My Teacher is a *Graphic* UA Violation - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 29 Old 09-19-2007, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He killed children.

Seriously.

I'm in a lit class, we are reading Black Hawk Down because he was an Army Ranger who went to Somalia after the Battle of Mogadishu, and he knew a lot of the guys in the book.

Anyway, we were discussing the book, and students started asking him about his experiences there. I'll spare you the gory details, but he admittedly, pretty freely in fact, that he killed unarmed children there. This guy has four kids of his own, one of whom was born when he was in Somalia.

I don't know if I can go back to this class.

Every part of me wants to call 911 and have him arrested, and the more I think about this, the angrier I get with this asinine, insane world.

My own grandpa was a Korean War vet. He killed people. But he never mentioned it in an offhand, no-big-deal way. He talked about it with reverence, and remorse, and bottomless sorrow.

How the hell do I deal with this? I don't think I can stomach going back to this class and listening to the murderer lecture.

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#2 of 29 Old 09-19-2007, 10:34 PM
 
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Ugh.

I haven't been in that precise situation, but a couple semi-similar ones. I will tell you what I would do, if you bear in mind that it's just honestly what I would do, and not intended as advice for The Best Possible course of action:

1. Drop the class and run like hell. OR
2. Basically pretend like the class doesn't exist and phone in the rest of the term. OR
3. Mercilessly mock and egg on the fellow and never let a day go by where he gets to forget that I have a really big opinion about what kind of person he is.
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#3 of 29 Old 09-19-2007, 10:35 PM
 
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I'm so sorry you had to be in the company of such a person
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#4 of 29 Old 09-19-2007, 10:38 PM
 
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can you complain to a counselor at school about how you've been deeply offended and feel uncomfortable in class and ask what the school plans to do about someone discussing murder within a classroom situation as if it were no big deal.

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#5 of 29 Old 09-19-2007, 10:42 PM
 
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I'm going to venture that the guy probably has PTSD that hasn't been treated. It may be his way of dealing with what he knows was a horrible thing.

We know people who were in Mogadishu then, and it was a terrifying experience.
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#6 of 29 Old 09-19-2007, 10:48 PM
 
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I'm going to venture that the guy probably has PTSD that hasn't been treated. It may be his way of dealing with what he knows was a horrible thing.
I was thinking along the same lines. I don't think he's really come to term with it, other than to convince himself he did what he had to do and it wasn't that bad. And maybe in some way this is his way of reaching out.

My dad was in Germany and France during WWII and for a long time he refused to talk about it at all. Then when we were born much later, he never would tell us if he killed anyone. He would just claim that he didn't really know because distance was involved. He saw a lot of violence, people killed around him, concentration camps, but he never talked about killing someone in an offhand manner.
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#7 of 29 Old 09-19-2007, 10:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree that he probably has PTSD. But really, that I only goes so far with me. I have PTSD - granted it's not from combat, but I'm just sayin'.

This guy wasn't there during the Battle of Mogadishu, during which even unarmed people would point out Rangers to enemy snipers, which gives some level of justification for shooting an unarmed person.

He was there afterward.

Granted, Mogadishu is one of the most dangerous places on the planet, and it's home to the Bakaara Market, the biggest illegal arms dealership in the world, so I'm sure that it was still terrifying.

All I'm saying is that I would eat my gun before I'd kill a child. I'd blow the guy next to me away before I'd let him kill a child.

At the very basement of my personal moral code, I cannot justify what he freely admitted he did. And we're not talking about shopping at Wal Mart. I am not really that judgemental of a person, but I cannot describe my revulsion. All I can think is that HE SHOULD BE IN PRISON!

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#8 of 29 Old 09-19-2007, 10:54 PM
 
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I think complaining to a school counselor or the department head or something is completely in order. Hearing this sort of thing can be quite traumatic - this teacher in the very least should be more selective about the sorts of things he discusses with unsuspecting students. I mean, you signed up for a lit class, not for traumatic experience class.

My Dh was stationed in Iraq. He is a physician and didn't shoot anyhow. However, he witnessed some really hard things. I find myself quite upset thinking about it - it is terrible. I finally had to ask him to stop telling me about certain things.

So, I'm just saying - whatever this person's issues are (PTSD, thinks he is a bad a$$, whatever), he is exercising very poor judgment in subjecting students (who are relatively powerless in a teacher-student relationship) to his traumatic stories.
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#9 of 29 Old 09-19-2007, 11:08 PM
 
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So, I'm just saying - whatever this person's issues are (PTSD, thinks he is a bad a$$, whatever), he is exercising very poor judgment in subjecting students (who are relatively powerless in a teacher-student relationship) to his traumatic stories.
Oh yes, I agree.
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#10 of 29 Old 09-19-2007, 11:19 PM
 
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horrible beyond words. and the words i would have wouldnt be allowed.

im so sorry. i wouldnt be able to go back to his class,that i do know
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#11 of 29 Old 09-19-2007, 11:42 PM
 
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war does strange things to people.
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#12 of 29 Old 09-19-2007, 11:48 PM
 
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Go to the dean - the department head would be good, but the dean would be better. Tell him or her that your instructor spoke very calmly and in an off-hand way in class about having murdered children and that you are disturbed and would like the situation dealt with immediately. If it's true, tell him or her that you do not feel safe in the class, not given the instructor's military record, but given his normalization of having committed murder and his (terrible) choice to share that experience with the students.

