… if you live in Baltimore …

Details and a poll for you to take:

An art teacher at Baltimore’s Reginald F. Lewis High School says she was beaten by a student in her classroom in an attack that was recorded on a cell phone camera.

Jolita Berry says the attack happened Friday. The chief of the Baltimore City school police said Tuesday he had not been notified of the attack and planned to begin an investigation.

The video of a classroom fight showed up on MySpace.com. Berry says the person being beaten is her.

She says the attack began when she told a female student to sit down and behave. As the girl’s friends cheered her on, Berry says the girl hit her in the face.

Berry says her principal told her that telling the student she
was going to defend herself triggered the attack.


[Hat Tip: CMF]

UPDATE: Yet another example of social bookmarking related violence


  1. #1 Napoleon Dworkin
    April 10, 2008

    That is appalling to watch–and i mean that.
    An art teacher of all people: the most creative and potentially helpful to troubled students…when I was a kid (a troubled one) it was my art teacher who literally dragged me by my ear into the principals office because I was forced into pummeling the high school bully.

    I remember thinking to myself as he dragged us both down the hall by our ears: “should I sock him?” and then almost as quickly, thinking “but I really really like art class..”
    I didn’t sock him, and four years laterI won the highest a art award in my school for a series of watercolors, and etchings featuring indigenous peoples portraits with a highlight on Native American tribal leaders (aka ‘chiefs’).

    I spent my four miserable years of high school in that art room, the photo room and the student newspaper( two sided stapled Xerox’s…) thereafter, because I din’t sock him, and he spent four years teaching me everything he knew about art.

    That is one benefit of public schools that homeschools do not afford–finding a mentor who isn’t your mom…

  2. #2 jim
    April 10, 2008

    The principal should be fired. Blaming the assault of a teacher by a student because the teacher said she would defend herself is criminal. Any teacher who gets assaulted should defend themselves WITHOUT fear of losing their job or being subject to disciplinary action.

    That principal is throwing away authority and those children’s educations. He is undermining the authority of ALL teachers at the school.

    I don’t care if the teacher’s tone of voice came across as threatening. Would it have been better to sound non-threatening, have the student not believe the teacher , and when the student struck then have the teacher strike back with enough force to end the attack? That’s asinine. The teacher did the right thing. The teacher clearly stated she would defend herself. What happened next means the student took responsibility for their actions. It is too bad the teacher was not better versed in self defense. (The teacher shouldn’t have to be. Their work environment should be safe.)

    I abhor this treatment of teachers. If the girl’s parents were real parents they would punish their daughter and at the very LEAST make her apologize. The student’s actions were not proper behavior by any stretch of the imagination.

  3. #3 Jim Lippard
    April 10, 2008

    For more information see season four of “The Wire.”

  4. #4 Bob
    April 11, 2008

    Anyone who deals with potentially unruly clients (teachers, airline desk clerks, stewards, and stewardesses, TAs, etc.) should get aikido classes paid for by their employer. It’d improve worker health, reduce health claims due to trips and falls, and get a lot of punk-ass brats and entitled shitheels gracefully and quickly disarmed, spun to the ground and immobilized. If the would-be attacker wants to dislocate a shoulder or elbow or break their own wrist or fingers trying to wrench free, that’s their problem.

    Ideally, a decisive application of defensive energy redirection would give the attacker pause to reflect on whether violence really is an effective means of conflict resolution, given there’s not a lot else to do when pinned to the floor. I wouldn’t hold my breath, partly because I don’t expect that level of thought from the average violent American jackass, and partly because you need to keep nice measured open breathing to maintain harmony with the universe as you keep said jackass pinned to the floor.

    The other nice thing about aikido is that it’s not a punchy, kicky, choppy martial art. It doesn’t work unless someone attacks you so you always have a truthful defense if someone accuses you of hitting someone.

  5. #5 jim
    April 11, 2008

    Excellent idea Bob.

  6. #6 the real cmf
    April 11, 2008

    Bob: you’re kidding right? “a decisive application of defensive energy redirection “…?
    In the old days, we just knocked ’em on their ass. Pinned to the floor? That’s why teeth were invented.

  7. #7 Tom
    April 11, 2008

    This needs to be handled as assault and battery, plain and simple. To hell with the school administration, get the police involved.

