Let me apologize in advance for the length of this post, but today was just that ridiculous.
First we had Friday the 13th– that day was so-so. Then we had the full moon- everyone was on high alert. Now with this upcoming Saturday’s forecast- partly cloudy with a possible chance of rapture- Look Out!
My friend Erica likes to refer to Thursdays as “High Adventure Thursdays” and today was no exception.
This morning went pretty well, we are reading The Outsiders and the kids would give their right arm to do anything Outsiders related, but by mid-morning, things started to get… interesting.
Several of our students have been on edge this whole week as a result to an incident that happened in the neighborhood last week. When middle schoolers are on edge, they go bat-shit crazy.
As 4th block was beginning, I overheard several kids talking about how angry they were because there was supposed to be a food fight at lunch today. (Our 8th graders currently have assigned seating at lunch do to a lackluster food fight attempt that occurred a few weeks prior.) The overall consensus of my class wa that they thought their peers were being dumb and they didn’t want to have to have assigned seats for the rest of the year.
Me: “Wait, what? Whose brilliant idea was it to have a food fight when it will be obvious to tell who’s involved because we know exactly where everyone is sitting?”
Student: “I know. They’re all stupid. They’re going to ruin the rest of the year.”
Me: “It sure sounds like it. You might want to remind your friends that last time this happened everyone got punished.”
Student: “I know. But this one’s supposed to be huge.”
At this point the students stopped talking about it and began working. I circled the room a couple of times and before going to my desk a stopped to talk to a student who was clearly upset. She quickly told me that she was worried about a girl who was supposed to be beat up today. She said the name of the girl and had a few choice words for the girls who were supposed to go after her.
I made my way to my desk and sent an email to our 8th grade administrator and our Dean of Students informing them both that there was a food fight scheduled for lunch, as well as a premeditated attack.
A few minutes later an administrator entered my classroom.
Students: All stopped what they were doing and were all now on high alert.
Administrator: “So who was talking about the food fight?”
Students: Who live by the code: “snitches end up in ditches,” were all staring at me.
I explained, as best I could, that my students were only expressing their concern about the pending doom that was about to befall them… yadda, yadda, yadda…
Administrator: “So who was talking about it?”
Me: “It was all of them. They all know about it.” I repeated the information for a 2nd time.
Administrator: “So who was talking about it?”
Me: For a 3rd time I informed him that all of them know about it. I then gave him the name of the student and said, “He actually used the words ‘food fight’. You could talk to him.”
The administrator took the student into the hallway for a little chat. (I was later told, by a couple of my students who were working in the hallway, that the administrator said to him, “So, Miss Lewis tells me that YOU are planning on starting a food fight at lunch today.” -So NOT what I said.)
Skip ahead to lunch. Halfway through the lunch period, I decide to go into the cafeteria to check on the student who was pulled out of my class. I wanted to see how their conversation went and wanted to know if he was punished. I never made it to him because as soon as I reached the door, the screaming began. Next came the running. It was me vs. a stampede of food covered 8th graders who were trying to escape the chaos. At first I blocked the door but as I saw the food fly and watched kids getting smashed into one another, I stepped aside. Kids came flooding out of the cafeteria into the hallway, but I made it to the double doors and was able to contain them. At this point, a couple of other teachers who heard the screaming arrived on the scene.
I made my way into the cafeteria and couldn’t believe what I saw. Food was everywhere. (It was cheesy baked potato day- I know you were wondering.) There were potatoes smeared all over the tables, chairs, floor, various walls, and let’s not forget all over the students.
After a while we were able to get most of the kids back to their assigned tables… that’s when a couple of girls decided to go ahead with “Operation Beat the Crap out of the Girl I Mentioned Before.” Just as kids were getting calmed down, they were now rushing towards the action, diving over chairs and tables, standing on chairs and tables… The girls were separated but not before floundering around on the floor that was now slick with potato chunks and processed cheese. Again we tried to maintain order and I began organizing the cleaning up process and that’s when the second fight between two other girls broke out. At this time I decided to focus on my class, get our tables cleaned up and get the hell out of there.
As for the student who was pulled from my class earlier, (in the effort to prevent the food fight?) he missed out on the event. He spent the lunch period “locked in the principal’s office”.