The Second Time I Was Suspended

The first time I was suspended was in sixth grade for assaulting a fellow student. The second time was senior year for threatening my math teacher with unspecified but undoubtedly serious harm.

Look, I’m terrible at math. Maybe I could be good at math, but I don’t care enough about it to bother listening to someone explain it. I started out in honors math, failed my way into regulars, and then failed my way into MIS — which I assume stood for Math is Stupid (hyuk hyuk) — the math class for the cognitively deficient: the football players, the cheerleaders, the dim eyed, the sleepy, and of course, the children who can’t summon the attention span to listen to someone talk about alchemical number sorcery nonsense for an hour. Worse, still, this teacher was from India, which is fine except if I already don’t care about math, I definitely don’t care to mentally decode a foreign dialect in order to reveal jewels of precious mathematical knowledge. In fact, I found her accent incredibly soothing, like a lullaby with the most boring lyrics imaginable. As soon as her mouth opened, my eyes glazed over like two delicious cinnamon rolls.

And when I wasn’t falling asleep, I was acting like a douchebag: I threw candy bars at her back, I stopped class to make grand pronouncements like “You’re making this too complicated! Teach us like we’re in elementary school!” and I was generally malicious and disruptive. This was the Year of the Asshole for me — possibly the Decade, or maybe even the Lifetime.

Needless to say, I failed a lot of assignments. When it came time for the last test, I needed to pass or I risked failing the whole class and thus, senior year and thus, life. I did not react to these circumstances accordingly, so the test was difficult for me. Very difficult. But taking tests unprepared can be fun too. It changes from a test of my knowledge to a test of my ability to guess the answers, and I love guessing games. If one answer is C, I’d think, ‘She wouldn’t make the next answer C because that’s too repetitive, and I’ve been marking a lot of As and Ds, so it’s about time for another B.’ By the end, of course, I became very nervous.

At this most opportune moment, my teacher approached me. Every other student had left the class. I was the only one left bubbling in answers. She said, “Time’s up, Brad. I need your paper.” I looked up, glaring ominously, and, channeling my inner Norman Osborne, said, “If I fail this test, I’m coming after you.” As I left, I heard her stammering, “You can’t — that’s not how you talk to a teacher…”

It never occurred to me that anyone took what I said seriously; I casually threatened teachers and classmates so often, it became routine. My English teacher once told me, “You need to stop saying, ‘I’m going to kill you,’ every time I assign an essay.” My journalism teacher sent me to the ISS classroom all the time for “pranks” and openly challenging her authority as a teacher. But, in hindsight, it wasn’t “cool” or “iconoclastic”; it was just “being a douchebag”.

When I was called to the assistant principal’s office the next day, I didn’t even know what it could be about. I ran through the previous day in my mind and came up empty. The assistant principal, Mr. Davis, screamed at me for a long time before I discerned the exact offense, and then he ended his tirade with this haunting little nugget: “No one who has said what you said to a teacher has ever remained on this campus.” Meaning expulsion. Mr. Davis and I had a long history of heated confrontations, so for him, I knew this was an opportunity to purge a most hated demon child from his life.

I faced two days at-home suspension — which always confused me because for troublemaking monster children, staying home is a reward. Then, on the third day, they held campus management where I would be managed. Everyone was there: all the subschool principals, the counselors, the assistant principal, my parents, and even the nurse, presumably to treat the victim of any assault I might perpetrate during the meeting. It was like a trial. Mr. Davis presented a long list of evidence as to my inability to be a civil inoffensive human being in a classroom, reciting my history of transgressions like a grocery list. And in response, another counselor read a list of recommendations from my teachers which all essentially said, “He’s a good student. He just sometimes slips up and threatens to murder people.” My father, at one point, said, “She’s Indian! Brad was being sarcastic, and she doesn’t know English, so she can’t detect sarcasm!” Mr. Davis said, “Actually, I think the fact that she was Indian might have provoked Brad to threaten her.” My mom said, “Are you calling my son a racist? He has a black friend!” Then Mr. Davis brought up the underground newspaper I wrote called “Free Porno Sex Dealy” (which had “humorous” profanity laden articles inside), and I broke down laughing hysterically. My mom was horrified. My dad, who had never been involved in school functions, seemed fascinated by the theatricality of the whole thing.

