Yes, many teachers go above and beyond for their students, acting as role models and just exemplary pillars of the community in general. These are the teachers who really care, who take their responsibilities seriously, and who usually don’t get the credit they deserve. Others, however, go above and beyond in an entirely different direction; one seemingly dedicated to doling out gross injustices and scarring children for life with painful memories.
Some folk have no business being around children at all, let alone being paid to teach them during their most formative years. Below are the distressing recollections of people who have decided to share their tales of the most blatantly unfair things teachers have ever done to them or their classmates.
1. Oh Come On
In a computer class, me and one of my friends were working together. Well, she decided to just copy everything I put down, word for word, so I just emailed her my paper before we printed them. The teacher handed them back and then gave a 100 to her and me an 80.
2. When You Gotta Go You Gotta Go
In eighth grade my literature teacher, Mrs. Kropp would let the girls use the restroom but would not let boys. This policy ended when a boy asked her three times to go and on the third refusal he immediately walked to the corner of the room and urinated on the floor.
3. Piece of Trash
In first grade, I didn’t want to eat a brownie that a classmate had brought in for their birthday. My teacher decided that this was incredibly rude and that I wasn’t allowed to go outside for recess until I ate the brownie. When she wasn’t looking, I wrapped it in a napkin and placed it carefully in the garbage can. She noticed, took it out of trash, unwrapped it, and still made me eat it.
4. Burning Bridges
In shop class, we were given balsa wood sticks and clay to make the strongest bridge we could, which would be tested by putting the bridge between two desks and then placing weights on it. The teacher took one kid’s bridge to place it between the desks, and while grabbing it, (accidentally?) crushed the main body of the bridge. The bridge failed almost immediately and the kid got a really bad grade. The teacher acted like nothing happened despite our complaints.
5. Read the Room
The class was learning about the legal system and doing a mock trial. The case involved a girl being sexually assaulted. The student who was picked to play the girl, coincidentally, had been a victim in real life. She felt it was going to be too draining on her and tried to get out of the role. The teacher wanted an explanation but she wasn’t willing to share, she was just saying it was very private.
It was not clicking in the teacher’s head why a girl may have very private reasons not to play a sexual assault victim in front of a class. She kept on trying and finally the teacher raised his voice, “You’re holding up this project for the entire class for no apparent reason. Why the hell is this such an issue?” The whole class was looking at her at this point when she said she had been a victim and started crying. As far as I know, the teacher didn’t face repercussions but the project was changed.
6. Borderline Abuse
My fifth-grade teacher Mrs. Hannah would bully this kid that obviously had serious behavioral/family issues. She was not at all sympathetic to him and literally made him sit in a cubicle desk the entire day that she called “the box”. It was so infuriating and humiliating to watch. She also once told me she was going to “nail my ears to the wall”.
So I reported her. I hated her so much and I felt really bad for the kid that she really scapegoated. Hope he’s doing well today.
7. Blind as a Bat
I asked my sixth-grade science teacher if he could switch my seat to the front of the room because I was having trouble seeing the board. I wear glasses and have just really bad eyes. He decided, for some reason, that I had an ulterior motive for wanting to be in the front of the room. To punish me for trying to “pull one over on him” he moved me to the very back of the room for the rest of the year where I could not see the board at all so I learned nothing that year, because we didn’t have textbooks, everything was put up on the board.
8. Better Fall In Line
I had a college professor for an advanced comp class. Had to write a 1,500-word essay every week (on a variety of topics), and each grammar mistake is 10% off of the grade. Had a class on Tuesday, met with the professor with a draft on Thursday. No draft on Thursday: automatic zero on the paper. I had written something mildly critical of an author we had read, and when I met with the professor, they said, well, I can’t think of anything wrong grammatically with the paper, but you need to change your view, or I will give it a C. I kept it as is, and got the C, even though I wasn’t “wrong.”
9. Too Good to Be True, Apparently
In seventh grade, we had a group project to create a magazine. Our group’s magazine was supposed to be animal themed, with articles being written by animals, for animals. I was assigned to write a poem. Now, I’ve always been a good reader, and a decent writer, and I wasn’t bad at poetry either. On top of this, my father had commissioned a painting with the “Clock of Life” poem on it around the time I was born.
