JERK OF THE WEEK: Urban Education: Getting Pregnant at 13
I've discussed my trips to Tampa and the Jersey Shore over the past two months. However, in doing so, I've neglected to mention what's been going on in my area. I wrote this Jerks entry several months ago, but I'm publishing it now that my summer series are over.
If you don't live in the Philadelphia area, you may not know that many of the schools are being shut down due to a lack of funds. I won't bore you with the details - mainly because I don't feel like looking them up - but many schools have been closed, meaning hundreds of teachers have been laid off.
As you might expect, there's plenty of outrage about this. There have been so many protests around the city; my friend the Reverend complained that he was awakened on the one day he was able to sleep in a couple of weeks ago because a**holes were marching in front of his house. Many of the citizens have even taken to Facebook to post angry statuses. This was highly effective. Corrupt mayor Michael Nutter Butter considered funneling the entire city's budget into the school system upon reading those statuses, but decided against it at the last minute.
Mayor Nutter Butter came up with a brilliant plan instead. To remedy this issue, he decided to raise taxes. Ah, what a smart move. Increasing taxes has worked so well before - except for the fact that many taxpayers (including myself) left the city as a consequence, which ultimately decreased tax revenue. But it was an otherwise brilliant strategy.
I've always maintained that people who b***h and complain about certain issues should have a feasible solution to those particular problems. What I would do about this school situation is simple: nothing. I would do absolutely nothing (**).
(**) Actually, I'd close down most public schools and put everything online. The kids could then be "online schooled," in a sense. The parents would have to make sure their children actually take these courses, but that's a good thing because parents need to be involved as much as possible anyway.
How can I just let schools shut down by doing nothing, you ask? It's simple. It's a broken system that'll never be fixed. In economic terms, it's a sunk cost. There's no point in trying to salvage a piece of s***. Funneling more money into a piece of s*** isn't going to make it smell any better, so just let it stink and rot.
But what about the kids? Kids, shmids. That's what the administration thinks anyway. Had they actually cared about the students, they'd use some of the obscene amount of money they paid to the superintendent and other corrupt members of the Philadelphia School District on the children. For example, according to the Huffington Post, the average salary for a Philadelphia superintendent has been close to $300,000 over the past couple of decades. The most recent superintendent, a fat a**hole named Arlene Ackerman, received a $905,000 severance. I feel like anyone with a functioning brain can be a superintendent, so why not pay them 10 percent of Ackerman's severance per year? It's still way more than teachers make, so there's still incentive for them to take a promotion. Seriously, there's no reason any superintendent should be making six figures. It's just irresponsible spending that reeks of typical urban-government corruption.
Of course, the administration is just half the problem. The kids are equally at fault. They barely learn anything, and the stuff they do pick up is useless because they don't use it in their lives. You may think I'm stereotyping urban children in Philadelphia, but as you'll discover upon reading this entry, that's the furthest thing from the truth.
I was invited to an "end of school year" party at my friend Man-Eaters' house. Being a teacher in a Philadelphia school, she had me and some of her co-workers over for a dinner to celebrate the final week of their academic calendar. She and the other teachers there recounted some bizarre stories about the students and the school administration that would have completely boggled my mind, had I not already known how much of an abomination the Philadelphia public school system is.
They had countless amusing stories. I managed to remember seven of them. Once you're finishing reading through all of the stories, you'll agree with me that aside of somehow firing/deporting the corrupt, money-grubbing individuals, nothing needs to be done to help the Philadelphia School District.
Quick - spell your full name out loud. Manage to do it? Good job! You just accomplished something several 18-year-old Philadelphia school students can't do.
I wish I were joking about this, but it's true. Man-Eaters was in charge of reading off the names at the graduation. This involved putting the kids' entire names on the diploma. She had to call in some of the students to get clarification on the spelling of their middle names. Here is how some of the exchanges went down:
Man-Eaters: Can you spell your middle name for me, please?
Kid No. 1: Uhh... S- H- A- B- A- Z... uhh... Miss, I don't know if name have one Z or two Zs.
Man-Eaters: You don't know how to spell your middle name?
