As a retired instructor for adults and children, I experienced a situation which brought about a controversial book. Any instructor can tell you stories about what happens when two students don’t get alone. No big deal, it’s a part of life. However there was one student conflict which if words could kill, there would’ve been a murder.
It became clear while teaching basic tax classes in the San Francisco Bay Area there are deeply hidden negative emotion which when brought to the surface was like no emotion I’d ever seen in 20 years of being an instructor.
As an instructor you learn to identify and help smooth over common dislikes between students within your classes. The instructor will try to make sure both students feel welcome and comfortable. After all a tax classroom is for the benefit of all Americans. All Americans regardless of background must answer to the IRS on some level.
It was this new emotional dislike which I didn’t fully understand that promoted me to write one of my first short-fictions. Murder By Choice. In this short read, a beautiful young woman is murdered by her boyfriend after he finds her in a compromising position with another female student.
It was during a tax class when I identify a deeply hidden dislike of one young man towards another female student who reported that she was gay. The dislike towards this young woman was so intense, it upset the emotional status of the entire class. Why she felt the need to expose her personal life is beyond me. We always go around the room and have each student tell a little about themselves. Why the male student responded to this young woman so negatively was even more surprising.
The class continued for 4 weeks without a major incident. But on the 5th seek, stress levels were high. Short term tax classes provide a lot of information in a short period of time. Homework and concentration is mandatory to succeed. To this day, I’m not exactly sure of what was said before the class started, but the male student threatened the female student’s life. The threat was precise and targeted. There was little angry in his voice which was cold and calculating. I immediately wondered if he’d killed before? He tolerated me I suppose because I’m straight, but he drew the line when it came to women of women. As the leader of the class, for the first time in my teaching career. I couldn’t protect one of my students.
I asked both students to leave the class. That was the “coward way out” for me. I didn’t want to deal with it. The male student frighten me. His dislike was so strong he shattered my ability to be in control of the class in his presence. Being a minority, it was at that moment I realized the dislike for women of women is far greater than the standard dislike of minorities as a whole. This was a whole new dislike which overflowed into the ears and minds of every person in the class. This occurred over 7 years ago. I waited until I retired to write the book, but I never forgot the incident. Thus I wrote, Murder By Choice, A Warning for Some . . . . . Entertainment for Others. (The information has been changed to protect the innocent.)