Free Speech

This Awesome Teacher Could Lose His Job For Saying 'Bullshit.' Why That's Bullshit.

Schools have lost their minds.



A Brookline, Massachusetts, middle school teacher has been suspended from his job—and might get fired—because he was overheard uttering the word, "bullshit." Frankly, that is bullshit.

Larry Chen teaches seventh grade at Michael Driscoll School. He's apparently very well-liked by his students: many staged an elaborate rally on his behalf. According to WBZ-TV:

"As soon as I heard I was in tears. It was so devastating to find out that such a beloved teacher could have been taken away from us in that way," says student Maya Sekhar.

An unconventional teacher, Chen has been out of the classroom for a couple of weeks. He was overheard using the longer version of the phrase "BS" in an after-hours conversation with high school students. If there's more to it nobody is saying because of confidentiality.

I called the school to ask for comment, and emailed the principal and vice principal. I also emailed Chen. No one responded immediately; I'll update this story if I hear back.

It's possible Chen did something else wrong—something very serious—and deserves to be fired. But he certainly shouldn't be let go for using very mildly inappropriate language on a single occasion.

Chen's case calls to mind Louisiana State University Professor Teresa Buchanan, who was fired a few months ago for infrequently using coarse language and telling sexual jokes to her students. There was an update to this story today: LSU's faculty voted to censure the administrators who fired Buchanan, the university president among them. They content that LSU trampled Buchanan's rights and had no reason to fire her.

Chen also seems to be getting some moral support—his union's president told local reporters that teachers should be allowed "to bring their very special and rich talents" into the classroom. I say good luck to Chen. His situation certainly seems like bullshit to me.

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  1. I realize Massachusettes is not New York, but I assumed they still had 800 layers of bureaucracy to deal with before firing a teacher.

    1. Not with this bullshit.

    2. Beat me to it

  2. But he certainly shouldn’t be let go for using very mildly inappropriate language on a single occasion.

    He can be let go for any reason his employer wants. Why is this so hard to understand?

    1. Except that you know perfectly well that union employees are not at-will employees. And teachers have more protection than the average employee.

      However, please note that RS is NOT saying “And there should be a law!” In fact, I think, but don’t know for sure, that RS would agree with you about who who should be able to fire who. Rather, he is saying “This is stupid. Isn’t this stupid? Who else thinks this is stupid.” Only a statist makes the leap from “This is stupid” to “We need to enforce, with guns, my opinions, and this is an opinion I want enforced with guns!”

    2. Why is it so hard for you to understand the difference between “shouldn’t be let go” and “shouldn’t be allowed to be let go”?

      1. Amazing how that distinction seems to so completely elude some people.

    3. He can be let go for any reason his employer wants. Why is this so hard to understand?

      But, but, that can’t be! He’s Union!

  3. Also, I think the sign is Doge. But I don’t know why.…..22/7bc.jpg


      2. Stop it. Stop. It.

  4. The school district sounds like a bunch of cunt lapping perverts who would suck the pus out of a boil right between the cooch and the shit chute of a two bit whore.

    1. So…chipper?

    2. Well, doing that is actually more fun that it sounds. Not that I know from experience, or anything.

  5. Larry Chen teaches seventh grade…

    Are we sure Mr. Chen wasn’t just complaining about the birdshit on the school playground?

    1. Damn, you beat me to it lol

  6. “Larry Chen”

    Are they sure he wasn’t talking about his chicken?

  7. Bullshit like this didn’t happen back in the 1970s. It was Peak Freedom. Except for the slavery and denial of property rights for married women.

    1. Nor the 80s. Hell, all the cool teachers swore.

  8. Perhaps the pedagogue should have employed “disguised defecation” (I coined that back in the fall of 1983) or “fake feces”.

    1. Fucking historical coinage has such an authentic ring when it’s tossed on the marble of contemporary musings, bro.

      1. Besides that being another brilliant AC observation, it is quite the turn of phrase.

        With your consent, it will now be incorporated into the libertymike vernacular. Rest assured, being the linguistic snot that I am, I will not allow its use to become hackneyed.

        1. With Brookline’s proximity to Boston Latin, merda taurina would be most appropriate, no? It could even be Bowdlerized* to stercus taurinum.

          *I am aware that the primary denotation of “Bowdlerized” implies expurgation; however, it has taken a secondary meaning of modification. And I’m too lazy to think of a synonym.

