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10 year old faces felony charges
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The story:
School officials say the Ocala 5th grader had brought a piece of steak for her lunch, and had brought a steak knife. According to the report, a couple of teachers took the utensil and called authorities, who arrested the girl and took her to the county’s juvenile assessment center.

"She did not use it inappropriately. She did not threaten anyone with it. She didn't pull it out and brandish it. Nothing of that nature," explained Marion County School Spokesman Kevin Christian, who added that it made no difference what the knife was being used for, they had no choice but to call police.
The consequences:
"Anytime there's a weapon on campus, yes, we have to report it and we aggressively report it because we don't want to take any chances, regardless," Christian said.

The girl now faces a felony charge for possessing a weapon on school property and has been suspended from school for 10 days. The parents of the girl could not be reached for comment, WFTV.com reported.
Where are the adults in this country and what has happened to common sense?
 
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Comments
This is just another case of, "must protect my ass from being sued" school policy.
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
Zero tolerance is an excuse for zero brains, zero responsibility, and zero effort.

However, it is a lucrative boon for the court system.
I wonder if they’ll plead it down to a misdemeanor and give her a year’s probation with mandatory monthly counseling.
Fees, fines and court costs, woot woot!

Makin the schools a safer place, courtesy of your state legislatures and educators - yeah buddy.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I’ll tell you straight up that the schools are preparing kids for what’s now happening in the UK to take hold here. They’re preparing the parents as well.

The college campuses are even worse. And those are hermetically sealed off from the outside world. Air and light do not get in.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Way back when I was in school a kid was stabbed in the buttocks with a pencil. The pencil broke off and had to be surgically removed, proving that pens and pencils can be weapons. All pens and pencils should be removed from schools.

Don’t even get me started on staplers.
 
Written By: SkyWatch
URL: http://
You are seeing government schools in action: preparing the next generation of conforming serfs to do the bidding of their masters.

Adults are no longer welcome. Chronologically advanced children are fine.
 
Written By: MarkD
URL: http://
Of course the girl should not have been taken out of school or punished. However, about an hour away:

December 10, 2007: 7-Year-Old Girl Accused Of Threatening Student With Knife

Clearly, there is a problem with violent children. Zero tolerance toward bringing a metal knife to school is clearly warranted. That does not mean the student must be punished, especially by bringing in the police. But what parent in this day-in-age is unaware of their school’s policy regarding knives?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
All the adults are smart enough to stay out of public service.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
How typical — now we’re getting into the "bash the teachers" mode.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Let me also point out that the school policy (written in the handbook) is approved by the school board — in other words by ELECTED officials.

Obviously the policy to notify the police in all cases is too strict. However, the teachers do not have the authority to override the policy.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
However, the teachers do not have the authority to override the policy.
A teacher, or group of teachers in this case were the ones who didn’t just take the knife on the spot and drop the issue - they, acting on behalf of the policy, elevated the problem to ’visibility’ beyond the scene of the action.
No different than as a kid when I got collared for trespassing and the cop just told me not to do it again, as opposed to running me in. They had a choice of how to handle it (and maybe because there was more than one were suffering from peer pressure).

I admit, I’m blaming the teachers when if it’s the school board, or the legislature, or city council then, logically, it’s ’us’ that is the problem, but the teachers are acting as the start of the enforcement process.

The real issue is this is the same as the quote about the Jews being taken (...I wasn’t a Jew, so I said nothing...). No one thinks THEIR kid is going to get booted for taking a staking to school, because of course, their kid wouldn’t do that. No one thinks THEIR kid is going to get booted for forgetting to take the box of kitchen knives out of the truck that got put there when they were moving grandma last weekend (happened here in Texas).
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
the teachers are acting as the start of the enforcement process
So you’re advocating that the teachers act against the policy by not reporting it.

Got it.

Any other policies that the teachers should just decide to ignore?

