I used to teach at a pretty rough school (a private school, nonetheless), and it wasn't at all unusual for me to get my smurfy little hands on various drugs, weaponry and other goodies that may have otherwise slowed the Learning Process.
The kids would give it to me, because they knew that I'd generally give it back. While I wouldn't give back pepper spray or cocaine, there's no reason for me to refuse to give back a cell phone or a Walkman. That said, I managed to hang onto some of the more choice items.
If I found pot on them, I'd keep it for myself. I'd give the less spectacular knives to the security guard, who was a biker. If I found heroin on a student, I hit him and flushed the drugs in front of him. I had a kid give me a bottle of Bailey's once... "We never got to it last night, there's nowhere to hide it, you're gonna find it anyway, and I can dodge a suspension if I just give it to you." This young man had rich parents who wouldn't miss the occasional bottle, and his Common Sense bested his desire to Beat The System.
I gave back a few knives, to kids I knew who carried them for entertainment purposes only. I had an Eagle Scout who used to go hiking all weekend, and he'd get dropped off at school on Monday morning with a full pack. One time he came up to me and whipped out a huge f***ng Rambo knife, and asked me to hold it for him until the end of the day. I put it in my desk, and occasionally pointed to the map with it. The other students loved it.
Some of my more thugged-out students would forget to take their EZ Widers or their butterfly knives out of their coat pocket before heading off to school, and I used to end up storing these for the remainder of the school day.
While it is generally considered to be poor form for a teacher to be handing a Bowie knife to a student, it was my willingness to return said item that ensured that no one was walking around the school with a knife on them.
When I moved here, I packed up all my stuff, and I'm still unpacking it a little at a time as we get bookshelves built. Each box brings back fond memories, and today I found a doozy.
The pictures featured here are weapons that I bought off my students.
The blow gun was something that a kid brought in while we were studying aboriginal cultures, and- while initially upset that I took it from him- he bought into my argument that it would be better for everyone if he wasn't prowling the halls of the school with a blow gun.
When he came back for it, I just started laying twenties on the table until he cracked. He was out a neat toy, I was out $40, and no one got a 4 inch dart in the neck at MY school that day. To work an old teacher admonition into this... yes, you could take out someone's eye with that.
I don't even know what you'd call this beast of a double knife, but I took it off a kid who planned on using it to secure money for a date he had with this girl from his neighborhood. The same process went on that got me the blow gun. In the end, I was out $50, he took a girl to Red Lobster instead of Burger King, and I managed to take whatever the f*** you'd call this off the streets.
This is actually a pretty cool thing to kill someone with, should it ever come up. You can hold this in a fist (Stephen has a pretty giant hand- it looks more like Wolverine or Freddy Krueger when I hold it) while wearing it under a loose jacket, then whip it out and up.
It's spring-loaded, too... so you could pretty much bring the ruckus to Mike Tyson if you could get inside on him. This is a genuinely ugly weapon, and I thought $50 was a fair price.
Whatever you may think of this policy, this is the maximum usage these weapons got once I acquired them. I ended up discarding this policy when I came to see myself as a small-time arms dealer after several similar purchases.
Remember to come back to this article... because if I dug down into the box with the blow gun, the shuriken and the wrist rocket can't be far behind.
I even have a rude piece of body armor, which an old student of mine tried to surreptitiously make (with material he had legally gathered from a metals recycler in Everett) when yours truly was the emergency shop class teacher.
Also, please use caution when commenting on this article... or you just may get a 4 inch dart in the keister, and never hear it coming.