A Victory In Tragedy

| San Jose, CA, USA | Learning | October 7, 2013

(I am in my junior year of high school. A fellow student has just died on campus due to sudden cardiac failure. As you might expect, this is a shock to everyone, and his close friends are really torn up. It is my first class after lunch, about three hours after the student has died. A tone plays to indicate a school announcement through the PA.)

Announcement: “Due to the death of [Student Name], we have brought in counselors to assist those students struggling with the loss. The counselors are available in the library and any student can come to the library at any time.”

(Several of my fellow students get up to go to the library, as they are really shaken up.)

Teacher: “Where are you all going? The class has not ended yet.”

Student #1: “We are going to the library.”

Teacher: “I didn’t tell you that you can go to the library; now sit down!”

Student #2: “[Name] was our close friend, and we really need to go talk to someone. The announcement said we can go any time.”

Teacher: “I don’t care what the announcement said; sit down now!”

(The small group of students continue towards the door.)

Teacher: “If you leave this classroom without my permission, I will fail you all! You will not be allowed back in!”

(This has the opposite effect, as now more students get up in support of the students leaving, and then more, until the entire class is gone. The students who need it go to the library, but the rest of us go to the office. The vice principal is very surprised we are all there. We explain what happened. We are told to stay in the office until our next class, or go to the library. The next day we find out that the teacher has been suspended!)

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