Thinking and Linking by Joanne Jacobs
When will this idiocy stop?
JJ asked “When will this idiocy stop?”
When free hands on both sides of the Big Ditch can push the same button at the same time?
Apologies to FSTheater.
In all seriousness, when a group of parents in some idiotically “zero tolerance” school district organize and oust the incumbent school board, fire the school administrators, and hire some sane ones.
I’d have frequent headaches too if I had to attend a school run by such idiots.
Usually when girls have pain medicine at school, it’s for cramps. You can’t plan for that when you haven’t been menstruating very long and don’t know exactly when to expect your period. I used to keep a bottle of Tylenol in my locker for that purpose. Nobody cared. That was in the 1970’s. What’s changed? Kids have died in huge numbers due to abuse of OTC medication at school? I missed it.
It seems to me that they could require that OTC medication be kept in its original container, that there’s a note on file from the parents expaining what it’s for and what the dosage is, and that the kids not share it (due to allergies and so forth) and that ought to be sufficient. I’d like whoever came up with this zero tolerance nonsense to suffer through just one moderate-to-severe case of menstrual cramps without so much as an aspirin. Then explain why it’s so dadgum necessary.
“Zero-tolerance” is simply and excuse for school administrators to not have to think or reason. Simply institute a “zero-tolerance” policy and *POOF*, no more decision-making or thought has to go into anything. Weak-minded, jellyfish administrators LOVE “zero-tolerance”. It absolves them of having to make ANY decisions. “We defer to our zero-tolerance policy”.
What a crock. This is the same policy that gets kids led out of classrooms in handcuffs for drawing pictures of military relatives holding weapons.
“Zero tolerance” jobs need not pay above minimum wage. Most of us working stiffs have to make decisions in our daily toil. Those insulated from decision making should not receive decision making salaries.
When will this idiocy stop?
When this advice is followed. Then the district will either change its policy to stop the hemorrhaging, or wither away from richly-deserved neglect.
I followed a link at the bottom of that news story, and found a wonderful putdown of the schoolboard.
It was also interesting to note that the family is thinking out of the school district.
Yes, this is insane… but…
Who really is at fault here? Is there
REALLY a state law that REQUIRES a mandatory 1 year suspension? If that is the case, then its not the fault of he school board, but of the whole damm state, specifically the state legislators and
presumably the governor who signed such a silly law…
It wasn’t clear from the article… they quoted one person as saying it was required by state law, and another person who said there was some discretion…
Everyone on this board is so quick to instantly condemn the school board, but its also the fault of the whole “war on drugs” taken to the ridiculous extreme… parents seem to like
these black-and-white tough love policies, until it affects one of their own.
jab, may I suggest that you make that “some parents”. Some parents who comment here have always thought they were a crock.
i thought that went without saying given the audience of this blog.
There is some fault other than of the administration, and that is the result of lawsuits that, in a rational society, would have been tossed out of court.
I am so with you on the menstrual cramps bit. I hid 600 mm prescription pills (thank God for empathetic doctors) of Motrin in my pockets in high school because I’d never have made it otherwise. I shudder to think about what would’ve happened had I been caught.
I cant believe that possession of cigarettes leads to a suspension, but Advil leads to expulsion! What sense does that make? Absolutley none.
Suzie, I took my sixteen-year-old to my gyn. this year, finally, and got her on the pill, and this is why. You can’t wait for the pain to get bad before you take pain medicine, it’s too late then, and I couldn’t keep leaving work to pick her up (and her missing school.) It makes all the difference in the world. Some parents won’t do that, I guess because they think being on the pill will turn their daughter into a slut.
It seems to me one of those areas of policy where the voters are allowed to have it both ways – and not by accident, either: the War on Drugs isn’t going to stop any time soon, and it provides two feet of electoral armour plating for any pol who goes along. The chattering classes can let off steam about zero tolerance in excellent places like this, but the issue’s not got sufficient salience to make any electoral odds.
There may be ways to spoil this nice little arrangement, though…
> I hid 600 mm prescription pills
Wow, suzieQ, how did you manage to swallow them???? 🙂 Or is this some kind of whole-body Motrin?
(Yes, I know you meant mg, not mm!)
