This Isn’t Your Father’s Library

, , , , , | Learning | January 5, 2018

(It is the last week of a 13-week semester at our very small college. The college has no dedicated study space and our one-room library is packed. Through diligent outreach efforts, the other librarian and I have increased the number of students we serve by 400% over the last four semesters. I get this email from the vice-president of the college.)

Vice-President: “I hear it is too noisy in the library. Students are complaining. I need you and [Other Librarian] to come to a meeting tomorrow at 10:00 am to explain why it is so noisy.”

Me: “I’m sorry; this week is our busiest week of the semester. We have about 150 students in the library right now, and there are no down times throughout the day. We cannot possibly be away from the library at this time. Could you find a time next week when we could meet?”

(The vice-president then proceeds to send me a 500-word essay on the importance of quiet. Then the principal, who has been cc’d in our emails, sends his own essay about how “in the old days,” libraries were quiet places, and asking “what’s wrong with kids nowadays?”)

Me: *to other librarian* “You’d think they’d realize that if there are 150 students packed into one room, it is going to be loud!”

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Quality Of Care In This School Is Going (Lock)Down

, , , , , , | Learning | January 1, 2018

(I am in class when the principal addresses the school over the intercom.)

Principal: “Attention, students. I have just received a notice from the police department. They’ve chased a man who’s been evading them to the woods behind the school.”

(Here he gives a brief description of the man, and mentions the fact he’s wanted for several violent crimes: armed robbery, assault and battery, etc. It’s clear this is a very dangerous man, and we all assume we’re going into lockdown.)

Principal: “If you leave the school building, go directly to your car and be vigilant on your way to the parking lot. Thank you.”

(Stunned silence. In order to get to the parking lot you have to walk right past the woods, where the man is apparently hiding. We all can’t believe the principal is not only not going into lockdown, but is allowing students to leave the building. Eventually, the principal comes back on the intercom and says that the police have the man in custody. After school I stop at a convenience store down the road where I regularly chat with the cashier.)

Cashier: “Did you guys have a safety demonstration at school today?”

Me: “No. Why?”

Cashier: “There were a bunch of police cars coming down the road toward the school a few hours ago, and they had the SWAT van, too. I didn’t hear that anything serious was going on, so I figured maybe they were showing off to you guys?”

(So, to recap. This man was so dangerous that the police had to send the SWAT TEAM and half the force to bring him in, and the principal didn’t even lock the front door. He also allowed students to leave the building during an active police operation. I can’t possibly see how that could go wrong.)

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Putting The “Vice” In “Vice Principal”

, , , , , , , | Learning | November 25, 2017

(I am in my animation class during a recess break and want to show my teacher a new video from a 3D animator I like. This teacher is very lax about students using computers in the classroom to work, research, or play games.)

Me: “Hey, [Teacher], check out this new video [Animator] put out!”

Teacher: “Oh, wow, this looks pretty interesting.” *another student calls for assistance* “Keep it playing; let me go help someone really quick.”

(My teacher goes to the front of the room to help someone else. I am in the middle rows, and at the back rows are several boys gathered around, playing some form of Grand Theft Auto. At this time, I am the only Asian student in the room. The vice principal walks into the room and goes around the back, looking over all students’ shoulders at their screens, and immediately comes up to me.)

Vice-Principal: “What do you think you’re doing? Do you think this sort of thing is appropriate for class?” *rips out my flash drive from the computer* “Give me that! I’ll be confiscating this thing and examining everything on this. You should know better.”

