It’s just a sneeze: hold the trigger warning

Last night as I was getting dinner ready to serve, I turned around and sneezed (away from the food. You’re welcome.)

“GOD bless you,” TheKid said to me. Then he continued, “Some of my friends have this teacher who’s an atheist, and they’re not allowed to say ‘God bless you’ in class when someone sneezes.”

Apparently any mention of the word “God” in this classroom makes the teacher upset.

“Are there consequences?” I wondered.

“Well, I know the teacher yells at them. So they say the ‘God’ part really loud. Like this: GOD bless you,” TheKid told me.It's just a sneeze

If the only thing that’s happening when the students mention God in class is that the teacher yells at them, then it’s a good thing that this is one ineffective teacher.

But what happens when an effective teacher, an influential teacher, decides that it’s OK to deny students the right to mention the word “God” when someone sneezes?

What happens when the school administration supports some teacher’s (or student’s) “right” not to have to even hear mention of the word “God”?

Are we really to believe that, for atheist teachers in public schools, the word “God” requires a trigger warning?

And are the students’ parents good with this? Or don’t they know that, for 45 minutes per day, one person’s desire not to hear a certain word mentioned trumps the free-speech rights of 25 others?

Image credit: Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain. Modified in Canva by the author.

Overheard: The Classroom Edition

I’ve been substitute teaching a lot recently, and sometimes the things the kids say are nothing short of priceless. Here are a few samples I managed to scribble down:

7th-grader, upon hearing that we’d be eating lunch in the classroom because the cafegymatorium was set up for a graduation reception:  “Can we order some ribs?”

scissorsMe: “Tie your shoes.”
3rd-grader: “They came untied yesterday.”

3rd-grader: “This is my folder. It’s blue. It’s my new favorite color.”
Me: “Blue is a great color! What was your favorite color before?”
3rd-grader: “Well, I made something with my buddy…”

Actual 1st-grader-composed spelling sentence: “If you took my pencil, I would tell on you.”

Actual 7th-grade religion test answers:

  • The religious vows:  “chastity, obedience, patience”
  • The religious vows:  “poultry” (others left blank)
  • The theological virtues: “Don’t lip, Don’t cheat, Don’t steal”

Things Teachers Say:

  • “Tie your shoes.” (100 times a day, no matter what the grade)
  • “You don’t close the window by pushing on the glass.”
  • “Stop juggling scissors.”

image credit

Today’s Weirdness is Brought to you by Twitter

When you’ve only got 140 characters to play with, it’s hard to express things.

And when you’re a newspaper, using your Twitter feed to share headlines for story after story after story, you might wind up with the following CONSECUTIVE posts:

Pair charged with stealing wire in Medford
Missing Medford man found safe and unharmed

If you’re reading that newspaper’s Twitter feed, you might very easily (and probably wrongly) conclude that there was some connection between those 2 stories.  You might even imagine a very interesting story behind the story.  I’m sure it was much more interesting than what actually happened.