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Poland teacher suspended for showing video to sixth graders

Published: Thu, May 22, 2014 @ 12:06 a.m.

By Denise Dick



A McKinley Elementary School teacher’s teaching certificate has been suspended for 60 days after she was accused of showing a video to her classes that contained age-inappropriate content without previewing it first.

Linda Angelo, 61, signed a consent agreement filed this week with the Ohio Department of Education, agreeing to the suspension. The suspension is for two years with all but 60 days suspended. It will run from June 12 to Aug. 11.

During that time, she is prohibited from performing any educational activities, coaching activities or other duties that require ODE certification or licensure.

The video, shown to sixth-graders in Angelo’s classes last school year, “Pompeii — Life and Death in a Roman Town,” includes profanity, drawings of people performing sex acts and drawings and sculptures of male genitalia.

Angelo couldn’t be reached to comment, and Ron Rowe, president of the Poland teachers’ union, declined to comment.

Superintendent David Janofa said she has been on sick leave since Feb. 3. He wasn’t working in the district when the incident occurred, but he said it generated complaints from parents. Angelo was issued a letter of reprimand at that time. She went on sick leave at the end of last year.

She returned to the classroom this year.

Paul Sherman’s daughter was one of the students in the class, and he said the girl was very upset.

“She was tremendously upset by it,” he said. “She knew there was no way her mother and I would want her to see something like that.”

Some students were walking out of the classroom, Sherman said.

He has mixed feelings about the consent agreement.

“Suspending a teacher during the summer is like suspending a snow-truck driver during June and July,” he said. “There’s no grit to it.”

Sherman doesn’t believe Angelo should be a teacher.

“I don’t wish her any ill; just retire and be done with it,” he said.

Sherman reviewed the video and called the school the next day. Angelo, who showed the video during social studies, was reassigned to English. In October, Sherman filed a formal complaint with the state, he said.

Janofa said that upon joining the district, he conducted his own investigation and then referred the matter to the state for review.

“It’s a movie that was shown to sixth-graders,” he said. “The content was not reviewed prior to showing, and it was shown repeatedly.”

He viewed the movie and said the content is not appropriate for sixth-graders to view in a school building.

“The whole video is objectionable for sixth grade,” the superintendent said.

He hasn’t received the consent agreement and said it’s premature to talk about where Angelo will be in the district next school year.

Angelo must submit reports to ODE through her employer every three months, indicating whether she has engaged in conduct unbecoming to the teaching profession. She is “required to preview any videos prior to distributing them to students,” the consent agreement says.


1willinnyny(118 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Does the "P" in Poland stand for Prudes and Puritans?

I have not seen the film in question, but I hope that art history is not outlawed in Poland, and that would include ancient, Roman art.

Would sixth graders be allowed to see Michelangelo's "David" when they were visiting Florence, Italy?

God made man and woman, and the sight of a human body should NOT be considered inappropriate for any human to see.

If it is deemed inappropriate, there is something Perverted about the Prudes who think so.

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2folder27(2 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

This isnt the first time this teacher has done this! Its about time something has been done. The previous administration swept it all under the rug.

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3daar2055(54 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Schools need to go back to basics......reading, writing and arithmatic. Parents need to educate their children about respect, morals and manners. Both parents work now a days to make ends meet. No such thing as luxuries anymore due to the fact that ppl made them necessities. Kids see much more on the internet. Its not as if the teacher showed a porn movie.

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4Michael0107(7 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

If by 6th grade,if boys & girls don't know that we all,each have a penis,& vagina,for lack of a better word-haha,where have they been?

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5walter_sobchak(2672 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

From the time these kids start school, we teach them about the "oops" zone and not to let anyone touch them. Then, of course, we have to be inclusive so we start to teach our kids about tolerance of lesbians and gays. How do we describe what homosexuality is without some sort of sexual education since the only difference is supposed to be their sexual preference? Now, a movie that shows a Roman salami or camel toe in conjunction with the history of an ancient Roman city is vulgar and inappropriate. Didn't the Roman empire crumble from within due to their lifestyle?

