"I've got the runs."

Students tend to tell a lot of little white lies in order to get what they want out of school and out of their teacher. They want to do what they want to do, when they want to do it. And sometimes they think the best way to do what they want is to lie about the reason why they want what they want. Here is a list I’ve compiled of actual lies* students have told me. Some of them were told to other teachers and then shared with me. Seriously, these are things students actually said. I’m serious.
  • I left my textbook in my other class. (Meanwhile, said textbook is under the student’s desk)
  • I left my textbook in my other class. (said at a time when we weren’t even using the textbook.
For some reason not having everything you own, makes you incapable of doing any work whatsoever)
  • I left my pencil in my other class
  • I left everything I own in my other class, including my honesty
  • I need to go to my locker.
  • I need a drink
  • I need another drink
  • I’m hungry
  • Can I go to the bathroom?
  • I have to go take a picture of the clouds for my science class
  • I don't have any tissues
  • My hands are sticky
  • My friend needs me to bring them a pencil
  • I have to go practice my (musical instrument) during this period
  • I have to go practice my (sport) during this period
  • My mom is here
  • My sister/brother/cousin/brother’s wife’s aunt is here
  • Mr./Mrs. Other Teacher asked me to see them during this period
*I understand some of these may have been true at some point. Actually, probably not. Most of these can be remedied while staying in my classroom, because most of these are lies. What the student is really saying is “Dear lord, get me out of here, even if it’s only for a few minutes!”

But there was one time, when I believe the student may have been telling the truth. Which makes this story mortifying. At least, if he wasn’t telling the truth, he couldn’t come up with anything better, and that makes this story hilarious.

The student was one who often lied about nearly everything. He lied about why he was late. He lied about why he didn’t turn in assignments. He lied to other people about what happened in my class. I mean, all the time, he lied.

So this particular day, when he raised his hand to call me over, I was prepared for a lie.

“What, Eddie?”

He wagged at me with his finger and motioned for me to lean down close to him, as he clearly didn’t want others to hear what he was about to say.

“May I go to the bathroom again?”

He had already gone this period.


I don’t usually limit bathroom breaks.

“I’m sorry. I know I already went. I just…I…I’ve got the runs real bad.”

“Oh. Dear…uh, my, goodness. Um yes, please go then.” (read: What the ****?)

What possessed him to tell me that he had a fluid poop situation in his pants? Maybe he thought I wouldn’t believe that he had to go to the bathroom twice? Maybe he thought I wouldn’t let him go?

If he learned anything from forcing himself to tell his teacher that he was about to be sitting in a puddle of poop, it is to not establish a reputation of lying. I’m sure that’s what provoked him to tell me that.

He’d built up this whole reputation for lying about every little thing. Then when he really needed someone to believe him he crossed the line.

Or maybe the runs was the next best lie he could come up with. I guess that's between him and the toilet.