As a society we put an incredible amount of trust in our teachers. They're alone with our kids for most of the day, and what they teach them will shape their worldview. The potential for things to go wrong is enormous.
And as you'd suspect, things often go enormously wrong. Irresponsible or downright crazy teachers wind up teaching our kids lessons we'd rather they'd kept to themselves.
#6. Never Be Afraid to Get A Little Feces On Your Hands
At East Iberville Elementary School in Louisiana, they don't take shit from little kids, literally. So when a seven-year-old boy managed to clog up the toilet at school his teacher did the only rational thing she could think of: She made him unclog it with his bare hands.
It started when little Trevor ate too many Pop Tarts for breakfast. Feeling the need to take care of business, he asked to go to the bathroom and, in his own words, "made the toilet overflow with toilet paper and poo." Such a feat by a seven-year-old is something we at Cracked actually find fairly impressive and deserving of proper respect.
His teacher however, failed to recognize his achievement in its proper light and wanted to punish him. Either that or she had a fear of plungers or something. And because the sight of a crying seven-year-old elbow deep in a toilet wasn't sad enough, she threatened to make him use his teeth next time. Afterward, she encouraged her class to taunt the boy by calling him "sissy hands," which must be some kind of devastating slam in Louisiana, since "shit hands" was so much more appropriate for the situation.
It turns out the teacher was part of an "alternative" teaching program, at least that's what the school said after police arrested her and charged her with juvenile cruelty. After the arrest, the school had to close down the other alternative programs, including the home economics sweat shop and pre-school coal mine.
"Hurry up or no story time!"
We're glad to hear that at least one school board member wants to fire the teacher. The other members are apparently on the fence, maybe because she didn't actually follow through on her threat about making the boy use his teeth.
#5. Let's Play "Holocaust"!
They say experience is the best teacher. Hands-on lessons are easy for things like learning to draw a picture of a turkey by tracing your hand, but harder for subjects like history. This didn't stop the teachers at Apopka Memorial Middle School in Florida, who decided that it would be really fun to have "Holocaust" day at school. And as we learned while researching this article, the Florida public school definition of "fun" translates roughly to "mentally scarring."
As students showed up on the big day, certain kids were given gold stars to wear. These students were supposed to be the Jewish students and throughout the day they were persecuted by not being able to use certain water fountains and not allowed to sit down. You know, just like in the Holocaust.
Neither the students or their parents were told about the day because teachers said they didn't want students to be prepared for the terror and fear (well, at least annoyance and mild confusion) that was to come. Apparently the teachers felt that you really couldn't half-ass something like the Holocaust.
As one boy told his dad afterward, the only thing he learned was that he really didn't want to be a Jew. We're pretty sure this is the almost the exact opposite of what the teachers were hoping the kids would learn. Or was it?
Parents were predictably upset and flooded the school with complaints. Even Jewish groups were left palming their faces and cursing silently in Yiddish. Sadly, all the backlash from the day caused the school to cancel the "Master/Slave" role playing exercise.
However, it went on as planned at another school...
#4. Let's Play "Slave Ship"!
Most teachers have that voice of reason in their heads that tells them when they're going too far with a child. This voice usually chimes in before they try to tie up their students' hands and legs with tape. That same voice probably gets a little louder when that teacher is trying to decide whether or not to stuff those students under a desk.
Not part of the curriculum.
One teacher in White Plains, New York was apparently deaf to that voice of reason and instead chose to listen to her voice of terrible, terrible ideas.
During a history class for seventh graders, a teacher was trying to impress upon her students that slavery really sucked. Fearing that her students wouldn't take her word for it, she felt that the only way to really get the point across would be to make the students feel what slaves went through. Just like how you need to push people off a building to show them how hitting the ground would really hurt.
Third Period Introduction to Polar Bear Safety.
To make things even more realistic or something, the teacher forced one student to take part in the demonstration after not getting enough volunteers. And of course, the teacher, who was white, chose a black student to participate because she really wanted to make a Cracked list.
When they were finally released, the student who was made to pretend to be a slave decided that getting tied and stuffed under a desk was some serious bullshit and told her parents. When they complained to the school, the superintendent admitted this was a bad idea if it upset the student.
Uh, yeah, we're thinking if you have a middle school student who loves being tied up and shoved under a desk, you actually have a bigger problem on your hands.