I like my school a whole lot. There’s a ton going for it, from the funny, caring and inviting faculty to the really committed students. My department head has my back, and always has answers to even the glaringly neophyte questions I bring to him. The math faculty make working day in and day out a pleasure. And even though I’ve had my share of griping and complaining (a cathartic activity that is endemic to being a teacher) I couldn’t imagine a better place to have inaugurated my teaching career.
All of that came rushing through my head as I read this article in New York Magazine about a well-known private school in New York in a state of major turmoil. It’s a fascinating read, about school values, a board of trustees with a strong voice, and teachers and students in battle. An excerpt below:
The Web page for a Horace Mann Facebook group titled the “Men’s Issues Club” mocked a student organization on campus called the Women’s Issues Club. The 44 members of the parody club included children of both trustees and the legion of prominent names who send their children to Horace Mann, which sits in the top rung of private schools in New York. One club member referred to an English teacher as a “crazy ass bitch” and a French teacher as an “acid casualty.” Another boy boasted that he’s “the only person here who actually beats women when hes [sic] drunk. no joke,” while still another bragged that he had “banged” a teacher “in [the] music dept. bathroom” and “will get great college rec” for the accomplishment. The boys lamented Star Jones’s “fat and wrinkled ass,” “sex in the city,” and “feminism,” proclaiming, “WHERE DO THEY BELONG?!?!????!!! IN THE KITCHEN!! IN THE KITCHEN!!!” The club summed up its mission thus: “For too long men have not had a way to express themselves and their beliefs in society. Men need to have a voice, we aren’t meant to be seen and not heard. Let freedom ring, bitches.”