Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Student Who Feigned Injury (sort of)

This happened to me a few weeks back, but I think it's still worth talking about. So, these two students were playing football on a grassy hill. One of the students dives for the football as its thrown to him. He jams his knee into an elevated part of the hill. I asked him if he was ok. He shakes his head. I told some other teacher's that he was injured and needed ice because he claimed to me that he couldn't walk. They told me that he needs to go down and get it because we need teacher's to supervise the playground and I was the only teacher supervising the playground at the time. That's seriously like a quarter mile walk. On the assumption that he was truly injured such that he couldn't walk, I didn't want him to go all that way. I ask if a teacher can bring up the ice.

Another teacher comes because she escorts students to go from the upper yard to the lower yard as their parents arrive. Orally, she pushes him to try to walk. He gets up and walks with a limp. The other teacher tells him that he needs to go down to get ice. So, he says ok to walk down. That's when I get kind of pissed. Immediately, I approached him before he headed down.

"Wait a sec. You told me you couldn't walk. And now, you're going to go down to get ice?!" The other teacher sees that I'm annoyed. Literally, she goes, "Uh oh...."

He stares at me blankly. He knows he screwed up. He doesn't know how to respond.

"Next time, if you get injured and you can walk, then you need to walk and get the ice yourself. I was going to run down for you. Do you realize that I'm the only one up here to supervise this playground? If I left, then no one would be up here to supervise them."

He just gives me an "Oh...." I just respond, "Alright. Go with her and get some ice."

What did I learn from this? If a student claims to be injured, examine them thoroughly. For example, if they say they can't walk, try to get them to walk. But, sometimes you just never know when you might run into a persistent liar. Such a person would "cry wolf" so to speak. But, it doesn't hurt to still push them (orally). Of course, it's easier if they claim to have a scrape or cut because those are physical signs which can be located.

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