I'm sure that 95% of the kids in that class have seen internet porn by the sixth grade. And all Paul Sherman has done is paint a large bulls-eye on his kid's back with the other students.

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6joejoe232323(2 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

ridiculous. yes because none of the students in poland have ever seen a naked person. i bet the majority of those kids are already sexually active. give me a break wow

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7alentown(12 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

One wonders if the terrified parents permit their kids to watch Miley Cyrus and any of the other obscene 'artists'. I think many might prefer Michaelango to twerking.

To Boardman__Jeff's comment above: I think you'd be hard-pressed to find many "Bible-thumpin pukes" or Tea Partiers in any school administration...or even faculty. After all, they march to the orders and mores of the left-wing teachers unions.

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8DT(7 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Hey Paul Sherman, you sound like a giant pussy.

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9DwightK(1535 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

I just Googled this film. It's a documentary that has aired on BBC and is hosted by archeologists.

The review said the language was a little rough but it's probably nothing the kiddies haven't heard dad yell out in the garage. That is, if dads in Poland still work in their garages.

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10topper11(707 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Boy I thought it was something really bad!!!!
Like showing a real Tea party meeting or worst that Duck Dynasty group

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11N(1 comment)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm a graduate of Poland and when I saw the name of this video, I looked it up because I remembered seeing it. I don't remember how early I saw it (it actually might have been in 6th or 7th grade) and I remember seeing it 2 or 3 more times as I went on to the middle and high school. All the kids in my class were fine! No one was scarred for life and none of the kids (or their overprotective parents) got involved and stopped the video from being shown because EVERYONE WAS FINE. We were able to understand that things shown in the video were art and it's not like we didn't know prostitution didn't exist. If you want your kids to be sheltered and ignorant to things that have happened in the world, home school them. Don't ruin the school system for everyone else.

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12Bowhunter804(1 comment)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Boardman jeff......i can only hope that you are childless man. For one thing, the thought of you having a daughter is a site i wish not to see. I can assume that in your simple mind a perfect daughter would be 13 and pregnant, affected by several std's, nose pierced and calling you by your first name. Kudos to you Mr Sherman for standing up to immoral scum and trying to keep our young children innocent. These are not highschool kids we are talking about! Choke on your next meal jeffy boy!

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13YtownParent(1004 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Teachers are relying on videos far too often in the classroom. It undercuts the importance of reading. It sends the message to students to "watch the movie" instead of reading the book. It takes away the opportunity for students to use/practice their reading and study skills.

As others have stated, this isn't the first incident with this teacher. This is the same teacher that has been arrested for shoplifting too. While Linda Angelo may not have succeeded in teaching her students about Roman history, she and the Poland Board of Ed. taught them a valuable contemporary lesson, how to weasel out of the consequences of their decisions and actions.

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14mouse(112 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Now let me get this straight.....a teacher shows an inappropriate video & because a parent (one who has some common sense) complains.He is, attacked by those who are able to hide behind anonymous disgusting & cowardly comments.
schools need to concentrate on teaching our students reading,writing & math so that they can one day move on & take their place in the work force & society.showing a video-with inappropriate scenes is taking them where?

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15cambridge(4065 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Here is the video.


I've been to Pompeii and the only problem I have with the video is that it is poorly produced and boring. All four of my grandparents immigrated from in or around Naples so Before I visited Pompeii I bought a couple of books and read up on it. If you watch the Video most of the shots are of the narrator instead of the city and she didn't cover 90 percent of what I found interesting about the place. In my opinion a very poorly done piece. As far as the language, it isn't anything any eleven or twelve year old hasn't heard before.

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1621(3 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

I am a 21 year old student and I would like to ensure all parents that being exposed to sexual content in the context of history or social science will NOT destroy any morals or values you have instilled in them. Calm down, trust that you have raised your children properly. Being fearful for your child's wellbeing in situations such as this only reflects a fear that your parenting was unsuccessful, a fear that your child will not turn out to fit the image that YOU have created for THEM. A child is not a piece of clay that you must mold into the ideal human; a child will grow into a human without your molding. You can act as an example or a leader, but, despite the common misconception, you in no way can control the person that your child will become.
This is quite ridiculous.
If your child is not mature enough to see sexual content in a cultural context yet, then they will learn to do so and this should not be something for parents to fear. Sex is a part of culture and a part of who we are. Your daughter was born with a vagina and your son with a penis, they do not develop these at the age that you see fit.
My sincere regrets go to Mrs. Angelo--a very, very sweet and quite grandmotherly woman!
I can not believe that Poland is giving in to this, the line should be drawn somewhere. The school district needs to learn to protect its teachers, instead of pleasing every extremist parent.

