I will never forget the first welcoming words I heard in the Rubber Room.
"Are you normal"?
What she really meant to say is, "Do you belong here"?
Since I have been in the RR I have read these words from people who are criticizing the BloomKlein Department of Education:
"Of course SOME teachers should NOT be in the classroom, but..."
"Of course SOME teachers SHOULD be in the Rubber Room, but..."
It is scapegoating pure and simple. Teachers are setting themselves against other teachers and constructing an US vs THEM divide within the profession. This just makes it easier for BloomKlein to destroy the our union and the public education system.
But what I have found to be even sadder, is that Rubber Room detainees themselves do it to each other.
"She belongs here".
"That behavior is what got him here".
Why shouldn't they when the union leadership does the same thing.
"Everyone in the Rubber Room has done something. Maybe not what they are accused of, but something". These are words of a high-ranking Union official.
The notion that we are considered guilty by virtue of being accused of something, creates an atmosphere of shame and distrust that engenders a Rubber Room culture of fear, anger, and loathing.
The social norm in the Rubber Room is not the norm of the polite middle class society that we come from. As soon as we come here, we make a few friends, then stake out our territory and defend it. Why? Because everybody else is doing the same thing. I am told that this is how people in prison behave. That makes sense, because, like prisoners, we are accused of wrongdoing, and we are no longer productive and respected members of society.
We are OTHER.
Wherever they send me in the fall, I will probably be treated as OTHER by those who are not under investigation, but that will be preferable to being treated as OTHER by those who are. Up until now I have not written about the misbehavior of my Rubber Room colleagues because the only thing that would achieve would be for people to say,
"You see, that's why they belong in the Rubber Room and not in a classroom".
Why help BloomKlein destroy our reputations? Why blame the victims?
But now that they are closing the Rubber Room, it is necessary to reveal how cruel and destructive it really was.
Caged monkeys don't cooperate very well, but who can blame them?