          1. Stercus sanctum, I was just thinking of you when I was responding to the one guy here who could hang with you for overall brilliance (no slight on all of the other great intellects here).

            As for Bowdlerized, me thinks that one can easily demonstrate that its secondary uses have stretched beyond modification. How about theatric releases when formatted for television? How about a WWE where the wrestlers are not on the juice? How about Shakespeare without the naughty wit of Sir Toby Belch? Better yet: How about an H&R without Epi, Warty, and the Woodchippers?

            1. How about an H&R without Epi, Warty, and the Woodchippers?

              Stop giving Nick ideas!

            2. Okay, expurgation applies to my examples, but secondary uses of bowdlerize have morphed into “watered down”, “(whatever the original) lite” and the like.

          2. What’s latin for “upper decker”?

  9. A tiny bullshit this. A very fucking micro ‘bullshit’ uttered from the orifice of a mature male with teaching logistics has the power of butterfly wings to alter the entire goddamn climate of that school ecosystem, man. Poincare was such a dip. He’s obviously never walked the filthy biomes of public school hallways in the fucking 21st century the goddamn historical fuck. I love filth tho. I love filth like pussy, booze, and pudding. Kudos for the ‘bullshit’, teach.

  10. Oh bullshit! Private schools should be able to hire and fire at whatever whim captures them at the time.

    1. Yes, but:

      1) Pretty sure this is a public school and
      2) Whether they SHOULD hire and fire at whatever whim captures them is an entirely different question.

        1. Wait…what if Mr. Chen actually said g?up??

          1. In 2018?

            In that case I suspect it would, ahem, pass .

        2. Public school? That shit should not exist!

      1. Sounds like a slippery slope Reason is taking here, just like they did with government licensing of relationships.

  11. Unconventional teacher.

    I smell a rat. If there is one thing I have noticed about the culture in public schools it is that highly effective teachers are frowned upon by their colleagues, especially unconventional ones and it is even worse if the students like them. They were dying to get rid of this guy and finally got something on him. That is my guess.

    1. Sounds about right.

    2. A good guess at that.

      My guess is that you have seen that in your experience.

      It happened to my 12th grade (1980-81) physics teacher. It was the best I ever did any type of hard core science class. He was charming, funny, thoughtful, and loved to teach, in part, because he loved to think.

      He would smoke pot with us……at his house! He was in his first year teaching at age 27. He was not fired that first year, it took several years, probably 5 or 6, before they got him. From what I heard, it was a bunch of things – he was such a good teacher, loved by his students, and he bent the rules.

    3. Possibly, Suthenboy.

      I know we are acting upon speculation here, yet this “stinks” (as you have pointed out) to be another case of a very popular and effective teacher being trampled for a passing remark which, if taken in context, would seem harmless to most reasonable persons.

      Hopefully Soave or one of us will be able to provide an update/more details in the near future.

  12. Unfortunately, there is usually another reason behind (potential) firings like this, whether it’s that he actually did something really bad, or someone has it out for him, or whatever.

    I had a gym teacher in grade school who was just the best teacher ever. And he was a gym teacher! All the students loved him and he seemed very popular with the other staff. He also coached the girls’ soccer team, and he had the team over one night for a team spaghetti dinner or something. Well, one or two of the girls went into his fridge and got a bottle of beer and drank it. No big deal, but their parents found out and it suddenly blew up to the point where he was getting fired. My mom, who was pretty influential in the school, tried to go to the mat for him (he lived down the street from us and my parents were friends with him), but he still got fired. When I asked her why, when he didn’t even do anything, she said “one of the parents has it out for him and won’t back off”. And that was it: great teacher, gone.

    1. My father’s much younger wife was a teacher in the Houston area. When she was doing that it seemed like every month there was another scandal about a teacher, usually allegations of sexual impropriety. Most of the time the allegations were obviously false but the teacher’s lives were made into a living hell anyway.

      Apologies to all teachers who might read this, but you have rocks in your head for choosing that profession.

      1. My brother was a music teacher for some years and he got so fed up with all the bullshit he left the profession entirely. I once thought of teaching German but thankfully his example wised me up.

      2. I am a teacher and I agree!! It is not the greatest profession when it comes to creativity or teaching the PROPER (what I deem)way. Problem is I picked a career path at 18 years old. If I were smarter I would have skipped a 4 year college and went into something I could make more money at and have more creative freedom. I have many great ideas to teach social studies and history but they would never fly with the top down edicts of curriculum designed by people who have never taught a day in their lives. As you can tell I do not teach English or grammar.

