I am new to this list and in my first year of teaching at the ripe old age of 46 (well I was 45 at the beginning of the school year, but I digress). I am teaching English in a very rural community in Western Arizona. We have very wealthy farmer/rancher children and migrant worker's children. The county I live in has only two high schools. One is in the county seat and only takes children that live in that town and then there is ours. Some of these children bus in from over 90 miles away. We are talking about 1.5 hour bus trips back and forth. This year we have a new superintendent, principal and 7 (out of 12) new teachers (now 8 as the Art teacher quit over Christmas break). I understand that discipline was non-existent before this year. The new principal taught PE here for 14 years and just recently graduated with his masters. The students are unruly, surly, insolent and some are just out and out nasty. You know what??? I am nice to them all. They cannot figure it out. But I learned a long time ago that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Last semester they hated me (I was new and they have a running rule that they have to try to get a teacher to quit the first semester). This semester I have students asking me to please remember them forever. This is a long story for a very short comment. Some of these students just don't care. They have lived a meager existence for so long that they expect to continue living one. They don't care. I have a few that are very intelligent and they just don't care. They hand in no homework and do no assignments in class. I have been told to fail them but not to write a disciplinary referral on them unless they are disrupting the class. I have one senior student who failed junior english with me this year. Was he ever surprised. This kid is a drug user and I believe dealer. He would come to class and sleep. I couldn't write him up because he didn't disrupt the other students (he was too stoned to do that). But you know what. I was the first teacher to fail him. He was taking Junior english his last year because he had other more interesting classes to take and the counselor lets them do this. So this semester I have him twice. I have him for "Vocational English - those students who failed" and since I do not have a senior English class this semester he is doing correspondence work and sitting in another class of mine (Yearbook). Standards in the US are declining. Why??? Because we have lost control over the students. They have way too many "rights". I am not talking about beating them within an inch of their lives, but to be afraid of disciplining them because their parents can sue???????????? Most of these parents do not pay attention to these students or they believe that "little Johnny" wouldn't and couldn't act this way. Example: The "drug dealer's" father is living with one of the other teachers. She has told him over and over that he is doing drugs. He will not listen to her. His son says he isn't>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Get a clue, DAD!!!! Okay, I said a lot and probably said nothing. I have a tendency to ramble. Drives the students crazy. LOL Have a good day.