This morning, in my very small class of 8 students, 4 were wearing red t-shirts. I took note of this, because the students wearing them were not the stars of the class--in fact, had histories of getting in trouble.
So I made note of who they were, on a slip of paper, and put it in my pocket without telling them. I did, however, ask, "What's up with the red?" so they knew I had noticed.
You see, they think teachers are stupid. At least, they act like it.
So a few minutes into first period, our "security" guard comes to my door, and tells me that they have a tip that some girls are going to fight, so I should keep my ears open for that. Also, she told me that a lot of kids were wearing red, and to be aware of that. Okay. Thanks. I'll be aware.
First period ends, and I walk into the hall. I always have a recess whistle on my school keys, and apparently for good reason. I found myself in a sea of red, which was clumping right by my door. I was practically included in this bizarre huddle of adolescent humanity. It smelled faintly like pot and incense and unwashed bodies. I heard one of them say, "Someone snitched on us!"
I blew my whistle. "Get to class, people! Let's go!" I said in my usual, hustle-it-along manner. Right then, another clump, this time of girls, congregated right in front of me. "Get in that classroom!" I barked, and they jumped and skittered away.
It became very apparent that the hallway I was in was to be their staging area. I pulled out my ace in the hole:
"I will personally give every one of you lunch detention if you don't get in a classroom. NOW!"
Empty hallway. Bell rings.
All kids wearing red were systematically called to the auditorium.
When third period ended, I had some time off. I wandered down to the auditorium to see what was going on. It was a sea of red and black--apparently, two factions had decided to show themselves that day. At the back of the auditorium were no fewer than 7 police officers and school security personnel. I estimated that there were 80-100 students sitting there.
It was one helluva day, but we as a faculty did it: there were no fights at our school today.