Crowd Control to prevent "Mob Rule"
September 21, 2007 3:10 AM Subscribe
Crowd control techniques for hundreds of unruly people (teenagers in this case)? More inside...
posted by Alabaster to Education (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Looking for tried-and-true techniques for keeping a cafeteria full of unruly high schoolers in (reasonable) order. Not all BAD kids, but kids who generally weren't raised to have much respect for authority and have no qualms about flipping off a cop, let alone a teacher.
Fights and food fights break out fairly often (or almost break out--we can usually quell it in time but this is not always possible). Enforcing discipline (detentions, etc.) is difficult because we don't know all of their names and don't always have time call in someone who does. It's a typical overcrowded school and a kid can easily "disappear" into the crowd before you can identify him.
My classroom management techniques are pretty strong, but it's different when there are hundreds of them and you don't know most of their names (yet. I'm working on it).
Any suggestions from people (teachers, law enforcement, military, cult leaders, people familiar with crowd psychology, whatever) who have tried-and-true ideas on how 4-5 people can motivate a few hundred to keep relative order?
I'm not looking for military ranks here--kids will be kids after all, and the students here are quick to rebel against iron-fists. Students here respond best to teachers they like, respect, and trust, so the firm-but-positive approach tends to be better than the authoritarian approach (which usually leads to a very bad us vs. them situation). I'm mainly just looking prevent or quell the disruptions that can invoke "mob rule."
P.S. I'm also looking for general ways of dealing with individuals who respond disrespectfully or ignore our instructions because they know we can't enforce any discipline until we know their names (I have been known to follow a kid down the hall to his next class or break out last year's yearbook to find out his name, but this is not always possible when there are several of them or their faces are not particularly memorable).