Thoughts inspired by use of The Fort

The problem seems to be a student that is difficult to impossible to control due to the student’s lack of respect for the educational system and his fellow student’s rights to a proper learning environment. Possible emotional problems.

The solution employed was to separate the offender from the rest of the class by placing him in a cardboard box named “the fort”.

The reasoning (I’m guessing here) is to cause the offender to lose any feeling of belonging. To make him believe that he is inferior, different, and not welcome. To cause the rest of the class to reject him and thereby make him see that they do not recognize his participation in any way.

Personal experience was that I was challenged to do what I did, teach, while being distracted by assaults on my competence and abilities. I felt disrespected, and disadvantaged. The offender could cuss, yell, threaten, name-call, change the subject, and throw things, while I was limited to words.

The reality was that just because the student challenges, does not require a defense. My feelings of inadequacy were there long before I met this student. He was just confirming those doubts. This is the real advantage the student had over me. He knew me better than I did. Now, my emotions had overpowered my intellect and fight or flight had taken over. I can’t fight and still keep my job so now who is impossible to control and has a lack of respect for the school system? Is there room for two in the fort?

Daniel Ned Peters

Parkersburg