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Education

People are sharing things teachers did in the '80s and '90s that would 'never fly' now

Students and teachers had different relationships back then.

1980s schools, 1990s schools, teachers

Eaglebrook School, Deerfield, Massachusetts.

The typical kid’s experience in school is a lot different today than it was 30 to 40 years ago. It’s hard to say whether things are better or worse, but there’s been a sea change in how children are raised.

One negative development is that teachers tend to think parents are more likely to side with their kids over faculty in disputes than they were decades ago. On the positive side, corporal punishment is on the decrease, so students are much less likely to be physically punished for breaking the rules.

A Reddit user with the username u/theSandwichSister asked the ‘80s and ‘90s kids on the forum, “What’s something a school teacher did to you that would not fly today?” A lot of the responses were about the type of physical punishment and humiliation that used to happen in schools that would never happen these days.


There were also a lot of posts about teachers who smoked around their students. Can you imagine a kindergarten teacher lighting up in front of their students these days? They’d be fired in a flash.

Overall, the responses show that schools are a lot more concerned with the mental and emotional health of their students these days, which is a wonderful improvement. Schools also seem to be much more friendly environments to students who are people of color, LGBTQ or have disabilities.

Here are 17 of the best responses to the question, “What’s something a school teacher did to you that would not fly today?”

1.

"Not a teacher, but school one. If you read enough books during the year in elementary school you got to have a sleepover in the library. Like we brought sleeping bags and slept on the floor. In the morning they had griddles out and we made pancakes. I know, total nerds, but it was my favorite elementary school memory." — 7askingforafriend

2.

"My elementary school principal would pull loose teeth. You could go to his office, have him pull your loose tooth and he would give you a lollipop." — snowfuckerforreal

3.

"I told my biology teacher that I wasn't feeling too well, he said that I didn't look sick, and as punishment made me stand in the corner until I fainted." — AustrianReaper

4.

"In high school, we would sometimes play knee soccer which was in our wrestling room (wall to wall wrestling mats) and was really just handball but on our knees. The PE teacher (football coach) let us play rough since it was an all male class and we were on our knees and couldn't do too much damage. During the game, two of the students were grappling for the ball and as these things go, one of them accidentally knocked the other a little too aggressively. The kid that got hit (an known asshole of the school) got pissed and stood up and kicked the other kid.

The PE teacher (225lb jacked military hair cut) stormed over and shoved the kid who flew about 10 feet before crashing to the ground. The kid gets up ready to fight whoever shoved him and the teacher had closed the gap and started screaming at him. Then the teacher lectured the entire class about sportsmanship and honor. The teacher never got in any trouble." — hangingonwith2fingers

5.

"In 5th grade, I was called to the office at my public school. I was a goody two-shoes so I had no idea why I was called, so I started tearing up thinking something bad must've happened to my family. Eventually, I was ushered into a room as my two best friends left. The principal and 2 other staff members then sat me down and showed me a piece of paper. It was a silly poem I wrote one of my friends about a good witch who granted wishes by mixing together some mundane ingredients. Apparently, their mother found the poem and complained to the school. Their response was to interview my friends about MY RELIGION." — ktbunny

6.

"6th grade teacher Ms. Sullivan would take 3 kids every Friday to McDonald’s for lunch. She was cool as hell. Smoked during the drive and everything." — SigP365SAS


7.

"My 3rd grade teacher had the whole class camp in her backyard after the last day of school. She took us to see the original TMNT movie in the theater, then we stayed up late telling ghost stories. One of my absolute fondest memories." — Cambot1138

8.

"Yeah, there are a lot of negative things in this thread, which makes sense, but there are some 'cool teacher' things that we lost too. I got a ride home from school once from a male teacher in middle school (I'm female) when it was pouring rain and my mom wouldn't come get me, but I bet that's not allowed these days." — rabidstoat

9.

"English teacher in high school used to cuss kids out for being noisy in class and if that didn't work, he'd throw the blackboard eraser at us. I wasn't on the receiving end of the eraser. That chalk would leave marks on kid's backs for the rest of the day so everyone knew who pissed off Mr Charvet." — Roscoe_Cracks_Corn

 

10.

"7th-grade science class, the teacher walked around with a beaker full of mercury and told us to stick a finger in it to feel how dense it was. Then he gave us each our own penny-size drop of mercury to play with at our desks, so we could see how it moved. I’m sure we were poisoned that day. Nowadays if a thermometer breaks they clear the school." — weirdkid71

11.

"Not something done to me per se, but my 3rd grade teacher had a little office with a door inside our classroom, and she would smoke cigarettes in there while we were at lunch/recess." — HutSutRawlson

 

12.

"Cheese Day in the Midwest. It was in first grade. For an entire day, all you ate was cheese. Cheese puffs, curls, sticks, slices, balls, and Doritos. Drank orange Hi-C as well. For 10+ years, smelling that fake cheese made me gag. After her wedding, and the birth of her son, my sister says Cheese Day the best day of her life. Wasn’t Wisconsin either." — 2_Spicy_2_Impeach

13.

"They told us Pluto was a planet." — Representative-Fig96

14.

"Best math teacher ever made us say numerator/denominator in Schwarzenegger voices as we were learning fractions." — kittensington

15.