I grew up loving the painting, and the poem. I took inspiration from that poem. A theme of time running out. That’s all. And I wrote a good poem. It was done days before the due date. But I forgot our animal theme. On the day it was due, I quickly adjusted “man” to mammal and such changes. It really messed with the meter, but it was done.
Now, my painting went to another student, our “editor,” and he compiled the magazine before turning it in, so it was a week or more before the next step. My teacher pulled me out of class into the hallway. He told me he knew I had copied the poem, and that I would get a zero. I protested my innocence, of course.
He said he knew it wasn’t mine because it was “too good” for a student to write. Tearfully, I still told him I wrote it. He said that if I insisted, he would find where I copied it from, and give me a zero and get me in trouble when he did. This sounded fine to me since there was nothing to find—and I really wanted to get away from being yelled at.
When grades came out, I learned he given me a zero on the poem anyway. In addition, the “magazine” was returned to the editor, not the individual contributors, so I never got my poem back. I can’t even remember the words now. But this was one of the traumatic points in my childhood that taught me not to listen to authority.
Later, in high school, I wrote a journal entry for another English teacher about the experience. I didn’t realize it at the time, but she shared the original teacher’s last name (Beck). She happened to be married to a history teacher of that name. When she graded my journal, she apologized to me, and insisted she was no relation to the original teacher.
Which was kinda weird, but it did feel nice to have some acknowledgement of how messed up the situation had been.
10. Birthday Boy
High School French class. It was my birthday and the teacher gave me this small bag of candy and a cute note. I thought it was really thoughtful because you don’t really expect teachers to give a crap about your birthday in high school. I thank her, pop a piece of candy in my mouth, and promptly got a detention for eating in her classroom.
I was shocked and nearly cried because it was my first detention ever. Everyone else was just as surprised and started arguing with her but she wouldn’t budge. And that’s my story of how I got my first ever detention by eating a piece of candy the teacher gave me on my birthday.
11. A Few Bad Apples
I was in my eighth-grade biology class and I had a perfect 100%. We were in the middle of taking a test when a couple of kids started talking and wouldn’t stop. So my biology teacher stood up, and announced that he would be subtracting one point from everyone’s tests. I ended up getting 99% on that test and 99% for the grading period.
I’m a junior in high school now and still remember the seething pain in my soul.
12. Anyone Taping This?
When I was a freshman in high school on my first day of school I had a shirt that looked like it had duct tape on it as part of the design, and my teacher told me to take it off. I told him that it didn’t come off and in front of everyone in the class he tried to rip off the “duct tape” and stretched my shirt out and embarrassed himself when he realized that it was just a design on the shirt.
Then for the entire semester, he was a complete jerk to me because he embarrassed himself in front of the whole class.
13. Let’s Be Realistic Here
I had a teacher that counted a question wrong when I rounded to the nearest hundredth on a question that just said “estimate.” She said she would count rounding to the nearest tenth, or the nearest whole number because the hundredth is “impractical, as no one would use a measurement that small.” The question, I kid you not, was about using triangles to estimate the distance for a snail bridge in Fantasyland.
14. Backward Morons
I went to an all-girl Catholic high school in a city, and many students took public transportation home alone through the city, often after dark. Like many high schools, the school would confiscate your phone if you were caught using it during school hours, but had a policy that confiscated phones would be given back during the evenings so that girls could commute home safely—they wanted to make sure that students had it in case of emergency.
Students would turn it in during the morning, pick it up in the evening, etc., for the duration of the confiscation. My phone was confiscated once, shortly after rumors were flying around that I was a lesbian (the rumors were partially correct, but still). I went to the office to pick up my phone for my commute home, and the Dean of Students refused to give it back to me for my commute home.
I tried to argue that I needed it in case of an emergency because I had one of the longest commutes of any student and often spent time waiting alone at a subway station in the dark for my mom to pick me up. The Dean refused. Apparently, I didn’t deserve safety, or to be able to call my mom to pick me up from the station.
My mother had to get my line transferred to a different phone after a few days so that I could continue commuting safely. I think of this every time that school sends me alumni letters begging for donations. Also, one time I kissed my girlfriend on the cheek—outside of school hours, at a public bus stop several blocks away, not wearing the school uniform.
The school disciplinarian happened to be passing by in her car at that exact unlucky moment and gave us both detention the next day because “we’re always representing the school, during school hours or not.” I guess she expected us to just not be queer because that would be “misrepresenting the school.”
