Today I went into the K-2 room of our tutoring program to find one of our little girls lying on the floor crying. "Susie, get up," I said. No answer, no movement. "Susie, get up right now or you will lose your snack." No answer, no movement. This continues for a few more rounds until I have to pick her up and carry her to a chair. Then I ask her, "Do you know why you're not getting snack today?" No answer. Repeat five times. No answer. I can't take her home because her mom is not there (which brings up the subject of two kids under the age of seven at home alone all afternoon, but that is for another post). I can't spank her or send her to the principal or flunk her. She didn't answer, didn't look at me didn't move, and I was really not sure what to do short of carrying her outside to the free time area where most of the other kids were. Finally she decided to walk out there (still not talking) after I picked her up and made her begin to walk.
Later, I thought about the sit-in movements and the passive resistance tactics of the 60's and realized why they were effective. If you don't answer, don't move, just sit, there isn't a whole lot anyone can do with you. I just wish I hadn't faced it during our after school program.