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Basketball prowess

Posted: March 25, 2014 9:48 a.m.
Updated: March 26, 2014 5:00 a.m.

When I listened to the news yesterday, I heard that a school resource officer (and part-time policeman) was in trouble for a problem concerning a basketball and lack of respect from a student. While I do now know what happened -- just that, according to the news, the gentlemen shoved a 14-year-old male. I also had a problem concerning these two, except my male student was older. I did not receive coverage in the newspaper or the television. Here is what happened.

One day, when my students were taking a test, I heard the noise of a bounding basketball in the hall. When one of my pupils called me over and asked, “Could you please get him to stop? The sound is so annoying!” I went out and confronted the student in a normal tone of voice, saying, “Would you please stop bouncing that ball?” He looked at me with a challenging look and bounced it again. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I said, “Please don’t bounce the ball again; it disturbs the students who are taking a test.” His eyes did not leave mine, and I realized he was going to bounce the ball again, a direct defiance of a teacher’s request but had noted the trajectory of the ball was exactly the same each time.

Still looking directly at him when he bounced the ball, I “stole” it, turned, and put it in the closet, which immediately locked. He was amazed, and I was still calm and in control. He, not giving up, said, “That’s my ball.” I replied, “I know, you may retrieve it after school.” The young man’s last remark was “I’ll get you for that.” I ignored the remark. Our only confrontation was verbal. I am egotistical enough to think that, if he had attacked me, there would have been protection from my students, who far outnumbered him.

That afternoon, when he returned to retrieve the ball, I reached for the key when he said, “Wait a minute; I was mad.” Then I realized someone had reported the incident to Mr. C., who had told the boy he had to come and apologize to me. Handing him his ball, I retorted, “Oh, I was not worried. You really wanted me to be safe since so many witnesses had heard your threat.” Then I smiled, and he never came to bounce the ball and interrupt my class again.

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