The ringing of a phone took everyone by surprise, according to Ellen Wrathburn, newly appointed head of the Ontario District School Board’s Bitch And Snitch Line, the most recent manifestation of the Ontario PCs’ plan to wreck vengeance on all those uppity school types with their diabolical agenda of learning, social awareness, and fun for everyone.
“We weren’t expecting any calls until at least the first day of school,” Ms. Wrathburn says, looking surprisingly nonplussed to have received contact from parents so quickly. “But it turns out that all of the complaints we’ve gotten so far have been from parents asking who Premier Ford’s teachers were, and how they passed a man who can’t successfully make an honest totalling of the integer ‘1’.”
The question is a damned good one, says every teacher The Out And Abouter could reach for comment on the developing story, many of whom spoke to us over the sounds of safety scissors sharpening on grindstones, chalk dehydrating in ovens, and mouth guards boiling in open pots, as they prepared for the upcoming school year/pitched battle for bare minimum levels of some goddamned common sense.
“Allow me to illustrate,” says Anthony Russo, a Grade 8 teacher in Kingston. “If Doug has 12 beers, which used to sell for $1.25 each, and he uses his position as the PREMIER OF THE EFFING PROVINCE to influence and threaten breweries into knocking the price down to $1 per beer for a couple of weeks so he can claim some sort of false victory for the everyman, how much credibility does Doug have left?”
Many Ontarians say that they would find the whole Buck-A-Better-Not-Look-At-What-Else-We’re-Doing-To-Your-Province less galling if it was the first time Mr. Ford took a basic math problem and turned it into a talent contest in which he forgets the words to the Beach Boys song ‘Barbara Ann.’ But still wins because people liked his brother.
“His entire campaign hinged on not showing his work,” said Tiffany Troble, a parent in Scarborough. “Of course he has it in for teachers.”
While many within the school board have already expressed concerns about the snitch line (which also has a handy online submission form that can be found at UndercutTheOnePersonOtherThanYouWhoCaresAboutYourKid.ca) other teachers operating outside of the main education system have also stated confusion over the initiative.
“I’m just not sure I feel comfortable lodging a complaint regarding myself,” says home schooler Joanne McFreely, mother of three totally normal students who just love hanging with their mom all day. “Nor do I feel that officially registering my insecurities regarding my skills as a teacher is a particularly good use of government resources.”
Perhaps fittingly, today’s announcement coincided with the thickest haze of irony the province has seen this decade. The laden air filled in almost immediately after Doug Ford somehow managed to say without laughing that: “We will not tolerate anyone using our children,” here he paused, checked the ground for signs of opening/swallowing politicians whole, before boldly wrapping up, “as pawns for grandstanding and political games.”