Passing On Cooties


I wish the stomach bug was like the unapproved Cootie game we used to play in elementary. NO TAG BACKS!

You remember. Someone accidentally touched or was touched by the child deemed unclean and suddenly was infected with “cooties.” The only way to rid oneself of the dreaded cootie infestation was to touch someone else and transfer the bugs. By yelling, “No tag backs!” the recipient couldn’t transfer the cooties back to you and you were safe from the dreaded disease.



This “game” was not allowed. Banned. Teachers did not condone students playing this game. It did not show good character.

We would be chastised if caught claiming that another student, especially a student of low socioeconomic status, had cooties. Possibly even disciplined. Cooties may have been the old school form of bullying. And it absolutely wasn’t allowed.

Remembering how we played this led me to thinking about just how much teachers in that era DID spend teaching character instead of GLEs or CLEs. 

In about second grade, several of us girls saw a young boy dared to expose himself to us in the hall. He took the dare.

A few of us attempted to retaliate by dragging him into the girl’s restroom.

I heard the word sex on the school bus. Raised my hand and asked the 2nd grade teacher what it meant during class. Found out the real definition on the school bus on the ride home from the high school students in the back.

Yeah, we can say that teachers didn’t have to deal with the same behavior issues that they have to deal with now, but my memories from a very short amount of time in elementary prove different. 

The stomach bug wasn’t good for much. Except for a walk down memory lane and a reminder that teachers didn’t have any less issues when I was in school than we do now.

Oh, and I still wish I could have gotten rid of that stomach bug as easily as we rid ourselves of the fictitious disease of cooties.

What kind of memories do you have from elementary? The real ones, not the ones we imagine to be real.

Please take a moment to share your memories in the comments, and if you haven’t already voted to feed some elementary students today, you can do so from HERE!

photo credit: rittyrats via photopin cc
photo credit: pinprick via photopin cc
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5 responses to this post.

  1. My 2 sisters and 1 brother are all elementary teachers. I am not, as I don't have it in me. When I think back to school, one thing I remember very well is that kids were expected to be polite and speak with respect to each other and especially the teachers. Now, I cringe when the cursing or disrespect talk to the teachers and each other.

    Reply

  2. I was homeschooled in elementary school, so most of what I remember is field trips with our homeschool group and the fact that I HATED math LOL

    Reply

  3. I remember that the teachers were very loving!

    Reply

  4. What is that toy?

    Reply

  5. It's actually called Cootie!

    Reply

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