Why would schools advance students who refuse to work?
I have been thinking about the Ryan Everett story almost continually since I read it in The News on March 17. How sad I felt for him and his mother when reading about his continued failure to pass seventh grade and advance like most of our students do.
I, too, have had my fair share of very challenging students as a Spanish teacher in the district at multiple schools. I have experienced students of this nature, similar stories, year after year.
What struck me was the fact that the article stated he is capable, even intelligent, so really in the end the question is, why is he failing? A student must make a concerted effort to fail in our system. I do not accept that one after another teacher hasn’t tried everything to help him. I know in the three different Buffalo public schools where I’ve worked, I have never met a teacher who does not go above and beyond.
As the article states, this young man was a discipline problem before he arrived at BUILD Academy. I’m guessing as he entered puberty, his behavioral/emotional problems escalated. He admits he has an attitude. I know of few people who can deal with disrespect, defiance, insubordination and being cursed at who do not become exhausted. I have never been rude or used profanity toward a student, but I can tell you, I’ve been on the receiving end of it almost daily. Some students do not appreciate the education they are guaranteed here in America, and they have no desire to do any work.
What we need is a place to send the students who refuse to work due to emotional or behavioral problems. Some think it a great sport to keep the teacher from doing his/her job and to keep their classmates from doing their job. That is the real tragedy here. Most students want to learn, prepare for the next level and be successful. They deserve a classroom where they can do so. They should not be the collateral damage.