This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Tuesday evening, I learned that a Fort Herriman Middle School teacher had been holding orgies in her health class.
The details were sketchy but the festivities reportedly included homosexual acts, oral sex, self-gratification and possibly even - hold on - the viewing of R-rated movies.
I apologize for that last one. I know this is a family newspaper, but I thought you should have all of what passes for the facts regardless of how disturbing.
Neighbors assured me that it was all quite true. The teacher had even given her students a manual titled 101 Sexual Positions. For proof, I should attend the parents' meeting at the school the following morning.
I went. I don't have kids attending Fort Herriman Middle School, so my interest was entirely selfish. Mad as they were, I figured the parents might try to hang the teacher. I didn't want to miss that. Also, I wanted a copy of that 101 Positions manual.
I arrived early enough to see the signs that students had put up in defense of the teacher, demanding her return to the classroom. Seriously, duh. If my health teacher had been holding orgies, I would have repeated seventh grade until I was 35.
Principal Mike Sirois - whose job I wouldn't do for $1 million dollars and a license to kill anyone who bothered me - took the signs down. He said the situation was inflammatory enough without the advertising.
I like Mike, but didn't agree with him about the signs. Our difference lasted until the meeting. After that, I wanted everyone even remotely connected with the incident wearing muzzles until the National Guard trucked in some objectivity.
Fifty parents, three cops, assorted staff, a couple of elementary school-age kids and me showed up for meeting.
Mike started off by apologizing to the parents, assuring them that an investigation was under way, and that the teacher was not on school property. Then he opened it up for harangues.
Immediate demands for information included stuff like where the teacher lived, had her interrogation been sufficiently vigorous, was she still alive and was there any truth to the rumor that she had once been a man?
I am, of course, kidding (a little). If you don't appreciate the levity and are perhaps even upset by it, please understand that was entirely the point.
Three or four people in every meeting use 95 percent of the oxygen in the room. Mike repeatedly explained that he couldn't (by law) tell them about the details of the investigation. That didn't stop them from asking if there wasn't some way to get around the teacher's legal rights.
Some parents were a little calmer and perhaps more circumspect. They were largely ignored by the more opinionated, who talked over them. One woman held her hand up for 15 minutes without getting a chance to talk.
Eventually, someone got around to demanding whatever proof was available. The infamous 101 list was produced. Now we were getting somewhere.
Actual title: 101 Ways to Make Love Without Doin' It. I read them all. Several times. Cover your eyes if you're squeamish. Here are the ones I remember: "Take walks. Read books. Go grocery shopping. Be there for each other. Play cards. Write love letters. Listen. Cry during movies. Smile. Visit the zoo."
Visit the zoo? I sat through all of that for "visit the zoo?" If that was an objectionable alternative to "doing it," then meetings like this were probably an alternative form of gang rape. I left.
I have no idea if the teacher is guilty of anything. Even if she is, I wouldn't wish her punishment decided in a place where emotion is an acceptable alternative to fact.