    As far as people becoming used to the idea of violence being cool, I say bring back the pillory.

  8. #8 Bob
    April 11, 2008

    I’m not kidding. While it’s satisfying to think of some little thug getting the crap beat out of them for starting something they couldn’t finish, it’s more useful just to make the attack stop and maintain positive control over the attacker until they can be towed away to the pokey.

    If you know what you’re doing, you can put someone on the floor, twist their arm so they can’t move, and still have one hand free to dial 911. While you may also have a foot free to kick them in the face a few times, face-kicking is generally frowned upon in the aikido community. It may be cathartic, but it’s wholly unnecessary once the attack is over.

    Multiple attackers are a different matter. Just keep tossing them around the room until you can flee or until they’re too tired to continue the attack.

    Really, the whole point is to de-escalate the violence and keep people from getting hurt. I think it’s counterproductive to tell a teacher not to take care of him- or herself first.

  9. #9 Woody
    April 11, 2008

    Within Baltimore is a great homeschool program–Calvert School. It’s been around for a hundred years and we used it for our kids. It wouldn’t hurt to study their site to understand homeschooling better and the quality that homeschools can have.

  10. #10 Woody
    April 11, 2008

    My mother was a teacher in a highschool in Alabama. During her free period, she was assaulted by a student trying to steal her purse. When she wouldn’t turn loose, the student hit her and fled. She went to the pricipal, and he said, “What did you do to make him so angry at you.” Read that again. Then, he refused to let her call the police, but she did it anyway at another phone, and so she got in trouble for reporting the incident. Appeasing the blacks and keeping crime statistics low took precedence over protecting teachers and taking control of the school.

  11. #11 Elizabeth
    April 11, 2008

    Woody: Appeasing the blacks is very important to me. Especially since my girlfriend is black.

  12. #12 the real cmf
    April 11, 2008

    Bob: as a bouncer, I had exactly two ‘fights’ in 12 years. Yeah, I know a thing or two about ‘diffusion’ theory as pertains to violent interaction. One of them was with a drunken Russian mob girl who couldn’t stand the fact that I was restraining her 150lb b/f, while simultaneously being strangled by his 275lb b/f…go figure that one out….it ended in me donking all of their heads together so hard they sued the bar( and lost).

    But I wholeheartedly dispute the fact that face kicking is harmful to those who use employ it out of defensive necessity;-)

    Woody: did that incident with them there blacks take place in the early 90’s? If so, I can almost accept your vernacular description of the event, as that era was a hey day of looking the other way at black on white crime, as it was also a heyday for overlooking female pedophiles, and female initiated violence in the statistics(see example above, then chew it up and swallow it, and never ever tell anyone that women and their shenanigans are the initiators of almost every act of violence I have ever seen, whereas men are the ‘completers’ of it)

    If it happened recently, well, Woody, watch it, or you will have half of Minnesota up yer arse for speaking politically incorrect language about that lingering un-addressed problem of misguided rage filled black youth who grew up eating Lucky Charms, watching too much t.v., and wearing $150 Jordans; but bitching about how rough they have it because of the man, man…

  13. #13 Kim
    April 11, 2008

    Actually, I can’t think of a more satisfying way of ending a confrontation than pinning the idiot to the floor. I’d expect that would be much more humiliating for them than just beating them senseless. Especially if there are spectators. 😀

  14. #14 Woody
    April 11, 2008

    Beth, I treat everyone the same. It’s too bad that you can’t.

    Real cmf, yes it was around 1990. The predominately white and black high schools were merged with a black principal who was more concerned with taking up for bad black students rather than helping them to become better. After a few years of that, most white families gave up on the city public schools and either moved out into the county or sent their kids to private schools. Good teachers moved or quit. (My mother quit.) Now, the system is almost totally black and has major problems resulting from liberal attitudes of looking the other way.

    I don’t give in to speech police and I tell the truth, as much as people hate to hear it. The politically correct crowd are the true idiots who deal with symptons rather than the causes of problems–just so they appear “fair.”

  15. #15 Beth
    April 11, 2008

    the real cfm: Clearly you haven’t seen how people are pinned in aikido; no part of your body is near the mouth of the pinned attacker, biting is not an option.

