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Student’s Violent Outburst, Part Four

barclay_barrios
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(Please note that the video discussed in this post contains violence and offensive language. Many of the comments left on YouTube are also offensive.) In thinking about a student's recent outburst  outburst at my school, I've considered what it says about students’ digital literacy, what it says about race, and what I would do in that situation. For this last post, I'd like to consider the student herself. There’s still a lot we don’t know. However, there are some things we do know. We know, for example, from the local CBC coverage:
Just 24 hours earlier, a calm Carr was captured on CBS 4 helping to organize a bus trip to central Florida for a rally to support the family of Trayvon Martin the unarmed teenager who was shot to death allegedly by the head of the neighborhood Crime Watch.
With this information, I am left thinking about students today. I think about the things they have to deal with that I never did, for example, privacy issues, violence, social pressures magnified through social media. I often say that each year I’m one year older but students are always eighteen. I usually feel it when I realize deflatedly that my cultural references fall flat in the classroom. Today I am realizing it on another, more disturbing, level. How do we build relations and connections to students today? How do I make my classroom the kind of place where a student can constructively relieve pressure? Any suggestions?  
About the Author
Barclay Barrios is an Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Programs at Florida Atlantic University, where he teaches freshman composition and graduate courses in composition methodology and theory, rhetorics of the world wide web, and composing digital identities. He was Director of Instructional Technology at Rutgers University and currently serves on the board of Pedagogy. Barrios is a frequent presenter at professional conferences, and the author of Emerging.