Have you ever been to court when your school was being sued and had to defend why you did not follow the school policies for certain children?

Have you ever had a violent student return to school after his expulsion was not upheld by the courts because some teachers were not "consistent" (as determined by a judge) when it came to the rules?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
looker writes:
I admit, I’m blaming the teachers when if it’s the school board, or the legislature, or city council then, logically, it’s ’us’ that is the problem, but the teachers are acting as the start of the enforcement process.
It’s a little more complicated than that, at least in a state like New York, but the universality of this particular ethos in American schools suggests that there is a common component in most regions and states.

Here, in New York State, the teachers unions are incredibly powerful. The state legislature inculcates the positions of the unions in the law and that extends to the administrative law and rules forced onto local school districts by the state education department. The pathway is always cut with more bureaucratic manipulation.

So, it’s not individual teachers, it’s the teachers unions, which you have to belong to if you want to be a public school teacher. The public schools here are a closed shop. The teachers unions are heavily weighted with left-liberal doctrine and beyond, and they want their money and their way, at all times. In return they offer campaign support, endorsements, and votes.

In my locale the local teachers union always endorses candidates for the school board, and those candidates always kow-tow to the union. Voters seem oblivious to all of this and think that the union endorsement is like the Good Housekeeping seal of approval.

So, when you see this sort of political correctness expressed as zero tolerance, you can bet that the unions have had a hand in it, either in insisting upon it as policy through their influence with the policymakers, or in condoning it.

If I’m wrong in this particular instance, then I’ll back-up and say that it’s the osmotic effect of prevailing school culture, as influence by the unions. But it’s important to remember that teachers and teachers unions are not synonymous.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
"Zero tolerance toward bringing a metal knife to school is clearly warranted. That does not mean the student must be punished"

Actually that’s exactly what a zero tolerance policy means. If punishment was discretionary, it wouldn’t be ZT anymore. And that’s exactly why these policies are so dehumanizing.

And I’m entirely tired of the "we had no choice" defense. You always have a choice. You may not like the options much, but there is a choice. "I had no choice" is right up their with "I was just following orders."

If you don’t want to deal with the consequences of acting outside policy, then you say "I called the police on a ten year old girl, because I did not want to deal with the consequences of breaking the SOP." Take responsibility for decisions instead of claiming someone else forced your hand.
 
Written By: Jared
URL: http://
So you’re advocating that the teachers act against the policy by not reporting it.

Got it.
Probably not ... but they, and parents, should be raising holy h*ll about it to the board. Teachers should be given a list of alternatives depending on the situation, not a single, one-size-fits-all dictum which in reality fits very few situations.

If and when they have that sort of leeway (i.e. options and choices depending on the situation) and they overreact (such as calling the police when, in this case, taking the knife, counseling the child and notifying the parents seems appropriate), then you can go after the teachers.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Take responsibility for decisions instead of claiming someone else forced your hand.
And watch your decisions to break the written rule for certain students cause the failure to apply the rules legally to students who warrant the punishment — it happens all the time.

What happened to all those complaints about how the judiciary ignores the written law and makes it up as they go along?

If you don’t like the way the law is written — then change it. Don’t bitch and moan about the people who enforce the law as written.

And we’re not talking about the Holocaust, so take all the Nazi references and shove them up your a$$es.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
it’s the teachers unions, which you have to belong to if you want to be a public school teacher
This is not true for 22 states which includes Florida (where this occurred).
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Amazing thing... my mom tried to get on a plane with hedge shears in her carry on. (The bag was borrowed from her sister who left the flat-ish shears in a zip pocket.)

The TSA people laughed their *sses off and took the shears out of the bag.

My mother got out of pri... no wait... nothing happened to my mother.

And, yeah, I WILL blame teachers. They may not be the only ones to blame but they certainly share it.

"Zero tolerance is an excuse for zero brains, zero responsibility, and zero effort."