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17stoutmaster(29 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

I think everyone is missing a couple of points here. If the video showed sexually explicit material that would make it rated R if it were a movie, then no one under 17 should see it unless approved by a parent. A parent has a right to parent their child the way they see fit. If you, as a parent, think it's ok for your child to see it, fine, I have no problem with that. Leave it up to the parent to decide whether their child should view the movie or not. Isn't that what America and freedom is all about? The teacher or the school could have notified the parents that they were going to show it and give the parents the opportunity to opt out their child. It sounds like all of you posting here advocate that any material can be shown to students without parental consent. Secondly, the teacher got a slap on the wrist. She is suspended for 60 days AFTER school is out for the summer. No big deal.

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18billdog1(5784 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

I guess that the Polandites don't know that the most valued art in the world sets in the middle of towns. Most of it is sculptures of naked people. Yes, I would have to say anybody that took the time to complain is an uneducated prude.

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19YtownSports(306 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

The bigger sin here is that the video was not previewed by the teacher. She didn't do HER homework. It was being a lazy "teacher." If that's how she operates, she should retire. In the meantime, she should receive a meaningful suspension during the regular school year.

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20billdog1(5784 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

The only sin here is people that don't know the difference from art and pornography. the language and visual content are all about the art of the period. This was a history lesson that the creativity of teacher is what our education system has lost. This lesson included art, history, social science, geography, and geology. This parent is a prude. His inability to see this as a educational lesson is just uncomfortable with his own sexuality. I'm sure he is one of those that would scream he should teach his child about sex, but is so uncomfortable with the subject, that he never would.

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2121(3 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Either way, the mature thing to do would be to schedule a meeting with mrs. Angelo and express your concerns. Instead of publicly shaming her. Mr. Sherman could have also requested his daughter be placed in another class for the remainder of the year. Same goes for other parents with the same concerns. Obviously the teachers intent was not to challenge the innocence of the children! Not sure how Sherman and others involved could feel satisfied that they have done the right thing. It is clear that mr. Sherman is just as immature as he perceives his daughter to be.

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2221(3 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

It is true that mrs. Angelo should have previewed the video, but we all make mistakes at work and this is blown a little out of proportion.

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23topper11(707 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

I just watched the film and if some Poland parents are upset Maybe you should see what your kids see on Facebook and what they are sending/receiving on their Cell phones .

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24DontBanThisDrone(1036 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

She's suspended over summer break when school isn't even in session. LMAO!


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25southsidedave(5189 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Just something else that parents can complain about...will this action be litigated in the courtroom somehow because a child was irreparably harmed? I'm am positive the sixth graders have seen and heard much worse.

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26billdog1(5784 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

After more thought this lesson also included anthropology and biology. This woman is a creative genus. It's called cross curriculum teaching. If the language bothers these people they need to go live on mountain somewhere. There little babies are probably using it when not in their parents presence. As others stated I wonder how many of these angles are on facebook, watch sitcoms like, Two Broke Girls, Two and Half Men, that every line is sexual innuendo. To much narrow mindedness is what is wrong with the entire country. Those that know NOTHING about education shouldn't be trying to control education. I wonder what Mr. Sherman does for living, and if he would like this teacher to judge his work? As for the young lady that ran home to mommy, I wonder how she will explain to her gynecologist problems she may have in life later. Will she use Phrases like down there, my private spot, you know? It's sad to see such ignorance still exist in the 21st century.

