My students debated the tobacco bill today. It got pretty heated.

All students were representatives, yet, unlike the House, there was no time limit on debate. Students who weren’t in class to present testimony or react to it could make up some credit by speaking up during this class setting.

I simply observed. I had assigned a student in each class to moderate the debate and keep people shut up if they didn’t have the floor.

One student, indignant at the restrictive parts of the bill, let everyone know what we think.

If you want to smoke cigarettes and get cancer and die, it’s your choice. If you don’t want to breathe second-hand smoke, you aren’t paralyzed — walk out of the room.

He’s the one who did his presidential candidate presentation on Ron Paul. You probably could have guessed.

Surpisingly, one of my better students agreed. A veritable Scrooge, she is.

I agree. We’re overpopulated, anyway.

Where are we? The Republican caucus? I’ve never seen such a distinct lack of bleeding hearts in one sitting.

Thankfully, at least one student wasn’t happy with this sentiment, and let loose without even being recognized by the Speaker of the House.

I hope you get addicted to tobacco and die. Did you even do any research?

She would have continued, but Mr. Chairman banged on the table his crab-hammer-cum-gavel pretty harshly right about then.

I love being a fly on the wall in situations like this.

Moral of the story? Sometimes, students deal better with students than teachers do.


  1. That’s really funny, she should get extra credit.

  2. It amazes me how quickly a student, put into the role of the teacher becomes “teacher-like.” About once a week, I put a student in charge of an activity. The kids seem to pay more attention and learn more. And, I always enjoy sitting back and watching the interaction.

  3. “I hope you get addicted to tobacco and die. Did you even do any research?”

    That was something which should be told to all tobacco barons. I don’t understand why some people can sell poison for money .. while others consume it for no reason.

    anyways // nice post there..

  4. Students do very well with this sort of responsibility. The best part is if you select one of the unmanageable students to manage the class — gets rid of two headaches at once.

  5. “I agree. We’re overpopulated, anyway.”

    No, we’re not.

    And that’s the reason I could never teach, especially in the government run school system. Idiot comments like that would drive me to alcoholism.

  6. I thought it rather egregious, myself. If her peer hadn’t called her on it, I would have later.




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