Kids stew. Our students lash out because they haven't learned to process their emotions, identify the source of their unhappiness, or advocate for themselves in order to solve those problems. The reason many of our students lack those skills is because we as adults still struggle with doing the same thing.
I'm reminded of a time where I returned tests, starting going over it to help address the things that the majority of the classed missed, then assigned a correction assignment that allowed some points to be recovered for learning content they missed. Going around the room crowd sourcing answers and explantions, a young lady, when it was her turn to contribute, told me to "go f*** [myself]." Rather than speak to her like she was an adult, which I was tempted to do. Had the rest of class start the assignment and called her into the hall. The first thing I asked her was "what are you really upset about?" I told her that "I [knew] it couldn't be about that question." Turns out she had a ton going on at home with her family being unstable on top of her own self confidence issues and stress from the heaps of young children in her home. She told me that she didn't think she'd ever be able to do any of this stuff and that she just isn't good at it.
She still got in trouble. I didn't write a referral (because those never really change anything) but she did lose the chance to earn points back that time. She still came to tutoring and passed her ACP. Maybe she would've done that anyway. Maybe it had nothing to do with that chat. I can say that she's happier now and is better at explaining how she's feeling. If you want to chalk it up to growing up, go for it, but in that year, I saw the change and never had another interaction like that going forward.
Reacting to force with force isn't always the best option. Try fighting fire with water instead of fire.
When DISD students break down
Real talk with DISD students
Dallas and DISD student concerns
Stressed out Dallas Students
Tired Dallas Students
DISD teacher and DISD student Arguments
Dallas Teachers are servants