When everyone online went #TeacherBae crazy, I dismissed it as another silly meme. I didn’t even bother to read the story. Then you guys kept arguing and blocking each other and all that hot messiness made me curious. I went to the web thinking I was going to see a woman in front of a chalkboard, using her butt cheeks to clap the erasers. I didn’t get any of that. I got a teacher’s aide named Patrice Brown who wore tight clothes in Instagram pictures.
Let the internet tell it, #TeacherBae was strolling the classroom with a feather boa, asking if anyone wanted some action. This was the furthest thing from the truth. But this isn’t about my opinion of Patrice Brown’s wardrobe or her intentions to snag a reality show. This is about the effect the nation of #TeacherBaes and #TeachersAideBaes has on children in an elementary school classroom.
There is no effect. If you were waiting for one, sorry to disappoint. If anything, a #TeacherBae might be the kick in the pants some of the kids need to pay attention. How about assigning Patrice to math and science? We could really use that bump in attendance. Think back to when you were in school and you had a class with a hot teacher. The history teacher might’ve had a Ronnie DeVoe look to him or the Spanish teacher could’ve been a dead ringer for Demi Lovato.
If it’s about the kids, they already see women in tight clothing in so many places where it’s supposed to be frowned upon. Check out any large church on Easter or every Sunday in the inner city after payday. As much of a family environment as Chuck E. Cheese’s is, there are always women there looking like the ones sprawled over a car hood in a rap video.
Having a #TeacherBae is a part of life. In the 1930s comedy The Little Rascals, a teacher named Mrs. Crabtree was a throwback #TeacherBae and those kids were loopy over her. Attractive teachers have been around forever and only when their actions crossed the line has there been a problem. Otherwise, it’s totally normal for a kid to crush on a hot teacher.
I would hope that the parents of the kids in Patrice Brown’s class had a quick chat with their children to see where their heads are. Find out if a tight dress is triggering something in them and deal with that. Some kids do mature sexually faster than others and may need to learn how to deal with their urges at a younger age. Kids in elementary school are likely more into her just being pretty than trying to swipe their lunch card through her butt cheeks like they’re in the “Tip Drill” video (sorry, Nelly). If your child keeps asking for their allowance in singles, it might be the time to ask some more serious questions.
Let’s make this an opportunity for enlightenment rather than judgemental paranoia. If you think there’s a potential problem, talk to your kids and find out what they think about it. One woman in a school wearing form-fitting clothes isn’t going to make anyone’s jeans burst into flames. You should worry more about the latest exploding cellphone or hoverboard you just bought them.
Larry Hester is a Brooklyn-born writer who’s written for Vibe, BET.com, The Source, Complex and more. He now resides in Newark, New Jersey with his wife and son. He welcomes any parenting advice or encouragement. Check him out on Facebook and Twitter @almostcooldad.