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You Must Lie To Belong

A Non-Conformist Speaks

He’s 30, by the way. And a teacher, obviously.

When not telling the world that “professional dress codes are inherently racist, sexist, and rooted in white supremacy,” and failing to grade papers on time, a shortcoming that crops up repeatedly, Mr Segal likes to paint his nails, play dress-up in class, and talk about the state of his mental health. A topic also revisited more than once. 

Update, via the comments, where Alice asks,

Are there any actual grown-ups left in the teaching profession?

I’d imagined that one of the functions of dress codes and broader expectations of workplace professionalism is that they help to filter out the delinquent narcissists. People who just can’t get over themselves. Say, 30-year-old men who like to bemuse 12-year-olds by playing dress-up in class, announcing how “non-binary” they are, and painting their nails.

And not, in fact, to bolster some phantom “white supremacy.”

And again, as so often, the above does make one wonder about Mr Segal’s focus on the task at hand and his priorities, which seem to extend no further than himself. Or themself, I suppose. It doesn’t seem unfair to wonder if the children - the children he’s employed to educate - exist primarily as a captive and uncritical audience, there to applaud his self-preoccupation. The hashtags #tiktokteacher and #teachersoftiktok feature prominently, however, the only video I could find in which Mr Segal speaks of what the children in his care have learned in class – a topic you’d think might be mentioned occasionally - involved the children feeling obliged to regurgitate his contrived pronouns.

Readers may wish to reflect on what it must be like to be a man in his thirties whose regular purchases still include blue and green hair dye. Or a man in his thirties who regularly films himself miming to pop records and who uploads the results to TikTok in search of approval. As not-at-all-arrested educators do.

Also, open thread. Share ye links and bicker.