In today’s news, a prank goes horribly wrong when a group of students replaced themselves with mannequins only to notice the teacher kept teaching. “It was supposed to be a childish prank, but, when we looked through the classroom door, she just kept teaching like we were there,” said Juan Gomez, a student in her class. The school, under the city’s official department website, is classified as 90% free or reduced lunch with 70% of the students in the lowest-third in reading and math classes and 50% English language learners, all euphemisms for serving students of color.
It all started in homeroom when kids were yelling at the top of their lungs about the Michael Brown case, the teenager murdered by recently-resigned and well-paid officer Darren Wilson. As they yelled multi-lingual curses at Wilson and the white people they didn’t like in the building, the teacher yelled “HEY! HEY HEY!” The students walked right by the teacher, knowing she wouldn’t address their concerns. According to a transcript gathered from a set of Vine videos, as they clamored together in the corner of the homeroom, the teacher started off with what looked like a promising speech:
“Now, I know many of you are angry about what happened yesterday, and I’m here for you in case you want to talk …”
As the students started to get back in their seats, the teacher continued:
“But I also want you to know that you need to think about the stupid things you do all the time to provoke authority figures, like the way you present yourselves with your lowered pants, the way you speak to your friends, and your lack of proper English!”
The students then reportedly twisted their necks, snapped their fingers and said, “Oh no, she didn’t!”
Oh yes she did. Afterwards, the students yelled, “THAT’S RACIST! You think because we’re not white, we should die!?”
“No, I’m not saying that, but …”
Devonte, the loud one out of many loud ones, said, “OH HELL NO! How you gonna say that, miss? We Black kids!”
“No, hold on, wait just a minute. About a week ago …”
“WEEK AGO!!!” Students threw their fitted caps in the air and did what they call the Shmoney Dance.
“Guys, please, please, please just sit DOWN! Now, I have these standards to teach, this curriculum to figure out, and this test to get ready for, and I can’t have all these disruptions. We’ve spent far too much class time with your nonsensical, teenage hullabaloo. As far as this Mike Jackson, Brown, whatever his name is stuff, you should know I’m colorblind.”
“Miss, you mean you can’t see color?”
“NO! It just means that I don’t care if you’re Black, white, green, yellow, or whatever, I’m just here to teach and that’s it! I’m not paid to do that and I have to teach you!”
“But miss, this is really important and …”
“Not only is it insulting to people who are actually color-blind and have other visual issues,” says Mark Perrielo in a separate interview, president of the American Association of People with Disabilities, “but … UGH!”
That’s allegedly when students came together and turned the conversation on its head, breaking into school property an hour before school started and moving mannequins into seats and dressing them in lowered jeans and colorful caps. “I just thought that the kids wanted to straighten their lives and be on their best behavior after this Mike Jordan stuff. I didn’t actually think they were trying to prank me.” But they did because, after 30 minutes of silence and non-participation, the principal walked in and dropped his clipboard at the scene. “He said, ‘How did you get these unruly kids so quiet?’ and I just told him that my classroom management game was tight. He gave me a pound right after that,” said the teacher, whose name was redacted due to utter shame and embarrassment.
“She even marked me present, sir,” continued Gomez. “I was actually in the hallway with 30 kids and she gave me a good grade for the day.” He shook his head in disgust before pausing, then laughing as he walked by the classroom.
“This is totally unacceptable,” says Jose Vilson, author of This Is Not A Test, A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education. “You’re not even going to notice that everyone in your classroom hasn’t made a sound? Didn’t ask to go to the bathroom? That they were all had their hands on their hips? This speaks to the need for teachers who respond to the students in front of them, not the students who they wish were there. Gosh!”
As to where the students got the mannequins from, no one knows, though an anonymous source mentioned the back of a St. Louis courthouse, the same courthouse where a grand jury failed to indict now infamous officer Darren Wilson.