Teachers. Often they are stand-ins for parents, and what they have to handle can be overwhelming. Some of these stories are jarring - like first graders knowing what meth smells like, or faking autism for years on end.
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
This is messed up.
I teach in an area that has been very, very affected by the opioid epidemic. I taught a student who was well-known to be addicted to heroin. He was also the person who gave his mother her first dose of the drug. His mother died of an overdose. The last time I saw him he had self-tattooed on his arm "I killed my mom" in huge letters.
Not cute, not funny.Giphy
I had a student last week tell me to hold out my hand because he had a surprise for me. I did it out of curiosity and he placed a 9mm round in my hand. This is two months after I had a student tell everyone via SnapChat he was gonna shoot me and another teacher up. I just shook my head and called administration to deal with that BS.
Imagine being so dark and troubled so young.
I had a student earlier this year who came to me because he was "kicked out" of his last school (according to him). He was covered in tattoos as a freshman in high school. On the second day of having him in my class, I looked up from my desk while students were supposed to be taking a test to see him miming cutting off my head with something shiny. When I went back to see what it was and he laughed and hid it, swearing he had nothing. I looked up to see him doing it again. Same thing happened... I let it go.
After he left the room, I found the pen he had been writing with under his desk with two small incisions in the cap. I immediately reported it to admin.
He was moved to another teacher a few days later for an unrelated scheduling issue. He threatened to kill her. He was moved to another teacher because of this. In the third teacher's class, he drew pictures of rifles all over his essays.
So. Many. Red. Flags. He was finally sent to the alternative school a few months back. But he'll likely be back.
EDIT: To clarify, the incisions on the pen indicated that he was using some kind of sharp object (a thumbtack, I suspect) to mime cutting my head off. And yes, I/we have documented and reported these things every step of the way.
This is both impressive and unnerving.
It happened a few years ago, when I was an intern at a big school in my town. My job was simple: follow the teacher wherever she went to and complete 100 hours of unpaid work, that's it. Sh*tty, but I had to do that in order to get my diploma.
So, there was this boy, around 14, who was always alongside his personal therapist. I don't usually ask questions, but since that same teacher was my high school teacher years ago, I felt comfortable in asking her what was wrong with him. She said he had autism, and sometimes he would get aggressive towards his classmates, so his therapist had to be with him at all times while he was at school to help calm him down if something or someone triggers him.
Days later I went to the teacher's room to ask for signatures for my internship documents. Everyone is helpful and starts signing until the coordinator walks in and asks for our attention.
"Guys, I have some news to tell you all about [boy]. You'd better sit down. You too, SpiritSong. You gotta listen to this," she said.
Turns out the kid had been pretending to be autistic for years. He looked up on the internet for the "symptoms" of autism and just started using his acting skills to fool even a psychologist and his whole family. His therapist had empty eyes, his mother looked like her son died in front of her. I don't know the details, but it seems a different psychologist did something to him and caught him off guard, discovering his ruse.
And people have the gall to say that a teacher's life has no thrill. I've been in the teaching career for only about 7 years and I've already had this and some other similar kinds of stuff happening, I can't wait for what the future holds for me!
No warning sign here, nope.
Had them producing a book report with a few sentences and some pictures. Kid had an abridged version of some Penguin classic, and everything was good barring one question:
'What did you enjoy most about this story?'
"He gets mad and kills his family." Followed by a scrawling image of mutilation.
Completely unrelated to the story and just slipped in there with some good work.
And it's said kids can't be sociopaths...Giphy
When I first began teaching, we had a student who seemed to get a lot of satisfaction out of manipulating or hurting others. Her behavior escalated, leading to a brief hospital stint after killing her puppy. When she returned to school, she bragged gleefully about it and shortly thereafter began writing death threats in blood on the walls of bathroom stalls. As much as I hate to say it, she's one I wouldn't be surprised to see in the news in a few years.
*Steps away slowly...*
A (university) freshman tried to add my class late, but all the slots allotted by admin had been filled. He approached me after the first day of class and asked to be added anyway. Very flat affect. No emotion at all.