15. Sorry for What?
At the computer lab in seventh grade in 2000, I was in English class and we were supposed to be learning how to use a word processor. We had ball mice, and mine wasn’t working right. For those too young to remember, a ball mouse worked by having a hard rubber ball spin a number of rollers, which over time got coated in lint and other crap that kept them from working right.
I knew this, and had fixed mine at home several times, it was pretty simple, just a matter of scraping it clean with your fingernail. So I decided to fix this one, I opened the ball housing, cleaned the rollers, and put it back together. That’s when the lab teacher went nuts, accused me of tampering with school equipment, and trying to steal the ball (other kids did this for some reason).
She told me I was banned from any school computer until I wrote a letter of apology. Which I refused to do since all I did was repair a faulty mouse (which was working perfectly now). This lasted about a week before my English teacher called her on her crap and got me reinstated.
16. You’re in the Wrong Profession
In my home ed class, we were divided in three groups. I was the only girl in a group with five boys. Amongst those boys was one who could be a jerk but was an okay guy deep down. So it was a Wednesday before lunch. Many of us didn’t bring lunch on Wednesdays because we knew we had home ed.
The guy in question, let’s call him Bob, came from a home with not that much money, even for food. Wednesday was probably the only day in the week he had decent food. On this day we made pizza buns. Three for each. Our teacher had previously stated that she hated kids. Yes, as in: She said it right to our faces. This was sixth grade.
We waited for the food to be ready, and whilst waiting for the oven timer to say “pling”, we did the dishes and someone had to go put the dirty towels in the washing machine. Our teacher asked Bob to put them there, and he balled them all up and threw them in. She was FURIOUS, because apparently, it’s a crime to ball things up and throw them.
She made him go down to the playground just below (we were on the second floor) without food. He yelled at her, saying this was the only food he was going to get today. She looked at him and said: “You can’t have it. I’ll make sure it’s thrown out.” She had to go get more towels and walked the kid down. We knew we had to work fast.
We took the pizza bun out of the oven, threw it in a garbage bag, tied it, and threw it down for him to eat. She asked us if we had thrown them out. We said yes. She looked in the trash and couldn’t find them, we explained that we had thrown them out separately. She then sat ALL OF THE CLASS down and told us we were horrible people if we had put them in a bag and thrown them down for him to eat.
17. A Man of Letters
I had a grade seven teacher who was new to our school tell us we’d only get a class trip if everyone behaved. As the year went on he found out we were an obedient bunch so raised the bar and started getting people in trouble for minor, arbitrary crap so he wouldn’t have to organize the trip. It’s even more messed up than this makes it sound.
He had this system where if someone was acting up he’d write the first letter of that person’s name on the blackboard. There was no explanation or discussion; He’d write a letter down and go back to teaching. After five letters you got an automatic detention. Our class was very well behaved, but there were a few people with some minor attention problems (myself included).
But, they all pretty quickly got in line. It didn’t take long for him to have nothing on any of us and the letters stopped. Yet, after a few weeks they’d return. After that, us “troublemakers” would all start getting up to four letters a day for little or no reason. My school bus was late, therefore I am late too? Letter. Accidentally drop a pencil on the ground? Letter. Doing nothing at all? Letter.
Questioning why you got a letter despite not doing anything? Two letters. I even had another classmate get a letter for questioning why I got one when I was clearly paying attention and sitting still at the time. He told them then they clearly weren’t watching the chalkboard and warned the class that watching other people to see if they were deserving of a letter was in itself deserving of a letter.
Very convenient. When the letters were unwarranted, he always stopped at four. I think because as long as we didn’t get detention (and tarnish our record), the principal’s office wouldn’t do anything about it. And, surprise, surprise, we wouldn’t get a trip. When confronted about it, he told the students to blame the two or three “troublemakers.”
Somehow, I don’t think encouraging bullying is something a teacher should be doing. Thankfully, the class realized this was rubbish and didn’t blame any of the people unfairly singled out. A group of them would go to the principal, but would be told that they couldn’t force a teacher to arrange a grade seven class trip, despite the fact that it was a long-standing tradition.
