kids away due to their behavior  around my kids. My responsibility is to MY kids first. Where were the parents of this abuser? Of course, parents will say they cant "control"their kids actions at all times. However, somewhere along the line, this boy was led to believe that this is acceptable behavior. 

Squirrel_Whisperer
Squirrel_Whisperer

Class lined up in the hallway. A girl walks by minding her own business. Another girl from the line jumps her and starts punching her. Teachers intervene. Not really knowing how to fight, the victim gets the worst of it, her hair and blood ending up on the floor. One teacher is shoved against the wall by the attacker. Another teacher who happened to be carrying a glass of water throws the water on the attacker who is eventually pulled off the victim. The parents of the attacker wanted to sue the teacher who threw the water because it 'humiliated' their daughter. Turns out, the attacker jumped the wrong girl she thought had told another girl something bad about her. The attacker is suspended for a week. You can't make this stuff up.

Deanna03
Deanna03

@Squirrel_Whisperer happens all the time in schools. I work for dekalb. You would be amazed at how many fights, especially in the middle school sector happen because of he/say she say or because of a boy. Our young girls are corrupted and it is sad!

PJ25
PJ25

@Deanna03 @Squirrel_Whisperer I'm not sure about Dekalb, but a friend of mine used to be a SRO at Jonesboro HS years go and he said in between classes during any period of the day, you could catch kids giving/receiving "oral" in between the portable trailers.

readcritic
readcritic

@Squirrel_Whisperer

This is just half of what gets by with little or no disciplinary action being taken. All classes should have video cams to show the public just what teachers have to put up with. It would open eyes and maybe even change the way discipline is handled.