#2: Jamel kills another animal:
I was out
on Monday. I get a phone call at about 10:30 Monday morning. The caller ID says
it is my work calling. Great, I couldn't wait to see what the hell had happened.
I decided not to answer it, that if it was important enough, a message would be
left. I wait, hoping not to hear the beep that signals a new message. The phone
the exact message: "Good Morning (Riti), its Juanita from school. There was a
little incident here this morning, and I wanted to give you a heads-up on the
situation. All the kids are fine, so don't worry...... Just give us a call when
you get a chance. I hope you are feeling better."
before had I received a call like this. The hesitation in Juanita's voice was
call? No. Do I drink? Yes.
morning I unlock my classroom door. The room was completely dark, the aquarium
light was turned off. I have a tortoise named Homer in my classroom, it is the
"class pet", and the aquarium light is left on at night. This is a specific
instruction in my sub plans. I assumed the sub was stupid, and felt bad that
Homer had to spend the night in darkness.
the lights on and walked over to the aquarium. Homer was not there. I looked
around for a bit, thinking he was crawling around on the floor or something--he
wasn't. I am immediately drawn into one of those "what the fuck" mind states
that seem to haunt my classroom.
I walk to
my desk and flip on my computer. On my desk is a stack of pictures drawn by the
kids. Each picture is of Homer. In some of the pictures Homer is crying, some
have hearts around Homer, the best ones have a person crying while standing next
could be only one reason for this: SOMEONE KILLED HOMER.
I bolt to
my table and read through the substitute's notes. She started off with the usual
"I hope you are feeling better" and "Today was a disaster", which then led into
"Jamel dropped the tortoise, killing it." I am angry now. In the sub plans, in
bold letters, it says "The kids are not to handle the tortoise."
notes she left describe how Jamel insisted that on Mondays they get to hold the
tortoise, how all the kids held him, and how Jamel was the last one to hold him.
While he was holding Homer, he peed on his hand. So Jamel dropped him on the
tile floor, cracking open his shell and killing him.
insisted that Homer was taking a nap, and all his peers believed him. He then
demanded Homer go back in the aquarium to nap, because I would be mad if he
napped anywhere else.
then summoned the principal. He came down and assured her that I was going to be
very upset. The custodian then came down and disposed of the poor turtle.
Jamel a little later, and he requests that I get a guinea pig for the new class
pet. I wanted to strangle him.
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