I told him that I couldn't add him, and he replied, "If you don't add me, I'll follow you everywhere. Even to the bathroom."
I'm not a huge guy, but I easily doubled his body weight. Not the situation to try to make a threat, I'd say.
I was nonplussed for a moment, so I asked him to repeat what he'd just said. And he did. Word for word. He did. I could tell this guy was a nut case, and in hindsight I probably should have reported the incident. Instead, I just kind of laughed it off and walked away.
Never saw him again, to my knowledge. Kinda doubt that he made a smooth transition into adulthood, tho.
Stalls are superior anyway.
I may have set off a red flag for teachers when I was in 3rd grade.
I would always pull my pants all the way down to my ankles when I peed in the urinal, and obviously, would constantly get made fun of for it.
Well, it got very tiring and hurtful so one day when I dropped my drawers to pee, the boy that walked up in the urinal beside me (who pees side by side anyway?) popped his mouth off and I just non-chalantly pivoted and piss all up and down his leg.
The principal called my mom, and I was tactfully talked to at home about how it's good to stand up for yourself but that wasn't an appropriate reaction. Then my dad took over and explained how I really needed to not get basically butt naked to pee standing up at a urinal.
Things six-year-olds shouldn't say.Giphy
A student walked in the classroom and said "it smells like crystal meth in here."
I teach six-year-olds.
Student skipped the week or two that he had pool time at PE. Counseled his parents at conferences he was exhibiting some gang tendencies (oddly so were the parents). Found out later that year he skipped pool PE class because he had his last name tattooed across his back in old English. This was a 14 year old. UpDownABAB
The Deepest Cut.
This year I had a female student (middle school) who had cut her arm so many times you couldn't really see the skin, just a bunch of bloody, scabby cuts. She hid it well at school as it was winter and the students were all wearing sweaters. We only found out because one of her friends started crying and told me I needed to talk to her immediately. ZeeFishy
Sad Family Line.
My friend runs a swim club for kids, she once got a complaint from some mothers that one 8 year old boy was performing fellatio on some 6 year old boys in the changing room. The kid wasn't allowed to come back, and it turns out that his grandfather molested him, that's where he learned the whole thing. Ilbutters
Call the Team.Giphy
There was a kid I knew in second grade he was wild. When we were in the same class together, the teacher would regularly have to call the "assistance team" (a group of teachers that would restrain unruly kids and were trained on how to do so) he would throw desks, chairs, scissors once if remember correctly.
The following year (we weren't in the same classroom but it was a small school so you'd still hear about things) he tripped a very pregnant teacher causing her to go into labor no idea how he didn't get expelled for that but the final straw was when he found a rusty pocket knife on the playground during recess and stabbed the student sitting next to him in the stomach with it for no reason. Still wonder what happened to him. Oh oh and he sucked his thumb regularly. jimshwarts
College professor. Guy just a little bit older than me wrote a paper in which he shared a fantasy about beating the crap out of a younger female therapist for not listening to him about his problems. He was constantly distracting in class, cheated in every way imaginable, and just struck me as off. I repeatedly put in student of concern notices about him, because I really thought something was going to go wrong. Shortly after the class ended he took his newborn kid and ran away to a different state. :/ phoenix-corn
First Grade Crazy.
My cousin (currently in 1st grade) had a girl in his class throw a computer tower in their classroom and slapped and punched the teacher as she tired to gain control.
To my knowledge, nothing ever happen to the girl because the teacher and the girl's mother are good friends. They don't want to ruin her time at school by reporting the incident. smaltowngrl
I See You Kid.
A buddy of mine teaches the special needs class in a high school. For him it was the kid who he'd been told liked to throw things. That wasn't entirely uncommon for his class, but when he noticed the kid was wearing adult diapers, he went straight to the office to review the kid's file. His "red flag" sense was right, the kid liked to throw poop.