I’d love to see a t-shirt with "Zero tolerance" on the front and "Zero brains, Zero responsibility, Zero effort" on the back.

I don’t know who I could get to wear the things, though. Ten year olds aren’t mature enough to understand or make political statements or lead student revolutions.

Which brings us back to blaming teachers, administrators and everyone involved who will NOT take personal responsibility for anything if they can possibly help it.

So, random thought... does a juvie felony disqualify this young lady for military service and if an exception is made will people cry about how low are standards are and how we let felons enlist?
 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
And if I didn’t make it clear in one of my comments above — I’m all hot and bothered about the "ignore the written policy" comments because my school (and several teachers including myself) were burned by this attitude when it came time to expel a violent student. Because we had not followed the written procedures the same way for ALL students, we could not single out this particular student. And you can bet he enjoyed rubbing our noses in it!

So let me know when all you "adults" get some real experience dealing with children, parents, and the court system. Until then, you can enjoy feeling superior in your "adulthood" without actually having to do the real work.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Oh, JWG, the simple answer is homeschool.

Homeschoolers may be small in number but they are raising a cadre of revolutionaries that are not accustomed to quiet compliance with the stupid.

Public education is philosophically in conflict with liberty and personal responsibility... not to mention the flagrant conflict of interests involved in a government institution teaching civics.
 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
I cannot think of a more dangerous "weapon" than moronic teachers and school adminstrators.
 
Written By: Rich Horton
URL: http://iconicmidwest.blogspot.com
JGW, that is exactly the problem!

Administrators can not and will NOT take personal responsibility. Falling back on the written code means that personal judgment need not apply. You can not convince me that this is a situation that was done to administrators without their cooperation!

But this *too* is at least partly due to the non-voluntary nature of state funded schooling. The relationship between parents and administrators is not a *voluntary* relationship. Administrators can not tell problem parents to find another school for their problem children without hoops, bells and whistles because it’s the law that children must be accommodated.

Can’t expel students.

Can’t fire teachers.

But no one questions the obvious "truth" of the goodness of the public school compulsory system.
 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
Those 2 idiots who shot up Colombine have been the inadvertant catalysts for so much curbing of common sense and really frightening policies...
they had no choice but to call police.
That’s the point of these "zero tolerance" measures. No common sense, no discretion, no judgments, no making allowances.

The people in charge of our schools are not so much educators anymore as they are compliance officers.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
It is the actor not the tools, which make a tool deadly.

As pointed out, pens and pencils can be used to injure and even kill someone.

Punish the kids who get violent, or threaten others, regardless of what they have in their hands, not the ones who are cutting their steak with a steak knife.

What are they trying to teach the kids by saying that it’s the mere possession of a knife which makes people dangerous?
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Or maybe we should blame administrators and lawyers.

I mean, this happened in my nephew’s school district... the whole school gets to have a special treat of going to see a Harry Potter movie during the school day. Religious parent asked for her kids to be excused. School says, sure. Parent finds out that her kids will spend most of the day in *detention*. Parent complains vigorously because she is really mad that her children will have to do what bad kids have to do (but for much longer) just because they aren’t going to the movie. School administration, on advice from lawyers. CANCELS THE HARRY POTTER MOVIE FOR EVERYONE.

Blaming the court system because the school lawyer is an idiot and says there’s a possibility that someone could sue and the administrator acting like the lawyer’s opinion is the LAW is *exactly* an abdication of personal responsibility and judgment. People sue for stupid things. Stand up to it! Or make an effort to find a solution people can agree on. (Give the kids the day off school instead of detention and a movie pass for a movie of their choice, for instance.)

But NOOOO gotta cancel the movie trip for everyone because the lawyer said that there might *maybe* be some way that the school could be sued.

