May 31, 2015 9:26 am -


David Olio was a 19-year veteran of the South Windsor, CT school system. Even if this is considered a terrible infraction (which it shouldn’t be), dismissal is a rather harsh reaction to reading the works of a celebrated writer to an advanced placement class. Olio didn’t even introduce the poem to the class, as it was brought in by a student.

…Olio…winner of Connecticut’s highest award for teaching excellence, didn’t know the poem in question, but he took a look and walked the students through it in the remaining time.

The poem the student discovered and brought in was “Please Master,” an extremely graphic account of a homosexual encounter published by Allen Ginsberg in 1968 that begins: “Please master can I touch your cheek / please master can I kneel at your feet / please master can I loosen your blue pants.”

Clearly, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” this wasn’t. But the students were 17- and 18-year-olds, some of whom were taking the AP course in conjunction with the University of Connecticut and receiving college credit.

One day after the class, Olio was placed on indefinite, unpaid leave by the district. Seventy-two hours later, the district began termination proceedings against him. Three weeks after that, he agreed to resign.



D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

16 responses to AP Teacher Fired For Reading Alan Ginsberg Poem

  1. Budda May 31st, 2015 at 10:17 am

    There has got to be more to this than just reading a poem in class.

    • allison1050 May 31st, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      Hell, I don’t know if it’s just me but I clicked on the link and it STILL doesn’t make sense to me…maybe because I did my teen years in Berkeley during the 60’s and am not “offended” by a lot of things.

      • rg9rts May 31st, 2015 at 4:19 pm

        Have to put yourself in the Village of the 50’s

        • allison1050 May 31st, 2015 at 5:27 pm

          He was still very popular in Berkeley and San Francisco even then.

    • BigDumbWhiteGuy May 31st, 2015 at 4:03 pm

      Apparently it wasn’t a big deal until a student used the classic “I can’t take this test because my other teacher read a gay sex poem” excuse. Hopefully that kid has a trust fund because they will have a hard time functioning in the real world.

  2. allison1050 May 31st, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    This has got to be a sick joke right?

    • rg9rts May 31st, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      How many even know who he was?

      • allison1050 May 31st, 2015 at 5:26 pm

        Now days I think you may have a point.

  3. anothertoothpick May 31st, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Censure a teacher?

  4. Um Cara May 31st, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Anyone reading poetry to a captive audience should be immediately fired.

    • rg9rts May 31st, 2015 at 4:17 pm

      We all appreciate your ignorance

      • Um Cara May 31st, 2015 at 5:30 pm

        Come on, you aren’t even putting any effort into trolling me these days. Surely you could have insulted me with a haiku or something. Sorry, but I’m going to have to deduct 10,000 points.

        • rg9rts June 1st, 2015 at 1:05 am

          You aren’t worth the effort…

  5. rg9rts May 31st, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    It could have been howl…

    • fahvel June 1st, 2015 at 3:18 am

      it should have been Howl!!!!! what a dumb vacant minded thing this dimwit school has done.

      • rg9rts June 1st, 2015 at 4:55 am

        Are you surprised??