I was always incredibly skeptical of teachers overhearing conversations in grade school. I mean, people can't close their ears and someone is always listening...
And well, the following stories prove just that. Watch your mouth kids and be careful what you say!
(Content has been edited for clarity).
"That one of my 6th-grade students murdered a grown man at a gas station.
No one believed him on staff and after a few kids kept up the rumor long enough, the administration got involved and brought the kid in. He confessed to it and said it was all true, but didn't have any signs of remorse and acted like it was no big deal, so they assumed he was lying.
The next year starts and he isn't on any of my rosters, so I went and asked the principal about him because his brother was still at the school. It turns out, he did, in fact, stab a knife into a random man's neck at a gas station, no reason was given or found out, he just walked up and stabbed him."
"Rumors about this girl were out of control for a 2 to 4 month period of the school year.
A girl at a party had a regrettable hookup and claimed she was forced upon. Everyone believed her basically, except a few people who believed the accused guy.
One day during school, she had apparently asked for a pass to go to the bathroom. She met some other guy (not the party guy) in one of the locker rooms at school to do the deed. Some random person happened to go into the locker room and saw them. The person recorded what they saw and never told anyone.
Later, the girl claimed she was forced upon by locker room guy after he didn't want to date her or something. Out of nowhere, the person with the video came forward. She had to be on a safety plan because people hated her guts and because the second accusation claim was clearly a false one, no one believed the first one either so that guy was vindicated.
She ended up transferring schools.
The person who recorded them received probation for having a video of minors engaging in the act. He was going to be charged with a lot more until they discovered the other false allegations and what he uncovered and let him off way easier."
"'He stabbed his sister in the back with scissors.'
It was true. He was placed in my classroom along with 5 other students with intellectual disabilities. He also had emotional behavior issues, which triggered meltdowns almost daily. He shouldn't have been placed with students that weren't able to defend themselves. Every day was a war zone.
I dealt with this my first year as a teacher.
This student was extremely violent to the other students and staff. He bit one of the teacher assistants so bad that blood was gushing out. He would flip tables and chairs. Ripped things off the wall. It wasn't a safe environment. It was a struggle each day to keep the other kids safe.
I worked at a school that only served students with severe disabilities. I had 2 teacher assistants with only 6 kids. This kid was that bad! The administration did not care about the situation. The principal made no changes even after I begged and had the parent raise issues with me. Her kid did whatever he wanted and I was to blame... sure. After that year I left."
"I heard a rumor that went something like: 'So and so brought a weapon to school before break. He had a kill list and everything. But security caught him, that's why he isn't here.'
As soon as she said it, I asked her to stop spreading rumors like that. I told her that if someone had brought a weapon to school then the administration would have told the teachers about it.
Nope, the rumor was true. The kid brought a weapon to school and security caught him, but the administration decided not to tell any of the teachers about it. And the kid was only suspended, not expelled, so he was back in the classroom by the end of the week.
As far as I knew, the kid had been pushed around a bit. It was a rough school and bullying, gangs and racism was a problem. From what I understood, someone had pushed him too far, so he got his dad's weapon and brought it to school. He had a list of names (one of the rumors was that he also had a list of which classes the names were in so he could find them, but I have no idea how true that is).
When he showed up, he must have told a buddy, who told our security, who grabbed him at the locker with the weapon and the list.
The principle of the school was a certifiable crazy person. None of the kids respected him and the teachers hated him because he spent a significant amount of energy making our jobs harder than they already were. He was obsessed with the image even though the school was already the laughingstock of the district."
"'You probably just want to avoid Quentin... he will try to hurt you.'
I teach high school and heard this rumor heading into my first year of teaching and I had this kid in my class. On the first day of school, he talked about how his cat got assaulted by a family member. Several weeks later, he spent the class shining a laser pointer in my eyes until I figured out it was him. Eventually, another teacher had to get a restraining order against him because he threatened to kill her with very specific actions. He eventually gets sent to Juvy. At this point, I figured I was done hearing about him. Nope.
He got out of Juvy and the teacher that worked there caught Quentin spreading gasoline around his house late one night with enough to burn the whole place down."