My buddy went to OHAS and has managed to keep the kid out of his class. That was last week. This week he's been told that the school is still trying to get the kid put in his class anyway. (they make money for taking these kids). He's fighting it, but lord know which way it will land. Never_Been_Missed
Let's Call Dad.Giphy
I was in charge of an after school program for Jr. High and High school students (13-18 years old). One time I was waiting for a 13 year old girl to get picked up with her friend, and this is the conversation I hear from across the room while they were messing with the whiteboard.
Girl 1: draws swastika
Girl 2: "You can't do that, that's bad."
Girl 1: "Why?"
Girl 2: "I don't know, I just know bad."
Girl 1: " It's OK, my dad has it tattooed on his chest."
Edit 1: I was working in a semi-rural part of the US, and dad was a white guy who lived in a trailer park. I'm not one for stereotypes but I'm pretty sure the guy wasn't Hindu. Or Buddhist. But I appreciate this sub's ability to always look for a silver lining. sweeetkiwi
There's a kid in this preschool class, aged 5, that says the most off the wall stuff.
So far this school year, she has said that her dad is going to come to the school and kill kids and their families, that she has a doll that will come to this other little girl's house and cut her heart out, eat it and cut her legs off, and finally that her dad shoots kittens.
At this point, I'm thinking of calling CPS or at least pushing the issue with the school district because there is no reasonable explanation as to why a 5 year old would be saying these disturbing things. HeyBlenderhead
Being woken up suddenly is not very good for our health.
Especially for the elderly, it's not something to make a habit of. Sleep interruption can increase blood pressure, cause a worsened self image, and cause a day filled with irritation and confusion.
No one wants to be woken up, but there are definitely some reasons for being woken up that are worse than your alarm clock.
We went to Ask Reddit to find out some of the worst reasons people have been woken up.
Redditor Toothpiicxxk asked:
"What's the worst reason you woke up?"
These truly are the worst.
We love our pets, but sometimes not so much.
"My cat was throwing up right next to me."
"She brought you breakfast how cute."
"I was just about to answer that my cat threw up right on me, specifically my hair, which I had just washed..."
Some horrible news hits you.
"Being woken up to be told someone you know died certainly qualifies."
"Or when you already know, but you wake up in that ignorant bliss that lasts for about a second and then it hits you. And this goes on for a long time."
"It's been about 15 years and I still will wake up on occasion thinking I have to tell my older brother something cool that I know he'd love to hear about. Or have a vivid a** dream about how it was all an mistake and he's still here. Happens less often then it used to but oof does it ever still hurt."
"Woke up at about 3am to a cop repeatedly ringing my bell. my mom had accidentally drowned in the tub. she was really weak from chemo."
"Woke up to a phone call telling me my incredible brother-in-law had been hit and killed by a drunk & high driver, his wife was also expected to pass as her neck had been broken, and their kids were both in surgery. My husband and I were in the will to get the kids, so we needed to fly to Chicago right away. As I sat there in shock, I hung up the phone, turned to see my sleeping husband snoring away, and knowing I would now have to wake him up to tell him the worst news he would ever hear."
2018 false missile alert.
"I live in Hawaii, that time we got the missile scare."
"Oof at least it wasn't real but I would have definitely panicked if that was me."
"Damn, I slept straight through it. My mom literally woke me up, told me; and I still went back to sleep."
"What were you supposed to do? Go outside and witness your annihilation?"
"I think it's the right thing to do to inform people even if there isn't necessarily anything that can be done about it."
"Some people would appreciate being able to conduct prayers, get one last hug with their loved ones, etc."
"Cockroach walking on my lips with no shame. I brutally murdered it as soon as I yeeted it halfway across the room."
"I had a weird dream about a cockroach somehow paralyzing a friend then walking towards me in that same room. Then I awoke to find this a**hole cockroach slowly creeping on my lips."
"When I threw it away, what startled me was it did not panic AT ALL. It even slowly headed towards me!"
"I also mouth washed and brushed my teeth and even disinfected my lips with alcohol. It was a surreal experience."
"I seriously loathe roaches and there's no other way to ensure its death than a brutal one."
Screams in the night.
"One time I got woken up by a blood curdling scream in the middle of the night. I live alone and it also woke up my dog who was freaked out the rest of the night. Searched everywhere including outside and didn't find anything."
