Teacher Allegedly Touches Girl With Banana, Suspended

It’s OK to stare at that headline for a little while.

Please, I can wait.

I know that some sets of words, even though they appear to have subjects, objects and verbs, still fail to fit in any file we have stored in our brains.

This tale, though, may continue to defy your files, even when you have more facts.

So let’s start with an apparently fine teacher at North Marion High School in Florida.

He was conducting a lecture about Freud and, inevitably, “cylinder objects, phalluses and/or sex symbols.” At least that’s how Click Orlando describes it.

The fact that such a class may be taught in certain Florida schools might seem revelatory. In this case, however, at some point during the class it is said that Jonathan Hampton “rubbed a student’s head and neck area with a banana.”

At least this is what a letter suspending him without pay for three days reportedly says.

You might be wondering why a teacher might feel the need to rub a student’s head with a banana. I might be wondering too.

Jonathan Hampton.

Jonathan Hampton.

However, Hampton’s stepfather Mark Fieldelholtz — who happens to be a lawyer — wonders what the world might be coming to.

He says that his stepson cannot even remember touching this girl, any girl or anyone with a banana.

Fiedeholtz did add, though: “But if he did, it would be to get their attention.”

It might well be an attention-grabber, indeed.

As TV stations have interviewed parents, some have grabbed attention by expressing their utter disgust, outrage, indigestion and bile at this alleged form of attention-grabbing.

The school district told Click Orlando that the girl’s parents complained, as did the parents of other students.

Some might feel their own indigestion at discovering that it seems to have taken them three months to get around to complaining.

What might have taken them so, well, long?

Can they have been too immersed in the struggles and redemption of renowned former womanizer Tiger Woods?

Can the threat of the peculiarly fecund and phallic Burmese python have caused them many sleepless nights?

Might there have been a rash of local swingers’ parties that needed either to be attended or guarded against?

What does appear true is that no one seems keen to say precisely what Hampton did or didn’t do. Or why.

Fiedelholtz insists that the school found “no evidence of sexual connotation or intentionality touching the student against her will or to physically hurt the student in any way.”

Hampton is now back teaching. Which suggests that any allegations of base perversion might be baseless. He was, after all, Teacher Of The Year for the 2011-2012 season.

And yet he may be forever known as the teacher who was suspended for allegedly touching a student with a banana.

I feel sure that Freud, if only he was still breathing past his beard, might have offered an interpretation or two of this peculiar affair.






Image: Channel 6 Orlando Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk