A 15 year old student had her teeth buried in my arm. All I could think was “huh…” (backtrack to how we got here)
My first few years teaching I learned A LOT, much that I wish I could forget. 1995 (man, this story is hard to get into words) I transferred to a small school. I had a student that became obsessed with me. Don’t know why, she just wanted my attention. I tried every technique in every book to get rid of her. I had students attempt to warn me about her behavior. Talked to my administrator and she assured me that the young lady would realize that I was NOT her mother. right.
On a Thursday I was working on my planning period, helping a very pregnant student try to get ahead in her work. I was also helping a state FBLA officer catch up with the month’s work she had missed. Not one sound except pencil scratching on paper. Muttered questions. Quiet.
I reached across the table to help one of the students. All at once, That Girl jumped out from behind my desk where she had been hiding. She latched onto my arm and locked her jaw tight. Very, VERY calmly I said “You have five seconds to get off my arm. Don’t say anything, just get out while you can go.” I remember time sloooowwwingggg as I thought “now, that is weird…”
She started to try to cry. I said “Now, you are down to three seconds. And may I suggest you go?” I really was holding myself very still and trying to keep calm. The pregnant girl started to cry. The young lady in question RAN from my room. I went to the office and reported the activity. I had to go through a hearing to get her suspended. I did not ask for expulsion or even an unreasonable amount of time. I asked for enough time to let me calm down. Her Parent kept calling me to explain her behavior. Did NOT want to listen.
End of story? NO. The story went parish wide. Which is bad when your entire area has less people in it than a small town.
The next year, the entire school was absorbed by a larger high school 5 miles away. First day of class, In walks That Girl. I said “good day, please take your seat.” and pointed to a seat near the middle of the class. She sat down and I thought that would be the end of the story. Is there ever an end to a wild tale like this? No.
A student from the new school announces loudly “Hey, ain’t that the girl that bit Ms. Boothe???” Entire room inhales, time slows, and That Girl bolts from the room.
My new administrator (Mr. K) came down and asks if I can come to the door. He explains that the superintendent had informed him about the young person…and really he understood if I didn’t care…but, she is in the floor of the girl’s restroom crying.. I told him that I would go get her if he would watch my class. I went to the restroom area and said “Get up. Quit acting like you are hurt.”
She said that she could not face people. That she could not deal with what she had done. I told her to make a joke out of it. “How? How can I do that?” she asked
“Tell them that I am the only teacher on staff with good taste. Tell them Ms Boothe tastes just like chicken. H, I don’t care if you tell them THEY should try it. Just get up and laugh it off. IF I can laugh it off, so can you…”
I’m not gonna say it was easy. But…we made it through the year. She graduated and TOOK ALL HER TEETH WITH HER!!