I’m Going to Be a Bitch Here for Just a Moment
Over the last few days, we had a horrible scare at my school. One of our students disappeared, in his car, leaving his wallet and phone behind. They found his car a few states away, abandoned. Before school, some students gathered for a prayer group outside of our school, I assume praying for his safe return. Our principal called an emergency staff meeting after school to give us the details of what we knew at the time.
The teachers, myself included, walked somberly into the school library. We sat down at tables, talking quietly to the people sitting near us. We picked up papers outlining the crisis intervention plan and looked over them, nervously. Some of us had the student in class, and we were hurting for the young man we knew. Others didn’t have him in class, but we were still worried. Our school banded together like a family and tried to protect our own.
Our principal, subdued, began to address the gathered staff. We leaned forward as he told us that he had no new news, good or bad, no matter what the rumors were. We carefully avoided each others’ eyes as we focused on the principal.
And then, we saw one of the guidance counselors come running up. Her eyes were big, and round, and filled with tears. She spoke quietly to the principal, but we heard. “They found him,” she said. Her voice sounded as though she could hardly believe it. “His mom just called. They found him. The police found him, and he’s safe.”
The principal turned to his gathered staff, and reaffirmed. “They found him!” he shouted, and the room erupted in applause.
I smiled, happy, like the other educators. We turned to one another and grinned. And then, from off to the side, I heard a female voice scream, “PRAISE GOD! PRAISE GOD!” She screamed it over and over, as though she was in church, or in a mental institution.
Against my will, I turned to see who it was. It wasn’t a teacher that I knew, but that wasn’t really surprising — I teach in a huge school. She was older, and tears streamed down her face as she shouted out to God.
Okay. Look. I was really happy the kid was found, too. Of course I was. But, seriously. PRAISE GOD? Who the hell found the kid? How about praising the police? How about being happy for the kid’s parents? PRAISE GOD? That’s what you’re going to shout out when you’re really, really happy? That. Is. Ridiculous. This is one of the reasons I don’t like religion. If you could keep your religion to yourself, I wouldn’t have as much of a problem with it. But to be so radical that you need to shout out a prayer in a public meeting at work?
And if God could get involved, why did he let the kid get lost anyway? Why did he let those poor parents grieve for days? Praise God, my ass.
The principal wrapped up the meeting, and he mentioned that prayers helped find the kid, and that was annoying, too, but at least he didn’t shout it out like he was testifying at some tent revival. I know that lady was happy, but I was too — and you didn’t see me shouting out to Thor or something.
It’s just another thing about society to be annoyed with.
But, hey, at least the kid’s okay.