Kid No. 1: I gotta check with my moms.
It would be bad enough if this were just a one-time occurrence...
Man-Eaters: Can you spell your middle name for me, please?
Kid No. 2: My middle name Shakwanna. That's S- H- A- K... uhh... Q... uhh... K... uhh... Q... K... I forget.
Man-Eaters: You don't know how to spell your middle name?
Kid No. 2: I know how it sound like, but I forget how to spell it.
Spelling out middle names wasn't the only thing that befuddled these students.
Man-Eaters: Hey, I need some clarification on your first name, KaRon. Is the R capital or lower case?
Kid No. 3: I dunno.
Man-Eaters: You don't know if the R in KaRon is capitalized or not?
Kid No. 3: Ask my mom, she know how spelled it.
It's downright embarrassing that 18-year-old students don't know how to spell their name. Of course, the parents deserve the bulk of the blame. When you come up with completely idiotic names like Shabazz, Shakwanna and KaRon/Karon, what do you think is going to happen?
Think back to what you did when you were 13. I spent my entire summer playing hockey, football and basketball with my friends. I swam a lot. I traded sports cards. I played Super Nintendo for countless hours. You know, normal 13-year-old stuff.
I certainly did not impregnate any women. But that's exactly what these kids are doing. Per Man-Eaters, "getting pregnant is THE thing to do at 13." As a consequence, many of these girls take maternity leave as 14-year-old ninth-graders. Man-Eaters made it clear how ridiculous this was:
Man-Eaters: One of the 14-year-old girls who came back from maternity leave - what do you think her greatest concern was?
Me: I guess what to do with her child while she's at school?
Me: How to take care of her child despite having no job?
Man-Eaters: Stop thinking about her child. Think about her.
Me: Umm... how she was going to catch up on her schoolwork after being on maternity leave?
Man-Eaters: Even simpler than that.
Me: I don't know. I give up.
Man-Eaters: Her greatest concern was that she always lost her notebook. Think about that for a second - this 14-year-old girl was now trying to raise a kid of her own, yet she's a kid herself who can't even remember where her own notebook is. If she keeps misplacing her notebook - and accusing the teachers of stealing it in the process - how is she supposed to raise a child?
One of the teachers at Man-Eaters' house joked that they should teach swallowing in health class in an effort to decrease pregnancies. It's a huge problem. These girls will continue to pop out children and transform into welfare queens, and then their children will have kids of their own at the age of 14.
If the Philadelphia School District thinks things are bad now, wait until 30 or 40 years from now when the inner city is overrun by these bastard children. There won't be any room for them at these schools for them, so what's going to happen then? Raise taxes yet again, which will drive even more taxpayers away? It's an endless, futile cycle. It's a sunk cost.
3. Dumb Girls:
The smartest women in the world can sometimes act like complete imbeciles when it comes to men. So, what happens to the thought process of a girl stupid enough to get pregnant at 13? Is she even dumber when it comes to men, or is it a weird inverse dynamic? Do they somehow become completely logical in this aspect?
It's definitely not the latter based on the stories I heard. There's a 17-year-old guy named Keenan at this school. He happened to be banging two chicks in his grade. When the girls found out about this, they broke up with him, right? That would be the logical thing to do, of course. Why not be with a guy who won't cheat on you or treat you like crap?
Instead, the two girls fought each other. Legitimately fought - as in punches were involved. When they were finally separated, someone asked Keenan about this situation. He just shrugged it off and said, "Man, these just my two b***hes on the side."
The teachers who told me this story dubbed Keenan the "new Khalil." A former student of theirs, Khalil, did the same thing the year before - but with five girls instead of two. He even told these girls that he was banging all of them, but that didn't stop them from fighting each other.
Hearing all of this made me jealous. All of these years, I've never cheated on anyone. I've had girlfriends I've been faithful to. But I must admit that having b***hes on the side kind of sounds like fun.
4. Illiterate Kids:
Perhaps a reason these kids can't spell their own names is because they can't read. The math teacher in the group told me a funny story. It involved some 18-year-old girl who couldn't solve a particular math problem. He spoke with her after class.
