Renee shared excerpts from this story at the 2015 retreat (see featured image).  Applications for Kimbilio Fellowships are now open.

Meet Behind Mars

Renee Simms

Dr. Lutz,

You’ve requested that I write a statement to the school board about The Night of the Yellow Mustard Penis, and I’ve tried to pull together all of the evidence that I have. In the process, I’ve remembered other incidents that have happened over the years, like The Bullying with a Dead Leaf Incident, or The Case of Sexual Harassment with Gummy Worms. The worm incident happened when Jesse was just in 2nd grade. Recalling this, Dr. Lutz, has been hard for me and I feel like I can’t tell one story about a giant mustard penis because it’s not about a mustard penis only, but about all of these incidents together, in context, and through time. It’s also about education and the fact that I’m a black woman who lives alone with her son. It’s about lots of stuff, some of which I tried to include in this statement but most which I decided to leave out. The worst part of writing this statement was recalling all of these events because, honestly, I’d just as soon forget. Anyway, I’m including email and voicemail messages along with my written thoughts. I hope this is acceptable to your board members.


Jesse’s Mom

Gloria Clark

FROM: Rachel Manning <>
TO: Gloria Clark <>
DATE: October2011

Good Afternoon, Ms. Clark,

Jesse bullied another student today by placing a leaf on the boy’s shirt. He told the boy that the leaf was a bug and Jesse knows that this student is scared of bugs. I thought that you should know.


Rachel Manning

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