Sometimes I forget how funny school was. I was reminded recently when I had to go back to my old high school and laughed hard a few times remembering some high school hijinks, particularly some of the mean but very hilarious things we did to our uptight, prim and humorless English teacher, Miss Mogan.

The other day I heard stories from my son and his friends about the bad teachers they’ve known in their years in school, and how the entire class often works together to exact their revenge against especially authoritative and drippy teachers.

My son himself has an English teacher this year — the same one my daughter had five years ago when she attended the same school. To say she is humourless is to suggest Paris Hilton is kind of slutty. I heard from her fairly routinely while my daughter was in her class, and now I am hearing from her again. The principal of the school has basically told me they are just waiting for the poor woman to retire, and that every year she fights with every class about all manner of stupid stuff. Every year, every class eventually turns on her and starts trying to torment her. You know the games; we all did them: “At 10:15, everyone fart!”

The black and Asian kids in my son’s class this year, however, began to notice she treated them worse than the white kids. So the class got together and decided to monitor instances in which, say, she would allow a white kid to go to the can twice in a period but refuse all of the black kids’ requests to go to the restroom for two hours or more. Kept track of how many times she sent black and Asian kids and not white kids to the principal’s office. Counted how many times she took the white kids’ side in a dispute. Documented how snippy she would get when one of the Asian kids would point out that she’d contradicted herself on some matter, but not the white kid. The evidence was overwhelming — humourless, strict, uptight, only likes whiteys.

But it’s not that they intend to use this information for any official purposes, my son and his friends say. They monitored her so that they wouldn’t feel as bad about doing the old: “At 2:30, everyone pretend to pass out!” stuff. It alleviated their guilt.

I find this quite funny — kids of all races and from all walks of life came together to prove to themselves that the teacher is inherently racist only so that they could continue to comfortably torment her with their goofy 13-year-old tricks and laugh their asses off together every day. The boys were weeping with laughter when they told me about some of the truly funny Ferris Bueller-ish stunts the entire class participated in, even the shy little studious and timid kids and the new Canadians who are still learning the language, and how hard they all laugh together at lunch or after school when they see each other. They have all united in a common dislike of their teacher. It kind of warmed my heart.

Poor teacher. Sort of.

Advertisements