Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

Getting Through School Is A Taller Order For Some

, , , , , , , , , | Learning | December 17, 2021

I am a twenty-two-year-old woman who has always been unnaturally tall. I am currently 6’9” (2.05m), and when I was twelve I was 6’3” (1.95m)! Life is hard enough for a teenage girl, but in my case, it was worse because I was bullied for my height, and the teachers at my school (a middle-class all-girls grammar school) were generally never very good at dealing with issues like this.

As an example, when I was thirteen, my mother, unable to find shoes that fit me, had to buy boy’s shoes. Someone in my school found out about it and started calling me “Boyshoes”. This in turn led to the rumour that I was born male (I wasn’t), and of course, all the girls in my school had to see for themselves if this was true by touching my breasts (to “see if they were real”) and putting their hands up my skirt (to “see if I had a penis”). When my mother complained to the school, they said there was very little they could do. I guess they meant there was very little they were willing to do. My mother claimed that this was sexual harassment, but the school disagreed, saying it couldn’t be sexual harassment as it was an all-girls school and the perpetrators were girls. My mother went to a solicitor, who wrote to the school, and they finally did something.

On another occasion, my mother had been having trouble finding a uniform to fit me. I was tall, but I wasn’t skinny like some tall girls; I was curvy and heavyset, and buying a uniform sized for a girl my age was out of the question. She tried uniforms for seventeen- and eighteen-year-olds — I wasn’t even fourteen at this point — and although they did fit, the skirts were far too short.

The school’s uniform policy stated that the hem of the skirt should not come too far above the knee. This was measured by kneeling on the floor and measuring from hem to floor — the distance should not have been more than about two inches. In my case, it was closer to seven inches, and when I stood up, the skirt was well above my knee because my legs were so long! At this point, my mother gave up; the skirt fit, the jacket fit, and she’d found blouses that fit, so she was just going to send me to school, shorter skirt or not.

It wasn’t long before I got a detention for a “non-regulation uniform” and was told to come in the next day with a regulation-length skirt. The following day, I got another detention for “non-regulation uniform and failing to rectify this issue in a timely manner”. I also got a letter sent home with me, warning my mother that I would potentially be suspended if I turned up to school in non-regulation uniform again.

My mother was livid! She stormed up to the school and demanded to see the principal. She waved the letter in his face and demanded to know why the school was “picking on me”. The principal was uninterested and made some excuse about how “the school’s uniform policy is for everyone’s benefit”. My mother told the principal that the school’s official uniform supplier didn’t make uniforms for girls of my height and build, and that if I wasn’t left alone, she’d be taking further legal action.

The school never bothered me about my “non-regulation” uniform again.

In The Snow! With No Shoes! And No Backpack For Your Books!

, , , , , , | Learning | December 9, 2021

I went to school in a very hilly part of California. The school I went to was built on the side of one of these very steep hills. The school’s structure followed the slope of the hill.

There were three large double doors in the school: one near the top, one near the bottom, and one near the middle. For some reason, the doors near the middle were kept locked, and the top door was designated as entrance only, the bottom as exit only.

Oddly, the middle of the school was the part closest to the drop-off point where busses and parents were permitted to drop off their kids.

I once asked a teacher why the entrance and exit were set up in that strange way. The teacher said that the principal wanted us to have to walk uphill both ways. I didn’t get the joke back then, but now I understand that’s something that old people sometimes say they had to do to their kids.

So, everyone who went to that school really did have to walk uphill both ways.

What If There’s A Fire?!

, , , , , , , , , | Learning | October 4, 2021

My school was overcrowded. We had around ten times as many students as the building was originally built for. This led to some issues.

One issue was that students were always late to class. The building was built in a cross shape. Students were continually funneled from one side of the building to another, and the only way through was a narrow four-way intersection hallway that was built when kids were skinnier; it was wide enough to fit two skinny kids, one and a half normal kids, or one big kid.

Worse, freshman lockers were on the top floor and our classes were all on the bottom floor. Senior lockers were on the bottom floor and their classes on the top floor. Regardless, everyone was going to the bottom floor because there was no intersection between the four lobes of the school on any floor but the first floor.

We used to be able to go through the library on the second floor, which was much wider, in my first year. They locked the “back” doors to the library to stop students from doing that, making the traffic jam much worse.

The administration’s solution was to increase time between classes. My first year, they gave us five minutes to get from one class to the next. By the time I graduated, we were given fifteen minutes.

