Speak No Evil But Hear Plenty Of It

| Learning | April 29, 2014

(I am in eighth grade, attending physical education class. My teacher is an enthusiastic woman who has never had trouble with me before. We have just finished our jumping jack regimen and are waiting for further instructions.)

Teacher: “All right, guys, looks like instead of running five minutes without stopping, it will be ten minutes!”

Me: *laughing amidst the other students’ complaints* “Oh, that’s evil!”

(Suddenly, my teacher is glaring at me and shouts at me in front of the entire class.)  

Teacher: “[My Name]! Go outside, now!”

Me: “Wh-what? What did I do?”

Teacher: “You do not ever talk like that! Go outside and stay there until I tell you to come back in!”

Me: “But I didn’t—”

Teacher: “Out! NOW!”

(I am so humiliated that when I go outside, I walk straight to the office in tears and get my mom to pick me up from school. The next morning, I go into the locker room early to have a ‘chat’ with the teacher.)

Me: “What you did to me in class was extremely embarrassing, when all I did was joke around. There is nothing wrong with what I said, and you know I’m a good student who didn’t deserve the way you treated me.”

Teacher: “I understand that you don’t think you did anything wrong, but ‘evil’ is a strong word, and the fact that you called me evil just didn’t jive with me at—”

Me: “Hold on. Wait a second. You thought I said YOU’RE evil?”

Teacher: “Erm… yes.”

Me: “I said THAT’S evil. THAT’S. Evil.”

Teacher: “… Oh.”

Me: “So you’re telling me you yelled at me in front of the entire class and sent me outside because you misheard me?”

Teacher: “‘Evil’ is just a very strong word, okay? Don’t use it!”

(I certainly never did around her again!)

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