'I can't go to the fair without someone creating a career-ending assumption based on the fact that I carried an elephant and have a bear in my car?' they asked.
We live in a world where people have come to become more cautious and alert to their surroundings. While that is a good measure, it can also lead to misunderstandings when there are no ill intentions. Reddit user u/The2008FordFusion had a story that went along these lines where they were mistaken for being a predator at a fair. The individual begins by stating that he is 24 years old and is an elementary school teacher.
He states that he has to be "extra careful" at his job because of many stereotypes, even going to the extent of teaching with the door open. The individual shared that he keeps a giant teddy bear that his ex-girlfriend gifted him in the passenger seat of his car as he thought it looked hilarious. He writes, "I've gotten compliments, laughs and even quite a few people took pictures of it. That's it."
The individual only recently started teaching and managed to land a grant position at a reputed district. He bonded well with the students, fellow teachers and the administrative staff. He even managed to connect with the superintendent of the school. The individual enjoyed his brief stint at the school but realized that they did not have any positions open for the following year and left by the end of his first year at the school.
Time passed, and the individual happened to visit a fair with his entire family, including his niece. After partaking in many of the games at the fair, he managed to win her a "big cute stuffed elephant." The little girl wanted to go for other rides and the individual offered to hold her bag and the stuffed toy. He says, "It was a nice, uneventful event where I was with my entire family for the entire time. Great."
But things were about to take a turn for the worse. The individual joined a school in a different district and was setting up his room when he received a call from his old superintendent. They exchanged greetings and the man soon stated that he was calling the individual out of respect for their relationship. The individual noted that the man's tone had changed and inquired if he needed his attorney on the call.
The superintendent said that was not needed and he just wanted to clear something up. They wrote, "Apparently, some employee from my old school had seen me at the fair carrying a girl's backpack and stuffed elephant. That employee was concerned that I was trying to 'lure children.'" The individual states in the post that he would not even think of doing such a thing and was disgusted at their assumption about him.
The individual then expressed frustration over being misunderstood while spending time with their family. He laments about how people make assumptions based on very few facts. He concluded by expressing a bit of concern about the entire incident and said that it was one of the "wackiest" situations he's ever been in.
Other people on the platform found the individual's concerns valid and shared their support in the comments section. u/Gordonsan commented, "It's the double standard of being a male teacher. It's infuriating." Another Reddit user, u/Realistic-Resolve246, said, "It's ridiculous how there are so many in our profession begging for teachers, yet they have no shame in trying to screw over the thing they're begging for."