Lawyers *always* say that and since they can’t say they’re absolutely and utterly sure that there is no chance whatsoever in any lifetime or alternate universe that the suit might work and *besides* it’s going to cost money, it’s up to the people they advise to decide what to do. Blaming the lawyer is a cop-out.
 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
Because we had not followed the written procedures the same way for ALL students, we could not single out this particular student.
Oh, two wrongs make it right.

Got it.
 
Written By: Ryan
URL: http://
And if I didn’t make it clear in one of my comments above — I’m all hot and bothered about the "ignore the written policy" comments because my school (and several teachers including myself) were burned by this attitude when it came time to expel a violent student. Because we had not followed the written procedures the same way for ALL students, we could not single out this particular student. And you can bet he enjoyed rubbing our noses in it!
The example you’re giving us is precisely why the zero tolerance policies are created in the first place.
I’m forced to fall back on the fact that the justice system is pretty much hosed because things like you’re describing are allowed to happen.

My son was involved in a zero tolerance story, so I’ve seen it from the other side, where this girls parents are standing today, and, unlike their daughter, my son was 18, so there aren’t any juvenile laws to cover his name.
I also discovered the internet isn’t such a wonderful tool when you’ve been charged but not convicted of a felony.

And that was where I realized the justice system was largely hosed, but as you may be guessing, it didn’t leave me with any love for my local school system either.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Oh, in my son’s case, it wasn’t technically a teacher that started the ball rolling, it was the ’campus rent-a-cop’ doing a walk by on cars in the parking lot where his camping knife had been (now I say) stupidly left behind in his truck from the weekend.

But it went from rent-a-cop, to his counselor & assistant principle & principle to (always bothered me before and now I know why) school resident city police officer.

Off we go to the station young man, welcome to the justice system, watch your head the ride sucks from here on.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Hope the DA enjoys trying to prove intent...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Hopefully sanity will prevail at some point, the publicity surely won’t hurt her case.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
JWG-I worked in Corrections and I know where you’re coming from. Just as all correctional officers are knuckle-draggers so to are all teachers try to evade making responsible decisions. Some people are painting with a pretty broad brush.
That said, this is a problem and it begins with patents and voters. In the instance you cited where you did take responsibility and was hounded because of it who came to your defense? And yes, unions are a major obstacle to smooth functioning schools.
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
That said, this is a problem and it begins with patents and voters.
Yes, the policy should NEVER have been written to require police involvement.
In the instance you cited where you did take responsibility and was hounded because of it who came to your defense?
Actually, our lawyer (after reviewing the case) told us that we were screwed as soon as the parents sued. The school district went ahead and fought the procedure in court since the child had a violent history. The school lost because there had been students over the years who had NOT faced the consequences written into the school policy.

Anyone who thinks teachers can simply ignore school board policies based on their personal knowledge of a student is a fool.

If you can’t follow the rules outlined in your job, then change the rules or find another job.

Teachers don’t have the legal ability to pick and choose which written rules they want to enforce.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Some people are painting with a pretty broad brush.
Like zero tolerance policies paint a broad brush, eh?

Take heart, it’s raging against the system guys, not raging against you.
It’s raging against the faceless bureaucrats.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Yes, the policy should NEVER have been written to require police involvement.
Oh! bingo!
My vote is with you, a thousand times over.

If I had a dime for every time I said the words -
"this didn’t require the police to be involved" I’d be typing this on a much nicer machine!

And honestly, it’s because as parents we didn’t care enough, at the time, to contest this kind of policy when we reviewed the little rules handbooks the kids come home with at the start of every year.
As I said, we never figured little ’Johnny’ would be subject to a policy like that.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
And to think that my class-mates made buck-knives in shop class.

And custom shotgun butts.

All I can say, people, is homeschool.

What we are teaching our children is that the law is capricious and deserves exactly the respect that implies.

If order degrades it will be because we’ve made order meaningless.
 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
What we are teaching our children is that the law is capricious
changeable; characterized by or subject to whim; impulsive and unpredictable. See Synonyms at arbitrary: based on or subject to individual discretion or preference or sometimes impulse or caprice

It seems to me that is what the judge determined was the problem when teachers would pick and choose when we would apply a school policy.

