After The Wedding, Lessons From School

Although my brother’s wedding went beautifully over the weekend, one of my favorite parts about it was sitting around in my pajamas after the official shindig was over, listening to my relatives from California talk about the funnier parts of their jobs.

All four of them work in schools; two as teachers and the others as school administrators. Most of the conversation, which was punctuated with chuckles from all six of the people in the room (my brother’s friend Tim being the other non-Californian there), was centered on the funnier aspects of keeping discipline in a school.

In other words, how do teachers catch students who are misbehaving? For example, how do you catch a kid who’s "messing up" the toilet paper in the boys’ bathroom, or a kid who took advantage of the special needs kid in the class and took $100 from him? Further, how do you get that money back, considering it was freely given by the special needs kid?

Turns out the tactics are a lot like what you’d see on Law and Order. For example, you can bring all the suspects into the office together, and after a few minutes, put them in separate rooms. Let them stew just a short period of time and then inform each one separately that the other "suspect" has already spilled his or her guts. Suddenly they go from "I don’t know who did it" to explaining how they did it.

And then there was the kid who brought the "murder weapon"–actually a Sharpie used to put graffiti on the bathroom wall–with him into the interview room. He pulled it out of his pocket promptly when asked, and then claimed it was his mother’s.

Best of all, because 12-year-olds are not a major part of the Law and Order-watching demographic, they generally don’t "lawyer up," either.