As a teacher you see some pretty crazy and messed up things. It's not all stick figures and rainbows as these art teachers would have expected.
A Blood Bath
“My little brother got in trouble for drawing a picture of a polar bear eating a seal. Lots of red crayon was used. He was like 9. I didn’t get why it was a big deal. It’s not like it doesn’t happen.”
“I had this kid I’ll call Joe. He had special needs but loved movies. He hated everyone but me. I was his first male teacher ever. He would often draw me pictures of Godzilla and King Kong. It was awesome.
When he went to the next grade he drew a picture of his new teacher being eaten by sharks. She freaked, called a whole bunch of meetings, went nuts. She was saying that she was scared that he wants her dead and that she feared for her life.
I was asked to have a talk with the kid. I asked him what the picture was and he said it was the lady from JAWS IV being eaten by Jaws. We then proceeded to talk about how Jaws 1 and 2 are awesome.”
A Terrifying Reality
“When I was in HS a really weird guy would ignore the instructions for any assignment, and just draw pictures of people being murdered- cut up, burned alive, all kinds of crazy s—.
The teachers never did anything.
One day after school he pulled a knife and stabbed my friend in the hand for “being a jew”.
Suspended for two weeks…
He told someone he was going to shoot up the school like Columbine. Luckily the person he told called the police. When they came to the kids house they found a rifle and drawings of the school. He was planning on setting a fire in the chemistry lab and when people came out the other side of the building he would be sitting in the bleachers of the football field with the rifle.
I don’t know what happened after he got arrested but hopefully he’s never f—– getting out of prison. This guy is seriously dangerous.
Also, our teachers and school administration were clearly f—— braindead.
“Not an art teacher, I’m a volunteer at a centre that does art therapy. One of the happiest littlest client we have handed me a drawing of their (deceased) mother with her face twisted into a horrified scream, eyes blackened and brown gloop was pouring from the mouth and eyes. Sometimes I stay up at night thinking about it.”
“Not an art teacher, but in my AP art class in 12th grade, a fellow student in class decided to make an art portfolio with the human fetus as its theme. One piece in particular was a hyper-realistic ink drawing of a tossed salad with little fetuses in lieu of shrimp.
A Rare Art Form
“Obligatory “not an art teacher” but in high school we had a kid whose art portfolio was displayed at the school’s art show. Numerous drawings, sketches, paintings, etc. of tadpoles. From a single one to dozens to hundreds. A full 2 years of art classes dedicated to tadpoles.
Until he informed everyone he was drawing sperm…”
Dad Of The Year
“When I was in kindergarten, I drew a male ghost going to the bathroom. I had older brothers, so it was very detailed (and I even put a water-line on the testicles…because that is where I thought urine was stored). The teachers and principal called in my parents for a “serious conference” and asked my dad what he was going to do about the picture. After my dad finished laughing, he told them that he was going to make copies and send them to all of his friends and relatives for Halloween. And he did. That was 40 years ago…and I still have a few extra copies if any of you need them. Oh, and I found out that balls do not, in fact, store urine.”
Not What You’d Expect
“Back in the 90s I volunteered at an art studio that provided free classes for low-income inner-city at-risk youth. Wonderful nonprofit run by a couple of cool old hippy ladies who did an amazing job helping the kids feel free to express themselves artistically no matter what they wanted to create. For example, one teenage smarta– made an elaborate paper-mache of Bob Marley smoking a huge joint and they hung it proudly in a place of honor. No judgement or preachiness at that art class.
So one year they decided to have the younger kids do a Day of the Dead themed picture with a short paragraph to commemorate a loved one. The teachers were expecting pictures of grandmas or maybe pets, and there were some of those. There were also several scenes of murder, including childishly drawn guns, knives and oh so much red, followed by short descriptions like, “My brother got shot. He dead now. It was loud and scary. I miss him.” These were like 7-9 year olds. Those pictures were displayed just as proudly as the grandma pics.”
“Not a teacher, but in 2nd grade I was infatuated with the Battleship Bismark. I also loved the flag on it with the red background and white circle with that cool box thingy.
We had to build a design to look like a quilt using construction paper. I did mine using the Nazi flag. It looked 100% like it. My teacher didn’t say a word but when I showed it to my parents they burned it. It took me until 5 years to figure out why they did that.”
A Clever Design
“High School 1977. While everyone else is drawing Pink Floyd rainbows and peace signs all over everything the biggest burnout in the class makes a wide metal bracelet with intricate triangular designs cut out of it. He turns it in and get a great grade for the first project he ever bothered finishing and some well deserved praise for his effort.