Another side effect of this overcrowding was that the cafeteria was too small to fit all of us, and the lines were too long for all of us to get fed. To help with the fitting problem, they broke lunch into two different forty-five-minute lunches my first semester. They still couldn’t fit everyone in, so they broke it into three different thirty-minute lunches in my second semester. That didn’t work, either, so they broke it into four different fifteen-minute lunches, year two and on.

Remember the cross shape of our school? The cafeteria was in the basement, and the stairs into it were right by the four-way intersection.

The funniest, most hilarious result of this was the fire inspections.

We had more students per room than were allowed. We had more chairs per room than allowed. Each room had several folding chairs hidden in the storage closets that had to be taken down between classes and reopened when the students came.

Some students carried their own cloth folding chairs through the hall, like people use for fireworks or sporting events.

Fire inspection days were marked on the calendar. The whole student body came together the day before to empty most of the chairs out of the classrooms and get them to the chair storage room in the basement next to the cafeteria.

Then, on the actual fire inspection day, each classroom would have maybe twenty to thirty students instead of the seventy to ninety they usually had — the larger classrooms usually kept sixty of 200 or so — and a student-teacher or a temp would lecture the kids actually in the classroom, who were usually the highest-graded students.

The actual teachers and remaining kids from each class were taken to the bleachers around the football field, the bleachers in the gym around the basketball court and hockey rinks, the swimming pool bleachers, the wrestling bleachers, the bleachers around the track, the bleachers around the soccer field, and the baseball bleachers, and they would hold classes on those precarious structures. Even the tennis court bleachers would be filled with students and teachers!

I always wondered if we could get enough space to actually fit all our students if we got rid of the more than ten different sports complexes we had.

The Wrath Of The Lunch Lady Scorned

, , , , , , | Learning | CREDIT: BraxHecker | September 6, 2021

I am sixteen and I have type-one diabetes. I have been diagnosed for a bit more than a year and a half. I’ve kept good control over it and the doctors are always impressed when I have a checkup.

I take insulin ten to fifteen minutes before I eat so it has time to take effect. With the school lunch, there are two options: a chicken salad and a cheeseburger. I decide to go with the cheeseburger. I take my insulin and go up the line. I grab a to-go box, but before I take two steps:

Friend: “Wait, that’s a salad.”

I set the box back down and go to grab a different box, but the lunch lady shouts at me.

Lunch Lady: “Hey, don’t you dare!”

I look at her and she looks at me like I just slapped a puppy in the face.

Me: “What’s wrong?”

Lunch Lady: “You already grabbed the salad, so you have to take the salad.”

Me: “But I haven’t even opened it. I’m a diabetic and I already took insulin.”

She shakes her head.

Lunch Lady: *Sickly sweet* “I’m sorry, that’s not my problem. Take the salad and go sit down now!”

Me: “But I’m a diabetic, and—”

Lunch Lady: “Take the salad or you don’t get anything.”

I’m a little pissed at this point so I take the salad and go off to my table with my friends and tell them the situation. They removed the vending machines in the cafeteria over the summer so there is no way for me to get the correct amount of carbs without stealing another kid’s cheeseburger. One of my friends tells me I should go get the principal quickly before the insulting fully sets in.

I go to the office and tell him and the counselor the situation, a little panicked because it has been well over ten minutes since I took insulin. The principal walks me back up to the cafeteria.

Principal: “[Lunch Lady], give him the cheeseburger. He really needs it.”

Lunch Lady: “But he already took a salad. He can deal with it.”

The principal just sighs, grabs the cheeseburger box, and shoves it into my hands and tells me to go sit down. I sit relatively close to the lunch line so my friends and I can hear the principal.

Principal: “How you acted was truly out of line. I thought you understood to treat students’ health situations with care and understanding.”

He told her off for another minute before heading back to his office, and I got to eat my lunch in peace. Maybe she’ll know better next time.

How To Break A Principal

, , , , , , , , | Learning | August 28, 2021

Many years ago, my school system separated sixth, seventh, and eighth grades each into their own schools. The eighth-grade principal was still committed to maintaining the tradition of middle-school grades having the ridiculous and very specific school-system-wide dress code unforgivingly enforced upon them (and only them).

Early in the first full week of school, the principal announced that he was sick of students saying they didn’t know something was forbidden by the dress code that was in the handbooks he hadn’t given us yet. Because of this, we were to have an assembly where we’d be given the handbook as we walked in and he’d read the entire student handbook to us as we followed along, so we’d have no excuse.

