One of the duties of a teacher is to ensure that their young charges are not a liability to other workers when they go out into the big wide world. Especially when they are teaching them how to rewire electronic resistors.
James Hersey taught his 16 year olds well â he has been doing it since 1950. Faced with a 16 year old boy who couldnât remember the black, brown, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, grey and white order of the wiring, he wrote down part of the rhyme he had been taught in the 1950s and handed it to just that young man.
The world has changed, Mr Hersey, 16 year olds are of a delicate disposition these days. The young man rushed off to another teacher crying âPlease Miss, look what Mr Hershey has writtenâ.
James Hersey was sacked on the spot. The offence deemed too serious to wait for a tribunal or hearing with the governors. He was told the mnemonic wasâinappropriate in more enlightened timesâ and that it failed toâdemonstrate respect for diversity and promote equalityâ.
End of career for one experienced teacher. I guess that young man will ever after remember the order of wiring, and the world will be a safer place.
Mr Hersey had written:
âBlack Boys Rape Our Young Girls, But Virgins Goes Without.â
The whole point of an electronics mnemonic is that you remember it, and avoid giving anyone else a shock â not that you avoid being shocked yourself.
Jeez! Iâd better not tell you some of the mnemonics I had buzzing round my head ready for Law finalsâ¦â¦.