"A student who kept falling asleep in class and not doing work said it was because 'bad guys were after him.'
It turned out his best friend had been shot and killed in front of him and he was so traumatized he was losing sleep and thought he would be next. His family couldn't afford anything beyond school counseling and shuffled him off to live with grandparents in another state.
Both kids were 8 years old."
"There was a white daughter from a prominent local family attending a mostly black high school. She was a cheerleader, participated in student government, and model student by anyone's measure.
Rumors started to circulate that she had relations with 4 basketball players at a party in full view of several people. The rumor spread like wildfire for a number of obvious reasons, to the extent that faculty and parents started hearing about it.
The prominent parents hired people to look into the slander and potentially sue those who started it. They even worked with the administration to campaign against bullying via rumors.
The video of the said event surfaced via the guy 'investigating' it.
And finally, the family moved to a different town in shame."
"One kid in grade 6 had severe behavioral problems and there were some staff members who refused to be in the room with him alone. He was a really scary kid, totally dead behind the eyes.
I heard kids spreading rumors that his home life was a horrible mess, he was one of either five or six kids and that his younger brother had 'mental problems.' Apparently, his parents just didn't know how to handle his brother's state. The kid told them to knock it off and I know they were given a lecture about not gossiping. The boy ended up not being invited back to the next grade.
It turns out that it was all true, his younger brother was bipolar and was possibly schizophrenic or something similar. He apparently would run away, hurt himself and scream all the time etc. The information I have now painted a devastating picture of that poor child's mental health, it is so, so heartbreaking.
He ended up committing suicide at the age of 12 or so. There was a T.V documentary about it. It's horrible, and I feel awful for his brother, the kid I knew. It all makes so much more sense now."
"A special needs student had graduated and the next year we kept hearing stories of her sleeping around and getting kicked out of her grandparent's home.
She had always been a handful, but we figured social services would help her out if anything got too bad. She evidently got pregnant but had slept with over 25 men in a metropolitan area and had no idea who the dad was. She had some kind of fund set up for her when she turned 21 and the executor stole a ton of it and she ran through the rest in under a year.
We've lost track of her, as a few of my colleagues who were close had tried to help her out. Recently, I saw a Facebook post someone had shared that related to her where she listed over 50 men and the acts she had done with them. I have no idea if she had her baby or got to keep it."
"There was this kid (let's call him 'Craig') in year 10 who was a jerk, the kind of person who picked on disabled kids and even outright attacked them sometimes. He was the kind of kid that made me want to knock him out every time he started being a jerk, just to show him that it wouldn't get him anywhere.
Anyway, 'Craig' doesn't turn up to one of his mock exams, but we knew he was in school as he had signed in that morning. A rumor started that he went and attacked someone. It wasn't that surprising until I started listening to what they were saying. The things that people were saying were oddly specific, like the color of the victim's hair and eyes, what parts of his body were attacked/broken - things like that. What was even more suspicious was that 'Craig' started bragging about it to people, saying the exact same things.
Eventually, one of the students came in with the exact injuries and physical traits that were going around in the rumors, he kept his mouth shut but eventually hinted that someone at the school had done it to him. We called the police and social services pretty much instantly, as soon as 'Craig' spotted the police he broke down in tears and admitted to skipping his exam so he could go and torture the poor kid.
He got expelled and I don't know where he is now but hopefully, he got what he deserved."
"We had a rumor going around that this kid that would touch himself in many of his classes in high school.
I didn't believe it until he did it 2 empty seats to the right of me in Chemistry. I WAS HORRIFIED. I told my lab partner who was this big football jock and he walked over to his friends' table and told them. So one of them walked right over to the kid and went, 'What's up man? You good?'
The kid kept his hands in his pants and just turns red in the face and starts stuttering. It was the most ridiculous situation. The worst part was that his older sister went to the school and she was a straight-A student and quite popular. It was hard to believe they were related.
I was also really friendly with my high school teachers and they were all aware of the situation. Apparently, his English teacher saw it and didn't have the heart to confront him and asked the other teachers for advice on dealing with the situation. It was hilarious. I wonder whatever happened to him."
