Have you ever taught a murderer? (rough draft)

It was twelve years ago and I was new to Ed White and I had a run in with convicted murderer Randall Deviney then a freshmen or sophomore. He was lingering in the halls after the tardy bell had rung and I told him to move along. I was met with a tirade of threats and curse words. I stepped forward to do something when a coworker waved me over and said, Chris let it go, the main implication being this was a bad one, though I later learned even if I had done something, like gasp write him on a referral, nothing substantive or equal to his offence would be done, this was just a kid teachers would have to tolerate and hope would go away. Three years later he did go away but that was only after he murdered his 89 year old neighbor, somebody he described as his grandmother.

What’s my point? How many kids have we turned on our backs on who went on to do what Deviney did, or met the fate of his neighbor because we as a district didn’t want to tackle discipline, because we play lip service to it, because we don’t take it seriously, and the reason is because it is hard.   

Deviney may have been to far gone once he got to high school and I was warned away, but was he to far gone in middle school or elementary? What would have happened had we as a district said no to his behavior, here is first a consequence for your behavior and then some help for you so it doesn’t happen again. My bet is I wouldn’t be writing this blog, heck I bet I wouldn’t have written a lot of blogs like this either.

We could and should be doing better, if not society will continue to pay a steep price.

3 Replies to “Have you ever taught a murderer? (rough draft)”

  1. I have taught several murderers. And one of my drug-dealing students was shot and killed last year. He was shot and wounded, then shot and killed a month later just 6 blocks away from the first shooting. He came to school every day, but never attended class. He just went to gym and sold drugs all day. It's very easy to do that at my school.

  2. A student I had four years ago just shot a former girlfriend. Luckily, she's alive, but the bullet went through her mouth and she's in for a lot of surgeries and rehabilitation. The principal had a soft spot for him and any problems ended me up in the principal's office to explain myself.

    I understand suspension would not have changed his path, but he did seem to act with a sense of impunity.

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