Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Unruly Tweens

At first I sort of snickered at this article in the Manhattan local news - Librarian Wants Police to Crack Down on Unruly Tweens.

An Upper West Side librarian says unruly tweens have become such a threatening menace to her and her staff that she needs police protection.

"They're 12 and they have no respect for us," said Bloomingdale Library manager Rebecca Donsky at a recent 24th Precinct Community Council meeting, her voice shaking with emotion as she pleaded for help controlling the youngsters.

Come on, twelve year olds?

Then I thought about it a little more and it occurred to me that I have no idea how to handle unruly twelve year olds. What are they into these days? What would I be allowed to say? I imagine I couldn't grab their arms and haul them toward the door or anything. Not to mention I might not be able to! While I'm stronger than I look, I look like what I am - 5'3" if you're being generous. Kids are tall these days, and I'm going to guess I can't put them in a goose neck arm hold. Which I would need to brush up on anyway.

I am, however, pretty sure this won't happen:

"I want to give them a way to channel their energy," Donsky said. "If they're angry, don't call me names, write a poem."

Roses are red
Violets are blue
You are a pushover
I wish daddy loved me?


Alexandra said...

Probably twice in my 12 years working in libraries have I been caught in situations with teens I felt were outright scary, but no more than that.

They are a herd like any other herd - just don't get separated from your own pack and let them corner you!

Seriously, though, I have a 3-strikes-you're-out policy. If it got that bad, I would kick them out. If they didn't leave, damn right I would call the police like I do for anyone. Police "protection" does seem a little nuts, though.

Staff just have to stand their ground and follow through with consequences for actions.

And keep their backs to the wall!

Kidding. Sort of.....

(and seriously? name-calling? totally the least of your problems!)

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