Jumping for Darwin

You’ve heard of the Darwin Awards for people who voluntarily terminate their unfit genes? In a science class at Miami Beach High, a teacher bet a student that he’d be injured if he tried to prove his point about evolution by jumping out the window of the second-story classroom. The student jumped without injury, winning the $20 bet. The teacher will be reassigned — probably to a ground-floor classroom.

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  1. What’s the big deal as long as the teacher pays up?

  2. I’d like to know who called the police? Who ever did should be slapped for budding in on someone elses business.

  3. PJ/Maryland says:

    The story is appearing all over (Google alone shows 7 different news organizations reporting it), but there’s no mention of what the bet was about. Evolution? What, did the kid bet he was part kangaroo, or had nine lives or something?

    I think, in general, we don’t want teachers to encourage their students to jump out of windows. I would think the kid’s parents were pretty unhappy when they heard; maybe they called the cops.

  4. I’m still trying to figure out what point was being proved.

  5. D. Cooper says:

    The point Bart is that there is one in every crowd. In a 6 story school his point would have been made. Did you think it was a physics terminal velocity lesson?

    Just in case … stupid idea!!!

  6. Walter Wallis says:

    Teachers should carry enough cash to pay off bets and then get drunk. Engineers do.

  7. Dave Dahlke says:

    Yep its called tenure. Teachers are the elite and nothing they do calls for their firing. Certainly wouldn’t want the NEA to suffer a loss in union dues. And, certainly would hate to see that college degree wasted on a job outside education. And the cry goes on, “For the Children”!

  8. Dave,
    Since when do school teachers have tenure? Many universities are trying to get rid of tenure but now it has spread to high school teachers? Who knew, wow what a development that is.

    I know of one teacher whose contract was not renewed and the NEA did not care. She had the nerve to give the local NEA representative’s child a “B” in a gifted and talented class.

    How would the NEA suffer a loss in union dues if one teacher was fired and another was hired to take that teachers place?

  9. JimInNoVA says:

    Ross – It’s the NEA, no one there can do math on that level anyways.

  10. D. Cooper says:

    I think tenure was invented to protect teachers from ‘some’ people I’ve heard here. Not an NEA fan, a NYSUT member however and would defend their activities. They have done much to promote the quality of teaching and education in NY. I would stand on their record any day.

    Having said all that, having students jumping out of windows is not really a good idea. We had sliding windows in my high school and we weren’t allowed to open them more than 8 in. Only really skinny kids could have jumped out.

  11. I think the teacher was trying to prove that people are afraid of heights because falls hurt.

    He actually proved that young males will do anything to impress the girls.

  12. D. Cooper says:

    Falls don’t hurt, it’s the sudden stop at the bottom that’s the deal maker!!

  13. Richard Brandshaft says:

    I can’t really blame the teacher for not realizing the kid would actually do it.

    As for the kid, was he lucky or skilled? Movie stunt people routinely jump out of second story windows. Maybe the kid knew how it’s done, and knew he knew. Or maybe he watched too many movies, assumed it was easy, and didn’t get hurt by dumb luck.

  14. Here’s my guess: the teacher said something along the lines of “evolution reinforces the kind of survival instincts that make it so we don’t do stupid things like jump out the window”. The student replied, “What’s the big deal about jumping out the window? I can do that.” The teacher reacted with disbelief; the student persisted, and showed contempt for anyone who thinks jumping out of a second-story window is a big deal. Hence the bet. The teacher may have thought the student would chicken out, but the student knew from experience he could jump safely.

    The jump was surely the student’s idea, and only tangentially related to any discussion of evolution. It’s exactly the kind of thing I would have done.

  15. John from OK says:

    Bart: But Millhouse did it.
    Marge: Well if Millhouse jumped off a bridge would you do that, too?
    Bart (excited): MILLHOUSE IS JUMPING OFF A BRIDGE???!!!

  16. Landing safely after jumping out of a second story window is not that tough – especially when you are young. I believe Joanne has posted before about these kids today and what wusses they are. Let’s hear it for a kid who does more than veg in front of the TV!

  17. I propose that jumping out of 2nd story windows be added to the curriculum of PE.

  18. Jumping out of a second story window is like jumping from the top of a 1 story garage, the type common to many homes. As a child I did this repeatedly–as, I’m sure, did many people who’ve read this story.

    It is highly likely that the kid in question knew that he could do this from prior experience.

    This would reinforce the truth of the evolutionary adage, ‘there’s one born every minute…’

  19. JimInNoVA
    Point taken. 🙂


  20. “I propose that jumping out of 2nd story windows be added to the curriculum of PE.”

    Sounds good to me. Maybe they should do it during “Fire Safety Week” or something like that.

  21. JimInNoVA says:

    Maybe the evolutionary question was whether the younger generation could outsmart their elders to the tune of $20 due to the benefits of natural selection?

  22. Dave Dahlke says:

    I was jesting with the tenure bit. But when was the last time anyone saw a teacher fired? It takes almost an act of Congress.

    Also, I am not an expert on NEA union dues but if they are based on salary, a new teacher comes dues would be a different.

    In Washington State there was a case of a teacher charged with sexual misconduct with a student and the WEA said that either the school could give the teacher severance pay or they would sue the school district if he was fired. And the motto rings loud and clear, “For the Children”.