Friday, June 5, 2009

Why not waterboard them?

A bunch of seniors at a high school in eastern Pennsylvania were suspended for five days by the school district. Were they smoking dope on school grounds? Brawling, maybe? Peeking through a hole into the girls' locker room? No. They climbed over an outer wall at Southern Lehigh High School and camped overnight in an enclosed courtyard. Yeah, they camped out. An Associated Press story gives no indication that the 17 kids caused any trouble. As best as I can tell, there was no drinking, no property damage. But the district saw fit to bar them from a week of classes, and three of the students involved in the harmless prank were stripped of their membership in the National Honor Society. Well, of course we can't have scofflaw campers in the NHS. The next thing you know, these kids might play their car radios too loud. And the next step is anarchy. The district also suspended two students who had the audacity to e-mail The Morning Call newspaper in Allentown to complain about the punishment. The district later thought better of its attempt to trample the two students' free-speech rights, and those suspensions were rescinded. Students were planning a protest outside the school following Friday classes, and I don't blame them. Our entire society seems to be losing what remains of our collective sense of humor and sense of proportion. This is like the district that suspended a grade-schooler for bringing nail clippers to school. In the old days, a janitor would have found the kids camping and told them to clean up their stuff and move on. But, sadly, those days - the ones when people in positions of authority had a little basic common sense - seem to be behind us.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that we've lived through roughly three generations of parents allowing their kids to do whatever they want and not taking responsibility to train them in basic good sense, it seems that the schools think they have to take up the slack. Problem is, after you've let kids do what they want for 18 years, there's little chance of getting them to toe the line. But I agree that there's big difference between bringing a loaded gun to school and bringing eyebrow trimmers, and between spray painting obscenities on the school walls and climbing over them to camp out. Has anyone else noticed that making an example of someone doesn't seem to be a big deterrent these days? Really, adults -- we expect kids to exercise common sense, but why should they when we don't?

June 6, 2009 at 7:00 PM  
Blogger Dale Lolley said...

I can see the school district's side on this one. Yeah, they were only camping out, but if you don't punich them, then the next group that comes in and breaks into school grounds can point to the district not penalizing those students.
As for the whole eye trimmer thing, that's just silliness. Then again, can you take one on a plane?

June 7, 2009 at 5:48 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Do geometry classes still use those compasses? You know, the harpoons that you draw a circle with?

Do shop classes still have band saws, belt sanders, and other assorted tools? Anyone remember Mr. L'Atrelli, who taught shop at the middle school? Nice enough guy... but probably didn't win a lot of "most alert teacher of the year" awards... And that in an environment where you could literally kill a fellow student and then cut them up into little pieces and put them into one of those toolboxes we made out of bent razor blades and swear words...

June 7, 2009 at 6:24 PM  
Anonymous Sickman said...

I think they should water board the people on the tourism committee that voted for the funding to install taxpayer turf at Consol Field.

June 10, 2009 at 8:21 PM  

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