You’d think a story about classroom chaos and behavioral problems among many of the students would come from a high school, maybe a middle school — but not from an elementary school.
But you’d be wrong.
In an effort to improve the Baltimore County Public Schools, Project Baltimore (PB) is working with WBFF Fox 45 — and the PB group is reporting some disturbing issues they’ve been discovering.
The project’s mission is to observe, report on, and try to help remedy problems in Baltimore-area schools.
PB recently reported that a teacher who, after a decade of service, quit a job she loves over what she calls the “chaos” in the classroom and the lack of support she experienced from the administration.
Stephanie Robusto, a now-former teacher at Pleasant Plains Elementary School, didn’t find the school as pleasant as the name suggests.
She found it quite the opposite, in fact. So she quit and reported her concerns to PB.
Now that she no longer works for the school district, she doesn’t have to worry about retaliation from the administration — which could have included the loss of her job.
This is something both she and the PB say teachers fear will happen to them if they speak out publicly about their concerns. PB said it’s interviewed several teachers on this topic — most of whom request anonymity.
Robusto told PB about “intense” behavior-related problems that occur within the school, such as kids pulling fire alarms, students calling her names, and even children physically assaulting her.
She said dealing with those issues all day long doesn’t leave her much time to teach.
She described her day as “babysitting” and “playing whack-a-mole all day.”
PB reported that the school district’s fifth-grade students’ English test scores were slightly lower than “half the state average.”
And it seems Pleasant Plains isn’t even the most problematic or violent elementary school in the county. With 26 violent acts reported last year, the school ranked seventh in terms of the number of seventh most incidents — out of 112 elementary schools.
Robusto also mentioned another ongoing problem: Kids are actually leaving the school building.
Instead of dealing with that serious issue and others, the teacher said the administration’s response was to provide teachers with strategies for keeping students in the classroom.
These “strategies” include the following:
- Dim the lights.
- Make sure the students have comfortable clothing.
- Have lavender scents in the classroom.
About all of this coddling and lunacy, Robusto aptly noted, “No. That’s not my job. My job isn’t to run a spa … My job is to teach.”
Still, the former Pleasant Plains Elementary School teacher also said, “I still have that passion. But teaching isn’t teaching anymore.”
This writer — a former policeman — know how she feels. Policing isn’t policing anymore, either.
The radical Left is making certain of that.
Oddly, the incident that pushed Robusto to leave her school wasn’t an act of misbehavior by a student or even violence.
It was in the form of a letter received from a nine-year-old student: “Dear Ms. Robusto, I’m so, so upset that every single day you have to deal with this. Every day I think, ‘I know today Ms. Robusto will be mistreated again.’ I [barely] see smiles in this room. It’s just problems. Whenever this happens my lid pops out. I feel like an animal in a cage filled with disrespect. I just want you to be happy with what you are doing.”
If a nine-year-old child is expressing such concerns about his or her teacher, as Fox Baltimore reported — then hasn’t the classroom situation reached its threshold for its ability to provide a proper education to its students?
Anyone think that poor child is learning a thing in that madness other than that the madness exists? No.
Especially not when the school district administration denies there’s even a problem.
On the Baltimore County Public Schools Facebook page, a person identified as “JC Chuk” wrote, “This sort of dismissive response is exactly what’s wrong with BCPS leadership. Nothing to see here, folks.”
The individual followed the comment by posting the same response the school district sent to PB: “Pleasant Plains is a welcoming school with a strong administration and outstanding teachers who care deeply about students and the community. Additionally, BCPS offers many supports to staff for any difficulties they are facing. Any accusations to the contrary simply do not reflect the positive climate that we know exists at Pleasant Plains.”
That’s about as flaccid a non-response as I’ve ever heard.
Vacuous statements like this issued by equally vacuous administrators suggest we cannot be optimistic about the future for the students, teachers, or the Baltimore County community.
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