18. Military Bully
Economics teacher was previous military with a hero complex who bullied people. There was a boy that sat by me that wasn’t very smart named Matt, but he tried really hard. She would always give us multiple choice tests, but to save paper she would have us write our answers on loose leaf paper instead of on the test sheet.
When she handed our graded tests back out, she had failed Matt. He looked upset and asked if he could compare our answers. I handed him my sheet (I had scored a 98) and we had all of the same answers. She had marked every C on his paper wrong. He raised his hand and said “Ma’am, you marked all of my C answers wrong, but they were right.”
She looks at his paper and said “You didn’t write Cs, you wrote Ls.” He goes “L wasn’t even an option. Those are Cs.” She said “But they look like Ls, so they’re wrong.” He wound up leaving the class to talk to the principal about it, and she was forced to change his grade to a 95.
19. What a Joke
When I was in kindergarten, a kid with a speech impediment told me a hilarious joke. I was a humor-loving kid, so naturally, I was laughing very hard. Cue the teacher. She was the worst and always blamed me for things. She flipped my card (a discipline system where there’s this board full of little paper bits and the color determines how good you have been, every time it’s flipped the color changes for the worse) and to a 5-year-old sensitive girl, it was devastating.
I got yelled at and my parents were called. My mom was angry because she knew I wasn’t a mean child, I was actually very kind to everyone I met. The teacher thought I was laughing at his speech impediment, not the joke, and she was denying everything my parents said. I had a miserable day over a funny joke.
20. Used and Painfully Unaware
I was chosen for a dance competition in school in third grade. Since it was a girls school and I was not very thin I was playing the boy for a couple of dance numbers. After a week of practice, I was enjoying myself and the teacher had taken money from us for costumes. And one morning I wasn’t visited by my partner to call me for practice.
Assuming she was absent I requested my class teacher to let me go for practice. I’d been almost 15 minutes late and I ran my way to the room to see some other girl dancing with my partner. I went in apologizing to my teacher for being late. And she pulled me out of the practice room and told me they had taken someone else.
I begged and apologized for being late. She got frustrated and told me no, they wanted someone better looking and thrust my money into my hand. I ran and sobbed my way to my classroom where my teacher told me to quiet down or leave class. It was one of the most painful memories of my childhood. Later I found out the teacher had replaced me with her niece and I was a stand-in, an unaware stand-in, so that practice wouldn’t be interrupted.
21. Adult Supervision Prohibited
In grade seven I handed in a project about nuclear power. The teacher gave me a low grade because, in her opinion, I obviously had an adult do most of the work. The only adult assistance I had on the project was my Dad driving me to a nearby nuclear power plant so I could take a public tour.
22. Blatant Exclusion
The same teacher who purposefully screwed me over on my transcript gave every person in the class a piece of candy for answering a math question…Except me. She rolled her eyes and said “you’re not even trying.” Then she skipped over me to the guy behind me who, very confused, said the same answer I did. To which she responded “very good! Here, take some candy…”
23. Bunny’s Gotta Eat
I had a rabbit that my mom was allergic to so I decided to give it to my school. Every day at lunch, I would go feed it. I didn’t have the best track record with my teachers because I never did my homework or I would forget it. I had forgotten my math homework in my locker so I asked my teacher if I could get it.
She goes “the only reason you come here is to feed your bunny, you’d might as well just go to another school.” I was in fifth grade. I left that school. So if you’re a teacher and you said this to a student, I’m grown now, I do my homework, I’m in college and I’m going somewhere.
24. Players of Privilege
Every year, the first XV rugby team got new uniforms, new equipment, new everything. When the soccer team asked for new uniforms and equipment, we were told there was no money for that. If we were lucky, we might get the rugby teams hand me down uniforms. The hockey team would ask for new uniforms or equipment, and would be told there was no money for that.
If they were lucky, they might get the SOCCER TEAMS hand me down stuff. It was ridiculous. A member of the rugby team could walk right down the hallway blatantly flouting school uniform rules (non-white undershirt, colored socks/shoes, etc.) and not hear a word from the teachers. Occasionally, a teacher who wasn’t a piece of crap would send them to the principal’s office for disciplinary action, and the principal would send them right back with a note basically saying it was okay this time. Every time.
One time I got sent home for three days because I wore pants instead of shorts. Basically if you were a rugby player, you could get away with murder, and if you weren’t, screw you. This is what happens when you make an elderly ex-PE teacher a principal. He was a piece of garbage but because he had the power, no-one could do anything.