"I'm a high school teacher. There was a rumor that a student was actually a model for Teen Vogue. I honestly believed it because she was a stunningly beautiful girl (and a top student, kind to everyone, responsible), tall, and had really striking 'model' cheekbones.
One day the class was making collages and going through magazines. Sure enough, one kid finds the latest Teen Vogue in the stack.
'Hey, Savannah, is this you?', she asks, pointing to a picture of a girl in a prom dress.
Savannah looks up and squints.
'Yup. That's me', she says, smiling. Very matter-of-fact.
'For real?' the class chimes in.
'Not kidding. That's really me.'
And she pulls out her phone with the galley proofs her agent sent her to prove it.
She was really humble about it. The class was starstruck for about 10 minutes and then got back to work. Savannah was a good sport."
"'George' burnt down his apartment building.'
I was teaching a grade 4/5 split in a low-income area. A lot of the kids lived in the same apartment, which was government housing. One weekend, that building burned down. Mercifully, no one was killed, but it was still really devastating. There was this one boy in my class 'George' who, the following Monday, all the kids were sort of avoiding, and being kind of mean too. I heard them whispering that he had burned down the building, which I thought was nonsense. He was kind of an odd kid, so I thought they were just picking on him and felt super bad for him all morning.
Come lunch break, I was in the staff room, and of course, it is what all the teachers are talking about. It turns out the rumor was true. George burnt down the building, but it wasn't like he just set a fire, the real reason was actually really depressing. His mom worked nights, and there was supposed to be someone to look after him that night, but the babysitter was late so the mom called her at home, but there was no answer so she figured the babysitter was on her way (this was before cell phones were common). The mom left, figuring the babysitter would be there soon, but she never showed up. George got hungry and decided to cook himself supper, figuring because he'd seen his mom do it a hundred times, that he could figure out the oven. And yeah, there was a fire that burned down the entire building.
It really was so sad. He actually ended up changing schools. Not so much because of the kids, they were mean at first (and yes, we teachers did do our best to protect him), but kids adjust really quickly, and well, because they were in government housing in the first place, it wasn't like they had lost super nice apartments. Also, they were all rehoused pretty quickly, like within a few months. But the parents harassed this poor mom so much that she couldn't handle it anymore. He moved schools and then a few months after that they moved to a different city.
The harassment of the other parents was brutal. There was a lot of talk about what kind of 'night job' she had, so they were basically accusing her of being a street worker, which was beyond hypocritical given the fact that a) we had a more than a few parents who were streetwalkers and b) there were also numerous parents involved in other illegal work.
I remember one particular mom who very loudly called her a name one day when she was there to pick up her kid. It took all my willpower not to remind her that her on - again/off-again live-in boyfriend was the known dealer of the neighborhood."
"Rumor had it that a piano student did all his practice in the casket viewing room used for wakes in his family's funeral home business.
He claimed that he'd play loud enough after hours 'to wake the dead.'
It turned out to be true. There actually was a baby grand in the viewing parlor (used occasionally for live 'wake music' and hymns) where he did his practice."
"'Shaniqua hasn't been in school for the first couple weeks because she had to go be on Jerry Springer.'
I told my students to stop spreading stupid rumors and informed my mentor teacher. We were concerned about Shaniqua because, by state law, students are dropped from the school and class enrollment if they miss 15 consecutive days of school. She had missed the first 13 days of school. She came back on what would have been the 15th day. Her episode aired two days after that. It was extremely trashy and obviously scripted but we teachers ate it up.
She was on Jerry Springer because apparently, she slept with her sister's baby daddy because her sister didn't wish her happy birthday. They fought each other on camera while screaming and the baby daddy was there. Traditional Jerry Springer stuff.
I'm glad I watched the episode, though. I think I treated her with a bit more understanding because she obviously had no home support if her mother would allow her underage daughter to miss school to be on a trashy television program.
Shaniqua ended up being one of my favorite students as she was actually quite smart and passionate about the artistry of hair and makeup. I was heartbroken when she dropped out as soon as she turned 18. I wish I could have made her stay, but I can't save every student."