Whatever You Say, 420 is NOT a Holiday

Oh, April 20. Such a lovely, lovely day. Especially when you teach high schoolers in a country school (though inner city or wealthy areas or really anywhere is just as bad), who have nothing better to do than smoke, drink, get high, party, and go hunting. I’m actually surprised I had so many students show up to class today, particularly my low classes full of students who are no stranger to the system and can recite their Miranda Rights from personal experience.Today our school is also celebrating a Day of Silence, put on by the Diversity Club to help promote awareness of bullying and tolerance of differences. Members of the club pulled an operationbeautiful and put up signs all over the building with positive messages, such as “You are Beautiful,” “It will get better,” “Someone loves you,” etc. It’s a nice idea, though the students who need to be silent aren’t, and the students who do participate are labeled with negative connotations.

One of my brilliant students, Dirt*, decided to mix his favorite holiday with the Day of Silence and created a sign for 420 that he taped to his shirt and had students sign. Apparently he’d been wearing it all day, but I guess no one noticed it until lunch, because an administrator came in my small little class to see him right afterwards. Rather than taking off the sign and throwing it away, he decided to argue with the Assistant Principal (whom he has stated numerous times how much he hates), resulting in a hallway power struggle and his getting to spend the rest of the day in In-School Suspension (ISS).

This same student is the one who stomped on the mouse in my classroom and threw it away in the bathroom, rather than scooping it and letting it escape into the outside wilderness.

I also have students who said they would be “mowing the grass” later on tonight and other such euphemisms, thinking teachers wouldn’t catch on to their not-so-cleverness. I’m sitting right next to you, and you wonder why I can hear you? Granted, my class is small. There are only 4 students in there, though there’s usually a lot of drama. The class is relaxed, and as long as they’re working, they get away with some talking. I may be young, but I’m still a teacher, though, and there are some things you just don’t talk about in front of a teacher. Like how you’re planning on getting high after school, and how you’re probably high right now. I CAN HEAR YOU. Please keep your conversations school appropriate, and for the love of God, quit the drugs… you’re too young to be addicted to cigarettes and weed and alcohol and God knows what else.

*Names have been changed. No one actually named their kid Dirt. That I know of, at least.

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