In the end, the only reason I got off was that the subschool principals and counselors had never encountered an advanced placement student who deliberately threatened to murder his teachers, so they assumed the best in me rather than the worst, the truth that in that moment, I genuinely wished harm upon my teacher. In that instant, I envisioned ski masks, baseball bats, locked trunks and secluded woodland clearings. Of course, in the next instant, I envisioned the vague image of Abraham Lincoln with grapefruits for eyes, but I still had that moment of willful malice. Hopefully, that part of me has long since deteriorated.TC mark

image – mao_lini

More From Thought Catalog

  • Joe

    Wait this is really great.

  • Oliver Miller

    I failed Geometry and had to retake it in summer school, which isn’t actually zany and fun like in the movie “Summer School.”  I got a 59.4 overall and failed.  I don’t even know how I got that high a grade, since I refused to do any homework assignments.  Anyway, the teacher’s name was Mr. Miller and I hate him still, cool story, bro.

    • http://www.facebook.com/grc15r Gregory Costa

      You were the type of student who I want to strangle with my bare hands. 

      • http://twitter.com/brad_pike Brad Pike

        I would strangle me too.

    • Tiffany

      I had to take Allgebra three times. Twice in summer school.

      • melissa

        How about English?

      • http://www.facebook.com/grc15r Gregory Costa

        Me fail English?  that’s unpossible

    • http://twitter.com/brad_pike Brad Pike

      I never failed  an entire math class until college. Then I failed over and over and over. LIKE A BAWS.

  • Sam

    I laughed.

  • I BS

    AP/IB=free ticket to do ANYTHING.

  • Vianca Pandit

    You’re right when you say you were being a douchebag. Admitting that was the only right thing you did in this story.

  • Anonymous

    Oh man, I relate to this. Right down to passing out an illegal newsletter, and the parental reactions. I have to go rethink what I believe about my childhood now.

    • http://twitter.com/brad_pike Brad Pike

      I want to hear about this illegal newsletter.

  • Anonymous

    Brad Pike, Y U SO FUNNY AND SHIT?

  • SPACE MTN

    that was funny.  i also have an inappropriate sense of humor as well

  • beatrice

    #whitekidproblems

  • Anonymous

    I found this to be hilarious, tbanks for making me laugh. Although, I doubt any of you were as bad as i was in yr6-8. I must say i do love when it comes back and i own the teacher

  • http://twitter.com/brad_pike Brad Pike

    *strangle.

  • anon

    you sound like an idiot. a very ungrateful, obnoxious idiot.

  • Eric.

    After reading a few of your articles, I’m beginning to assume we were conjoined twins at some point in a different dimension.
    Coincidentally, I just got kicked from my classroom for “provoking a student for mutilating the English language by use of text lingo and slang.”
    So I’m sitting out in the hall counting tiles and reading articles.
    On second thought, maybe we aren’t at all alike, and I’m just in gay love with you and your work.
    Ah well.

  • Benjy

    Was her name Ms. Ranjan? I swear I had her for class when I lived in Texas. One day while trying to encourage me to apply myself she repeatedly used the word “satisfy” as in “when you work hard you will be satisfied, and when you are satisfied it satisfies me. You satisfy me when you work hard and I can satisfy you when you work hard and we will both be satisfied.”

    Also, I’m reading through all of your articles today so you’re going to get comments on shit you wrote months ago. Deal with it!

  • http://www.fv-schullandheimahlen.de/gaestebuch/index.php OfferOffer

    Your style is so unique in comparison to other people
    I have read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I’ll just bookmark this site.

  • http://lragsdale.com/phpBB/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=47485 Priyadarshini Soman

    Coming across your site really made my night. You have no
    idea.

blog comments powered by Disqus