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Incidents and Thoughts

September 13th, 2017 at 02:35 am

Mondays are my long days with my regular classes, a short trip home for food and to check in with DD, then off to my adjunct job. In the best of all possible worlds, I wouldn't teach there, but it's a nice steady source of work, and as I've said before, I like the different demographic. But tonight was a mess. A former student walked into the computer lab and started cussing and threatening her former instructor for giving her a C in his class last term. My classroom is across the hall, but she was VERY loud, and I'm sure half the building heard her.
I have to admit there have been times over the years there when I've been concerned about safety. Long-time readers may remember a few years ago they had a string of issues with people roaming the halls, and one breaking into a student's car. The evening tutor is an old friend from my regular university, and he popped in to tell me they'd called security as the student was still out in the hall screaming and cussing. After about 15 minutes, she disappeared. My class wanted to run out there and see what was happening, but I convinced them that gawking would just make it worse, and I was concerned for everyone's well being. But no sign of security. Half an hour later the student reappeared and started it all over again. This time I popped my head out the door, and discovered, of all horrible things, that she had a small child with her--a little boy about 4 who was witnessing this volcano of abuse coming from his mom. Honestly, it was all I could do to stay put, but I worried that if I got in the middle of it, she might become angrier. Still no security. After 10 minutes or so, she left again. Needless to say, we didn't have the most productive class, and I've really beendissatisfied with the institutional response. They contacted me this morning , and I expressed my concerns. Their response? The student needed to exercise more self-control. What about everyone else in the building? Where was security? I have some big strapping ex-Marines in my class, but no-one is a match if she would have a weapon. Rethinking my future there very seriously.

9 Responses to “Incidents and Thoughts”

  1. Butterscotch Says:

    That must have been so scary. But before you leave this job remember that shootings happen on campuses across all demographics, not just the dodgy ones. I agree that the lack of response from security is more than disappointing. Maybe this event will be an opportunity for the powers that be to re-evaluate their security procedures.

    Very sad for the little boy. Sadly, this kind of conduct is often learned from parents. Her parents may have been just as obnoxious as she is. Hopefully the boys father is a more positive influence.

    I'm glad you're safe.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    Wow! That is a stressful situation. I'm sorry for all involved.

  3. CB in the City Says:

    Back when I was working, we used to be visited by a man who formerly worked in the building -- not in our office. He ranted and raved about issues known only to him. It was very disturbing, and no one with authority did anything about it. That institution was all about fear of lawsuits.

    Keep pressing for stepped-up protection. Workplace violence is real.

  4. MonkeyMama Says:

    I can relate. My office is in a TERRIBLE area. Though I feel for the most part it's mostly a harmless situation during daylight hours (I would never stay past dark or work late alone). That said, it's *really* escalated this year. These things seem to come in waves and I Expect it will get better. Just currently experiencing the lowest point (in 16 years). But I think one big difference is that we have started locking our doors this year because it has been a little too crazy. Employer takes it very seriously and we have good/responsive security. By itself, I don't know if it's wise to work some place with significantly more crime, but that is tenfold when you consider a more public space where you can't lock the doors AND the tone from the top doesn't seem to helpful or concerned. UGH. I totally understand moving on.

  5. My English Castle Says:

    Thank you all for listening. My regular university has an on-campus police force, that is very responsive. But my evening classroom site at my adjunct job has issues. Frequently I'm the only instructor on the second floor of the building at night. The outside doors are locked after 7, but students going in and out often let people in. At a minimum I think I'm going to insist on being on the main floor, and I want some assurances from them if I'm going to stay on.

  6. rob62521 Says:

    What a cop out on the institution's part. Sure, the student should have exercised more self control, but since the student didn't, then it was up to them to provide that "guide" to get her away from everyone else so nothing worse happened. And as many have said, work place violence is real. I was beaten up by a student a number of years ago. It took two teachers to get him away from me. This was a sixth grader. The principal's response -- sent him home and told dad he could come back when he was ready. No consequences and this was the second time this kid had hit me! Both times I had broken up a fight between this kid and another one. At another school I had my tires slashed during a required PTA meeting. I asked to be reimbursed for a tire that couldn't be fixed...it was less than 3 months old, and was told the district didn't do that. I then said then if I was required to be at a meeting and work in what is known to be in a dangerous neighborhood, something needed to be done. They hired a security guard to man the parking lot. Better than nothing I guess, but I didn't feel a whole lot safer.

    You must look out for your safety. I hope you will get the main floor room and more than assurances that they will step up security.

  7. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    That's terrible MEC! I think I would insist that they ensure a security guard would come if a similar situation arose - or I would call the police!

  8. GoodLiving Says:

    Yikes! I think you and I live in the same state of 10,000 lakes. Is your adjunct position with the public system? I would talk to the union, that seems super crazy for both you and the students to be vulnerable. What is suppose to happen when there is a medical emergency? That seems absolutely unacceptable to me... I think I'd be tempted to call 911 (like FrugalTexan75 says) if the on campus security isn't responsive. It would make me feel disposable as an instructor.

  9. My English Castle Says:

    Hi GoodLiving--while I'm from that lovely lake-laden state, I'm in the land of the green and gold. It's a private university and we have no union. It's a quandary. More on that later, and thanks for your support.

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