This method will solve Middle School Security problems


I did this 25 years ago at Potrero Hill MIddle School which was the toughest in the district and it worked.

I was the SED teacher (I taught Severely Emotionally Disturbed kids how to behave) …

Principal warned me it was a tough school.

I laughed.

"You still have windows."

Noted that to him I did.

Place I’d taught before (Full Circle of Sonoma) put the kids out in the redwood forest above Guerneville and they roamed the woods and built shelters for themselves away from the main camp facilities.

I got their attention by bringing a stack of State books to get driving licenses and they memorized those fuckers.

Place before that (these are Summer jobs between regular district gigs in Pendleton, South Carolina and SFUD) …

Place in South Carolina had one kid who dressed all in black and had murdered his parents.

He was 13.

Another who looked like he was 8 but was actually 12.

He’d made national news by stealing and joy riding in a hearse with a coffin in back.

In SF Asst. Principal called me in and she had my worst student for doing some shit and asked what I was gonna do.

On a whim I picked up a Post-it with bright red border and wrote:


Hall Monitor
Potrero Hill
Middle School

I told him:

"Go tell those kids in the halls to get into their classes cause Mr. Brown is coming and you’re gonna do detention in our room."

Scared the shit out of em and emptied the halls.

One kid.

Big strong Samoan who could play guard for the Niners I was thinking to myself.

Hey, OJ Simpson went to that school and until that misunderstanding he did all right.

So, I made all of my 5 kids monitors and gave them little clip boards with tickets to write for kids not supposed to be in hall.

The Social Studies teacher (John Voorhees, an Ace) registered every kid in school to vote.

He drafted them for Jury Duty and they had their own Student Lawyers and Judge.

Gave sentences respected by accused.

When I called for volunteers to put 7 monitors in the halls every period 300 of the 650 students volunteered.

Halls got dead silent and I put a cookie jar in the Teachers Lounge and when we reached $36 I loaded the kids in my open pickup and we went down to the big paint company under the bridge and got enuff Spray paint for a great mural and they did then for couple hundred feet all around rear of building.

Took my kids and others with the cops (SFPD’s Wilderness Program out in the woods and camped and risked our lives climbing and depending on each other.

Best program I ever saw.

Walt Scott was co-director I worked with.

First year, District invited a Nobel winner to observe my work.

Next year they declined to renew my contract (not fired) for being too much of a potential legal liability.

All of my programs were canceled and chaos returned.


Wonder whatever happened to Voorhees ?

Hey, I’m available to set up one of these programs at any of these Middle Schools as a volunteer consultant.

They work.

Go Niners !!


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