In elementary school, a class at a time we would be taken to the auditorium. The nurse would weigh us and shout the results to our teacher who was sitting at a distance, writing it down. Anita was embarrassed because she was overweight while I was humiliated because I was the proverbial skin and bones. In 2nd  grade, I weighed 44 pounds. I can verify this because weight was written on the back of our report card, next to average weight. ( 53 that year)

While this public weighing shows lack of respect for kids’ privacy and feelings, there was one teacher who seemed to specialize  in humiliation. Unfortunately  I had this teacher for both second  and third grade through an unfortunate shuffling of kids and staff due to overcrowding.

 Mrs. Malone,  would take us in the coatroom and go through our hair with a tongue depressor. We always knew who had lice as they went home, pronto. I was always terrified I would have them, but my father comforted me by quoting  his mother:  “It’s no disgrace to get them, but it is to keep them.” I somehow escaped, probably because my mother insisted that I wear my long hair in French braids tied into a loop.

 Mrs. Malone would  also inspect  our pencils which were green with no eraser. For some reason I recall they were branded Chem-Sealed. If we had chewed on the pencil, she scolded us and wrapped white tape around the pencil for all to see.

This same teacher walked along the aisles, bending down by seats to see who had passed gas. If we hadn’t already figured it out, we knew because Mrs. M would pump an air spray bottle, aimed at the student, just below waist level.

Needless to say, we were all very intimidated by Mrs. Malone, but my own personal hell with her is a story unto itself. Tune in again on Thursday for the full account.

                                                                             © Dorothy C. Judd

Next Post: Thursday, April 25th


About twofelines

What to say? I love my family and friends. I also love kids, cats, and books. Oh, and potato chips and Cheez-its. I am a retired teacher who still loves to be in the classroom, so now I am a substitute teacher.
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2 Responses to Humiliation

  1. Lisa Gross says:

    Mrs. Malone would never make it with the parents of today.

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Ann says:

    She sounds just awful. But it made you a compassionate teacher with your own kids, so maybe good came of it! I remember the early elementary years when weight and height was on the back of a report card booklet. Post WW II, parents wanted bigger, taller, better fed, and smarter kids! The Depression and the war made indelible impressions on them.

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