LOL Kirk! I guess they weren’t quite, er… *that* big. 😉
In addition to pointing out the stupidity of school boards (and possibly state legislators), this article points out the stupidity of many journalists and editors. Why didn’t they do a little bit of research, and find out what the state law *really says* about whether expulsion is required? Then we would know whether to be angrier at the school board or at the legislature.
Thanks for posting this, Joanne.
I’ve posted some more detail, including a link to the school superintendent’s email address here:
Girl Expelled From School – For Possession of Advil
For this and all the other “zero tolerance” disasters – I USED to think that teachers and school officials (Principals, Vice Principals, Provost Officers, whatever/etc.) were people whose primary reason for being there was to teach, lead by example, protect, and mentor their student charges. I can see, that if a student offends a “zero tolerance” boundary, that these adults are required by law to enforce the letter of that law. In the many published cases of obvious absurdity (e.g. a 1st grade boy giving a “peck on the cheek” to a girl, a student loaning an asthma inhaler to a fellow student whom he well knows uses the exact same medication and is having an attack, etc.) what I totally fail to comprehend is: WHY ARE THESE ADULTS SO CRAVENLY ABDICATING THEIR ROLLS AS EDUCATORS, LEADERS, ETC AND NOT FOLLOWING UP THEIR LEGALLY REQUIRED ACTIONS BY VIGOROUSLY SUPPORTING THE STUDENT WITH INPUT TO THE SYSTEM POINTING OUT THE INAPPROPRIATENESS OF THE SYSTEM’S ACTIONS IN THESE PARTICULAR CASES? (“These cases” meaning the kind that used to be handled with common sense, judgment, and discretion and not turning a youngster over to the police, and juvenile probation department for a silly mistake in judgment and then subjecting the student and his family to the full prosecution of the courts, juvenile hall, psychiatric evaluations, probation officers, juvenile court records, etc. ref the many examples posted in various “ZT” web sites). Those “educators” who fail to pro-actively challenge the inappropriateness of the “system’s” response have abdicated their social responsibilities and are failing their ethical and moral responsibilities to their students, the parents, the school and the community. They should be terminated. As a former foster parent who is still raising 4 former foster children and a “grand daughter” of one former foster child as adopted or guardianship family members, my wife and I are EVER so grateful that we can manage to keep our kids out of that insanity and dysfunction called “public school” (where education has become an oxymoron).
Don’t be so quick to judge. There are lots of teachers who think – and say – that zero tolerance policies are ridiculous. Some of us go to bat for kids at hearings, too. Just because you don’t read about us in the news doesn’t mean we don’t exist.
Reply to SuziQ – I tried to be explicit by stating “Those “educators” who fail to pro-actively challenge . . .” I am sure that there are still many good (but frustrated?) teachers and educators out there who ARE standing up, but you are right – those instances usually won’t make the news. Bless those who still “stand to be counted” in this insane environment. But for those who don’t have the principLEs and/or backbone to this Kafkaesque(?) insanity . . ..
Got a form from the school today. About 4 weeks ago my kid started generating hives without warning. It took us a few days to figure out that it’s a wheat allergy (this sucks, another story altogether) and until then I asked that the school nurse keep ONE (1) benedryl capsule on hand for her in case it happened at school, so she didn’t have to wait 20 minutes for me to get there from work. It seems I have to have this form filled out by her doctor (her mere mother won’t do) or the nurse can’t keep the benedryl. I guess I’ll ask him to do it in case she suddenly decides to become allergic to something else. I will be SO GLAD when she graduates from high school next year and is allowed to join the human race.
This problem, as almost all other problems in our society, is traceable to a single source: Too many trial lawyers. Everyone is afraid of being sued…
Coupla hundred years ago, one Wm Shakespeare proposed a solution to that! 🙂
No question, lawyers that file lawsuits for any reason, no matter how trivial, and jurists who go along by refusing to throw out any suit as frivolous and without merit have contributed significantly to the problem.
But I suspect the major cause remains the mentaility of every bureaucrat in large companies and in government, the refuge of every apparatchik and time-server: cling to the letter of the regulation; make no wave; indulge in no rational thought, or, God help us, an original thought; make no waves while doing as little as possible; take your money and go home — until you’ve been there long enough to take your pension.
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