Tuesday, January 24, 2006

We was just having fun
It's the classic bully's defense. Of course, they never ask whether their victims are having any fun.
A 17-year-old high school student said he was humiliated when a teacher made him sit on the floor during a midterm exam in his ethnicity class -- for wearing a Denver Broncos jersey.

The teacher, John Kelly, forced Joshua Vannoy to sit on the floor and take the test Friday -- two days before the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Broncos 34-17 in the AFC championship game. Kelly also made other students throw crumpled up paper at Vannoy, whom he called a "stinking Denver fan," Vannoy told The Associated Press on Monday.

Kelly said Vannoy, a junior at Beaver Area Senior High School, just didn't get the joke.

"If he felt uncomfortable, then that's a lesson; that's what [the class] is designed to do," Kelly told The Denver Post. "It was silly fun. I can't believe he was upset."


Vannoy said he was so unnerved he left at least 20 questions blank on the 60-question test, and just wants out of Kelly's class because he's afraid the teacher won't treat him fairly now that the story reached the media.

"I'm going to have to deal with him for two more nine weeks [school quarters] and he's going to want revenge somehow," Vannoy said Monday.

Let's see, we have blaming the victim: the problem isn't that the teacher humiliated the student; the problem is that the student didn't get it. That's another bullies' favorite. We have the genesis of the later political non-apology: I'm sorry you didn't get it. And finally, we have the current favorite of bullies and wingnuts: it was a joke; you don't understand the exquisite subtlety of our humor. Though I'm curious to know if there is anything else to the story, my first reaction is to think that John Kelly is a jackass who shouldn't be allowed to teach.

By the way, what is an ethnicity class? These kids are taking a year long class that's designed to make them uncomfortable, miserable, and afraid of retaliation by the teacher. In my day we called that class P.E.

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