A zero-tolerance policy is the opposite of capricious.

I suppose you’ll tell us you were taught in the public schools ; )
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Where are the adults in this country and what has happened to common sense?
The answer to both questions is that they’ve been deleted by "good government".
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
No, capricious.

Not based on right and wrong but subject to whim and unpredictable.

A person can be *good* but it doesn’t matter if you’re good, if your intentions are good, if you made a mistake. All the things that we are taught about right and wrong are pointless because the law will get us anyway because the law doesn’t care. It doesn’t matter if you try to follow the law and the rules, you *will* fail and it’s exactly the same as if you don’t give a sh*t and break them on purpose.

The law can be entirely capricious if it is written in such a way that it applies in a way that is unpredictable for those who hope to avoid punishment.

If students can’t avoid punishment except by laboriously following the letter with no rhyme or reason behind it they will perceive rules as variable, subject to whim, unpredictable, and whatever else.

They will learn, when it comes to laws and rules, that the only rational way to deal with them is to not give a sh*t.
 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
The teachers at your school did not *capriciously* apply the rules. (Taking that on faith.) They judged by the situation in a way that was rational, not whimsical. Arbitrary is not the same as capricious because capricious more strongly implies "without reason" and arbitrary may or may not. Discretion is not whim. Preference is not unpredictable.

Reason demands that innocently (or even negligently) bringing a knife to eat with (Oh, hey, anyone see that commercial, maybe from KFC, where the office is in a panic because someone has a knife and she’s just eating chicken?) is not the same as carrying a weapon. Reason demands that defending one’s self when attacked is not the same as starting a fight or attacking someone. Yet zero tolerance rules turn reason on its head. The innocent are the same as the guilty. Self-defense is the same as aggression.

When all that has to happen for my daughter to be suspended or expelled from school is that she respond to sexual groping by breaking the guy’s arm then something is worse than wrong and the law is meaningless or even, without much of a stretch, actively hostile to reason and good order.
 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
The law can be entirely capricious if it is written in such a way that it applies in a way that is unpredictable for those who hope to avoid punishment.
I understand your point, but capricious is still the wrong word.

If you bring a knife to school, you know what will happen to you. There is no unpredictability. There is no variability.

Certainly you can argue that the unbending rule is unreasonable, but it is not unpredictable or subject to an individual’s whim.
judged by the situation in a way that was rational, not whimsical
When you’re removing a student’s legal right, one person’s "rational" is another person’s "whimsical" when you don’t apply the rules (as written) for every student.

Zero-tolerance rules don’t have to be written as harshly as they were in this case, but they are going to trap students whose rule-breaking actions don’t have malicious intent.

They came about as a response to litigation. In fact, judging by the responses within this blog in reference to many educational issues, not many around here place much faith in teachers to make decisions on their own which is why schools are sued so often.

You can’t have it both ways.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Do private schools have these problems?

No. They don’t. Because associations are voluntary.

And whining about how teachers are in a spot they can do nothing about doesn’t change the fact that students are outright taught that it is every bit as wrong to defend one’s self as to attack someone and that a nail clipper or table knife is morally equivalent to a switch-blade.

The reasons don’t change the lesson.

Following the rules is pointless if you’re a good kid because if you slip up you’re screwed and even if you don’t slip up you can get screwed anyway.

The results will be the same and it doesn’t matter if you insist that language is not variable or that it’s best not to give teachers leeway to use discretion. You describe the results of taking away the ability of school administrators and teachers to use discretion and then *blame* it on discretion. What?

The rules shouldn’t have been written so harshly? Well, how do you write a rule that bringing a blade weapon to school is NOT a felony and apply it to zero tolerance? Zero tolerance is designed to treat all violations equally without making a distinction. If they made a distinction they wouldn’t be zero tolerance, they’d be scaled tolerance or something.

