Breaking Up with the School System

I tell ya, the thigh-high hooker-boots that Julia Roberts wore in Pretty Woman are not long enough to handle the bullshit up in America’s public schools.

A humorous look at education in America today from a public school teacher

By Debra Cole

(Editors note: read this as though hearing it with an exaggerated Southern accent).

Well, I’m going through a break up. Yes with the county school system where I work as a teacher. It’s a no fault divorce although I’ve been emotionally cheating on them for quite some time. They get the kids, the laptop, and my salary. I get freedom from the Nazi style propaganda.

Teaching is an ok job. But when you’re in a job that doesn’t suit you, it’s like wearing shoes every day that don’t quite fit. And over time the shoes cause blisters. The last few months, things were so bad that I felt like I was a Chinese peasant in the year 1843, with a deformed foot because it had been bound since age 13. And I’m having to cross the Hueng He river carrying 8 lbs of firewood, giving me splinters, with a wailing child on my back who’s throwing up the baby version of Moo Goo Gah pan all over my neck and getting it in my hair.

So how do ya’ll feel about your jobs?

Do ya’ll have kids? Do they attend public school?

Most people think that the problems with public schools are the drugs, sex, violence, disrespect, laziness, (pause) and the toxic gene pool.

Well, the biggest problem, the real enemy, the monster in the closet, the boogie man hiding in the bushes.

It’s the language, the euphemisms, the padding around phrases and words to keep from offending anyone and making real decisions. It’s the constant flow of the general, the vague, and the uncertain.

The lack of straight talk will make a sane person feel like you’re in the movie “One flew over the Coo Coos nest.” And I’m a comic. We’re not really known for having superior emotional health. You can imagine how this poisonous work environment affected me.

With schools, it’s like the truth is the water in the swimming pool. And school officials are a bunch of fat ass hydrophobias, sitting in broken lawn chairs sipping Kool-aid and ready made margaritas because they’re too damn cheap to buy any decent tequila. Now once and a while one will stick their toe in the water or splash their face. One may even get up on one of those alligator floats. But they ain’t diving in the pool. Forget that!

I got a memo once that had two columns. On the left there were things that a teacher would say about a misbehaving child. And the column on the right had the sentences reworded to soften the blow to mama and daddy.

The left side had…
Jamey lies.
Jamey cheats.
Jamey fights.
Jamey steals.

Simple enough huh? Oh no…..uh uh…

Jamey lies. No Jamey doesn’t lie. Jamey embellishes his life experiences.

Jamey cheats. Oh no. Jamey relies too heavily on the assistance of his peers to complete required tasks.

Jamey fights. Jamey hits other kids. Jamey called Pedro a “wetback” and threw a corn dog in his face. So Pedro said, “I’m gonna kick your ass.” And then a crowd of 200 sugar strung-out kids who’ve been drinking the soda and sports drinks provided by the school, thirty percent of whom are obese, gathered around and yelled like this was Holyfield and Tyson, erupting into a food fight that ends with fifteen broken noses and potato salad on the principal’s new tie.

No! We don’t get into all of that. Jamey has challenges with peer relationships.

Jamey steals. Hell no! We don’t call it stealing. Jamey collects objects and American currency, paper and coins that were previously housed in locations unassociated with Jamey, specifically the art teacher’s purse.

I tell ya, the thigh-high hooker-boots that Julia Roberts wore in Pretty Woman are not long enough to handle the bullshit up in America’s public schools.

You’re not going to solve problems that you won’t articulate.

Let’s just say I’m at the house eating sliced tomatoes with Duke’s Mayonnaise like any other self-respecting southerner. And I’m watching CNN because like most Americans I take a multi-vitamin along with a daily dose of yellow journalism. So I’m sitting there listening to Wolf Blitzer’s editorial monolog of today’s political landscape. Which by the way, Wolf might as well go ahead and smack Obama on the lips. Journalists should at least attempt to be objective. Anyway, and then all of a sudden, hypothetically speaking of course, during this stimulating program, my left ovary explodes and blood comes gushing out of my “whoo Haa.”

Now, if my man sees this happen. Is he going to get on the phone and say, “Doctor, my girl’s got a physical malfunction above the thighs and below her belly button. And this burgundy colored body fluid is exiting at an alarming rate. Do you think you could fit us in for an appointment some time before your ski trip to the Italian Alps”?

No he’s not gonna say that. He’s gonna say,”holy shit.” And then he’ll throw me in car, drive me to the hospital, run over at least two pedestrians, kick the door down, giving the hospital security guard a minor head injury. And yell, “One of you get over here because my girl is bleeding to death!” At least any man I would date would say this.

Maybe I’m just an observant, smart ass, Methodist musician from the swamplands of South Georgia. But it seems to me the latter scenario is the one that will fix the problems with my “hoo ha.”

So, it seems to me the principal needs to have a conversation like this one with Jamey’s parents.

Why, yes Mama and Daddy of Jamey, you are right. Jamey’s math teacher didn’t go to Harvard. Why would a Harvard graduate work in an archaic and anti-intellectual hell-hole like public education? And she doesn’t smile too often at your son due to her crooked teeth.

And yes our school has a broken printer in the computer lab. Thus your son was unable to print that fine essay you wrote for him. And so my point is that your points that you have so enthusiastically brought to my attention, are just diversions because you don’t want face the facts that your kid is mean as hell. He’s so illiterate he can’t read the sugar content on a cereal box. And he’ll steal anything that doesn’t explode in his face or is heavily duct taped and buried 6 feet underground. And all of this is pretty much your fault.

Bribing him with video games and taking him to Disney World doesn’t make up for daddy whoring around and Mama playing tennis all day, getting facials, and then drowning her sorrows with gin and tonic while reading In Style magazine until 1:00 in the morning.

You might want to do something about this before he steals the wrong person’s Ipod and gets a knife through his rib cage down at the Quickie Mart, while he’s sipping a Mr. Pibb and waiting on his marijuana dealer.

And I tell you, a judge ain’t gonna call his nasty habit “collecting.” He’s gonna call it 5 to 10 at the state penitentiary. And tragically, Jamey will be in jail unable to read the love letters fom Gudalupe, Chandrika, and Becky. All of whom gave birth to his children roughly around the same due date, while Jamey shares a cell with Pedro’s uncle, who over time may want to take their relationship to a whole other level without Jamie’s consent.

You might want to do something about his now. Here are some phone numbers for some organizations that can help. I highly recommend these two….

Parenting skills for the Self-Indulgent and Unbelievably Clueless.
Parents who should have it snipped or tied

Ya’ll have a nice weekend.

Debra Cole is a self-professed ‘lefty’ who calls it like she sees it. She was a public school teacher in Georgia for 9 years. Currently, she performs regularly in Atlanta area comedy clubs. She’s known for her sophisticated and smart humor that’s delivered with a seemingly sweet and yet surprising sarcastic Southern Georgia twang. E-mail her at:  

3 thoughts on “Breaking Up with the School System”

  1. This is so true even on a preschool level. I am a preschool teacher and I try to walk a fine line. I want to be upfront and honest with my parents but also have to watch my tongue in order to keep my job!!! I think this is a very true and well written article. And I say tell Jamey parents that they did a piss poor job of raising their SOB of a son!!


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