2002-10-08 - 7:48 a.m.
I remember Grade Three, sitting in class one day...our teacher, Mrs. Hannah, was old and near retirement, and ruled us with an iron hand. This particular day we were sitting in our desks, waiting to be dismissed for recess, when Mrs. H. announced: "Someone threw orange peels on the floor of our class room. Until that person comes to the front and puts them in the garbage, we will all sit here waiting."
We all knew that a kid from a different class had chucked the peels in, but we were all so afraid of Mrs. H. that we didn't know what to do. So we sat. All through recess.
I really felt the injustice of this. I finally decided that I would risk the punishment and sacrifice myself for the good of the class. I got up from my desk and quietly picked up the peels to put them in the garbage. I could feel everyone's eyes on the back of my neck.
"Did you put those peels on the floor?"
I shrunk. "No, ma'am. But none of us did, it was someone from another class!"
"Leave them there!" she snapped.
I went back to my desk and we kept sitting. I don't remember for how long.