Bullied Into Bending The Truth

, , , , , , , , | Learning | December 10, 2019

(My brother is three years younger than me and started at my secondary school this year, aged eleven. He almost immediately starts getting bullied by a kid in his class, who happens to be the brother of a girl in my year. The bully is easily the smallest child in my brother’s class and is constantly angry, fighting constantly, and seems to be bullying several kids, not just my brother. I witnessed him come up behind his sister and demand money from her; then, he kicked her in the knees so she fell to the ground before kicking her again. He also made lots of nasty comments that made his sister cry. The school does nothing because the bully always starts fights when teachers aren’t looking and then claims self-defense, getting away with it because he’s smaller than them. I offer to help my brother constantly by letting him hang out with my friends or by going to stand near his class in breaks — I’m a school prefect/monitor so could intervene — but my brother has autism and is already struggling socially so he doesn’t want to be with my friends or for me to be near his. Until one day…)

Brother: *crying and running over* “Help! Help! Please help!”

Me: “Is it [Bully]?”

Brother: “Yeah, he got me and now another boy, too.”

Me: “Okay, stay here.” *to my friends* “Look after him, please!”

(I run down to the area where the younger kids have break and see [Bully] immediately. He’s sat on another kid’s neck with his knees on either side of his throat and is just landing punches on his face. As I run closer, I can see the boy underneath is going purple and is pulling at [Bully]’s knees, obviously unable to breathe.)

Me: *still running over* “Hey! Get off him!”

([Bully] doesn’t respond and as I get close, the boy underneath goes limp, still being punched. I grab the scruff of [Bully]’s collar, intending to pull him off the other child and to his feet. I’m only 5’3” and female but I still tower over this tiny child and my panicked grab of his collar results in more than the intended force. Instead of pulling him to his feet, I throw him back where he crashes into a pillar and crumples. I freeze, horrified that now I may have hurt someone; I’m a nerdy girl who’s never been in trouble before. A teacher who knows me and the other prefects well comes running over.)

Teacher: *running over* “[My Name], just go! Run! I’ve got it.”

(I ran for it, leaving the teacher to deal with both boys. The boy who was attacked had to go to the hospital for treatment for a broken nose, broken tooth, and difficulty breathing and swallowing. The teacher knew about the bully and the school’s rule of needing a member of staff to witness and bent the truth a bit. She told them that she’d witnessed the attack on both my brother and the other boy but denied that I’d been there, saying that no one had hurt [Bully] and he’d been making it up to claim self-defense. He ended up getting a long period of isolated education, working one on one in a classroom and taking breaks by himself. It’s not totally moral for the teacher to have lied, but given [Bully]’s year of attacking people every day, it felt justified!)

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Dropping You Off In The Hotel

, , , , , , | Learning | December 5, 2019

My son is in his high school band. They were on a band trip from Pittsburgh to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He was sending texts about how bad their bus driver was. She couldn’t get out of the high school parking lot without trouble. At a rest stop, she went in the wrong way to a restaurant.

A few hours later, he texted that everyone was all right, but they were in an accident. One person got hit with a small piece of safety glass when a window broke, but she was fine. The driver was in a tight space and couldn’t turn around, as she was having a very tough time of it. My wife texted asking how close he was to the hotel. His answer was, “Touching it.”

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No “Short” Cut To Junior

, , , | Learning | November 26, 2019

(I’ve just finished a solo singing audition for my school’s annual stage show. There are three people reviewing my audition: two teachers and a senior. The male teacher doesn’t know me. I’m only five feet tall and tend to run my mouth a bit when I’m nervous.)

Teacher: “Are you a freshman?”

Me: “Nope, I’m a junior. It’s all right; I’m just short. I’m mistaken for either a middle schooler or my mother; there is no in-between.”

Teacher: “You’re a junior?! I haven’t seen you before. Are you a transfer?”

Me: “No, I’ve been going here my whole high school career.”

Teacher: “What? Then I would’ve had you for [Religion Class]; who did you have for that last year?”

Me: “I’m in [Religion Class] this year with [Teacher #2]. Last year, I was in [Other Religion Class] with [Teacher #3].”

Teacher: “Sorry, I just can’t believe I’ve never seen you before. Usually, I’ve met everyone.”

(I wanted to laugh at how shocked he was that in three years he had never seen me among the hundreds of students in the school!)

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A Ballooning Sense Of Frustration

, , , , | Learning | November 26, 2019

I am in an Honors Physics Class doing a project. The project is blowing up a balloon to a certain circumference, then taping it onto a straw that has a string running through. The end of the balloon cannot be tied for we release the balloon and watch it zoom across the string, then calculate distance, etc. Eventually, we are required to change a variable and add mass to the balloon, which means taping these round discs onto the balloon. Every time we attempt this, the balloon deflates and the tape unsticks, meaning the discs slid off.

I take one of my hair bands and suggest we temporarily tie the end of the balloon with the hair tie so it stays inflated. However, I can not put it on as the balloon’s entrance is covered in my classmate’s saliva — I’m already prepared to throw the hair tie away, since I have plenty more. I hand it to him and get the discs and tape ready.

He blows it up.

He awkwardly stretches the hair tie and puts it on over the end… and then stretches it again and tries to bring it over the inflated balloon. It deflates while he tries to wrap it around the middle of the balloon.

He repeats this three times with me growing even more increasingly confused before I realize that he probably has no idea how to tie a hair tie. I end up borrowing a glove and tying it up, while he stands there with his face beet red.

I feel bad for the guy; I was trying not to laugh but my smile was obvious.

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A Vicious Recycle

, , , , | Learning | November 25, 2019

(We’re in an assembly meant to review what we can and cannot recycle. The recycling speech is delivered by one of the science teachers who is known for not caring about what school officials think of her.)

Teacher: “I have a box here. It’s filled with this packing paper, which can be recycled.” *tosses paper into the recycling bin onstage* “I can also recycle the box.”

(The assisting student breaks down the box and throws it into the bin, as well, after handing the teacher its contents, a book in a sealed plastic bag.)

Teacher: “This plastic wrapping — recyclable.” *throws the plastic in the recycling bin* “And here we have ‘Dress Code by [Administrator].’”

(She unceremoniously threw the book in the bin. The entire student body cheered.)

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