I was assaulted at work today by a student with a green laser pointer. Here in Sweden, these green lasers are considered dangerous and are therefore illegal to bring into, well, almost anywhere: schools, airports, any public building really. This student was apparently unaware that it’s illegal to bring a green laser into a school and that shining it into someone’s face is considered assault. Yep, he shined it right into my face, as well as one other teacher’s face and the faces of several students. He was just trying to be an annoying asshole, not knowing that the way he was doing it was a criminal act. Not that this matters. Ignorance of the law does not excuse one from breaking it.
It’s just a damn good thing that he didn’t shine the laser directly into my eyes, since I have epilepsy. He didn’t know that either, he said, otherwise he never would have done it. Cute. I got it on the side of my face, though. I was standing next to the front door talking to a couple of students when I saw this green glow in the corner of my eye. When I looked up I saw the student hide something in his hand. I then went back to talking to the students and it happened again. The little bastard did it twice. I guess he thought it was only some harmless fun, but it really did scare me. You don’t screw around with that kind of thing when you have this condition. I walked over to him, almost shaking at this point, and told him to never, ever, EVER, shine that laser in my or anyone else’s face ever again. He mumbled an apology and I went back to work. A few minutes later, though, I saw one of my colleagues talking to the student and he was not happy. Not happy at all, for he had gotten the green laser right in his eyes. As he was talking/yelling to the student, he (the student) kept getting more and more belligerent. At one point I thought he was going to hit my colleague.
At this point neither of us knew that green lasers are illegal in schools and shining them in people’s eyes is an assault, but we learned this shortly afterward. My colleague attempted to confiscate the laser but the student was adamant that he didn’t have it anymore. He had apparently given it to a friend. We tracked down this friend and, naturally, he didn’t have it either. The laser-wielding student was then suspended from school and asked to leave. Unfortunately we weren’t yet aware that this was a matter for the police. We found out after he left. We were get in touch with the police tomorrow, though.
The student will be removed from the school. If he doesn’t leave voluntarily, then we’ll make it a police matter and he’ll be forced to change schools. The owner of the school won’t want to do this though, since he’s afraid this will tarnish the image of the school. Bullshit to that, I say. A student did something wrong and we did something about it. How will that make the school look bad? If we did nothing, it would make the school look worse. Anyway, this is all moot. The student broke the law and the police have to be contacted about it. If the school won’t then I will, goddammit. Even though I was told that I would probably lose my job if I did.
I just want to make the student into an example and show the other students that there are consequences to their actions. They kept saying that they thought we were making such a big deal over nothing and it really wasn’t that important. If that’s how they feel about it then I guess they wouldn’t mind if they had a green laser shined into their eyes for five seconds and suffer searing pain and permanent retinal damage. Then, we’ll see if they still think it’s not that important.
4 thoughts on “Green Laser Assault”
The owner is an idiot. It will in fact enhance the image of the school. People want to send their children to a school that has principles, stands up for them, and won’t take shit.
I am thrilled ot hear that there is a disciplinary procedure in schools and that students can be disciplined, and suspended. I was not aware that was the case.
That said, it is a difficult task, indeed an art, to take any person, let alone a growing and developing young person, and say to them “you are being an asshole. You may be being so for reasons of which you are not aware. But the fact is, you are being an asshole, You may be a basically good person, but your behaviour is unacceptable.” This is a message that is not easily relayed, and not easily heard. Yet it must be done. Over, and over, and over again.
Thank you, Ken. Yesterday was a difficult day and I have a feeling it’s going to get worse. When I told Tobias about what happened, he was so angry in a nobody messes with my woman kind of way. He wanted to inflict serious bodily harm on the kid.
Anyway, I’m sad to say that this may be a dealbreaker for me. Last year the principal got in between two students who were fighting and got hit on the head so hard she was bleeding all over the place and required stitches. One of the fighting students was expelled but no further action was taken. This is because if the police got involved then it would end up in the papers, and the owner is paranoid of the school being made to look bad. He doesn’t want our school to seem like “that” kind of school. Again, this is bullshit, since students in all schools, everywhere will fight one another once in a while.
And I’m afraid I just cannot work for a school that does nothing when its own teachers are attacked and assaulted by students, and cares more about the school’s image than about the safety of students and staff. I shouldn’t have to go to work everyday at a place where I don’t feel safe. If the school does not contact the police then I’m afraid I’ll have to resign.
However, the owner has already made it abundantly clear how unimportant I am, along with the rest of the faculty. He said that we should never think we’re so important we cannot be replaced. Apparently, he’s got a stack of CVs on his desk a foot high of teachers just begging for our jobs. He told us so. Therefore he should have no trouble at all replacing me if I should resign.
The school is owned by one person? I have trouble getting my head around that. I know it happens, but when private schools open I am more familiar with them being started by groups, often groups with a special interest or bent. An individual owning one just seems odd to me.
So I guess the owner of the school would rather have the reputation of being a school where infractions and illegal activity are being overlooked and where staff is not respected nor defended? You cannot have the chickens rule the roost, you must lay down the law when it comes to these things, otherwise you will lose the respect of not only your staff, but of the students as well. It is amazing how well students take to discipline once you enforce it. In my days as a campus security officer I was quite the hard-ass and I did not let students get away with anything, and though they said shit behind my back, I always had their respect when enforcing the law. Other officers wanted to be friends with the students so they overlooked a lot of things, and in a way it made their jobs so much harder when they actually had to enforce a serious infraction. I never had that problem. Respect is key to any operation.