Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My Close Call in Theft.

     Most followers know that I was a Middle School teacher all my career. Most people know that middle schoolers can be full of mischief.

    Every year there would be a large incident of kids shooting paper wads. Some busy teacher would leave an unguarded box of rubber bands and after that all the bandits would be well armed and war broke out all over the school. You could confiscate rubber bands all day but unless you found the mother lode of rubber bands , paper wads flew for some time. I can remember getting "tips" and I would find somebody with a pocket full of rubber bands and I would make a major confiscation. That usually ended the paper wad fuss. Every year there would be a water pistol event. Usually a couple of stores had brought in a case of water pistols and every little beaner bought a water pistol and of course took it to school. Again , as with water pistols, these were very cleverly hidden. There were wet spots in the class room . Kids complained. There was extra traffic at the water fountain. Either enough armor was confiscated or became unserviceable and the activity ceased.

     For one outbreak of water pistols, the principal became completely frustrated and read the riot act on water pistols. He did announcements just before dismissal on a Friday afternoon. He told kids to take their weapons home. He told the teachers to disarm every water pistol armed kid. After dismissal I was supervising in the hall and a little guy came by with his weapon in his hand all the while admiring it. My jaw dropped. 60 seconds ago this kid had been told to get rid of his weapon. I had no option but to make a confiscation. The kid was a good jail house lawyer and put up a strong argument. 

    Early Saturday morning, before I was up, there was a loud knock on my apartment door. The kid's Dad was there with another guy I knew well and he went ballistic. He wanted his son's water pistol back and he yelled at me and told me what a disgusting human being I was. Since I'd turned the device in to the principal I could not return the goods.  I was shaken up by this encounter. I phoned my principal right away to give him a heads up on what had happened and to let him know what he might expect.

    The guy who accompanied the wild man contacted me later in the day and said he was completely unaware as to what was going on and he wanted me to know that he was no part of it.

    We had a police administration center in our town and the top guy was a superintendent. A few weeks after this incident when I was chatting with him he said, "Say , what was going on with the thing about a water pistol in school?" He said, "The guy came to him and created a big fuss as he wanted the superintendent to lay theft charges on me." He said, "I had an awful time with the guy." the supt. thought it was odd but not serious. So the guy had gone not to a constable to lay a charge but to the very top.

    So this was the only time in my life I came close to being charged with anything. I have often said that I appreciated  the  support I received in all the communities I taught in. However , this was one of the exceptions.