Last year I had an impulsive student in my twelfth grade English class. He had been diagnosed with ADHD but was no longer taking medication. At times he said things that were inappropriate (sometimes sexual). Also, he would slam his hands on his desk when he was upset. Some of the other students in the class told me they were afraid the student would harm them. Even though the student had an IEP, the accommodations were not always helpful. I expressed my concerns to the administration and eventually met with the student's mother. A special education teacher and an administrator were present at the meeting. The mother was very defensive and believed that her son's problems were caused by other students in the classroom and that he should not be held accountable for his outburts. How should a teacher deal with a situation like this? I too believed that this student could harm others.
This is a case where you pull in help from other staff. Ask to have another person in the class, maybe a para with training in handling more aggressive students. Ask the school psychologist to work with you and the student to help manage the behaviors in the classroom. Have a safety plan in place. Document everything. You can even ask for a functional behavior assessement to see what may be triggering the behaviors.
Kids who are aggressive need to have good boundaries and need to be held accountable, to a certain degree, for their behaviors. My dd has been sent home for slamming her hand on a desk when she was upset, even though she has an IEP and was unstable due to an incorrect medication at the time. She wasn't suspended, just sent home for everyones safety.
Also, you should be aware that just because ADHD is the dx, that doesn't mean that is what the kid actually has. It may be one component, or the most obvious symptom, but there can be other things going on. One of my son's best friends was dx'd with severe ADHD (angry, impulsive, no concentration) until his senior year when he became more violent and ended up in the hospital. He was finally dx'd with bipolar disorder and got some appropriate help for a while. At least until he could finish school. There are also other disorders that have similar symptoms to ADHD but also include more aggression.
I hope this year goes more smoothly for you.
mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld
mr. 20, add/dyslexic
I hear and I forget
I see and I remember
I do and I understand.