Food For Thought-less Students

, , , , , | | Learning | May 15, 2019

(I live with my very poor, but caring family. My dad has recently been sent to the hospital after spraining his foot and my mom is still being affected by the aftereffects of her stroke and is usually bedridden. We are so tight on money that we have to skip dinner sometimes. There is a boy that is not very well-liked by anyone at our school, and for some reason, he just seems to hate me. I’m hanging out with my friends at lunch.)

Bully: “Hey, [My Name], you have food?”

(Due to our family’s status as low-income, I receive free school lunches. I should also mention that the bully is extremely spoiled and wealthy.)

Me: “Yeah, but this is the only food I have for the day, so I can’t really share.”

Bully: *sulks away*

(I think nothing of it, since he usually acts this way, until the office calls me up. I’m confused and go up to see the vice principal. The bully is sitting there in the office with a smug grin.)

Vice Principal: “Now, [My Name], do you know why you’re here?”

Me: “Uh, no.”

Bully: “Yeah, you do.”

Vice Principal: *gestures at the bully to calm down* “Well, your friend here was telling me about how you were bullying and physically harassing him.”

(I know this is because the bully is mad at me because I didn’t give him half of my burrito.)

Me: “What did I do?”

Vice Principal: *raises an eyebrow* “Well, you see, [Bully] here told me that you threw a penny into his eye. I know this might sound really petty, but that is still considered assault and can result in punishment by the law.”

(I’m pretty scared at this point. I’m 14 and stressed out, and I don’t want anything to do with this. We talk some more, and the VP sends me outside to talk with the bully, then sends him outside so he can talk to me. I sit down.)

Vice Principal: “Now, I want you to confirm anything that you feel is true. He says he asked you for some food, and you then threw a penny into his eye. Is that true?

Me: “What? No! I got my lunch, sat with my friend, and started eating until he said that he wanted food. I told him I couldn’t afford any food for the day and he just left.”

Vice Principal: “Wait, didn’t your dad just get sent to the hospital?”

Me: “Yeah, and the stroke is still hitting my mom pretty hard. We sometimes skip dinner just so we can save enough money.”

Vice Principal: “How often does this happen a week?”

Me: “Where he asks me for money or food, or if I skip—“

Vice Principal: “Both.”

Me: “He asks me just about every single day, and I’d say maybe three or four dinners?”

Vice Principal: “All right, call in [Bully].”

Bully: “So, did you decide on the punishment for her yet?”

Vice Principal: “Yes. Her punishment is to receive more school lunches.”

Bully: “Wait, what?”

Vice Principal: “Is it true you ask her for food every day?”

Bully: “I guess?”

Vice Principal: “You guess? Did it ever occur to you that the only reason she doesn’t give you food is that she can’t?”

Bully: “What do you mean?”

Vice Principal:Both of her parents are currently in the hospital. She doesn’t get to eat dinner half the week. Her school lunch is her only source of food, and you are asking me to tell her off for not giving any to you?”

Bully: “What does have to do with her throwing s*** at me?”

Vice Principal: “No, she didn’t. We have cameras, and she did nothing of the sort. What we did catch was you insulting her.”

Bully: *sulking*

Vice Principal: “You will be staying a minimum of 40 yards away from her. You won’t talk to her, nor will you look at her. You will also be receiving two weeks’ worth of lunch detention for lying to me, lying about a situation, lying to get another student in trouble, attempted theft, and harassment. Get out of my office.”

Bully: *stomps off*

Vice Principal: “Listen, [My Name]. If anybody ever bothers you again over food or the likes, you just talk to me and I’ll do my best to support you, clear?”

Me: “Yeah. Thanks, [Vice Principal].”

(My father and mother both got out of the hospital a couple of weeks later and everything in our family is slowly coming back to our old standards. The bully was suspended when he tried to punch a boy when he asked for free food and the boy said no. Thanks to the Vice Principal for supporting me against that bully!)

In The Name Of Anger

, , , , , , | | Learning | May 14, 2019

(I audition for the school musical and get a lead part. During rehearsals, it becomes apparent that the director does not know my name, despite her personally being present for my initial audition.)

Director: “All right, let’s go over this part again. Let’s start with… um…”

Me: “[My Name].”

Director: “[My Name]! Sorry!”

(This goes on for MONTHS, with her never making a real effort to learn to my name. One day, after a particularly bad day at school.)

Director: “Okay, let’s do this again. You, you there, um…”

Me: “GOD D*** IT!” *slams down music* “I am sick of this! I am your lead part! I have dealt with this nearly every day for three months! Please, just try to learn my name! It’s [My Name]! [My Name]! [My Name]!”

