No one has to tolerate being abused. How people measure abuse may vary depending on the situation. If I feel a student has become verbally abusive our great administrators have given us a wonderful tool. We all wear microphones. At anytime administration can be listening to us and with a push of a button they will know we need assistance in the classroom NOW. I know other schools can push an intercom button and sometimes there are radios. Very few schools now don’t have some kind of security measure.
The student is removed. Another teacher comes and moves on with the class while you write an accurate account of the conversation. You go back to the classroom when you have finished and administration handles the details. That is their job. You are there to teach. You don’t have to call parents. You don’t have to address it with the student without administration present. Giving an accurate account of the details is your job. If some kind of system like this is not set up at the school where you teach I would go visit administration today.
It also important to teach students what verbal abuse in your classroom is and where the standards come from. For example, in my classroom we use our formal names, not nicknames. I don’t know how many times at the beginning of a semester I have to remind someone I am not “Hey Lady”. They don’t mean it in a negative way, but it not respectful and doesn’t belong in our classroom. If you say “HO” it better be in December, followed by two other Ho’s and you better are quoting Santa or one of his elves. Some students reach me with no social skills and this has to be taught. It’s not abuse in our classroom unless you have learned about verbiage and then choose to behave otherwise. After the first week everyone is fully aware of where the lines are drawn.
It’s all about creating a safe zone where respecting each other includes language.