If you're early enough in the semester, ask for special permission to substitute a different course.

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#13 of 29 Old 09-19-2007, 11:49 PM
 
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I rather doubt that Mogadishu was any safer after the Blackhawk Down incident than it had been before or during.

And all the soldiers I've ever known, including some of Dad's uncles who served in WWII and a guy I dated in college who served a couple of tours in Vietnam, tend very much to NOT talk about their experiences.

I would be wondering why this guy is talking so much.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#14 of 29 Old 09-19-2007, 11:52 PM
 
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Repulsive. War brings out the animal in some (a lot of) people.
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#15 of 29 Old 09-19-2007, 11:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Meiri View Post
I rather doubt that Mogadishu was any safer after the Blackhawk Down incident than it had been before or during.

And all the soldiers I've ever known, including some of Dad's uncles who served in WWII and a guy I dated in college who served a couple of tours in Vietnam, tend very much to NOT talk about their experiences.

I would be wondering why this guy is talking so much.
Nod. My uncle is a retired Lt. Colonel, and he has been to every single military presence, war, occupation, whatever that we have been involved in up until the current Iraq fiasco. He has never uttered a word about his combat times and seems to think little of men who do talk about it. I also happen to think he's a bit odd.

Me, I think some guys need to talk, but this guy's students are not his therapist. And I would not feel comfortable in a room with him after hearing that particular lesson.

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#16 of 29 Old 09-20-2007, 12:26 AM
 
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FWIW I wouldn't take for granted this guy really is a vet or was where he says he was unless it's documented. Sadly a lot of people lie about military service, particularly people who want to seem "badass."

ETA it especially caught my eye that he "knew a lot of guys in the book." Really! I wonder if he's an antisocial PD/psychopath/narcissist type in need of a-t-t-e-n-t-i-o-n.
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#17 of 29 Old 09-20-2007, 12:28 AM
 
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I agree. you should inform the counselor.

my dad was a marine in Vietnam, and never spoke about any of it. I know for a fact it screwed him up pretty badly.
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#18 of 29 Old 09-20-2007, 12:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog View Post
FWIW I wouldn't take for granted this guy really is a vet or was where he says he was unless it's documented. Sadly a lot of people lie about military service, particularly people who want to seem "badass."

ETA it especially caught my eye that he "knew a lot of guys in the book." Really! I wonder if he's an antisocial PD/psychopath/narcissist type in need of a-t-t-e-n-t-i-o-n.
Ooooooh, good call. Come to think of it, I've known a handful of compulsive liars, and they always seemed to know everyone.

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#19 of 29 Old 09-20-2007, 12:38 AM
 
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Yep. Evil Cat's Owner, the notorious Lying Roommate, had as one of his stock fake "biographies" that he was in the Navy and was involved in a famous incident. It wasn't even slightly true, other than he was a Navy brat when he was a kid.
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#20 of 29 Old 09-20-2007, 12:39 AM
 
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I'm going to venture that the guy probably has PTSD that hasn't been treated. It may be his way of dealing with what he knows was a horrible thing.

We know people who were in Mogadishu then, and it was a terrifying experience.

exactly my thoughts. also this:

Quote:
ETA it especially caught my eye that he "knew a lot of guys in the book." Really! I wonder if he's an antisocial PD/psychopath/narcissist type in need of a-t-t-e-n-t-i-o-n.

on one hand, I know alot of guys who toss out cracks/comments about the things they've seen/done because if they act like it's no big deal, then it becomes no big deal, right? {their thinking of course}

OTOH, I also had a great uncle who served a total of five tours in Nam. Never breathed a word about what he saw over there. NEVER. But I remember growing up thinking it was *super neat* how he had a private account with Pabst Blue Ribbon and the REAL-LIVE-DELIVERY-TRUCK would pull up to his little four bedroom bungalow on the lower east side of Indy and unload just like it was Cub foods or something. Whole stacks of cases, took up a whole section of my devoutly-catholic aunt's formal dining room. Now as an adult looking back on it, I find it very sad and I feel so sad for him for everything he endured both over there and here at home. And I pray every day, sometimes multiple times a day that I have learned enough from that experience to be able to help my husband and our friends find what they need to process all of the things they are going through/will go through so they never end up like that...
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#21 of 29 Old 09-20-2007, 12:42 AM
 
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I agree that it sounds like it could be a fish story. But what kind of a complete horror walking would make THAT up?