(The director’s jaw dropped. I later apologized, but she insisted that I was correct in my anger. She never forgot my name after that.)

For Her Nothing Else Matters

, , , , | | Learning | May 14, 2019

I worked in an English language preschool as a teacher’s assistant.

There was a five-year-old little girl with blonde hair, who always had pink clothes on, and she was a little shy and very polite.

One day, in our after-school club, one of the teachers put a CD on and a song by Metallica started playing. The little girl calmly walked into the middle of the room and started head-banging. Not only were the staff laughing out loud, the other kids were also amazed.

She was doing what she had seen her older brother do, her mom later explained.

A Proper Wraparound Statement

, , , | | Learning | May 14, 2019

(We are in music class. We have a band program that is mandatory. I am in the clarinet section, and there are more girls than boys. Our teacher is commenting on our seating arrangements when he lets out this gem:)

Teacher: “All right, maybe next time you boys sit in front and you girls wrap around them.”

(We never let him live that down, but what he had meant to say was that the girls sat AROUND us.)

Pushing Through The Chairs Of Anxiety

, , , , | | Learning | May 13, 2019

(My middle school math teacher seems to have had a severe problem with me and has no problem showing it. My learning disability does at times affect my work, which she doesn’t like, and if I come to see her during her after-school tutoring sessions that she holds for any student needing extra help, she rails on me for not understanding the work, and quickly loses her patience and refuses to help, telling me I am wasting time that the other students in the tutoring session need. All the while, she keeps going easier and even coddling students who do even less work or are even disruptive in class. Unfortunately, she doesn’t seem to contain her dislike for me to my academic performance. In her class, desks are set up in quads pretty close together, meaning if you are sitting at the side of the “square” directly back to back with someone sitting at the square right next to yours, it is hard to get out of your seat unless the other person scoots their chair closer to their desk to let you out. I should also note that I’ve never exactly been thin.)

Teacher: “[My Name]! Come hand out these worksheets!”

(I attempt to get up only to see that the classmate behind me has his seat pushed out so I can’t get up.)

Me: “[Classmate], could you move your chair in, please?”

Classmate: *moves his seat in barely an inch, not enough to let me get up, moves it back, and laughs*

Teacher: “[My Name]! I told you to get up! Now!”

Me: “There’s not enough room…”

Teacher: “Stop slacking off!”

(I try again to get the classmate to move his chair, but he ignores me. I’m getting more and more upset since she’s continuing to yell at me in front of the class, even though all this is going on in front of her eyes. The deskmate right across from me tries to help by pulling her desk back so I can push my desk forward to make room, only to be yelled at by the teacher, as well, for moving the desks.)

Me: “I can’t get up with [Classmate]’s chair out like that!”

Teacher: *rolls her eyes, condescendingly* “[Classmate], move your chair in so she can get up.”

(The classmate moves in a little bit, just enough to let me get up, but before I can…)

Teacher: “Move in more than that! She’s fatter than you and needs the space!”

Me: *speechless*

(I wish I could say that was the worst of it. I missed a week of school due to my father passing away. I was attempting to catch up with my classes once I was back, and I attended one of her tutoring sessions. This time, due to still being in a pretty fragile state, the harsh treatment I received made me burst into tears. Her response was to just coldly say, “Don’t expect me to feel sorry for you just because your dad died!” That didn’t just shock me, but the other students in the room, as well. All I could do was grab my stuff and leave. The following school year, my mom was pulling me out for winter break a few days early so I could go on a trip with extended family, since this would be my first Christmas without my father. I went around to all my teachers to get holiday homework beforehand, and all were understanding and gave their planned assignments. When I went to this teacher, she scribbled some equations in my notebook and said that was it. I foolishly took her at her word. When classes started back up, I learned the homework was an entire section of our textbook. She railed on me for not doing the work, and when I tried to remind her she didn’t tell me what the work was, she sneered that that’s what I get for missing school. That following year, I ended up in the same high school with a bunch of classmates from middle school and we decided to get together and visit our old stomping ground one day after classes let out. When we arrived, we found four teachers sitting together in one of the classrooms: three of my favorite teachers, including two who had been such a comfort after my dad died and even came to his funeral, and THAT teacher. I got a petty little thrill at her shocked and offended expression when I deliberately ignored her, turned my back to her when speaking to the other teachers, and went around hugging all of them except for her. That’s what you get for being mean.)

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