"Well that was lucky. Imagine what would have happened if you had found it..."
"Hopefully a fox, coyote, cat, or cougar."
"Being clearly asleep, and then someone wakes you to ask, 'Are you asleep?'"
"Bruh my mom be like [this]."
"The only correct answer to this question is 'yes.'"
"I woke up to my mom calling me sobbing because she thought I had died, I was 10 hours away and my blood sugar was severely low and wasn't answering any calls, that was horrifying."
"We've learned what does and doesn't work for waking me up in a medical emergency."
"Blood sugar can be a b*tch, found my mum having a really bad hypo while sleeping when I was a toddler and for years and years after would wake her up to check she was okay without realizing I was doing it for that reason. Glad you're okay!"
Something so relatable.
"My alarm rung. It's a daily struggle."
We've all been there.
If you're not a morning person, waking up in the morning can already be a challenge, but no one wants to get woken up to horrible news or an emergency.
In fact, we should be waking up naturally with our own personal sleeping patterns.
We all know that's easier said than done.
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People have a habit of excusing crap behavior - honestly because it's often easier in the short term. Long term = flaming dumpster fire.
The excuses people use to dismiss behavior range from mundane and meaningless to the sort of leaps normally reserved for kangaroos and Olympians. It's sometimes amazing that these excuses work - but they do.
Some of them work so well that they're just sort of "accepted." That, obviously, kind of sucks and is something we should avoid - so let's talk about 'em.
Can't swerve around what you don't see, ya know?
Reddit user TMTtasmachine asked:
... and away we go.
" 'That's just how they are.' "
"One of the biggest enablers for tantrum throwing, bullying, etc. is that they get treated with kid gloves to avoid dealing with them." - alexrt87
"Oh my God you hit the nail on the head. Whenever someone says 'that's just the way they are' I say:"
" 'Yes, that's the point! Glad you noticed too! Now is it okey-doke for them to be jerks they have special jerk privileges? Or maybe they are just people and should treat everyone else as such?' " - notatrumpchump
"It depends on how it's said."
"People are the way that they are, and you shouldn't be surprised when they continue to be that way."
"This, obviously, doesn't excuse it - but people also shouldn't be surprised when a bad person continues to make bad decisions. Neither should we waste space in our minds being bothered by it." - unlawfulfoxy
Harassment Isn't Humorseason 2 lol GIF by ShamelessGiphy
" 'It's just a joke, bro.' Harassing people isn't humor." - loading__99
"A guy who says/does offensive things and decides whether he was joking based on the reaction of people around him." - Eatsleeptren
"Dude, legit had someone come up to me and start shouting in my face, calling me Madison, pretending I was cheating on him. Literally the most crowded location outside a theater, everyone staring at us, looking at me like I was some horrible cheater while I was out with my then fiancé."
"I started hyperventilating, my fiancé nearly decked the dude, and then someone shouts 'CUT' like this is some big 'YOU'RE ON CANDID CAMERA' moment and everything's supposed to be okay."
"I burst into tears."
"It was the most humiliating moment of my life, and thank god my then fiancé, now husband is not the type to overreact or jump to conclusions, or be abusive. Imagine how bad that could have been for someone with an angry or abusive partner."
"Prank videos are a plague on the internet and there is a REASON so many of them are fake, or involve actors." - Darkovika
Stay Sober, Then!Drunk Drinking Beer GIFGiphy
" 'I was drunk / high / etc.' "
"Then don't drink?! Stay sober if you can't NOT be an a**hole!" - BasedBenjamin
"Alternately, I hear a lot of 'I'm a happy drunk!' "
"Yeah, according to your drunk a$s. That doesn't mean you're not an ahole. Not remembering is not an excuse either." - PepeBabinski
"I was also loud, obnoxious, and I wouldn't remember sh*t the next day."