Girl: Hey, Mr. G, I can't get this problem.
Math Teacher: Just look at the example I gave you. It's the same exact problem, but the numbers are different.
Girl: Nah, it all different.
Math Teacher: No, it's not. I'll even circle all of the identical words for you. See? Every single word is the same, but the numbers changed.
Girl: I don't understand dis.
Math Teacher: Just take some time and look at the example, and just plug the different numbers in.
Girl: I try, Mr. G, but I stay up till 3 a.m. to try and solve dis but I get stuck.
Math Teacher: Well, you're either lying to me and you didn't try really hard on it, or you can't read.
Girl: I try, Mr. G, I real tire today cuz I stay up till 3 a.m.
Math Teacher: Then I think this is a reading comprehension problem.
Girl: Whatchu tryin' to say?
Seems like it's an overall comprehension problem in general.
5. Passing Grades:
I've only discussed the kids thus far, but the administration might be even worse. A passing grade at this school is a 75 - it used to be 65 when I was growing up, so I don't know what a**hole raised it 10 points - but when happens when a student gets a 74? It's ony fair to round up, right? But at what point do you stop? If a 74 is close to a 75, then a 73 is close to a 74. So, does a 73 pass? If so, then what about a 72?
As it turns out, they passed the aforementioned notebook girl with a 67. She was out all year because of maternity leave and scored a 67, yet they still decided to advance her. Not only that; they decided to give her some sort of award for this at an assembly.
Of course, there are students who can't even get close to a 67. There's a 20-year-old senior who is repeating the grade for a third time. You'd think that taking the same courses on three occasions would help him, but he fails every year.
6. Mr. Baratheon:
One of the teachers at Man-Eaters' house looks exactly like Robert Baratheon from Game of Thrones. They have the same body type and grizzly beard, and they both love to drink a ton. They also have an identical lackadaisical attitude when it comes to their job.
All teachers are permitted 10 days off during the school year. Mr. Baratheon took 28 days off, and he often just went home during lunch break. You'd think this would get him fired, right? Well, he was called into the office near the end of the school year...
Principal: I'm reviewing which teachers will come back next year.
Mr. Baratheon: OK, I'll pack my things and...
Principal: We love you as a teacher and would be happy if you would return next year!
Mr. Baratheon: Wait, what?
Principal: I'm also looking for someone to assume a leadership role, and we believe you're the right man for the job!
It's amazing how inept the school administration is. Based on stories I heard, perhaps the kids would've been better off with having a substitute more often.
Man-Eaters: You graded completely on participation! I remember you used to have a participation chart where you gave points for participation and subtracted points for those who didn't participate.
Mr. Baratheon: So, what's wrong with that?
Man-Eaters: You didn't teach them anything! You talked about random stuff like movies and sports, and graded them if they discussed those things with you.
Mr. Baratheon: Is that bad?
Mr. Baratheon: Oh well. Maybe I'll try to be a better teacher next year.
This is bad news for the students, as they'll actually have to learn something. In one of his classes, Mr. Baratheon had his kids play a game of Family Feud. One of the questions was, "Which country do you think has the oldest life expectancy?" Here were some of the responses:
Upon hearing Rome, Mr. Baratheon told the student he was close. "Now, which country is Rome in?" he asked. The response?
The sad thing is that Mr. Baratheon is definitely not one of the worst teachers at this school...
7. Teacher Slut:
Maybe these kids wouldn't get pregnant at 14 if they had better role models. Being in a two-parent household would help, of course. Having teachers who aren't whores would also be a big boost.
Man-Eaters and her friends discussed one woman in particular. She's rumored to be banging her students. She is sleeping with her former kids right now, and she takes her current students to the beach in Atlantic City.
The most telling sign, however, is that she locks the door to her classroom after inviting some male students inside during her off periods. I'm sure they're really cramming very hard for tests during those sessions.
All of this made me extremely jealous. Why didn't any female teachers want to take me to the beach and sleep with me when I was growing up? I now want to go back to school. People say I look young, so I think I can pass for a 12th-grader. With some luck, I'll bang some of my teachers. Maybe I'll even have some b***hes on the side too.