School's back in session! Boo! But let us consider the field trip -- that rare, special school day that's actually enjoyable. Whether they're to the Martin Van Buren Sideburn Memorial, the Tri-County Scent Hole, or the Transcontinental Yogurt Dump, field trips are a great excuse to goof off (as long as you pretend that you learned something).
That is, unless you attended the trips below. In that case, all you learned is "The universe is pointless horror, and knowledge itself is a sham drummed up by the greeting card companies."
Washington's Most Wanted
Having a parent as a chaperone can be embarrassing. You get enough of them at home, and then suddenly they're on your turf, telling you that if you don't hurry and get back on the bus, then they won't use fabric softener on your Six Million Dollar Man underoos. (Yeah, because we'll be in a real hurry when everyone on the bus is laughing, imagining Steve Austin's cyborg visage plastered on our ass, Mom.)
But in a less totally hypothetical example, they can sometimes be embarrassing to the school. One father in Washington state was chaperoning his daughter's elementary school trip when another parent recognized him from his recent appearance on Washington's Most Wanted, the regional equivalent of America's Most Wanted which is mostly concerned with Pearl-Jam-related crimes.
Washington's Most Wanted
"Hey, we once investigated a serial killer who left clues in the form of Sir Mix-a-Lot lyrics."
So rather than the cookies and juice you'd normally expect waiting for you back at the school after a hard day's chaperoning, the man was confronted by a cop. But by weaponizing his "violent dislike for police officers," he escaped the locked-down school after a "scuffle." Which, frankly, sounds way cooler than anything that could have possibly happened on the trip.
Unfortunately for the action movie we were already scripting in our heads, the guy peacefully turned himself in that evening. This was arranged after he was reached by phone, which makes us wonder what's going on with Washington's police force if a man they can contact at will is on their Most Wanted list. Whatever the explanation, all of this is going to make for a very impromptu and perplexing lesson on the criminal justice system for a select group of students.
Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images
"That was called 'resisting arrest,' and you should never do it, even though it looks really cool."
Kids are dumb and confused all the time, and any self-respecting teacher would be remiss if they didn't take advantage of that. But there's almost definitely a circle of the underworld for those damned adults who promise tots a fake trip to the Duchy of the Mirthful Rodent.
Eighth-grade teachers in Windsor, Ontario didn't simply make a quick joke about going to Disney World that no reasonable student could take seriously. No, brochures were fucking perused. Forms were filled out. A presentation explained how the students would be roomed and how a group of rowdy teenagers could most efficiently be absolutely terrible. But the presentation ended with a twist: They were in fact going to a local bowling alley! Also, Mickey Mouse slept with all their mothers, and Donald Duck would vomit on them if they even thought of showing their punk faces!
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"Goofy said he'd vomit on you while he slept with your mothers."
Their teachers even recorded the prank so that they could later slow it down and pinpoint the exact moment every student's soul died. Despite a massive outpouring of criticism from students (and parents who thought they were going to unload their hormonal teenagers for a few days), the school offered no response beyond commenting that all the teachers involved felt bad.
Because the teachers felt just awful that a prank that was obviously going to go wrong went wrong, they faced no punishment beyond constant withering stares and whispered hallway threats that "The happiest place on Earth will be wherever I'm torturing you lying dipshits with a rusty soup ladle."
"They were so sad that we booked the end-of-the-year faculty meeting at Epcot to cheer them up."
David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images
Nude beaches sound amazing when you're 14, but then you discover that they're mostly floppy volleyball. Look, there's nothing wrong with some consensual, sun-kissed junk -- but maaaybe don't lead your nine-year-old cub scouts through a nude beach without alerting their parents first. Officials say that the Cub troop in question was hiking along the San Diego coastline when they "encountered some individuals who were inappropriately dressed." That's odd phrasing, but we suppose "totes naked" doesn't look good on an official report.
No one wants to earn the Senior Genitals Spotting Badge.
It's hard to tell who comes across worse here. We're told that "panicked" parents "quickly rerouted" the hike "to protect the youth" -- because if there's one thing children need protection from, it's seeing some old dude's butt, giggling about it with their friends, then forgetting it 15 minutes later when they come across some possum scat. And while the phrase "dozens and dozens of nude people" was presumably supposed to imply a moral crisis, it instead gives us the image of a nudepocalyse in which varicose monsters advance on innocent children and cry "Someday you'll be us!"
But it's also hard to believe that the leader thought his argument of "my family and I go through here all the time and it's not a big deal" would assuage the concerns of parents whose children were seeing a lot more dangling dongles than one normally does offline at that age. We understand that it would be annoying to expect a hike on which you'd teach your kid about leaves and shit, only to suddenly find yourself improvising a lecture on social views of nudity, and why it's okay for these folks to be naked, even though Uncle Gerald got in trouble for stripping in the park last month.
Maria Teijeiro/Photodisc/Getty Images
"You see, sometimes when your uncle has too much, uh, grape juice, he gets ... uh ... hey, let's watch Adventure Time?"