    Woody: “Appeasing the blacks” is not the real cause of the problems in Baltimore. The problem is, as it is in any urban city, poverty and the Pandora’s box of problems that follow poverty. I’m going to assume that the symptoms you refer to are things like violence, drug use, dropping out, teen pregnancy, prostitution and the like. If that is true (and tell me if its not), than what is the real problem? Because from what I’ve seen and heard, these are more like concurrent infections that all need to be treated.

  16. #16 Beth
    April 11, 2008

    I’m not the “elizabeth” that posted before, btw.

  17. #17 the real cmf
    April 12, 2008

    Beth: I prefer to keep as far away from sweaty straining bodies as humanly possible ESPECIALLY if they are trying to pin me to anything…which is why I do indeed recommend the use of a good kick in the chops when necessary. I have found that many people just love to fight, and that most fights end in some odd wrestling match–usually with odd homo-erotic, or psychosexual implications.

    My personal motto– and the reason why I use my gift of gab in most situations, is that I abhor human contact with utter strangers, so I say “you can’t possibly pay me enough to go a round or two with with you, and three rounds means I lost already.”

    Then, if any more of my unearned humility at the expense of strangers doesn’t do the trick: it’s pressure point time with my baby numchux, and some bear spray out back…;-)

  18. #18 Woody
    April 12, 2008

    Beth, I regularly hear that money is the problem with schools. If only they had more, then they could do this or that.

    However, bad schools, as is poverty, are a sympton of deeper root causes within society and families, and spending trillions of dollars on schools and the “war on poverty” has cost more and produced worse results than our action in Iraq.

    I started seeing changes in the late 1960’s, when lack of respect for authority and permissiveness took over the schools and educators were afraid to hold their ground. Families became dependent on government and dads left home when government payments were higher by their doing so.

    The discussion on this, however, is involved and for another day on another post.

  19. #19 Elizabeth
    April 12, 2008

    I confirm that I am not Beth.

    Woody, Beth is asking you good questions, the kind that I suspect may make you go away.

  20. #20 Woody
    April 12, 2008

    Elizabeth, do you want me to go away? Is hearing and knowing that someone doesn’t engage in “group-think” threatening or unpleasant to you?

    I addressed Beth’s question. The problems, which are symptons, ultimately go back to values. Call it what you want, but white flight was based upon people wanting to get away from major problems caused in great part by “appeasing the blacks,” aka known as dealing with white guilt. From there, the school systems disintegrated.

    The problem here is that none of you have the courage to discuss real problems for fear of what others may call you or for fear of offending people–many of whom deserve offending.

    This has gone on long enough. I’ll check back when you people grow up.

  21. #21 Elizabeth
    April 12, 2008

    Dearest Woody,

    We’re going to miss you. Please check back when you shake the knee-jerk racism.

  22. #22 Beth
    April 12, 2008

    Now Woody is showing the kind of racism that this country needs to address; not people saying that blacks are subhuman, but those who think that there is something fundamentally broken about black society that causes the problems we see in urban areas.

  23. #23 Elizabeth
    April 12, 2008

    Excellent point.

  24. #24 the real cmf
    April 13, 2008

    Woody:”Is hearing and knowing that someone doesn’t engage in “group-think” threatening or unpleasant”

    Be careful: here at sciblogs, almost everybody is ‘white’ and they will all sig their one or two’black friends’ on you like a pitbull if you don’t conform(don’t worry about the couple of ‘people of color’ that actually blog here, as they seldom engage in this ‘whitespeak’ about race because they deal with it every day “in reality”)

    So go, pull up your suspenders–er…let your pants sag off of your ass–buck up, and get ready for a tussle! These folks are serious about perpetuating late 80’s Cosby show mantras, and 90’s middle class white feminist deconstructionisticisms!

    Be doubly fearful if you are a ‘whiteman'( especially if you are one!!!), that ubiquitous evil doer of all evil doer doings!!! He will make your children sign treaties,slave out whatever is left of non-slavics, and take all th’ loot back to his white mistresezz so they can buy SUV’s, and keep their kids in the sioccer program, and leave you combing the prairie for even ONE white woman with empathy!!

    be very very careful here Woody…they might even tell you that your name sounds*gasp* **phallic**