He was so in control that, after we were seated, the other adults would leave. After all, since the bleachers couldn’t hold us all, it’d only be half the grade at a time — boys on the first day, girls on the second. Reading to the boys went just as planned, but on day two…

The principal had droned on through the handbook and was just getting started on the several pages devoted to the dress code.

“Sleeves must be no less than two inches wide. Students may not wear shirts or dresses in the style of tank tops, halter tops, or spaghetti straps. Students may not wear clothes, such as T-shirts, that display profanity or promote substances such as alcohol, tobacco, or any other illicit substance. All clothing must be hemmed and intact. Students may not wear clothes…”

We turned the page. The principal didn’t. He paused, longer and longer. We waited anxiously for him to go on — make a joke, retroactively ignore it, anything.

His eyes widened all, deer-in-the-headlights, as he started staring into the middle distance.

Please, man, clear your throat, cough, something. Don’t leave us here, we silently begged with small, excusable hand motions and urgent faces.

His jaw slowly dropped and his lips started quivering.

For the love of God, man! Bigger gestures, desperate faces.

The principal stood there, transfixed.

There was no changing it, so we gave up. Some of us started counting the seconds. How long could this go on? We all knew what the next words were supposed to be, but that didn’t change what happened — the words that came out of his mouth — and, by not continuing, he left us stuck, too. We resisted as long as we could.

Did the principal…

Five seconds. Scattered murmuring in the crowd. “Did he mean it?” “Couldn’t have.” “Yeah, but still…”

…just say that…

Ten seconds. Someone laughed and was quieted.

…we have to…

Fifteen seconds. A girl coughed from the stress.

…come to school…

Twenty seconds. Collective gulp.

…naked?!

Twenty-five seconds after the principal last changed — to say nothing of when he last made a sound — we couldn’t take it anymore and the gym of 250 thirteen-year-old girls burst into uncontrollable laughter.

The principal stood there like a terrified statue for several more minutes as we continued laughing. We couldn’t help it; we’d try to get a hold of ourselves but glance up at this art piece of a petrified man and find ourselves laughing harder than when we’d started. After a while, the principal went from “freeze” to “flight” and darted out of the gym, leaving us laughing girls unsupervised.

The whole lot of us laughed together for several minutes. It took another several minutes for spurts of laughter not to spread across the whole group. We had never considered that a school official might tell us we must go nude before abandoning us. But the laughter faded, scattered bursts lessened, and we went to quietly chatting with whoever happened to be around. We whispered about the principal, the page-break-o’-doom, and his eventual bolting, and began to talk about other things, waiting for the vice-principal to show up or the principal to return.

Eventually, word about the time started spreading: we’d been adult-less for over half an hour and we’d been gone longer than the boys were the previous day, yet nobody had come for us. We’d only been in that school a few days; we had no idea who we could go to when the principal flaked. We collectively decided the best time and way to leave — slowly, not long before the next bell to change classes — and that we should be super-good because this was bad enough without giving any reason for people to think we’d use this to break rules.

With five minutes to go, a teacher popped her head in and looked around.

“Where’s [Principal]?”

The room threw up its hands in a collective shrug. The cluster of girls nearest that door became our speakers. They told the teacher how long we’d been alone, that it all started because of an awkward page-break and failure to go on, and that none of us could talk about a further explanation. Everyone agreed. The teacher got some pencils and paper for us to write anonymous accounts if we wanted while school employees searched for the principal.

Ten minutes later, the principal shuffled in with downcast eyes, quickly read the rest of the handbook in a robotic monotone, and shuffled back out, never looking up. The teacher who’d come in earlier passed around a box to collect our consistent accounts of what happened and gave us excuses for being late as we left.

It was an awkward (but unifying) couple of weeks for us girls, nothing worse, as we never had to say anything more than we wanted to. But the principal… The display of power he’d intended instead led to him being caught in the worst page-break and led to all the girls in the school laughing their heads off, toward him, if not precisely at him. The man broke. It was weeks before he’d interact with a female student, and even then, he couldn’t do it empty-handed — he needed a school-office version of a blankie for this scary task — and he didn’t look a girl in the eye the whole first semester. Pitiable and also creepy. Creepier than the mistake that led to it all.

Thus ends the story of how hubris, a page-break, and inability to recover from a verbal flub broke a principal and the degree to which this brokenness prevented him from doing his job. What this broken man did to regain a sense of more and more power and the interesting places that led is another tale.