25. Don’t Play Games With Me
It was grade 10 Phys Ed, it was time to do our end of the year write up basically explaining what we learned about the various sports, how we progressed physically, and what we covered in health. So to do so we were in the computer lab. We had a supply teacher as our teacher was sick. I kid you not, I believe about 25 of the 30 kids were playing games and not doing their work as we had all week to complete this assignment, which should only take 2-3 days, and it was day one.
I was going to be absent later on in the week for whatever reason so I was one of the few actually working. About halfway through I take a little break to watch my two friends beside me playing some game against each other. The supply teacher sees me observing their game.
Supply Teacher: “Get back to work”
Me: “Are you kidding me, everyone’s playing games and I’m one of the only ones working”
Supply Teacher: “Log off your computer, you’re done for the rest of class”
I spent the next 20 minutes sitting at a desk while everyone else plays games because I watched my friend play for five minutes.
26. Homeroom in the Gulag
During the cold winter months, my seventh-grade homeroom teacher would open all of the classroom windows if even one student didn’t finish their homework from the night before. We would all have to sit in the cold until every student finished. At this school, we were required to lock our winter coats in our lockers so we would have to sit in the cold with just our shirts. No wonder both of her kids ran away from home.
27. Morally Corrupt
I was in China during my elementary school years. This was from 1998-ish to about 2002. To understand this story, you have to understand the background of the Chinese education system. In order for you to get into middle school, you have to take the entrance exam as a sixth grader graduating elementary school.
If you fail that exam, you will not be able to get into a decent middle school, which will be the key for you to get into a decent high school, which leads you to get into a good college. Unless your family has connections or money, or both, you may be out of luck. During the sixth grade, I developed affection for a girl, who was a fifth grader.
We exchanged love notes like regular teenagers would do, and everything was just very innocent and can be simply categorized as puppy love. However, my “homeroom” teacher somehow found out about it. The teacher recognized my hand writing on a note she intercepted and immediately took me out of the class.
She started badgering me and questioning me about who the note was to. I refused to give a name. She decided to publicize this to the entire school, marked me as an “immoral” and “indecent” student with filthy and corrupted thoughts. I was not allowed to attend classes at all, and they told me if I ever dared to mention to my parents about how I was not allowed in class, they would tell them about my immoral behaviors.
Being a kid back then who was scared and truly believed my behavior was bad, I couldn’t go to my parents for help. I was complete alienated in school. My friends and classmates all distanced themselves from me. In order to protect that girl I distanced myself from the girl. The whole school knew about me and saw me as a terrible child.
It was almost like the “scarlet letter.” Eventually, because of the fact that I was not allowed to attend any classes, I failed the entrance exam miserably. I was a top student in class all the way till my sixth grade. So my parents were extremely shocked to find out about my inexplicable failure. At the last parent-teacher conference meeting during the elementary school graduation.
My mom broke down in front of the teacher while the teacher just smirked at my mom and said your kid was just a bad kid. That took a lot out of me and it took me a while to recover. To this day I still remember the sight of my mother crying in front of that teacher who almost ruined my life. Thank goodness my parents brought me to the US later and I was able to recover and regain my confidence.
28. Prudes Aplenty
I was always a well-behaved kid and was never intentionally disobedient. My freshman year in high school I had an English teacher who frequently had a hard time controlling the class—there were several students who would frequently misbehave, talk back, etc. This was back in the late 90s when spaghetti strap tops were all the rage.
At one point the teacher had casually mentioned that she thought it was incredibly distasteful and inappropriate for high school students to show their bra straps. It wasn’t against the rules and I honestly didn’t really think much of it. I was used to getting similar comments from church ladies and it didn’t really bother me and I wasn’t going to change my wardrobe based on someone else’s opinion.
One day a few weeks later the class was being particularly rowdy and misbehaved. The teacher was obviously getting frustrated and out of the blue, she turns to me and yells, “I specifically told you you’re not allowed to show your bra straps in my class! Go to the principal’s office!” It was the only time I had been sent to the principal’s office for “misbehaving.”
I was really upset. In the end the principal just told me I didn’t need to be there because I wasn’t breaking any rules and he sent me back to class. The funny thing was, the teacher didn’t just upset me, she angered everyone in the class who thought it was totally unfair for her to go after the quiet, compliant girl in the corner and it totally backfired on her. The next few weeks the girls in that class decided if she didn’t want bra straps in class they were just going to stop wearing bras.
29. Do Your Damn Job
This happened last semester, so I’m really glad that I’ll get to vent about it to somebody. My professor didn’t grade anything the entire semester, and then just started magically giving grades back two days before classes ended. It was not only unfair, it was unethical that a professor just would not do their job for the entirety of a semester.
Up until less than a week before the final exam, I had no idea where I stood in the class. It was awful, and it was really difficult to make any informed decisions about how much attention I should be giving a class.
30. Unbelievably Fast
In third grade, my teacher gave me The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and I started reading it on the bus home. It was so good that I kept reading it all afternoon, and ended up staying up late to finish it. The next morning I gave it back to her and she didn’t believe that I’d finished it. I was surprised and told her that I had, so she sent me to the reading specialist, who had me read aloud and summarize it.
He sent me back to class with a note saying “seems like she read it” or something along those lines. This was before the internet/SparkNotes. The teacher promptly demoted me from the highest reading group to the second-lowest. I told my mom, who went to the principal on my behalf, and I was moved back up to the highest reading group.
Then the teacher sent me to the principal for “lying to my mom.” She was a piece of work.
31. Read the Signs
A teacher (who already didn’t like me at all) asked me to turn the lights off so she could play something on the projector, and she got pissed off at me for being unable to reach the lights, because I’m 4-feet tall. She sighed loudly and said “Of course, you can’t even do that. [Other student’s name] can you do it, please?”
The reason she disliked me is that I was generally unmotivated and behind in class. Turns out I was very depressed at that time (verging on suicidal). Yes, I didn’t finish homework, and I started skipping class, but just a year ago I had been a highly motivated, star pupil who enjoyed class. I feel like that kind of dramatic change should set off alarm bells.
Would have been nice if she asked what was wrong, rather than get angry at me all the time. Especially for having dwarfism, like what the hell lady.
32. Not a Sip
It was a super sunny and hot day and I was in class. I just wanted to take a quick sip of my bottle (other teachers had no problem with this in such a heat, and it was three days before summer break, so nothing was really happening anymore in school) and then the teacher noticed me and came over to my place. He then said something like “Either you put that bottle away or you go outside the classroom and do whatever you want!”
16-year-old me just went outside the classroom and my classmates were going nuts because he probably expected me to just put my bottle away. He got super angry as I closed the door and took a seat in the hall. I just heard him complaining about me. After five minutes or so he came out and sent me to the principal.
The principal was chill and there were no consequences. But from that day on the teacher always hated me and gave me bad grades. Because I wanted to drink something on a hot day…
33. Filthy Mudblood
When I was in first grade, the first Harry Potter movie came out, and I brought the movie to class so our class could watch it during our Harry Potter event. I forget exactly what I did wrong but apparently the teacher turned me into a Muggle and at the end of the Harry Potter event she gave the whole class candy except for me and I cried.
My mom called the school and was furious at the teacher and she never apologized. So even though I brought the movie, I was the only one without any sort of reward at the end of the event.
34. Shame On Her
When I was in 10th grade my math teacher (a super nasty and mean women who was like 65 or 70) screamed and kicked out this one girl for wearing one of those crop top skirt things. She called her a bunch of names and the girl looked like she was about to cry. Our school had a dress code but it was never really enforced but I will never forget the math class where the teacher decided to waste like 25 minutes over a girl who was showing like half an inch of skin.
35. Victim Blaming
Chemistry class I was getting bullied once. The guy decides to mock me and take my lab sheet I was working on. Tears it up right in front of me with a huge grin. I go up and inform the teacher I need a new one and why and she tells me that I shouldn’t be goofing around and fails me for the lab. I literally told her that this kid was bullying me and I was minding my own business but she wouldn’t relent.
36. Messy Handwriting, Messier Teaching
Third grade teacher told my parents I needed a shrink because my handwriting was so bad. I saw a psychiatrist weekly for about a month. I don’t remember much. Nice guy. Anyway, apparently, he called the school and chewed out my teacher over it, taking the stance she was harassing kids for stupid reasons. All he told my parents was to get me a typewriter. Handwriting is still terrible, but you should see my words-per-minute.
