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Apologies to the Post‘s Bill Turque for missing this great blog post in LL’s daily roundup. Turque recounted schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee sharing her war stories from her first year of teaching second grade in Baltimore, 18 years ago.
Rhee had poor class management skills, she said, recalling that her class “was very well known in the school because you could hear them traveling anywhere because they were so out of control.” On one particularly rowdy day, she said she decided to place little pieces of masking tape on their lips for the trip to the school cafeteria for lunch.
“OK kids, we’re going to do something special today!” she said she told them.
Rhee said it worked well until they actually arrived at the cafeteria. “I was like, ‘OK, take the tape off. I realized I had not told the kids to lick their lips beforehand…The skin is coming off their lips and they’re bleeding. Thirty-five kids were crying.”
Unsurprisingly, Rhee tried to walk back a bit from that story:
Rhee said in an e-mail Friday that the students’ mouths weren’t covered. “I was trying to express how difficult the first year of teaching can be with some humor. My hope is that our new teachers will bring great creativity and passion to their craft while also learning from my own challenges.” Still, it’s difficult to imagine a DCPS instructor, first-year or tenth-year, surviving the masking tape stunt without suspension at a minimum.
Yeah, that’s… maybe not the type of example DCPS wants Rhee setting for young teachers.
More importantly: Is masking tape really strong enough to rip off skin? LL could not find any masking tape around the City Paper office, but tried covering his mouth with Scotch tape and ripping it off. It was painful. But there’s no way the tape is anywhere strong enough to rip off skin. LL calls, “Shenanigans!”