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Teachers at a "Problem School" Issue a Cry for Help (March 30, 2006)

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In most families, our students are the only ones who get out of bed in the morning. How can we explain to them that it is still important for them to come to school and finish their schooling and receive a diploma? The students are usually preoccupied with procuring the newest cell phone, choosing outfits that won’t get them laughed at and that will help them fit in. For them, school is the stage upon which they carry out their struggle for recognition.

Repeat offenders become the role model. School provides no positive role models for the students. They are trapped among themselves and never have a chance to get to know other young people who live differently. The Hauptschule isolates them. They feel singled out and conduct themselves accordingly. For this reason, any sort of help for our school can only make the present situation more bearable. In the longer term, the Hauptschule in its present form needs to be eliminated in favor of a new type of school with a totally new configuration.

In the short term, we need to expand the faculty to bring calm and order into the everyday school routine, which – as mentioned above – is characterized by cancelled classes and substitute teachers. [ . . . ]

We need to have a specialist at the school every day to help us with de-escalation and crisis intervention. [ . . . ]

Our school building will be one hundred years old in 2009, and we hope that by then it will be possible to create a school atmosphere in which students and teachers enjoy learning and teaching.

Source: “Der Hilferuf der Rütli-Schule” [“A Cry for Help from the Rütli School”], Tagesspiegel online, March 30, 2006.

Translation: Allison Brown

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