"Quitting drinking has been one of my best choices of my life." - TTungsteNN
"Help"new girl coach GIFGiphy
" 'I'm just trying to help you' " - Miserable-Air1234
"Every time I've heard this, they're manipulating me while helping only themselves." - mykittenfarts
"My Mom to a T. Everything she does is better than anyone else's and she always gets pissed that people don't praise her for 'helping.' "
"She's now a certified (by herself) psychic and I have come to the conclusion that she's not a covert narcissist but an obvious one. I really wish I was joking." - Silent_Discussion657
Parenting ProblemsLeave Me Alone Run GIF by TLC EuropeGiphy
"Any variation of 'I'm a Mother/parent.' "
"Had some lady cut me in line at a coffee shop and she hit me with 'I'm a single Mom of 3!' as her excuse."
"Ok? And? I was still here first." - maid-for-hire
"I'm a single mom and I f*cking haaaate when other single moms/parents pull that sh*t to get special treatment."
"Last week, I was having a rough morning, my kid was being difficult, and I was running late. I was rude to a cashier over a minor inconvenience."
"Not only did I apologize for my shitty behavior, I wrote corporate to let them know how professional and patient she was while I acted like a f*cking toddler."
"Was being a parent part of the reason I was frustrated? Absolutely. Was it an excuse for that behavior? HELL no."
"I acted like a b*tch, and I called myself out, and I apologized. I still feel bad about that - I rarely let things get to me to the point I snap at others." - ClusterfckyShtshow
"Wow. I'm a Mom as well and tired but it doesn't give anyone a right to use it as some sort of ploy to get away with stuff."
"Like, mice become Moms about 12 times a year. You're not special 🤣" - SpoonLoops
Believing Your BossThe Office Monday GIF by 20th Century Fox Home EntertainmentGiphy
"I had a boss say some really racist sh*t around me one day and the next day, out of nowhere, he says:"
" 'Don't believe half the things that come out of my mouth!' "
"It was not really an excuse, more like trying to cover for himself after the fact, but still stuck with me." - sirlongbottom441
"Report them to HR. Seriously." - kokichi--ouma
"Looking past the racist stuff for a bit, that's not a very encouraging thing to hear from a boss…" - WonderfulBlackberry9
Bad Day AgainBad Day Reaction GIF by Schitt's CreekGiphy
" 'I'm having a bad day/week' "
"Okay, so you decide everybody that you interact with deserves the same fate? Get out of here, dude." - myordinaryexistence
"We all got stress, don't take it out on me. I get some people have stress bad enough for it to be passable every once and a while (family member passing, etc) but general, stress should not lead to you being a jerk to me." - willsimpforfree
"Damn, I'm definitely guilty of this. Usually I remember to apologize after but at this point I've learned to just avoid the situation in the first place by minimizing my interaction with people if I'm in a shitty mood." - nozzzrul
"Reminds me of when that White boy went on a murder rampage and killed a bunch of Asian women & that a-hole sheriff gave a press conference telling the media that the 'poor boy had a bad day.' "
"My idea of a bad day involves going home after a rough day at work and just staying in the house."
"Apparently, I should change my ethnicity from Asian to White and go on a murder rampage, see if my @ss gets a sympathetic sheriff to say on my behalf that I had 'a bad day.' " - kingkazul400
It's Not An ExcuseSeason 2 Reaction GIF by FriendsGiphy
"This won't go down well, but using depression as an excuse. As someone who suffers from it, it's still not ok to treat others like sh*t" - Rainbowwallstickers
"Could not agree enough. My partner has a 'friend' who treats everyone like sh*t all the time, has no consideration for others and openly mocks people in public."
"She gets so much grace from those around her under the guise of her 'mental health.' It's so infuriating watching an adult woman never have to take responsibility for her actions." - 34boor
"I get there are some things you can't control, but you are still responsible for keeping that sh*t in check and if you're aware of your mental illness, you should be aware of how you approach people and situations."
"I'll admit I used to be guilty of using my mental illness to be an @ss, but now I'm trying to better myself" - VeeSquibbles
Florida Gonna FloridaLooney Tunes Florida GIFGiphy
"People are letting Florida off the hook way too damn much. And I live in Florida."
