Friday, October 21, 2016

Some Clown Made Me Sick


You've heard about the clowns, right? The idiots who are dressing up as clowns to terrorize people. Because some people think this sort of thing is funny.

It was Friday at the middle school. They were at lunch.

It hadn't been a hard day. I had been warned by neighboring teachers that the last sub had had issues with Ms. K's classes. Ms. K isn't one to tolerate that sort of behavior, so they were under dire consequences for misbehavior. And things were going well.

It was a normal type of assignment. We were to read a section of the book together, and then they had questions to answer. But Ms. K had left us a "nuclear option". If the students were too disruptive so that we couldn't get through the reading, they were to write out the section instead. Word for word.

The morning classes went smoothly. We got through the reading easily. Then they worked silently on the questions.

As I was coming back from my bathroom run at lunch, a couple teachers warned me of the lunchtime excitement. Apparently, some clown had "invaded" the school and ran around chasing the middle schoolers at lunch.

No. Oh no.

Middle schoolers are impressionable. They believe in the Illuminati and whatever other conspiracy theory you want to dream up. They scare easily. We, with years of experience with these things, know not to take a lot of it too seriously. We know this is all a hoax. But not the middle schoolers. For them it's all very real. And it's coming to get them.

Just what I need with groups of students who were already wound up...

The class arrived. And were the sort of loud I'd expect after lunch and after being chased by a clown. Except, they claimed it was three clowns. And everyone had stories...

So, I attempted to rein them in. Their warm up was a freewrite, so they could write about anything they wanted. I told them to write about the clown. Only that didn't have the desired effect. They wanted to talk about it, not write about it.

We went into the reading. One student refused to read. Then the phone rang. I was to send a student to the office as she was going home. (By the end of the day, 20% of my class was gone. Presumably because their parents picked them up because the school was "unsafe".) Then another student "had to" answer her cell phone because her mother was "blowing it up".

Then the principal came on the loudspeaker. The clown was a student. He had been caught. The principal had the clown costume. And the student had been "dealt with".

But there were three clowns, they protested.

I tried to get them to read. I really did. But they weren't having it.

Okay, fine. They get to copy the section, then.

Ugh. Shortly thereafter, my throat got sore. Which is my usual first stage of a cold. And I hadn't even been yelling.

I'll be so glad when this clown hysteria dies down.

41 comments:

  1. Oh boy. Both of my daughters have come home talking about clowns recently. My middle school daughter is sophisticated enough to know that it is all hype, but many of her classmates were frightened into tears. My fifth grader was also in tears after several of her friends swore up and down the clowns had shown up in their backyards. I hope this will go away after Halloween.

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  2. Wow. Just …wow. :)

    I was babysitting for a middle school girl the other day and right before school she had to tell me all about the clowns… how they were in North Carolina and making their way down to Georgia. In fact she may have seen one at school… Blahblahblah… (She's a talker.) Then, unexpectedly she said she wanted to be a clown. *sigh* And I just let her talk. The great thing about being a babysitter is that I don't have to do a thing; I'll just let the parents handle it. lol.

    Thank goodness the teacher had a back up plan in case things got out of hand. It sounds like the kids needed a distraction.

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    1. Yeah, they needed something... This clown stuff is ridiculous. And the timing on this prank. A Friday, no less.

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  3. I really don't understand the whole clown thing, why the heck are people doing this? *shakes head*

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    1. I can totally see the student's thinking on this. He saw it as a joke. He didn't realize how his audience would react. As for others... Who knows what they're thinking?

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  4. This whole thing is giving good clown a bad rap.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Clowns are kinda creepy, anyway. They don't need this.

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  5. These clowns need to be taken down.

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    1. Yeah. I can only imagine the consequences this student had to face.

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  6. Playing a trick like that when these clowns are terrorizing people is a dumb thing to do. You had a good idea about having the students right about it. If only they did it.

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    1. Teenagers frequently make bad decisions. Their brains aren't fully developed. We can see how stupid this was. The student, however, just thought it would be fun.

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  7. Middle schoolers don't need much of an excuse to go insane. They probably couldn't have focused no matter what you did. But I think it's safe to say we can blame your awful cold on the clown.

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  8. Me too about the clowns. Schools here in Phoenix have adopted a zero tolerance to anyone showing up in a clown costume. I guess that won't be a popular costume this Halloween.

    betty

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  9. It reminds me of that campfire game where people whisper a secret into the ear of the person next to them and by the time you reach the end of the circle, the original story has changed. That's how gossip works. Kids don't realize that yet, I guess! But many adults are blowing these clown stories up and believing them, so I guess we can't blame middle schoolers for believing them!

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    1. Yup, kids don't get that. They will eventually. Just not quite yet.

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  10. So sad what this hysteria has done. There have been clown sightings here in upstate New York. I'm thankful my child is grown. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. About the time this happened, there had been news reports of clown gatherings nearby. Because "they're coming"...

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  11. Yes. This clown business is a bunch of nonsense. I'm so sick of hearing about it. The clowns have all been a bunch of jokers. Hopefully that's the way it will stay.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, me too. It's bound to blow over sooner rather than later.

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  12. It is sad that brats feel the need to scare the hell out kids and people. Now even respectable clowns who want to make kids laugh are suffering. I am being serious.

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  13. That's too bad they did this. And too bad that clowns are getting such negative attention. Not that I like them much after IT but still, think of all the clowns in the circuses? What are they supposed to do? Hope you didn't come down with anything.

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  14. This clown thing has taken over the whole country! All kids are so impressionable. Sounds like you tried your best to contain it!

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    1. At least I didn't have to deal with the whole middle school. That would have been a nightmare.

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  15. Not only has it taken over your country but it's here in Australia too. Two boys did the same thing at a school where I live. I think they were arrested. I can only begin to imagine how difficult that day must have been for you. My sympathies, Liz.

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    1. Really? Australia? I had thought this was a peculiar American thing. I didn't realize it had gone world wide.

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  16. This whole clown phenomenon boggles my mind. I really don't know where it comes from. I wish you well with you cold. Mine has been HORRID!!!!

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    1. Thanks. Every day I get a little bit better.

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  17. Love your post title. The clown thing is so bizarre...

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    1. When it happened, I realized that I'd use "some clown" as part of the title. Sometimes the titles write themselves. (But most of the time, it's just something I put at the top of the post.)

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  18. It seems to be spreading around the world. Hope the kids don't have nightmares!

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  19. You should have told them that you weren't clowning around and to get to work. ;) (sorry, couldn't resist)

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    1. Oh no. When they're in that state, joking around only makes things worse.

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  20. Clowns. Nope. I'm OUT! I cannot handle clowns. I would have been all in a tizzy with them. lol

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  21. Wow. I'm so sorry you had to deal with this. I've personally been EXCEPTIONALLY annoyed by the ongoing clown business. It needs to be put aside in favor of bigger issues.

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    1. I'd been successfully ignoring the whole thing until this.

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  22. ignoring is best on such occasions

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  23. I bet the clown thing comes to a head on Halloween and fizzles out.
    Then Ronald McDonald can come out of the Witness Protection Program.

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  24. Clown sightings must be the most disruptive thing I can think for middle-schoolers. Ugh.

    I wonder if the kids' lingo would throw me for a loop? I bet it would. I understand phones 'blowing up', but I'm sure there's so much more totally beyond my ken.

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    1. It can be hard to get a handle on, but actually there are few terms that really trip one up. For example "shooting" means when someone is throwing insults at another. This one has been around for about a decade. I thought it was out of fashion, but someone used it just the other day.

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