Stop running, Forrest!

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In three years of subbing, I have had kids go running: around the room, down halls, into other classrooms, etc. However, I have never had a kid run out the door and off the campus--until today.

It all started when little kiddo came to the special ed room carrying a toy motorcycle which the teacher had already taken away from him once this morning for playing with it when he shouldn't. That had set off a temper tantrum. When I saw him with it, I told him to go put it in his locker, so that it wouldn't become a problem again.

He refused and immediately started to tantrum. I told him that was a poor choice and that he needed to settle down or be sent to the plan room (an in school detention). His response was to kick a couple of wastebaskets and head out of the room.

I followed him into the hall, intending to lead him to the plan room, but he was headed in the opposite direction. I followed him down the hall at a bit of a distance and watched him turn a corner. When I got to the corner, he had gone through the door and outside. I went to the door and called after him, but stayed in the doorway, in case the door was locked. I kept my eye on him while calling into the corridor that if anyone could hear my voice, I needed assistance.

As I watched him and waited, he had wandered to the end of the driveway area, and was standing at the top of a snowy hill. Two teachers came out another door closer to him, so I let the door close and walked towards them. He had disappeared down the hill so wee stood at the top and called his name. We couldn't see him, but a path ran from the bottom of the hill around to the back of the school. I remained there to keep an open eye while the other teachers went back into the building to get coats, a radio, and to call his mom.

While I watched, I saw him appear about 100 yards away, standing on top of a snowbank near the parking lot. He was wearing a shortsleeve shirt and no coat, so I hoped he'd get cold enough to head our calls. I called to him, but he said no one could make him come back in. I saw the two teachers heading towards him, at which point he climbed down the snowbank and ran through the parking lot.

I decided to try heading him off at the pass. He was heading down the block, away from the school, with a teacher behind him. I went to the other end of the block and walked toward them from the opposite direction. When he saw me, he crossed the street to get away (fortunately it was a quiet, residential street) but when he saw that I crossed, too, and was still heading toward him, he crossed back.

At this point, he was right between the other teacher and me, and we were closing in. He turned and dashed between two houses, back toward the school. The other teacher radioed in that he was climbing the fence and heading up the hill, back on school grounds. We went back the way I'd come, and met him as he was walking up the path from the bottom of the hill. He took off running toward the back of the school, with the other teacher close behind.

At this point I went back inside. I had no coat on and even though it was sunny and fairly mild, I was freezing. Now that he was on school property and being corraled by a teacher with a radio, I felt it ok to go in. I returned to my group so I missed the aftermath of how they got him in and what happened next. I imagine that he went home with his mom when she arrived.

I'm told that this kid regularly has problems like this and runs away a lot, but it didn't make it any more nerve wracking for me.

1 Comment

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This page contains a single entry by Kayjayoh published on January 24, 2005 1:49 PM.

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