DALLAS: A Texas elementary school teacher has been fired after forcing her students to watch an excruciatingly dull soccer match in its entirety.
Marilyn Kreggs, a fifth-grade social studies teacher at the Eli Patterson school in Watauga, acknowledged that she was angry at her class. “Over half had failed to turn in their homework assignments,” she said. “It was Friday and they were out of control. Kept sneaking peeks at their cell phones, paper footballs flying everywhere, a farting contest with the boys, girls squealing non-stop… I just had to do something to calm them down.”
So she instructed them to watch TV — a satellite sports channel broadcasting a FIFA elimination tournament match: Albania vs. Lichtenstein. They would have to watch the entire match, then answer a detailed pop quiz about the game, with weekend detention time if they flunked. “I thought it would be a valuable multicultural experience. We need to know how other cultures play with balls,” said Ms. Kreggs.
It worked for the first hour. But by the 90 minute mark, with the score still tied 0-0, the kids were getting restless. After another 30 minutes of overtime, with the score 1-1, many were squirming, groaning and crying uncontrollably, said Mickey Rhinestone, one of her students. “We were all begging to take a break, but there’s no timeouts in soccer and she wouldn’t listen.”
After the first round of penalty kicks ended with no change in the score, the groaning and crying turned to bloodcurdling screams. Two kids bolted out the door, triggering a stampede of wailing fifth-graders down the hallway.
“We thought it was an active shooter,” said Fred Sturgis, a science teacher in the same building. “I sounded the alarm and we all hit the bricks.” A SWAT team evacuated the school before the error was discovered.
Parents were outraged. “Americans are winners,” said Mickey’s father, Joe Rhinestone. “But how can you win when there’s no scoring? What kind of sport is decided after half the friggin’ day with the equivalent of a dunking booth at the state fair? She was teaching our kids to be third-world losers.”
Another parent was even more blunt: “I think she’s a sadist.”
“It was unquestionably abusive,” said the school’s principal. “But we’ve taken the appropriate steps to make sure this never, ever happens again.”