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(Parents are the Worst… with James B)

I used to be a teacher. One of the first jobs I had was two years in Texas, where I taught French at a high school to kids aged 14 – 18. It was a public school rather than a religious school, but everywhere in Texas is religious. I remember on my first day as teachers introduced themselves, the usual “where are you from?” and “how do you like Dallas?" questions went alongside "what church do you go to?” No one would ever ask such a question in England – religion is a private thing, but this was not England. I almost chose to say I was Jewish, just so they’d leave me alone, because anything would be better than saying I didn’t go to church at all, that I was an atheist. God forbid! ​

Anyway, my English mentality caused a few problems throughout my career, namely my lack of ability to sense what could be deemed offensive to them. There’s a lot of stories I could tell, but just one example was when, as a treat before the Thanksgiving long weekend, I showed the students a French film called La Doublure [The Valet]. There was no nudity, just a minor sex scene which I fast-forwarded through. However, the next day the assistant principal called me in to discuss the complaints he received from parents.

The issue was moral, since it was implied that two unmarried characters had an affair, thus committing the grave sin of fornication. I was frankly pissed off but it was impossible to argue or defend myself. The best I could do was claim foreigner’s ignorance and promise to try harder to see their moral point of view. 

Parents are the worst and they will always win. But some parents are worse than others, which was a primary reason why I left Texas. 

See more boys and read their stories in Elska Magazine.

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