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  • Teacher_Misery
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    It was lunch time at Roosevelt, and I was on lunch duty. Every other week, every teacher had lunch duty, which meant they had to eat their lunch standing up in the courtyard, and supervise the kids for 20 mins, during their lunch break. Teachers absolutely despise lunch duty. Especially at Roosevelt.

    You just spent the last four hours dealing with Roosevelt kids, you finally made it to lunch, and all you want is some time alone. Some silence. Some peace and solitude. But nope. Not today.

    The principals were usually at the front of the school, “dealing with business”, so they often didn’t have time to supervise the kids. They outsourced that job to the teachers. Hell, I would too if I was them.

    When I once asked why the principals weren’t the ones supervising lunch, they told me there needed to be someone up in the front office at all times, “in case something happened”.

    Of course, at the next two schools I worked at, the principals always took on lunch duty so the teachers didn’t have to do it. In case of emergency, there happens to be something called a …… PHONE.

    But to be honest, they were just being lazy. Why do a job when you can have someone else do it for you?

    Anyways, one day, a fight broke out between two girls at lunch, Mandy and Kenya. Mandy was white and Kenya was black. (Important info because a lot of the friend groups were divided on racial lines here. Not always, of course, but more often than not.)

    There had been rumors going around for a few days now that Mandy was “not happy” with Kenya, to put it lightly.

    Apparently, Kenya had been talking to Mandy’s “manz” and Mandy’s friends were in her ear telling her she shouldn’t allow that.

    “How you gone let Kenya talk to yo manz like that girl?!?!?! Go do somethin!!”

    Right in the middle of the courtyard, on a normal 110 degree Arizona day, Mandy walked up to Kenya and punched her right in the face. And man … it was ON.

    About 100 kids started screaming and everyone was crowding around the two girls. Phones came out and everyone started filming. The girls started tackling each other and throwing punches.

    One of the female teachers ran in to stop the fight.

    Where was I during all of this?

    I was standing in the corner, eating a cup of mandarin oranges. Yup, you heard that right. I could not be bothered. I had been on my 20 minute “lunch break” but really “lunch duty” watching the kids, aka standing there doing nothing, and I was getting ready to go deal with my last period of 8th graders for the day. At that moment, I could not be bothered to break up a fight between two girls over a “man”. I’d let them duke it out.

    After about 30 seconds the fight had been successfully broken up, and the girls were ushered towards the principal’s office. I went back to teach my final class of the day. After that class, I got a call from the principal to come up to her office. She asked me why I didn’t break up the fight.

    “How did she know that?!” I thought to myself.

    It turns out she had watched all the footage off the security camera that was in the courtyard. She had seen the whole thing.

    I didn’t really have an answer for her.

    She then showed me the picture of myself that was going around amongst the kids. It was a picture of me standing in the corner, eating my oranges.

    “When there’s a fight, Mr Reitnour, you break it up.”

    Understood, boss.

    Later that day, some of the kids showed me the meme that was going around of myself. It was a picture of me in the courtyard during the fight, with the caption…

    “When there’s a fight going on but you eating them oranges”.

    Thank god I don’t still have that picture, or else I’d have to put it in right here.

    For the rest of that school year, kids would come up to me randomly and say…

    “Hey Mr Reitnour, how are those oranges?”

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