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Originally Posted by Penelope View Post
Go to the dean - the department head would be good, but the dean would be better. Tell him or her that your instructor spoke very calmly and in an off-hand way in class about having murdered children and that you are disturbed and would like the situation dealt with immediately. If it's true, tell him or her that you do not feel safe in the class, not given the instructor's military record, but given his normalization of having committed murder and his (terrible) choice to share that experience with the students.

If you're early enough in the semester, ask for special permission to substitute a different course.

JMO.
I would do this regardless. Whether or not I thought it was true.
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#22 of 29 Old 09-20-2007, 12:44 AM
 
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I'm going to venture that the guy probably has PTSD that hasn't been treated. It may be his way of dealing with what he knows was a horrible thing.

We know people who were in Mogadishu then, and it was a terrifying experience.
I would agree with this too.

I'm sorry you had to hear that
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#23 of 29 Old 09-20-2007, 01:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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He was really in Mogadishu. There's a picture of him, with his name in the caption, in Black Hawk Down.

I don't doubt the whole "need for attention thing"- not at all.

Maybe I will go to the dean. I will definately go to Student Services.

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#24 of 29 Old 09-20-2007, 01:05 AM
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DH was boarding party during Operation Apollo. He hardly EVER talks about what he did/saw during boardings.

He told me one story...and that's it...He wont talk about it anymore. and that one story was after a bunch of prying on my part...

Needless to say...I dont WANT to know what happened. But if he needs me to lend an ear...I will...

BTW, that teacher reeks of "Poser" That's all there is to it...Any soldier past, or present does NOT talk about that kind of thing in that manner, unless they are extremely twisted.

Hell not even my DH"s best friend would talk about something like that.and this guy is one of the most twisted dudes I've ever known.
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#25 of 29 Old 09-20-2007, 01:14 AM
 
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I am related to someone who knew soldiers there. He won't even watch the movie. It disturbs him too much.
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#26 of 29 Old 09-20-2007, 03:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Meiri View Post
And all the soldiers I've ever known, including some of Dad's uncles who served in WWII and a guy I dated in college who served a couple of tours in Vietnam, tend very much to NOT talk about their experiences.

I would be wondering why this guy is talking so much.
My uncle was a ranger. He may or may not have been there. He either couldn't or wouldn't tell us where he had been because either he was ordered to or couldn't bring himself to share the horror with his family.

Thout the whole idea of murdering children makes my skin crawl, I agree that the bigger problem for YOU is that he talked about it like a fishing trip. Whatever his "problem" is, it's manefesting itself by trivializing a major event.
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#27 of 29 Old 09-20-2007, 10:06 AM
 
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At best this man needs to talk about his experiences (war is hell and a half and horrible things occur-some with reason and lots without) and has really bad freaking judgment about when to open his mouth, or at worst he sorta crossed over to that place where he is really proud of what he did, or has such a disconnect to it that it doesn't 'touch' him.
My ex-fil was a marine in Nam and he was one of those 'special ops' types that they take dog tags away from and drop them in the jungle and say 'do this job-and you don't exist. See you in 6 months, if you are still alive'. I am certain he did some horrific things and he suffered in a huge way when he came back(still does-alcoholism, extreme ptsd)-but to this day will only speak in generalized terms of his experience. Bad stuff.
My Great Uncle stormed the beach at Normandy and would never speak of it except very rarely. My Grandfather was a machine gunner in the Navy and shot down kamikazes and to the day he died he hated and regretted and feared he would be punished by god for shooting down those planes that would have otherwise killed him. He never bragged. I don't understand why your teacher would. He needs counseling to be speaking of atrocities in such an offhand way. Yes, ptsd can do freaky things to you, but to be so disconnected from it to be able to just brag is too much.
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#28 of 29 Old 09-20-2007, 10:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog View Post
FWIW I wouldn't take for granted this guy really is a vet or was where he says he was unless it's documented. Sadly a lot of people lie about military service, particularly people who want to seem "badass."

ETA it especially caught my eye that he "knew a lot of guys in the book." Really! I wonder if he's an antisocial PD/psychopath/narcissist type in need of a-t-t-e-n-t-i-o-n.
: what I'm thinking.

Just read up on 2nd page. If he was there, it sounds like he needs a therapist. I'd be talking to the dean.

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#29 of 29 Old 09-20-2007, 10:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Leta View Post
He was really in Mogadishu. There's a picture of him, with his name in the caption, in Black Hawk Down.

I don't doubt the whole "need for attention thing"- not at all.

Maybe I will go to the dean. I will definately go to Student Services.

I am really grateful for MDC as a safe place to vent. Thanks, mamas.
It sounds like he's WAY too emotionally involved in this topic to be able to teach it properly. Isn't a literature class supposed to be about what's in the book, discussing literary techniques, etc? Shouldn't a vet "teaching" a book about his own war experience properly belong in a history class? Or, better yet, have the vet come in to give ONE talk while somebody with a healthier relationship to the subject matter does the formal teaching?

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