(The vice principal left without even checking or making note of my name to keep with my drive. My teacher wasn’t even aware that the vice principal had come in, and when I told him what happened he was just as confused as I was. He even asked the group of boys playing GTA if they got in trouble, and they said no. A week later my teacher managed to talk to the vice principal and get my flash drive back. All he could tell me was that the vice principal said, “Sorry, I was in a bad mood.” Over the next three years of high school I learned that particular vice principal was very racist towards Asian students. Even when he noticed multiple students “breaking rules,” like wearing hats or using earphones, he only confiscated things from Asian students. Two students were standing side by side, both clearly wearing earphones, but only the Asian student was reprimanded. If any student was to try to reclaim their items at the end of the week, there was no further security to make sure they got their own item back. If you lost expensive earphones, guess what? Earphones are earphones; take one and leave. This is the same vice principal that accused me of doing cocaine because I had long nails!)

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A Noteworthy Turnaround

, , , , , , , | Learning | November 16, 2017

(I’m 15 years old and a sophomore. Recently, I took a couple of days off school due to a nasty sinus infection. Before she drops me off, my mom gives me my doctor’s note and I head inside. A couple of hours later, I get called into the office of one of the three assistant principals.)

Assistant Principal: “So, [My Name], did you know we call the doctor’s office to verify sick notes?”

Me: “Um, I guess?”

Assistant Principal: “Since you have a clean record, you’ll only get one day of lunch detention if you confess.”

Me: “Huh? Confess to what?”

Assistant Principal: *gets a creepy smile on his face and calls for the receptionist* “You changed the dates on your note.”

Me: “What?! No I didn’t. I only got it from my mom when she dropped me off! I didn’t have time to do that.”

(The receptionist comes in and says the office only confirmed one day of my absence, not the three I needed. They go back and forth accusing me and telling me I’ll get a week’s lunch detention for lying. Finally, in tears, I take out my cell phone and get them to call my mom at work.)

Assistant Principal: “Hello, Mrs. [Last Name]. This is your daughter’s principal at [School]. She’s hysterical and wanted us to call you because the dates on her doctor’s note were changed. She says she didn’t do it, but…”

(There’s a long pause and his smile slowly fades away. He looks between me and the receptionist.)

Assistant Principal: “W-well, yes, ma’am. No, ma’am. Yes, ma’am, I will. But just for future reference, you can’t do th—”

(He pauses again and gives me back my phone.)

Assistant Principal: “So, your mother says she changed the note. Just tell her she can’t do that next time.”

(They got rid of the detention notice on my records and sent me on my way. I get having to punish kids who do mess up, but maybe don’t look like you’re enjoying it so much?)

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Not Just Discussing School Affairs

, , , , | Learning | June 2, 2017

(I attend a religious private school for most of my school life. It’s a small school with about 100 students and pretty much everyone knows each other’s name, including their parents. One day, the new principal calls everyone into the auditorium in the middle of class and no one, not even the teachers, knows why.)

Principal: “As you all know, we here at [School] hold all of you, and our staff, to a high standard. It is our belief that we live and practice God’s word every day.”

(He starts making a speech about relationships and commitment and trust. Then he drops this little gem.)

Principal: “It has come to my attention that Mr. [Teacher]—” *who is married* “—has been having an affair with Mrs. [Name].”

(This is a student’s mother, who we all know is also married. Everyone in the auditorium looks at the student in question, and she starts tearing up.)

Principal: “We do not tolerate such an adulterous action, and as such, Mr. [Teacher] will no longer be teaching. He has voluntarily resigned. This is not an act that we here at [School] approve of because it is an act of deception and is wrong in more than one way.”

(Everyone is still staring at the student and she starts crying.)

Principal: “We ask that you please leave both families alone as they address this sinful event.”

(The student runs out of the auditorium still crying; her friend follows after her.)

Principal: “That is all I have to say about the matter; please return to class and continue with your lessons.”

(The irony about this event was that the principal didn’t want rumors flying around and yet not one single person knew about the affair. The gossip queens, the teachers, the office staff, not even the student herself knew about it. The student ended up leaving the school because she was so embarrassed about the whole situation. Needless to say, the principal was not popular with students, staff, or parents after that. And that is the story about the time our principal told everyone in the school about an affair between teacher and parent.)

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