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What is the Curse of Middle School 80 in the Bronx? There have been multiple Principals, Assistant Principals, Teachers, and Assistant teachers over the last two decades that have worked at MS 80. However, in two administrations MS 80 has not been shy of scandals by administrators, teachers and staff. This has affected students’ overall progress and confidence. For years MS 80 has maintained a negative reputation in the community.
Mainstream newspapers such as the New York Post constantly write about what happens within the school. There have been many scandals uncovered by the Post that include staff assaulting students, students brutally beaten by gangs inside the school, assistant teachers assaulting teachers, inappropriate behaviour by administrators outside, and inside the school, including obvious retaliation against students but teachers and administrators.
From what the NYP writes. school culture there is about breaking the students’ spirits to force them to oblige to what the staff wants, as well the constant deception of parents, and community members by MS 80 staff, and administrators.
Many long-time educators such as Mr Dundas who serve MS 80 for nearly two decades., have left the school looking for a work environment, or in the case of Mr Dundas to become administrators. Over the years MS 80 has tried to improve school culture but failed poorly due to a lack of cohesion. The school focuses on discipline rather than the overall well-being of the student. For instance, MS 80’s head of discipline has been Mr Benitez for the last few years. He is an experienced teacher and Dean of discipline and culture MS. 80.
The emphasis on discipline through negative reinforcements has led to constant complaints against him based on his modality with the kids. The way that Mr Benitez approaches the students, and the parents do not fit with the student’s expectations. For example, according to students, parents, and staff Mr Benitez screams at the students, with a tone that will make your ear ring.
He has stated many times: “I own this school”, “The school does not need the students, it only needs the teachers”, and telling parents “you are not helping” when they refuse to do what Mr Benitez commands, according to reliable sources at Happy Student. According to our sources, Mr Benitez’s operating modality assumes that all students are automatically wrong, and do not deserve a right to defend themselves, or recount events of anything that happens. Thus, students behave as inmates, not students in a vivid, and enriching environment. The frustration and disappointment are not limited to students, but also include teachers and staff.
School Rules and Guidelines
However, it is important to mention that the discipline of Middle School 80 has improved significantly under Dean Mr Benitez. Nevertheless, it is important for all School staff to be able to have a very well-balanced student-teacher relationship. Because without a good relationship with the students, we have the potential to create a cold, and individualistic environment for students, and teachers. It is Every man for himself.
MS 80 staff do not seem to care about establishing productive relationships with the students, and school community. From our observations and investigation, teacher morale is very low within the building. Educators who reject their commands are forced to leave. Therefore, approximately, one-third of staff members leave the school for another school, likely based on discontent with the school culture.
One of the rules of the school of this Middle School that goes against New York City student culture is the prohibition of bookbags. Students are not allowed to bring bookbags to school. If they bring bookbags to school staff will take them away at the door. When students ask about this policy, the answer they receive is “so students don’t bring weapons to school“. However, this does not mean that the work does not get done because nowadays everything is done with laptops on Google Classroom, Google docs to write your work, Google slides for presentations, Zoom and all stuff for video conferencing.
For all schools, discipline, and order is essential to a learning environment. It is important to keep discipline and what we say and what we do to develop empathy with the students to know what they like, their interests, and the student home setting, to adjust and differentiate. To see, and treat them as human beings, not inmates.
For educators, it is easy to send the students to the Dean’s office than to talk, defuse, and use effective classroom management skills. This potentially affects the students’ development and confidence in a setting where they are assumed guilty, not allowed to speak, and are treated very condescendingly. Instead of having a nurturing and caring environment where discipline is applied appropriately, we have an environment where Mr Benitez screams at the students and forces them to submit. Completely unacceptable!
Is this Curse of Middle School 80? Have incompetent staff members. We believe that if an unbiased and neutral investigation takes place, it would uncover many disturbing, and intriguing secrets. Middle School 80 needs to become a school with a caring, and loving environment emphasizing the students FIRST.
Middle School 80 Grades