Mr. Teitel's Good Call
So I was never really good at math. When I'd take tests in high school I remember getting them back with red X's all over them and grades as low as 12% circled at the top (and frankly, being surprised I'd avoided the 0%). I'd look at the one thing I actually got right and be like, 'That one thing doesn't even look right! Maybe the 12 was actually a charity grade?) Anyway, today I woke up remembering something my 10th grade Geometry teacher (Mr. Teitel) did and I always thought it was a cool move.
Back in high school there was this kid Paul who had cerebral palsy (I think). Sometimes he would be walking around with some effort and other times he'd unfortunately land back in his wheelchair for a while. He was a cool kid. We were friends back in like 9th grade for a while and would hang out-- but eventually we grew apart. He went in with a tougher crowd (sort of metal-heady) and I couldn't hang there because I was too dorked or whatever.
Anyway, at some point he started wearing an earring that said 'FUCK' to school. I remember he was wearing it for a week or so and I thought it was way cool. No teacher's said anything. If anyone had the right to wear an earring that said, 'FUCK' I guess they figured he did. I remember thinking I'd like to get my ear pierced at some point --but I wasn't near cool enough then (plus my mom would yell at me.... which I guess is redundant).
One day, in geometry class our teacher, Mr. Teitel, noticed the earring that said, 'FUCK' and he said, 'Take the earring out of your ear while you're in my class.' Paul refused. I remember the whole class sort of buzzing because nobody had called Paul out on the earring before. Mr. Teitel said, 'Take the earring out now or you're going to the principal's office.' Paul argued that he didn't have to take out his earring-- so Mr. Teitel threw him out of the class and sent him off to the principal. Paul was pissed. He rolled out the door slamming it shut behind him.... and Mr. Teitel went back to teaching like nothing happened.
I remember at the time thinking Mr. Teitel was kind of a dick for harassing him-- but by the end of the class, I realized how it was actually a cool move for a teacher. All the other teachers were just letting the earring slide. Acting like they didn't see it. But actually why should he should get to wear an earring that says, 'FUCK' in high school when no one else can? Screw that! Special fashion privileges? For why? At that point Paul was sort of a tough kid anyway so he probably got a kick out of being chucked out of class...
Of course, my analyzing Mr. Teitel's decision that day insured another 12% was on my way... because I didn't pay attention to nuttin else for the rest of the class...