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27Education_Voter(1167 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Here's a link to the author of the book, and narrator of the special for BBC, talking about her work:

Sounds harmless enough, an view into the work of archeologists.
Still, I personally opted to use instead some clips from the History channel, and a video from the public library,even then editing the parts the students viewed.
For the commentor above who suggested that students read, please be assured that they DO read! But that reading was more understandable and interesting after other resources piqued student interest.
You can read about the casts of bodies made from depressions in lava rock, but to actually see the postures of victims is another experience altogether.
Anyway, I got a cold chill from this story because I went so far as taking the children on a virtual AND real field trip to The Cleveland Museum of Art to see their exhibits of ancient artifacts including statues. Could I have lost my license?

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28YtownParent(1004 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

You may see creative genius, but I see laziness. The failure to review the material as well as the lack of a clear lesson plan shows the actions of a lazy employee. I see someone who just Googled Pompeii and showed the first video that popped up.

I base my opinion on my extensive experience with my kids teachers. Over the past 4 years all but one of our daughter's teachers sent home a note anytime they viewed videos rated PG or above or covered material that would earn such a rating. The most important part of those notes isn't that they informed parents of what they would be viewing/discussing, nor does it matter that they give the option to opt out if we choose to. The most important part of parental notes is the tag "Please review and discuss this material with your child before and after class."

I haven't always agreed with the timing of lessons, but at least the teachers brought us parents into those lessons about animal husbandry, human sexuality, drugs, etc.. Mrs. Angelo didn't bring any of the parents into her student's education. At best, Mrs. Angelo assumed the parent's role all on her own. That alone isn't a punishable offense, but it does considerable damage to the union's excuse that teachers have to be parents too.

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29YtownParent(1004 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

No you couldn't have lost your license @Education_Voter, because you put time and effort into reviewing the material prior to class and planning out the lesson. The lesson you describe teaching is well thought out and thoroughly researched. Your lesson uses more than one form of media, ties all the source material together and actively engages students. Mrs. Angelo got a slap on for not reviewing the material before using it and for not planning out a lesson. If you place your lesson and Mrs. Angelo's side by side, you get a tale of 2 different teachers.

Teachers who put that much thought into their lessons as Education_Voter should be making twice what they are earning now. Teachers who don't shouldn't be in a classroom at all.

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30kurtw(1759 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Just starting to read this thread and I haven't made up my mind yet but that Boardman Jeff is a trip isn't he? I never read a single one of his comments that didn't include the word "scumbag" or "dirt bag' or that he wasn't planning to run somebody out of town. I honestly believe he's actually a Vindy Staffer writing all that, in disguise, at the Publishers behest, to beef up the Website by stirring up controversy- remember, the more "hits" the more money in the Vindy's bank account.

P.S. I've applied to them to do that for them for pay- would help with my retirement income- but so far they haven't responded...

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31republicanRick(1716 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

BoardmanJeff is obviously a big viewer of porn and look at the hate and venom he spews. He certainly has done his family proud, don't you think!?

And willinNY and Cambridge are residents of NY and San Francisco and neither one works. Interesting how they want to push their mores on Youngstown.

6th grade is too young...society has determined the age of 17 is for R rated material. Glad to see a Poland parent take a stand for their beliefs.

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32YtownParent(1004 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

The legal reality is that if I send my child to school, I DO NOT give the right to have an opinion in how they are taught. I have a large say in my kids education. I am an income earning, property owning, tax-paying, voting citizen of the United States. I have the First Amendment right to freely express my opinion on any aspect of the Education system, regardless if you care or not.

I also have the right to assemble with those like minded parents to change any broken public system, whether it's schools or city council. You may not care what my opinion is, but every teacher and school board member cares about my opinion when November rolls around and they want my vote for their tax levies and/or the politicians they endorsed.

If you go back though the Vindy articles, or any news site's archives, you find the lack of parent involvement in their kids school work to be the one of the chief reasons teacher's unions give for the state of our education system. It's ironic that many of the same people that want parents going over lessons, helping their kids with their homework, reinforcing good study habits, and setting disciplinary standards, are the first to complain that parents want to know what their kids are being taught in class. How is a parent supposed to help their child with their work if they don't know what the teacher taught? That is how every parent should be brought into their kids education.

