Like most teenagers, high school was a complete nightmare for me.
I was a below-average student, mostly invisible to my teachers, and either loathed or completely ignored by about 90% of my classmates. So I assuaged the pain with a healthy diet of punk rock, a fair amount of weed (with the occasional hallucinogen), and weekend outings with my buddy to shoot a bunch of random shit in the woods with his dad’s .22.
In other words, I’m not what you would’ve called an overachiever.
Of course, some days were better than others. Truth is, if I made it through the day with the agony of little more than hidden erections in English class – where every student around me was a tight-bodied cheerleader carrying the scent of fruity perfumes and dusty sticks of Wrigley’s spearmint gum – it was a successful day.
Then there were those days where the shame and dismay of being a pale, 90-pound outcast was amplified by the actions of mischievous “cool kids” that earned their street cred by screwing with the weak. One day in particular comes to mind …
Pat Robertson at a Gay Biker Bar
No one in my high school ever showered after gym class. It wasn’t required, and except for a few lucky, well-endowed 15-year-olds, most of us got dressed and undressed as quickly as possible.
One afternoon, after a humiliating display of one incomplete pull-up during the required physical fitness test they ran every year, like a bunch of freaking SS guards at a Nazi war camp, I might add, I found myself in a very uncomfortable position.
A questionable bologna and cheese sandwich I devoured for lunch was tearing through my intestines like a fireball of death. By the time gym was over, I knew I would have to head straight for the bathroom and risk calling an insane amount of unwanted attention to my plight.
Sadly, the bathroom stalls were doorless, and teenage boys are merciless.
Long story short, somewhere in the state of Maryland there is probably a faded Polaroid of me sitting on the john, sweating and shaking like Pat Robertson at a gay biker bar.
Obviously, I’ve gotten over it after all these years, and have even shared this story with friends over drinks, as it does make for a good bar story. And admittedly, it could’ve been a lot worse.
Much, much worse …
As reported by WFAA news in Dallas, earlier this week about two dozen elementary school students in Gustine, TX (pop. 457), were rounded up and strip searched …
… boys were taken to one room, girls to another, and they were ordered “To pull down their pants to check them to see if they could find anything.”
Apparently, some teachers were “finding poop on the gym floor,” so they decided to strip a handful of students to find the culprit.
While there are certainly plenty of reasons to be critical of government-funded public schools, this is the kind of stuff that puts me over the edge.
Think about this for a moment. Can you imagine being a child, say nine or ten years old, and having your teacher force you to pull your pants down so he or she could check for fecal remnants? This is insane.
And parents that choose to homeschool are the crazy ones?
I’m sure the teachers in question will be disciplined, but I guarantee you that this incident has messed with the heads of these kids pretty good. This won’t one day turn into a funny bar story. But it might make for good fodder during a therapy session.