"High School, we were on campus, drove a van to the locker rooms because I was with The QB, Linebacker and a couple of linemen who needed to get crap from their lockers. We were drinking beer in the van, it was 1:30, the football coach sees us, stops the van, looks inside and sees the beer, and shook his head and told us to be careful and get off campus. I don’t think that would fly today." — kentro2002

16.

"A lot of people are posting bad stuff, so let me share a good one. In 9th grade, in 1984, I had a class analyzing lyrics in pop music. Students brought in records by Led Zep and John Cougar and we'd discuss what they meant. Seriously a life-changing class. It makes me sad that younger students in America are so caught up in the rat race that they never had experiences like that." — Adventuresphere

 

17.

"I had an awesome teacher who would send one of us to the shop (just a minute’s walk away) with enough money to get ice creams for everybody whenever it was hot and she didn’t feel like teaching." — wanderingsteph


This article originally appeared on 08.30.22

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Scientists tested 3 popular bottled water brands for nanoplastics using new tech, and yikes

The results were alarming—an average of 240,000 nanoplastics per 1 liter bottle—but what does it mean for our health?

Suzy Hazelwood/Canva

Columbia University researchers tested bottled water for nanoplastics and found hundreds of thousands of them.

Evian, Fiji, Voss, SmartWater, Aquafina, Dasani—it's impressive how many brands we have for something humans have been consuming for millennia. Despite years of studies showing that bottled water is no safer to drink than tap water, Americans are more consuming more bottled water than ever, to the tune of billions of dollars in bottled water sales.

People cite convenience and taste in addition to perceived safety for reasons they prefer bottle to tap, but the fear factor surrounding tap water is still a driving force. It doesn't help when emergencies like floods cause tap water contamination or when investigations reveal issues with lead pipes in some communities, but municipal water supplies are tested regularly, and in the vast majority of the U.S., you can safely grab a glass of water from a tap.

And now, a new study on nanoplastics found in three popular bottled water brands is throwing more data into the bottled vs. tap water choice.

Researchers from Columbia University used a new laser-guided technology to detect nanoplastics that had previously evaded detection due to their miniscule size. The new technology can detect, count and analyze and chemical structure of nanoparticles, and they found seven different major types of plastic: polyamide, polypropylene, polyethylene, polymethyl methacrylate, polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene, and polyethylene terephthalate.

In contrast to a 2018 study that found around 300 plastic particles in an average liter of bottled water, the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in January of 2024 found 240,000 nanoplastic particles per liter bottle on average between the three brands studied. (The name of the brands were not indicated in the study.)

As opposed to microplastics, nanoplastics are too small to be seen by microscope. Their size is exactly why experts are concerned about them, as they are small enough to invade human cells and potentially disrupt cellular processes.

“Micro and nanoplastics have been found in the human placenta at this point. They’ve been found in human lung tissues. They’ve been found in human feces; they’ve been found in human blood,” study coauthor Phoebe Stapleton, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Rutgers University’s Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy told CNN Health,

We know that nanoplastics are making their way into our bodies. We just don't have enough research yet on what that means for our health, and we still have more questions than answers. How many nanoplastics does it take to do damage and/or cause disease? What kinds of damage or disease might they cause? Is whatever effect they might have cumulative? We simply don't have answers to these questions yet.

That's not to say there's no cause for concern. We do know that certain levels of microplastic exposure have been shown to adversely affect the viability of cells. Nanoplastics are even smaller—does that mean they are more likely to cause cellular damage? Science is still working that out.

According to Dr. Sara Benedé of the Spanish National Research Council’s Institute of Food Science Research, it's not just the plastics themselves that might cause damage, but what they may bring along with them. “[Microparticles and nanoparticles] have the ability to bind all kinds of compounds when they come into contact with fluids, thus acting as carriers of all kinds of substances including environmental pollutants, toxins, antibiotics, or microorganisms,” Dr. Benedé told Medical News Today.

Where is this plastic in water coming from? This study focused on bottled water, which is almost always packaged in plastic. The filters used to filter the water before bottling are also frequently made from plastic.

Is it possible that some of these nanoplastics were already present in the water from their original sources? Again, research is always evolving on this front, but microplastics have been detected in lakes, streams and other freshwater sources, so it's not a big stretch to imagine that nanoplastics may be making their way into freshwater ecosystems as well. However, microplastics are found at much higher levels in bottled water than tap water, so it's also not a stretch to assume that most of the nanoplastics are likely coming from the bottling process and packaging rather than from freshwater sources.

The reality is, though, we simply don't know yet.

“Based on other studies we expected most of the microplastics in bottled water would come from leakage of the plastic bottle itself, which is typically made of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic,” lead author Naixin Qian, a doctoral student in chemistry at Columbia University, told CNN Health. “However, we found there’s actually many diverse types of plastics in a bottle of water, and that different plastic types have different size distributions. The PET particles were larger, while others were down to 200 nanometers, which is much, much smaller.”

We need to drink water, and we need to drink safe water. At this point, we have plenty of environmental reasons for avoiding bottled water unless absolutely necessary and opting for tap water instead. Even if there's still more research to be done, the presence of hundreds of thousands of nanoplastics in bottled water might just be another reason to make the switch.

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