Mountain Musings


Smokin’ In The Boys Room


I ran into former Rim High Principal Dave Nygren recently, while we were both having coffee with the cops at Snow Valley. I only say former principal because Dave was recently promoted to head up the Rim District’s Alternative Education program and serve as principal of Mountain High School.


For the uninitiated, Mountain High School is designed for students who need flexibility, such as pregnant students, students who work, those who travel and those who need flexibility for sports activities. This is something that I can relate to, having served as an alternative education teacher during my brief career in education, back in the 90s. So, naturally, Dave and I compared notes, he as an administrator and I as a teacher.


As an administrator, Dave doesn’t have to spend all day in the classroom with a group of alternative students. However, I did. This occurred around 1994, after I had subbed for Rim for a couple of years, then taught eighth-grade language arts for a semester, until I was let go because they had too many teachers. As an untenured teacher, I was on the short list of several teachers they no longer needed.


No biggie, as I was picked up by the County Superintendent of Schools as an alternative education teacher at Rim Forest Community School in a one-room schoolhouse, located next to Operation Provider. As such, I was a teacher/principal designee and janitor in a classroom hosting 12 to 18 students who had been removed from the traditional program at MPH and Rim High, in lieu of expulsion for disciplinary reasons. This was actually a cushy job, since all I had to do was teach multiple subjects, with a classroom aide who took roll and did most of the paperwork, with the exception of grading assignments.


The kids weren’t all that bad, not compared to the ones I would teach later on in San Bernardino, some of whom were sent there for smokin’ in the boys room.


“Sittin’ in the classroom, thinkin’ it’s a drag, listening to the teacher rap just ain’t my bag. By the two bells ring, you know it’s my cue, I’m gonna meet the boys on floor number two. Smokin’ in the boys room, smokin’ in the boys room.” (“Smokin’ In The Boys Room” – Mötley Crüe – 1985)


When the Rim district took over the county’s alternative ed program around 1994, I was transferred to San Andreas High School in San Bernardino, where I was teaching mostly gangbangers and other homicidal maniacs, many of whom eventually ended up in prison or were killed in drive-by shootings. Needless to say, I burned out and ended my teaching career after 10 years of fights breaking out in the classroom and students reminding me that they could find out where I live.


“Nah, nah, nah teacher, don’t fill me up with your rules, everybody knows smokin’ ain’t allowed in school.”


Keep it flyin’, Uncle Mott