Undermined By Underwear

, , , , , , | Learning | November 7, 2019

(I work as a part-time tutor because I need some extra cash and I enjoy working with children. This evening, I am working with a ten-year-old girl who is known to be very bubbly and intelligent. She also tends to be very talkative and I doubt she has ever had a thought she has not vocalized. I am helping her through her study packet when, out of the blue, she says this.)

Girl: “I’m not wearing underwear!”

Me: “W… What?!”

Girl: *giggling* “I don’t have any underwear!”

Me: *takes a moment to process this bizarre declaration* “Uh… yes, you are?”

Girl: “Nuh-uh!”

Me: “Yes, you are.”

Girl: “How do you know?”

Me: “Because you’re wearing leggings and your panties show through them.”

Girl: *sheepish at being caught in a lie* “Oh…”

Me: “Now, stop making up silly things and let’s finish your work.”

(We finish the session without further incident and I think nothing more about it, save for chuckling a couple of times at how odd it is. The next time I come into work, the assistant director asks to speak with me.)

Assistant Director: “I got a very strange report about your conduct from another teacher.” *looks more perplexed than concerned* “She said you were discussing inappropriate topics with your student and… and that you are a peodophile? Something about talking about the underwear she was wearing?”

(I stammer dumbfounded at such accusations, but then I explain to him the full story.)

Assistant Director: *chuckling* “That sounds like something [Girl] would say. I’ll have a talk with the accuser. This is an extremely serious accusation to make for such trivial reasons.”

(I worked with my assigned student that night without incident. There was only one other tutor with me on the floor the night in question, so I knew who must have made the report. I am not sure what was said to her, but she refused to make eye-contact the rest of my time there. There’s a good reason men are under-represented in the field of childhood education. It is far too easy to ruin someone’s life with false accusations. Think before you report!)

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