"Just because it's hilarious doesn't mean it isn't still completely f*cked up." - AlphaWhiskeyOscar
"The phrase 'Florida Man' is almost always followed some heinous way a Floridian is being an a$$hole." - PepeBabinski
"I'm also originally from Florida, and that state has serious problems. We need to pay attention to it." - [Reddit]
Moment of honesty ... as a Floridian ... yeaaaah, I'm gonna have to agree with that last one.
We live in a time where we are critically re-examining how we pay workers. After a two-year-long pandemic where some low-income and "unskilled" jobs were deemed "essential," we now must put our money where our mouth is.
For too long in the world have incredibly important jobs been overlooked or else outright maligned. Teachers in the USA make some of the least money, career-wise, and have some of the hardest jobs. Dancers pay to put their bodies through hell with no guarantee of paid work after training.
So how do we fix this problem? By naming it, of course.
Redditor u/NightReader5 asked:
"What professions are severely underpaid?"
Here were some of those answers.
Our Elderly Deserve Better
"I worked as a CNA in a nursing home and I loved it. It's such hard work for such little pay and that's why I had to leave."
"Not only that but I was a rare person in that I LOVED caring for the residents. Nothing was beneath me such as changing a dirty diaper or spoon feeding."
"Everything helped their quality of life. Sucks they can't keep people that genuinely enjoy it cause I couldn't make over $10 an hour."-Dancer9d9
"Came here to say this: Emergency Medical Technicians. I will never not be just a bit salty about this."
"My husband is one of those people who does this job because it's his passion and he loves helping people."
"It would be nice if he earned more than the kid who just got hired at McDonald's this morning."-ThePotterheadHobbit
High School Bathrooms....
"The janitors at my high school. I walked in the men's bathroom there once and there was a mega-giant steaming pile of crap and diarrhea right in the middle of the floor."-satanic-sex-god
"Anyhow. Are you sure that was a high school? We're talking grades 9-12 here, right?"-VoicedVelarNasal
"Unfortunately yes. Other highlights of my oh so great high school men's bathroom that contains teenagers from 14 to as old as 20 are:"
"A dude bringing a sledgehammer to school and smashing a sink, the toilets being blown up, the toilets being frequently clogged with trash..."
"Smashed beer bottle glass covering the floor, and a centimeter of pee flooding the bathroom whenever you walk in. I hate it here."-satanic-sex-god
You know immediately YOU might not want to do this job--so why is someone else getting paid next to nothing to do it?
The More You Help Others The Less You Get Paid
"Statistically speaking, any job that provides significant social benefit to others, the less you will get paid, something that David Graeber discusses in essays and his work, Bullsh*t Jobs."
"This is so sad. I'm currently in a job that pays very well, I just dont find any meaning or fulfillment with it. I want so badly to do something where I'd be helping others- something with purpose- but I honestly dont think I can afford it."-mko0njo9
"Social workers. Dealing with negligent, abusive parents while trying to help the children while in an underfunded, low-paid system is a travesty."-ZRX1200R
"Can also confirm. I like working with my family's but I don't get paid enough to deal with their crap or most of the bureaucracy."-Altowhovian93
Minimum Wage To Go Against FIRE
"Entry level wildland firefighters. They start them at $15 an hour."-NuclearEyedSquirrel
"I live in a small town in Ohio and I think the lowest starting wage I've seen was 11."
"That's the low side and those places are having trouble hiring because there's so many places paying higher. McDonald's here starts at 13 or 14 an hour."-rjoh4459
One Kid, One Para
"Paraprofessionals. Yea, my town increased the pay rate for paraprofessionals to get more people to apply since they have a shortage but the pay increase was not that good IMO."
"For that job, I think you need to be compensated for the physical and mental demands of the job."
"It's a hard job and they should be paid for the work, the pay rate in my community for the job with 60 credits is $14.50 but I think it should be more than that."-YourQueen2Bee
The question then becomes, why won't the people who HAVE money do something to help the quality of these jobs, and make sure that these people get paid?
