Teachers Suspended for Barking at Girl -- But That's Not the Part That Scares Me

barking dogLet's try a little experiment, shall we? Read this little blurb about the latest school discipline controversy and tell me what jumps out at you: Girl in middle school gets in trouble for barking at her music teacher. Mom agrees barking at teacher is not cool; grounds daughter. Girl goes back to school the next day and is barked at by two teachers (neither of whom is the music teacher). Barking teachers are suspended for their actions.

Okay, which part of that little story stood out to you? The fact that the teachers were suspended? The part about the girl being grounded?

Because personally, I can't get past the barking part. Is this something people do now?! Has barking like a dog replaced the raised middle finger as the insulting action du jour?


See, I was trying to figure out how I'd feel if that story was about my kid -- how I would react to my child barking/being barked at -- when I realized: I wouldn't know how to react because I don't know what barking at somebody is supposed to mean!

Which led me down this garden path of parental paranoia: My older child starts middle school next year. If barking is a "thing" and I never heard about it, there are probably tons of other "bad" gestures and words and god knows what else that I'm in the dark about, too.

It never occurred to me before now that I'd somehow have to keep on top of things like which color shoelaces correspond to which gangs or which side a girl wears a hair barrette on indicating level of sexual expertise or what it means if somebody quacks like a duck when they see you (that can't be a real one, can it?).

The secret language of tweens/teens is totally different now, and I don't have a translator! I guess there's still a little bit of time to learn ...

Do you worry about not being able to understand the secret language of your teen/tween?


Image via Brad.K/Flickr

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