37. It All Worked Out
High school freshman year English teacher didn’t like my attitude or penmanship (lefty) so she recommended I be sent to remedial English for my sophomore year. It took two classes in sophomore year for the teacher to figure out I didn’t belong there, but the freshman teacher was also the Department Head and wouldn’t approve my transfer, so he gave me an A, a list of books to read, and asked me to help out leading discussion with the rest of the class.
38. Not Fit for Teaching
One of my teachers had a bit of a breakdown, and her screaming caused one of my classmates to have an epileptic fit. However, the teacher thought he was faking it and stood over him screaming at him to get up. Whilst we were all aware of his condition, he was still going through diagnosis but the school gave us training on what to do when he had an episode.
We started clearing the tables and chairs around him so he wouldn’t hurt himself, and someone ran off to get the school nurse (the teacher lunged at her as she tried to leave the room and knocked her into a filing cabinet but she managed to get out and get the nurse). Luckily the nurse at my school was a badass and as soon as the teacher started screaming at her she replied with a quick backhand and the teacher stormed out the room.
39. System Failure
My father died early morning of the first day back at school for the year. He had been sick a few months and most of my summer holidays was spent visiting him at the hospice. At the end of the previous school year, the school decided to change the uniforms. I went back to school day two and I was called up to the vice principal’s office because I didn’t have the new shirt.
They knew my father had died the previous day—I was told if I didn’t have the right shirt tomorrow I would be suspended. I had to scrape together the money and get the bus to the shops to get the shirt that day because my mum was dealing with enough and I didn’t want to add to it. That was the day I stopped caring about school and it was a real turning point—for the worse—in my life. I was an A student before then.
40. It’s All in the Family
I had a teacher in high school who hated me. I wasn’t the best literature student, but I hardly deserved her treatment. She once ripped up a paper of mine in front of the class saying it was the worst thing she ever read. I had to get it graded by the English department. My uncle worked at that school as a guidance counselor, but before that he was the English head when this particular teacher started. I think she took out her hate for my uncle on me.
41. Oh Just Cheer Up
I missed three months of my last year at school because I was treated for severe depression. School and every teacher was informed. I could finish with a lower degree or retake all the courses. Because I didn’t know how I’d feel a year later and I wanted to have a degree in my pocket, I decided for the lower degree.
I worked hard, on my health and for my courses. After my final oral exam the teacher asked me why I missed so many lessons. I was confused and asked him if he did not get the letter I sent, which he said he got. So I said that everything was explained there. That I was treated for severe depression in a clinic several hours away.
He looked at me and told me with a disapproving glance, that everyone is sad once in a while. That’s no reason to not attend school.
42. The Spanish Inquisition
Spanish teacher gave me zeroes on a bunch of homework that I knew I’d done and turned in like everyone else. My father refused to believe me and punished me in accordance with the rules about my “bad grade.” I swore to him that I had turned in the work, so the next morning he went with me to the teacher’s “office hours” or whatever you want to call it.
She showed up 30 minutes after the posted start time, so he was already mad because he was missing work. She unlocks the door and proceeds to tell my father that I’m a bad student, didn’t do my work, and was disruptive in class. I shove past her into the room, go to her desk, and pull the four missing papers from her “turn it in tray.”
My father watches all this, looks at my teacher (who has turned bright red), and tells me to go to class without breaking eye contact with her. She started failing all of my assignments from that point forward until my dad complained to the principal, superintendent, and school board. She retired the next year.
43. The Power of Christ Won’t Compel You
In the early 90s, I was diagnosed with ADHD, put on Ritalin, and also lived in the deep south in Mobile, Alabama. The Ritalin made me itch and made me feel like things were “crawling” on me. I started pulling out my eyelashes and clumps of hair. I mean I was just a kid and I didn’t realize I was being weird or my behavior was troublesome.
I was always getting in trouble, all the time. Principal’s office every day. Parent-teacher meetings. But this one teacher, she made me feel terrible. She’d take me out in the hall and make me “pray to Jesus” to “forgive me” for my behavior. One day when my mom came to pick me up from school she told my mother that I had a devil in me.
It made me feel so terrible. I was like 6 or 7—I thought they gave me pills because I was stupid and now I’m being told I’m evil and have a devil in me.