Apathy Jack writes:
“Hi. Hey, smack your brother for me.”
“Alright. (Long pause) Wait, why?”
“Because he’s been bad.”
“You don’t teach my brother.”
“So how do you know he’s been bad.”
“Because I know everything, remember?”
“Oh yeah, that’s right.”
See, really, I can see how things like the David Benson Pope thing can happen. Today, while supervising a dance practice, I slammed a door in the face of a crying boy, and told a student in all seriousness that she should kill herself.
Now, out of context, those stories sound pretty damning. However, there is a context. As I’ve mentioned before: My students are not isolated anecdote-friendly incidents, they are very complex individuals, and I know them better than you do. So slamming a door or two will work, and you’ll have to trust me on that, because I don’t see you pulling thirteen hour days looking after these kids.
Meh. I don’t mean to complain - if it weren’t for this job, I would have gone my whole life without ever saying the sentence “You hoodrats are lucky the Charleston is so similar to the C-Walk.”
There are two things that make me a bit angry about the Benson Pope thing.
Firstly, while I don’t usually like to shoot the messenger, Rodney Hide does “earnest concern” so badly that you can actually see insincerity oozing from his pores as he sweats with the effort of attempted probity. Hide is backed in this instance by National’s Judith Collins, in the news at the end of last year for trying to introduce a bill that would have forced doctors to inform the parents of teenage girls needing abortions. How dare someone lecture the country about the safety of high school students when they’ve been trying to introduce legislation that would have seen the death toll among South Auckland teenagers increase exponentially.
Secondly: I was watching a Campbell Live interview with Tennis-Ball-Breath, and he asked; What could he do? He was helpless and there was nothing he could have done to stop the evil maniac gagging him and tying his hands.
Nothing at all, he reckoned.
If I pulled out a tennis ball and some gaffer tape, my students would beat the shit out of me.
So there is something he could have done. Sure, he was probably smaller and less Tongan than a lot of my kids, but getting the hell out of the classroom and complaining to another teacher probably wasn’t outside the realms of possibility at some point during the lesson.
I discussed the issue with my class today (it was news day – we talk about current affairs). I brought a tennis ball along by way of demonstration.
By the time the bell rang twenty minutes later, it had been half-inched off my desk without my even noticing.
So sure, Benson Pope is a sadist, a monster, and whateverthefuckelse they want to call him, but bugger the culture of victimhood that says there was nothing anyone could do until an election year three decades later.