Watching a movie in school always makes for a great day, and going on a trip to the theater is even better. A trip to watch a war movie in which shit blows up, a character might swear, and no one has to learn anything? That's like winning the educational lottery. So Dallas fifth-graders were understandably excited about a chance to watch Red Tails, that World War II movie about African American pilots that you already forgot about.
"It's like this, but worse!"
Unfortunately, the movie -- which was to be used to teach students about segregation -- wasn't being screened in a theater large enough to accommodate everyone. So officials came up with a simple solution: They'd only send the boys to see the movie about overcoming discrimination!
Oh, but don't worry about the girls. They were given the chance to watch Akeelah And The Bee, a movie about a spelling bee. School district leaders assumed that boys would get more enjoyment out of Red Tails, a movie they were watching for its educational merits, because boys love war, while girls love ... spelling? Of course, the girls didn't get to go to the theater to watch their thrilling drama, because it was already six years old. And some teachers, either unaware or simply apathetic to this option, taught class as normal. And who the fuck wants to watch a spelling bee when exploding planes were an option?
With over 5000 boys seeing the movie, the trip cost 57,000 Title-IX-violating dollars. The cost wasn't worth it, according to one teacher, who said that, while the students enjoyed the killing, kissing, and cussing, they came away with few impressions on the whole racial discrimination thing. Shit, with that money, they could have hired another teacher and asked them to bring in a DVD of Buffalo Soldiers.
If there's any consolation for the girls, it's that Red Tails is sitting at 40 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, while Akeelah is at 84 percent. Also, if the school district was looking to teach them a lesson about discrimination, they certainly fucking succeeded in the most roundabout way possible.
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Remember that one teacher who tried to talk like a hip teen, despite being 35? You know, the one who always sat a little too close to the popular girls when he was defining leptons or dental dams? In Northern Indiana, a high school chemistry teacher fulfilled that role by inviting students over to his place to drink beer and use his hookah. Hey, there's a lot of fascinating chemistry involved in getting lung cancer.
More worryingly, the teacher took students to a strip club to celebrate a birthday, although they only got in trouble when he was caught speeding on the way home. "Where are you driving all these teenagers at this hour?" the cop presumably asked. "Definitely not from a strip club back to my home, where they will consume alcohol while underage!" he replied, his elaborate house of lies collapsing with one momentary lapse. The teacher is now fired, obviously, which creates a cruel cosmic irony. He now has all the time in the world to take teenagers to strip clubs, but no money to spend on vodka Red Bulls and uncomfortable lap dances.
"Hey, does this place have one of those 'take a dollar, leave a dollar' dishes?"
Meanwhile in Catoosa (which we're told is a town in Oklahoma, and not the original last name of Willy Wonka), a middle school teacher was fired for cramming 11 students into her car and going on a snack run to Walmart. Seven students got to play sardines in the back seat, and two were put in the trunk. The trunk is a valid option when you're smuggling political refugees across a contentious border, but we think we'd rather be on a trip to a shallow grave in the desert than the desolate wastelands of the Walmart snack aisle if it involved the spare tire rearranging our spine for half an hour.
The teacher wanted to do something nice for her hardworking yearbook club students; a sweet gesture that probably would have moved the school board to overlook the fact that she hadn't obtained permission slips if she hadn't also created a situation that would have made a fender bender look like the aftermath of Death Race. Oh, and the whole "I just love my students!" angle falls through when you learn that she hilariously forgot two of them at the school -- although maybe she realized that strapping them to the roof would have been too conspicuous. The teacher eventually lost her job, although her students will make sure that she's named Most Likely To Fuck Up A Completely Innocent Idea.
A New York high school's forensic science club went on a trip to the mortuary to learn that there's more to solving crimes than making CSI-style witticisms, but it took a nasty turn when they accidentally solved the mystery of "What happened to our classmate's brain?" Two months after the tragic death of a 17-year-old peer, his classmates wandered by a brain jar that had his name on it. So either they were beginning to unravel a massive cloning conspiracy or some sort of evil twin scenario, or his family had buried less of their son than they thought. We don't want to spoil anything, but it was the second one.
The teen's family had agreed to an autopsy, but reasonably assumed that it would have been wrapped up before it was time to bury their child. The city argued that further testing was required, which probably would have been fine had they bothered to tell anyone their plans before they stuck the poor kid's brain on a shelf.
Gaetan Lee/Wiki Commons
"Oh, you wanted to bury all of him? Boy, are our faces red."
There were no winners here. The morgue was sued for the emotional distress caused when they awkwardly handed over the teen's brain, liver, and testes months after the funeral. His family was understandably devastated by having to perform a second burial for their son's testicles. And all of his classmates received a stark and haunting reminder of their own mortality. Although we guess that if you're in a criminal forensics club, you've already come to terms with that. But it's such a shame that this otherwise wholesome and inspirational field trip to the morgue was ruined by something creepy.
You can read more from Mark, including all about the time he chaperoned a trip to his underground child fighting ring, at his website.
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