The problem is that I don't feel I can bring that up to our administrators for fear of being one of the teachers they often talk about publicly who "don't understand kids", "don't care about kids", and should "get out of the profession". If I want my student to learn he can't skip classes, come to classes late, and get caught with pot on him over by an elementary school, I'm doing it because I am concerned for his future, not because I hate kids.
I really think they're failing to step back and imagine if that were their own child. Would they want their own flesh and blood to be caught off of school grounds during school hours with pot and NOT get a consequence? I know the administrators think I'm just being passive aggressive when I include comments such as "Student stated 'Go ahead, write me up, I won't get anything...' " in my referrals for misbehavior, but it's all absolutely true. I'm a terrible liar, TERRIBLE... But I guess because I'm a teacher who is writing referrals instead of dishing out hugs for kids who violently knock over furniture, threaten women specifically, etc. then I'm just a bitch.
I don't feel safe to tell my bosses I DON'T FEEL SAFE. The kids know they can get away with everything and they know we teachers are way down on the list of prioritized individuals in the eyes of our own bosses. You can see it in their smug expressions when they return to class with no consequence. You feel it when a student obviously violates school rules in front of a smiling, embracing principal and all the other students look at you like you're a complete fool for having even tried.
One of my students pointed out the micro-skirt another student was wearing. She watched me walk over to that student, but as I approached her the student showed me her pass that informed me that she had just come from the principal's office on an unrelated matter. I thanked her for the note and walked away. My student asked why she wasn't being sent to the office. I told her the truth.
Similarly, my colleague and half the freshman class noticed the hoochie mamma look a 14 year old was sporting in the hallway. She sent the girl to talk to the principal, who told her it was inappropriate, listened to the girl throw a tantrum, then called her back as she was storming away disrespectfully in order to give her a hug and tell her she could wear that for today.
Those are just a few incidents of late. There are so many more, every class I walk in to I feel more hopeless. How can I begin to teach if the students don't respect my role of authority, as one who enforces what I feel to be right? To be honest, I've almost entirely given up. I mutter "put your phone away", "stop swearing at your peers and teachers", "don't raise your hand to a girl like that", and "you've got to start coming to class on time" almost as many times as I sigh throughout the day. I've written all of those behaviors up and not one of them resulted in a consequence. I guess the principals have what they want. Their discipline numbers to go down. Sadly, grades, standards, and morale will following right alongside them.