The Problem:

On a November afternoon, a special education middle school student came into his classroom rapping and singing, according to a discipline report.

"Please get into your seat," the teacher said, according to the report. "Silent voices please."

But the student kept talking over the teacher, even when told to be quiet. The teacher told the student to "calm down."

But the student stood up and said, "I'm getting the f--k out of here." He kept walking toward the teacher, whoi backed up. Other students cried out, "Go get 'em," "Don't let her take you down for bein' you," "We got you, bro."

"Get out of my classroom," the teacher yelled. "Get out. You are making me feel unsafe."

The student left the class. The teacher asked another teacher to watch her class for a few minutes so she could regain her composure, according to the discipline report.

"When I came back into my classroom, my heart was beating so fast, and I felt like my safety was in danger," the teacher wrote in the report.

The next period, the student wrote an apology letter. "Dear Miss --. I am sorry for cursing at you and I hope you feel better."

The Solution:

"A special education middle school student came into his classroom rapping and singing."

"What? Are you a rapper?, asked the teacher (trained in Positive Peer Intergration). "Tell you what (looks at her watch), I'll give you two minutes. Go for it."

The student sheepishly complied. When he was done, the teacher turned to the class and asked, "Good enough for YouTube? What do you all think?"

This teacher instantly took back her power from the disruptive student and the whole class knew it. She then consolidated her power by involving the entire class in judging the qualities of the "performance."

Simply by how she communicated.

- from the Allentown Morning Call, April 18, 2016

A Program To Help You Deal Effectively with Teen Problems

Positive Peer Integration:

An example from real life

Relevant and informative reading for educators

Drug and Alcohol Use

Sexuality Issues

Parental Disrespect

Teen Pregnancy

School Pressures

Adult Disrespect

Teenage Crime

Disregard for Authority

Help is here if you need it!

Got teenagers will update this column regularly with links to timely and relevant articles excerpted with permission from professional sources and websites is based in Doylestown, PA  • email: • All rights reserved  

website designed and maintained by Pitkow Associates •

"I had a student who was using his strong religious beliefs to justify putting others down, and/or judge them harshly, and as this student was getting older the frequency of these incidents was also increasing.  For example, he would often state man's superiority over women while using the bible to justify this.  In group he would often make statements about how the opinions expressed by others were 'wrong' (think homosexual equality) based on his religion/god/bible.  This behavior had the cumulative effect of alienating this student from his peers, and frustration from both sides was high as judgments against others were a daily occurrence.  No amount of 'reasoning' could make this student understand that his belief system was a choice or opinion, and did not necessarily make it true for everyone else.

So after a few months of trying other ways of addressing this problem with no success I decided to attack it indirectly in group.  When the kids were ready for group that day I gave them a few simple instructions and a piece of paper, they were asked to write down their favorite color and a list of reasons why their color was the best.  When it was their turn to speak, they would have to verbally defend their position (why their color was the best) to the rest of the group, and then they would receive feedback on how they did in supporting their color of choice.  **This is where we had a little 'luck' in the group that day because the student who was picked to go first took the task very seriously, the student stood up and walked to the center of the group and addressed the other kids in group like they were in a court of law.  The first student got a bunch of positive feedback on their approach and the next student who went followed their lead and also addressed his/her peers like they were in a court of law (also stood up in the middle of the group circle). This went on for about 5 or 6 students, who were all making great points about their color and taking the task like a challenge to convince everyone else......Well after about the 5th or 6th student went, the student whose behavior we were attempting to indirectly address spoke out to the group and said, "this is stupid, having a favorite color is just an opinion, no one's color is any better than another."   At that point we had an 'aha' moment with a few of the staff members looking at him queerly saying 'really, you don't say,' and before we could say much else the student in question put two and two together and instantly knew what the group was about.  Over the next few days whenever he tried to use his religion to judge others or tell them their opinions were wrong, we simply asked him what his favorite color was and he stopped immediately.  After a few days he stopped using his religion to judge others almost entirely." 

A Language of Power

Case Study for Educators

From an Emotional Support Classroom of a suburban middle school and a teacher trained in the Language of Power© and Positive Peer Integrtation

Purchase Options for Educators