On Thursday I broke up a fight.*
I always wondered what kind of person I would be in a time of crisis. I read this whole book on how people react to disasters (ok so a fight isn’t a natural disaster but work with me), and tried to decide who I would be. Would I fight, freeze, or flee? I always say I’d be the kind of teacher to break up a fight, but frankly I’m
kinda a wimp so I doubted myself. If my life were a horror movie, I’d probably be the one who dies first, not the one who is alone and stuck in the creepy bathroom trap at the end of the movie.
But on Thursday, it was 3:22 p.m. and I was sitting at my computer waiting for the then-two-minute-late bus dismissal to begin. I was grumbling, typing away at my lesson plans for the next week, when suddenly I hear a whack and a splat. I look up to see human A reach out and latch his hands around the throat of human B. I leap into action. “YOU – OUTSIDE!”
The kids often hit each other as some sort of affection-showing mechanism, and I’ve learned to get used to it. But this time it was different – this time there was a little more venom. I got the sense that this was a “real fight,” because everyone spent the remaining minutes gossiping about it, and it was the buzz of the hallway when I went to check on human A, who I’d sent out of the room.
That is until the next day, when it’s officially deemed “horseplay,” because to call it a fight means they each have to get 3-5 days of out-of-school suspension. The key witnesses say that, “he didn’t choke her – Ms. Abram got there before he could do anything.”
So, technically, I didn’t break up a fight. I broke up “horseplay.” Whatever, I’m still proud of myself AND I have newfound confidence that I would survive to see the end of a horror movie.