        And my student loan debt I foolishly took out keeps me from trying another career path for at least another 5 years.

    2. My mom, who was pretty influential in the school, tried to go to the mat for him

      Now we now the truth: Epi’s gym teacher did his mom.

  13. The word, “bullshit,” is a form of micro-aggression against steer, is triggering to anyone who’s ever been traumatized by stepping in poop, and is a form of hate speech that is harassing and demeaning to anyone suffering from a truth deficiency syndrome.

    This man clearly deserve to be punished. Damn hate monger

    1. “This man clearly deserve to be punished. Damn hate monger”

      By omitting a period after your final sentence, Number 2, you have othered those who have periods, those who had periods and no longer have them, those of us who want to be women and experience periods but cannot due to the fundamental patriarchy of a male creator, and so on.

      I suggest that you offer a complete and utter retraction, apologize for any distress that your actions may have caused, and undertake not to repeat any such aggression (written, verbal, or otherwise) at any time in the future.

      Please take a major-pause (as opposed to a mini-pause) to contemplate the error of your ways.

      Thank you.

  14. How do I reach these keeds?

    1. +1 cheating patriots coach (whose name I don’t even try to spell anymore)

      1. I fucked up. I surmised with a consequential quickness that the lovely playa was bespoking upon his offspring that additionally I also surmised with an INconsequential quickness had long ago spurned him under the bending leafless trees on the windswept streets glittering with weeks of rain and gloom due to some longlost temporary mental sickness that left lovely playa reflecting in a mountain retreat with a blanket over his legs on a balcony with chamomile served from the fingers of a lovely blonde svelte nurse as he sought the lines of mountains and skies for relief per the advice of his therapist who was fucking his wife.

        I fucked up. So life cranks on, brotha.

    2. Sandwich love dripping with cheesy airplaines. Fried green tomatoes and fucking Jenga. Old horror movies and popcorn popped in an actual fucking pan with real Irish butter and a couch with one seat that acts like a fucking victim to the ass that once sat on it Andre the Lord Giant- RIP lovely planet man. Fishing for bullheads at 2 am near a sketchy bridge at the county line with a fucking real lantern and not that LED shit you buy from Walmart. Fixing curvaceous steel and iron that is unfixable in a dilapidated garage on a dead end dirt road lined with super green trees with white flowers saying hello to tons of invisible people with a poster of the hottest ass with the smallest bikini on the wall and sips of jasmine tinged moonshine making the rounds… dead end street, brah.

      1. Is the street a dead end if it has a mutli-dimensional ambidextrous expandable flexible pliable retractable cul-de-sac?

        1. This street you speak of libertymike is a road paved with neon globs with wings flapping like jaded demons flipping dimensional portals about like sparks flying from satan’s ass. So streets get confused on their directions and shit and get all flight with arms and fingerlings and rapid rabbit offshoots sliding into the mouths of awaiting monstrous creatures yet discovered by ‘average’ people.

      2. Good Evening, A C!

        Man, you take Don Van Vliet’s belladonna rock to new levels. Take care, and carry on.

        “It’s night now and the moon looks like uh dandelion
        It’s black now ‘n the blackbirds feedin’ on rice
        ‘n his red wings look like diamonds ‘n lice
        I could hear the mice toes scamperin’
        Gophers rumblin’ in pile crater rock hole
        One red bean stuck in the bottom of uh tin bowl
        Hot coffee from uh krimpt up can
        Me ‘n my girl named Bimbo Limbo Spam”

      3. AC,
        Are you Bob Dylan’s vomit?

  15. Suffy SoMo is not going to liek that.

    1. Suffy “Sukmi” SoMo?

  16. he obviously wasn’t thinking of the children…and that’s bullshit.

  17. The real reason they want to fire him is because he used the word “bullshit” to describe the new school policy of requiring trigger warnings on algebra textbooks so that math challenged kids do not have their feelings hurt for being dumb asses.

  18. Oh my God, that’s ridiculous! We all make mistakes and it’s not a mistake for which a teacher can be fired! Okay, for saying that he could get a warning or an unpleasant conversation with director of the school, but this is awful. The thing is that if he is a good teacher, he will get a job without even applying to top military resume writers but for his students it’s going to be a big loss. I would recommend the school management to think well before making such a stupid decision.

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