Teacher hands our work back and first thing he does is grab a pair of pliers and bends all the triangles outward making a thick metal spiked bracelet. I found that devilishly, disturbingly clever.”
I Hate You
“Not an art teacher but I worked at an elementary after school program when I was 17. Instead of coloring in the picture, the kid took a black crayon and was just scribbling over the page singing to the tune of Barney “I hate you, you hate me”. Always unnerved me.”
A Day In The Life
“In a Sunday School class one time when I was maybe 8 or 9, they asked us to read passages of h— and then draw what it looks like to us. One boy drew “a day with my family” illustration.
Also, in 10th grade, a classmate made a Nazi propaganda poster. She didn’t offer any explanation, just… Nazi propaganda. She’s in law school at UT Austin now trying to become a Senator. I actually took her piece home with me because she didn’t want it, I still have it somewhere.”
“Told the kids to draw something that makes them happy. One kid scribbled black all over the page and said nothing makes him happy.”
A Whole Lot Of…
“You remember the Super Bad (movie) scene with the d—-?
My friend did that about 15 years before the movie and someone turned it into the teacher. He got suspended for a few days and his parents had to come in and review the notebook with the principle.
I mean it was filled front to back with d—-.”
A Brutal Freak Out
“Not me but I played a huge part:
Brother’s art class in like 2nd grade was doing those full body tracings on big sheets of butcher paper.
They were supposed to trace each other and then “draw themselves”. My brother evidently refused to draw a face for himself. Would not budge on that. Drew everything else, but no face. Wouldn’t say why and because he was super shy and quiet clammed up more when the teacher started grilling him about it.
Art teacher calls principal because this is “concerning,” principal calls school counselor. Counselor meets with my brother, who still wont talk about why he wont draw his face, asking him questions like “do you not like your self? Do you feel bad about your self? etc…
At this point, he’s really clammed up and is now refusing to talk because he’s really shy to begin with and all this questioning is happening.
School calls my parents, they have a meeting about the fact that they think my brother is depressed or has some kind of mental issue. Parents freak of course and brother still wont talk. Parents and counselors start asking if he feels neglected or unloved or some s—. Mom’s crying, dad is frustrated and brother thinks he’s in trouble for something and I guess in an effort to stop them all acting crazy he says he doesn’t draw his face because he “hates some one in the family”
Cue full family counseling for like a month. Mom is a wreck and thinks my brother feels like they neglect him and don’t love him so she’s just constantly like “You know I love you very much, right”. Counseling isn’t going well because brother is just quiet and confused, me, two years older than him is just mad we have to be at this office all the time…
Finally, during one session, brother finally cracks. Dr. asks “who is the person in your family you said you hated?”
Brother says: Pusspuss, our cat. She bites me.
My mom and dad are like…
Dr. is surprised, but pushes his advantage now that brother is finally talking:
Why didn’t you want to draw your face? Do you feel bad about your self?
I just wanted my sister to do it… She’s a better drawer than me.
No psychosis, no early childhood trauma, no mental disorder…Just an overly concerned art teacher and a little kid who thought it would be best if his older sister drew his face because she “was a good drawer.”
One Odd Project…
“Not an art teacher, but had a housemate who was studying art while I was at uni. Came home one day to find one drawer in the freezer full of pig lungs. She told us they were for an art project, assumed it was some weird still life drawing or something. Then one day she packed them in a suitcase and wheeled them off out of the house (dripping blood all the way).
Later discovered that she had sat in a paddling pool and had someone dump the pig lungs and blood and stuff over her. Apparently made her tutor throw up.”
“Teacher from Germany here. We have a lot of refugees from Syria here. Some of them are traumatized. Occasionally you get a really depressing picture of a bombed city or pictures of refugee camps. IF they know how to use pencils.
Some of them had been on the run for 2-3 years and lost a lot of the skills they had learned in their schools. Quite a challenge for us teachers…but we’re doing our best.”
A Creative Escape
“Not the teacher. I was the kid.
Little background. Grew up in a small beach town and was somewhat known for my artwork and being a pretty good artist for a little kid.
8th grade we had to design a deck of playing cards. I was 13 and going through a really hard time and made this series of super dark cards. Like the fallen king and the dead joker, queen of human hearts, hanged king, etc. I really enjoyed working on them and loved how they turned out. Very dark but also colorful. Like Dali meet Tim Burton.
Anyway, I went to a small private school and our cards were going to be on display for this art show.
Mine weren’t allowed in the show and weren’t allowed to be displayed for being too dark and my teachers said I need to therapy, which, surprise! I was already in and was told to express my negative feelings through my art. Which I did. And then got in trouble for it and denied a place in an art show.
Still have the cards. Still think they are dope. Still bitter about not being in the art show.”