I’ve got this kid. Let’s call him Sam.
Sam’s one of those kids. Sam has the ability to exude disapproval and annoyance from across the room. Sam is bossy and loud and is completely unaware of boundaries. Sam is of the opinion that the greatest tragedy in the whole of human history is that the world does not, in fact, revolve around him, and he takes every opportunity to try to change that. He’s quick to judge others, with an almost vicious harshness, for the very same transgressions that others find particular to him, and he has no inkling of the irony. He is hypocritical in the extreme and seems to take great delight in being the victim, even when no crime has occurred.
Sam also can’t tell time.
Sam has senior privileges and can come to and leave school according to his class schedule. Sam has been late to our English class 9 times since the semester began. We don’t meet every day, so nine times works out to be a significant portion of the class. Also? He’s can’t just come quietly into the class. No; Sam’s got to make an entrance. Sam’s got to be noticed. Sam’s got to distract the kids who did show up on time and who are trying to get some work done at the beginning of class. In fact, Sam proudly announced today that he had no excuse for being late; he just blew off his alarm clock.
Today was my straw day. The same four kids, of which Sam is a sort of ceremonial figurehead, sauntered into my room anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes late for class, even after the talking-to I’ve been giving them for the last month or so about the importance of showing up to scheduled events on time. Today, I dropped the hammer. This little band of merry delinquents will be sharing a silent lunch with me tomorrow as detention, and they will do so again every day they choose to arrive for class on their own schedule.
Everyone but Sam took the news like men; Sam, of course, put up a stink. “I get to leave after this period; I have senior privileges,” he told me, not a little petulantly. My response was that senior privileges are just that, privileges, and can be revoked if they are abused. Since Sam is late to class far more than he’s on time, I am revoking his privilege to leave tomorrow; he’ll be dining with me, instead, and perhaps, though it seems too much to ask, he’ll be ruminating on the importance of being prompt.
*Edited to include* Did I call it, or what? It seems Sam is “too stressed out” to sit quietly for 40 minutes and serve a lunch detention. He went to the counselor and raised a big enough stink that he was capitulated to. I have officially given up on this kid; I’ll give him the 70 he needs to graduate and say “good riddance.” Have fun stormin’ the castle, Kid, and don’t come back.