They’re Really Desperate To Get People Into Writing Club

, , , , , , | Learning | October 15, 2019

(I am a middle school teacher. We have announcements every day at the end of school. The principal is making an announcement about our new writing club and this is what I hear:)

Principal: “Do you like writing or kind of like writing? The join our writing club! Join others to create short stories, porn, and other fun things!”

Me: “WHAT?!”

Students: “Poems. She said poems.”

(The students definitely heard the same thing I did, too. The principal might want to enunciate a bit more!)

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The Power Of A Name

, , , , , | Learning | September 26, 2019

(I have two daughters. One has a cognitive disability. The other daughter comes home one day to tell me that her art teacher used an ableist slur to describe another child’s picture. My teeth clench reflexively.)

Me: “Did you say anything?”

Daughter: “Yes! I told her that was an inappropriate word.”

Me: “Did she respond?”

Daughter: “Not really. She just kind of shrugged. I think she called another kid’s work the same thing, but she was across the classroom by then, so I’m not positive.”

Me: “Okay. I’ll handle it.”

(I call the principal the next day and pass on what my daughter told me.)

Principal: “So, the teacher didn’t call your daughter [slur].”

Me: “No.”

Principal: “So, what is the problem?”

Me: “She referred to the art of another student with a derogatory slur that maligns the art, the student, and anyone with the diagnosis.”

Principal: “…”

Me: “It is inappropriate for anyone — especially a teacher — to use the diagnosis of one person to insult another.”

Principal: “But it wasn’t aimed at your daughter or your daughter’s art.”

Me: “It doesn’t matter who or what it was aimed at. It. Was. Inappropriate.” 

Principal: “Okay. I’ll talk to the teacher.”

(I am flabbergasted by his reaction and have no faith that anything will be done, so I send an email explaining the situation to the superintendent. Not a month later, my daughter comes home and tells me that a substitute teacher used the same word in another class.)

Me: “Did you say anything?”

Daughter: “Yes! And so did two other students! [Daughter’s Friend] even explained why it is wrong to use that word, and she just kept saying it! She must have said it four times before class was over. It was like she was taunting us after we spoke up!”

Me: “Okay. I’ll call the principal. Again.”

(I call the next day.)

Principal: “Did the substitute call your daughter that word?”

Me: “You seem to be under the impression that that matters in some way. That it makes a difference. Why is that?”

Principal: “Well, it does matter, doesn’t it?”

Me: No! No! It doesn’t matter at all. If I come into your school and start swearing at my daughter but not at you, are you going to say something? It! Is! Inappropriate! I have explained to you why it is inappropriate. I have explained to the superintendent why it is inappropriate.” 

Principal: “Yes, I am aware that you contacted him last time. Do you plan to contact him again?”

Me: “I’ve already sent that email; before this call I sent an email. Why would I not? You made no indication that you understood last time. It has occurred yet again, suggesting you did nothing. Now, you are proving quite clearly that you still do not understand. Why would I not seek assistance over your head?”

Principal: “What will it take to fix this?”

Me: “You getting a clue, for starters. You letting it sink in that using one person’s diagnosis to insult others suggests that a person with that diagnosis deserves ridicule and to be like them is insulting. Seriously, stop being so [Principal]ish.”

Principal: “What is that supposed to mean?”

Me: “I think the synonym might be ‘thick.’”

Principal: “You are using my name as an insult?”

Me: “Yes.”

Principal: “That’s pretty childish and inappropriate, isn’t it?”

Me: “Yes.”

Principal: “…”

Me: “Is that sinking in? Now, imagine my using your name to insult your secretary in front of the rest of your staff. Imagine me using your name to insult a student in front of their classmates.”

(I was not sure it sunk in, so I had a long talk with the superintendent. A class was arranged for teachers and administrators in the district to learn the importance of appropriate language in the classroom.)

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The Principal Does Not Respect Books

, , , | Learning | August 27, 2019

(I’m waiting to pick up my cousin from elementary school. I’m passing the teacher’s lounge when I see the new principal. She’s known for being very whiny, like the kids in the school. A pair of student leaders go by, carrying tall stacks of books for their teacher.)

Principal: “Good morning, children.”

(Likely the two students didn’t see her, as the stacks of books they’re carrying obscure their lines of sight. They don’t answer.)

Principal: *in a whiny, high-pitched voice* “Hello! Children! I said, ‘Good morning,’ to you!” *STAMPS HER FOOT like a kid*

Students: *looking nervous* “Good morning, Mrs. [Principal].”

Principal: “That’s better. You should greet your teachers when you see them! That’s so rude of you to walk by without even saying anything!”

(The students were having trouble with the stacks of books and looked like they would like to put them down, but the principal was whining on. I stepped up and helped. Turns out that there was supposed to be a third child, but he ran off to the bathroom, leaving the two struggling with the stacks that were more than they could handle. I wondered at the principal — who was supposed to be taking care of the students in her charge — who was more concerned about getting the respect she thought she was due than the welfare of the kids in front of her!)

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Making Crippling Statements

, , , | Learning | August 4, 2019

(I am 22, working in a school office. Everyone agrees that the principal is the biggest a**hole alive. She makes countless rude, b****y, and discriminatory remarks and passes them off as jokes. One afternoon while out for lunch, I trip and sprain my knee. I’ve been limping around with a brace for a few weeks.)

Principal: “You’re still limping? What happened to you?”

(She’s seen me before; I’ve explained it to her a few times.)

Me: “I sprained my knee.”

Principal: *disgusted* “Really! You’re so young and already you’re crippled. How are you going to get married?!”

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A Tale Of Two Catherines

, , , | Learning | May 31, 2019

(In high school, my sister happens to have the same first and last name as another student. They have different middle names and initials, and also use different shortened forms of their first name. Let’s say their name is Catherine, and one goes by Katie and the other by Cathy. While my sister is a bit of a goody-two-shoes and is in all the advanced classes, the other one is kind of a troublemaker. At our high school, you can’t leave campus during lunch. My sister is called to the vice principal’s office. As soon as she enters his office, the vice principal whirls on her.)

VP: “What do you have to say for yourself?”

Sister: “What did I do?”

VP: “You snuck out at lunch with him!”

(He points to a boy sitting in a chair in the office.)

Sister: “I’ve never met him in my life before.”

Boy: “Yeah, no, I’ve never met her, either.”

VP: “Don’t lie, Cathy.”

Sister: “Oh…” *realizing it* “You have the wrong Catherine [Last Name]. There’s two of us. I’m Katie. She’s Cathy. You want Catherine B [Last Name], not Catherine A [Last Name].”

(The vice principal looked skeptical but then went to his computer and looked up the student names and found that, sure enough, there were two students with the same name. He sent her back to class. This happened several more times throughout high school; she’d get called to the office, the vice principal would look at her and say, “Dang it. Wrong Catherine. Go back to class, Katie.” She never did actually meet the other Catherine. It was a large high school, and they didn’t run in the same circles. She thought that she might meet her at graduation, since we sat alphabetically, but by then, Cathy had had a baby and finished high school in summer school, so she didn’t walk at graduation.)

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