You ignore the fact that I praise the teachers who do that. I haven't forgotten I have just as much a right to say Education_Voter is a great teacher as I do to say Mrs. Angelo is a lazy one. There are proper means of oversight too. I have my rights and as Mr. Sherman did I can file a complaint through the proper channels, if I ever need to. Too many parents don't do that and try to force stuff on their own. That is uncalled for.

I don't have a right to call, email or show up at the school and berate a teacher though. I know there are parents that do that. Those parents should spend a night in jail and I will just as vocally support any teacher who presses charges against a bully parent. Until teachers and parents are both held to equally high standards, neither is going top help the other achieve them. The result is that students won't achieve either. Nor the state and country.

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33YtownParent(1004 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

I said there is a line that shouldn't be crossed. Mr. Sherman didn't cross that line. I wouldn't tell a doctor, fireman, lawyer, etc. how to do their job either. If your doctor prescribed you a med without reading the side effects and warnings, then you had an adverse reaction, you'd complain to their licensing body. If a lawyer took your money for court fees, deposited it into their personal bank account and never filed a case, you'd file a complaint with the Bar. The doctor and lawyer would be reprimanded. That's all that happened here. A parent complained because a teacher acted in a manner they felt any reasonable member of society would think was wrong. The licensing body agreed.

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34YtownParent(1004 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

If they didn't agree they wouldn't have done anything. Mrs. Angelo wasn't given a 60 day suspension, she was given a 2 year suspension, with all but those 60day in the summer suspended. She still has to report to the state and if she doesn't meet those terms, she'll end up having to serve the whole 2 years.

Don't forget, as the article says, the superintendent reviewed the video in response to Mr. Sherman's complaint. “The whole video is objectionable for sixth grade,” the superintendent said. That's why the superintendent referred it to the state, not the parent.

At first I had a knee jerk reaction and saw it as a slap on the wrist, but I was wrong. It's not much different than the punishments most judges deal out to not violent, first time offenders. So the punishment and corrective behavioral plan fits Mrs. Angelo's bad choices.

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35YtownParent(1004 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Yes, because parents are taxpayers and teachers work for us, we do have input and a say. If you don't like it, then cut off all public funding to schools and teachers and they can go raise their own funds and operate as private businesses. As schools are funded by taxes and the state requires parents to send their kids to a school based largely on geographic location, then parents will have those rights.

Citizens have the same rights with the police too. I wouldn't go tell a cop on the street they are doing their job wrong anymore than I would waltz into a classroom and scream at a teacher for what they did in the classroom. I could & would file a complaint if I witnessed a police officer acting in a manner that is out of line with the law and department policies. God forbid a public employee bear any accountability for their actions.

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36uptowngirl(139 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

I think the superintendent's lead should be followed. Not all sixth graders are at the same level of maturity and not all are watching porn on their phones and computers. There are vigilant parents out there, but none of you Poland haters think they live in the Poland School District. Thank you Mr. Cooper for being a voice of reason. The suspension is worthless--so the teacher got away with something.

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37Notaprude(1 comment)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

@parlayhenry you sir are so out of line! To say that sixth graders have seen more naked bodies than their 61 year old teacher is ludicrous! And to say that these kids are probably more damaged in their home life by observing the "country club lifestyle of their parents is way out of line!! I am not from Poland but you sir are delusional! You need to get a life!

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38ysuguins99(12 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

It seems as if far too many parents want to interfere with educators for no other reason that causing trouble. It's a power trip.

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39susabella78(3 comments)posted 2 years ago

Yes, I agree this may not have been appropriate for 6th graders or even for school, ....BUT.... If parents are gullible enough to believe their children haven't possibly seen or even done worse just by hanging out with their friends, they need a reality check. Yes the teacher was wrong in showing the movie, but reprimand her. Don't hang her !! And I am sure if it was a funny porn movie that they were watching at home while their parents are out, they would not even mention it to their parents. Just another attack on teachers trying to teach our children in todays society. Let it go already!!!!!

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40susabella78(3 comments)posted 2 years ago

Its not like the teacher made this up, it really went on in our world. Not all worldly actions are sugar coated

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