As all teachers I work as my struggle with (NPLB) No Paperwork Left Behind increases. We can't leave any child behind without the appropriate paperwork. I've watched the influx of additional Bloods, Cripps, Goths, locally grown gangstas, and imported thugs from outside our borders. They all attempt to stay below the administration radar, sometimes with success. More often they rise to be noticed. At this point most of them pass through my classroom.
With the increase of individuals that stay with me for shorter and shorter periods of time my work load has increased. Additionally, the Atlas Program was dropped into my lap without an invitation. Arranging services for this most transient, (homeless), of students has evolved into a full-time vocation. This group of students come with behaviors that few other students possess.
I've also became aware of several students availing themselves of the "wonderful child friendly environment" known as MySpace. Many of my students, especially the gangtas' and the Goths, have become very involved with this website. It appears that the exchange of cryptic information among fellow group members is the priority. They all seem to be unaware of strangers invading their world; dangerous strangers. When this subject is brought up to any of them the reply is always the same, "No one can get by me."
All of them dismiss the possibility or probability that they can become an addition to THE DEAD KIDS OF MYSPACE. I've forwarded this website to most of the parents of my students and to fellow teacher and administrators. Few have even noticed what I consider as the important message at this website.
There appears to be no neutral ground in the battle to educate. Now the battlefield has no boundaries. We as teachers appear to be always playing catch-up in the attempts to educate with some knowledge beyond standardized tests. The Dead Kids of MySpace are obviously beyond our grasp, but perhaps their sisters, brothers, friends, and peers could be pulled back from the oblivion. We often lose the battles and hope against hope that we win the war.