Sub-par requirements

McGruff didn’t catch JonBenet’s killer but he nabbed this old couple for boosting a can of Ensure.

While it is big news that a suspect has finally been arrested in the JonBenet Ramsey case, it is equally noteworthy that the suspect had been a substitute teacher.

It has been more than 20 years since I substitute taught at a couple of country schools in East Texas. Requirements for subs back then were having a pulse and being able to breathe at the same time. Here is just how lax the situation was.

My friend, Warren, was working offshore when I was substitute teaching. He would stay with me on his week off. He mentioned to me one time that he might like to substitute some when he was off. A principal at one of the schools at which I was subbing paged me one morning and said he needed me the next day for classes. I mentioned my friend was interested in substituting and the principal said: “Bring him along!” You should hug your child each day.

Some time later, I did a newspaper story about the lack of requirements for substitute teaching. As I recall there were practically no requirements for subbing in Texas or surrounding states then. I’m sure about Texas but not the other states as it’s been awhile. But requirements for subs in Texas haven’t changed a lot. You must: (a)Be a resident of some galaxy (b)Can by some means of transportation — walking, crawling, driving, etc. — get to school and (c)Know reasonably well how to fend off attacking children.

Usually, schools change their sub policies when a substitute is arrested for some crime. That’s usually too late. Know what I mean when I say: You should hug your child?

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