Gum, Lies, & Middle School
Thinking maybe I'd seen wrong, I said, "Well, whatever the purple thing is, keep it in your pocket."
"I didn't have anything in my hand."
"I saw it in your hand. Now that you lied, I'm going to have to take it."
She just stares at me, refusing to hand over the candy.
"Give it to me." I put out my hand.
She turns over a piece of candy in a purple wrapper.
I tell this story at lunch. Another teacher says, "Oh, let me tell you what happened this morning."
She saw a girl take something out of her pocket with a very guilty look on her face. This girl's facial expressions always give her away, so the teacher walked over to investigate.
"What are you doing?"
"Nothing." Big wad of something in her cheek.
"What are you chewing?"
"Nothing! I don't have anything in my mouth!"
"Go spit it out."
"I don't have anything in my mouth! Why are you always accusing me?!"
"Okay, open your mouth, then."
(Most kids would have swallowed by now).
"Open your mouth."
The girl backed down and opened her mouth. She had taken candy out of her pocket, and then realized she was going to get in trouble and probably would lose the candy, so she did what any quick-thinking twelve-year-old would do: stuffed all the candy, wrapper and all, into her mouth.
And then there was the girl who turned in to her English teacher, in January '06, work from a summer prep program. She crossed out the date (July '05) and claimed that the comments, in grown-up handwriting and red ink, were her mother's comments on her homework. Her back-up lie was that she'd brought this one in by mistake, had done the real assignment, but had accidently left it at home.