"Everything in veterinary medicine. Kennel technicians, Veterinary assistants, Veterinary technicians, Veterinary receptionists, and Veterinarians."-aIsiduous
"Veterinary interns/residents, too. I work 70-120hrs+ per week, am on call about half the days per month, have to pay for my own board exams and accreditation fees out of pocket, and all for ~$33,000 per year."-WyrdHarper
"It's bullsh*t. There's nothing on this planet I want to do more than be a veterinarian, but I simply cannot afford the debt. Hopefully one day we'll get the recognition deserved. Stick in there, I know you got this!"--aIsiduous
In The Classroom
"I work in a special school, I love it but I really don't think we get paid enough for all the times we get yelled at, punched, kicked, bit, spat on, cursed at, have our classrooms trashed, have things thrown at us..."
"And then we also have parents making demands and admin telling us their 'simple' solutions to all of it that we have to carry out while they have zero clue on what it's actually like to spend a day in the classroom."-Sajiri
A Morbid State Of Affairs
"Funeral directors/embalmers/funeral professionals. We didn't get days or holidays off to begin with. Now the pandemic has stretched us to working double overtime, which we are exempt from getting paid for under Florida statutes."
"And forget hazard pay for being exposed to COVID multiple times a day every day via the deceased, the deceased's family members, the general public attending funerals, and the hospital/nursing facilities we remove decedents from."-Lesscute
So why are we holding off on giving these people a raise? Their jobs involve dangerous, mentally and emotionally taxing situations, and yet, we treat them as if society could function without them. The truth is it couldn't.
And society had best learn that as soon as possible.
What causes a small town to die?
Honestly, there can be quite a few factors, but perhaps the biggest one is that small towns often lack the upward mobility opportunities that are more available in urban areas.
As a result, many towns around the United States for instance have lost tens of millions of people as their populations seek jobs and opportunities elsewhere.
And what remains of these places can be pretty sketchy.
People told us more after Redditor RadicalizedSnackWrap asked the online community,
"What's a super sketchy US city that we never hear about?"
"Daytona Beach, FL. Imagine a bunch of alcoholic high school kids who came for spring break in 1984, and never left, and never grew up."
Oh, I don't have to imagine it.
I've seen it!
I lived in a neighboring town for a while and bodies would always turn up in farmer's fields that the cartel in Yakima had dropped off there."
Sounds like Netflix needs to get its hands on Yakima, a new show to go against Ozark.
"I remember a story..."
"Guntersville, Alabama. If I were to ballpark it, over 80% of the population are meth addicts and traffickers.
I remember a story where a man walked into the Walmart, took all the supplies and equipment required to cook, and proceeded to cook meth in the bathroom."
"A run-down town..."
"Reading, PA. A run-down town that is mostly used as a central point to run drugs between New York and Philly."
I am writing this from right nearby actually, and I can smell it from here.
"Small town almost entirely..."
"Butte, Montana. Small town almost entirely comprised of violent meth heads."
"More of a town than a city..."
More of a town than a city, but it's such a weird place, bordering on Twilight Zone. You'll see a meth house right next to a youth theatre."
According to a friend I have who spent a lot of time in Arizona, this sounds about right.
"Used to have..."
"Gary, Indiana. Used to have a prosperous steel economy, but now it's just home to abandoned buildings, failing infrastructure, and lots and lots of crime. Just look up pictures."
"I always said..."
"Amityville. Yes, that Amityville.
I always said the "Amityville Horror" house is for amateurs. You want something scary, put on a nice watch or a gold chain and wander around downtown Amityville after dark."
I went there once.
I have not been back.
"It looks harmless..."
"Harrisburg PA. It looks harmless and maybe a little boring but holy hell that place is a giant puddle of corruption just waiting for someone to step in it. Not just state government, there's a bunch of layers you can use to crawl up the corruption ladder."
"Used to be..."
"Natchez, Mississippi. Use to be the headquarters for the KKK. Not much there besides crackheads, plantation homes, and European tourists. Don't own a nice place if you're black, you'll be stopped by the police and questioned."
It doesn't look any of these are changing anytime soon, and that's sad.
Have some small towns to tell us about? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
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