Here I am again because I just can't keep my mouth shut like a good girl. I
witnessed a clash of wills between a long-time social studies teacher and a
new principal when I subbed in a middle school in San Francisco. The Iraq
war had just started. A new policy was in place, district-wide, to check
uniforms at the door in the morning. The kids didn't like it. This social
studies teacher had the kids write an essay about how they felt about the
new policy. They wrote some uncomplimentary things about the principal too.
(I personally think it is better to let the kids blow off steam by writing,
because I know they are capable of violence against teachers AND
administrators, so I think he was right about what he was doing.)
The principal, who was from Oakland, got mad and tore down the essays off
the walls of the hallway and put the teacher on administrative leave.
That's when I was sent in to sub for him.
After a few days, another long-time teacher told me to start calling the
parents and tell them that I was going to be the sub for the rest of the
semester. I called about 3 or 4 parents. The next day he was back at work.
The following fall he was teaching at another school and she was an
administrator at another school. He probably should not have hung those
essays out in the hallway. Maybe he knew he was on his way out and he
didn't want to leave without causing a stir. All of this is very
educational for the kids.
I heard they closed that school last year. But it wasn't because of that.
Perhaps it was because one of the teachers got arrested for having sex with
one of the students. I think they used drugs on her to make her do it,
because she was a very strict teacher, although she wore tight clothing. I
subbed for her too. I just could not believe it. I remember she came into
my classroom and tore up the test of a student who had been caught cheating
on a test. I didn't ask her to do that, either. The student was in tears.
The teacher said that I was subbing for her because she had intervened in a
fight between two students and one of them had hit her.
The teacher who told me to call the parents was beginning to ask for fewer
students in his classes. I think he got all the teachers in the school to
do that. Finally they had so few students, they closed the school. I guess
that's what finally happened.