One time, while trying to impress my 3rd grade class, I accidently almost got my parents arrested for child abuse.
Social studies always bored me the most. I was a super overachiever kid in a dirt poor rural elementary school. I got bored easily in class and would ask questions that were most in depth than my teacher could answer, flustering them. Today in social studies the teacher droned on about slavery - something to do with the civil war, I guess? Some average-reading level kid stumbled over a paragraph in our kiddie textbook about how the slaves had it rough, sometimes got beaten with whips...
My first-grade brother owned a bull whip! Santa AKA my dad (I never believed in Santa growing up. JUDGE ME MOMMY BLOGGERS.) got it for him for Christmas and my mother was appalled. This is not some sort of kinky, sexy, wow-your-familys-weird type whip. I think it was from a Cracker Barrel. This was a real manly bull whip, braided leather, wooden handle, made for rugged adventure and wrangling livestock. Sadly, we possessed no livestock on our quaint little cul-de-sac, so my brother usually resulted to wrangling me.
My teacher said something to the effect of "isn't that sad? How would you feel if you were a slave?" Something basic and banal, trying to get the class of ragamuffins engaged.
I raised my hand.
"Yeah guys, being whipped with a bull whip REALLY HURTS. It leaves big ugly welts and the initial hit isn't as bad as the stinging afterwards. The stinging's the worst."
My teacher stared at me in horror, while I daydreamed off, congratulating myself for making a "personal connection to the lesson." That was a good thing. We were encouraged to connect to what we learned about in class.
The teacher met my mom at the door at the end of the day. This was mildly annoying, as I wanted to leave right away and she blocked my path to my mom. All the other kids got to leave and I was hanging out at my desk alone. Probably talking about what a great student I was, I though.
My mom later explained that my teacher was ready to call social services, one of those 1998 cell phones in hand. Why does your daughter know what it's like to be BEATEN with a bull whip? (And I thought I was dramatic.) Is she in danger? What have you been doing to her? She announced it to the whole class, ect ect.
Apparently my mom had a long, mortifying conversation about the Christmas present, this was all Dr. Dad's poor judgment (ha!), and it would never happen again. Being a small, close-knit town, the teacher believed my mom but told her she'd keep an eye out. That crazy doctor family, she probably thought.
That night the bull whip got put in permanent time out and I never saw this again.
While accidently framing my mother for my brother's Indiana Jones-esque mischief is funny, real child abuse is no laughing matter. Check out http://www.preventchildabuse.org/ or your local domestic abuse shelter for more information in your area.