And I’ll stop blaming administrators for being moral cowards when they start making a big fuss over the injustice and how it sends wrong messages and undermines order and letting people making the rules know what they DO need and push for it instead of appearing to be more interested in avoiding conflict and covering their asses.
 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
To give some perspective:

There are about 85,000 traditional public schools in the US.
These schools contain over 50 million students and 3 million teachers.

It’s certain that you’re going to find someone or some event that you’re going to disagree with on any given day within the public school system.

For comparison, there are just under 30,000 private schools with over 5 million students and 1/2 million teachers.

In other words: about 3x fewer schools with 10x fewer students and 6x fewer teachers.
Do private schools have these problems? No. They don’t.
BS.

They have them all the time. The rules and discipline problems are no different (we work with several private schools and many of our teachers started in private schools). The difference is that there are fewer schools/students and the parents don’t have the same legal rights to complain or litigate.

And guess where the students who get kicked of these schools out go? We get them all the time — they’re either emotionally and/or academically troubled. We also get quite a few kids who couldn’t handle the homeschool environment. They’re always behind (or else they wouldn’t be changing systems).

Life is a little easier when you get to pick and choose which students you want to deal with.
I’ll stop blaming administrators for being moral cowards when they start making a big fuss over the injustice
How many times should a person bang his head against a wall before he starts wearing a helmet?

Schools lose discipline cases over and over in the courts and you demand they keep charging at the windmill.

At some point most people decide not to throw their limited time and resources at battles they are guaranteed to lose. You call it "moral cowardice" while others call it common sense.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Oh, I forgot to add that its your tax dollars you want the schools to spend attacking those windmills.

It might be a little cheaper to just remind families to cut their lunch meat at home before putting it into the lunch sack.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Zero-intelligence policies like these are why I’m pulling my kids out of public school and homeschooling them (while we’re waiting for a new charter school to open).

At a charter school, I dropped off some Benadryl for my daughter who had food allergies. She had an allergic reaction at school, they called me and asked my permission to give her the Benadryl, and they gave her the Benadryl. End of story.

At a public school, we took three days to get together all the paperwork and meetings we needed for him to be allowed to have an inhaler at school. Then he had an asthma attack and needed his inhaler. The school flat-out refused to give it to him unless I invented a time machine, went back in time, and re-did his paperwork in such a way that every possible scenario in which he might need his inhaler was scripted for them. They wouldn’t take my permission to give him the inhaler and they wouldn’t take a phone call from the doctor, nor would they allow the school nurse to take a call from the doctor. I had to take him out of school and threaten to sue the district before they would give him his inhaler. Lawsuits are the only language they understand.

I try really hard to treat all people like people, including school administrators. But when they abandon all free will and become walking district policy manuals, they cease to be people to me.
 
Written By: Wacky Hermit
URL: http://organicbabyfarm.blogspot.com
Sorry, I was so incensed I left out: the third paragraph is about my son who had asthma.
 
Written By: Wacky Hermit
URL: http://organicbabyfarm.blogspot.com
At a public school, we took three days to get together all the paperwork and meetings we needed for him to be allowed to have an inhaler at school.
I know a lot of people at a lot of schools all around the country. All a parent has to do is drop the medicine off and sign a form. It usually occurs at registration.

Any type of medicine out of a locker or purse is a huge no-no, however.

Like I said, with 85,000 schools you’re likely to find some that are run by idiots.
nor would they allow the school nurse to take a call from the doctor
Cripes. I have to keep a list of all the doctor permissions for unlimited restroom breaks lest I deny someone their medically deemed right to leave my class every day at any moment they desire and ultimately miss 10-15 minutes out of each class period. Then if we send anyone to check the bathroom we’re seen as perverts.

I also got in trouble from a parent because I didn’t remind her kid to keep her leg elevated during class. She raised holy hell. You’d think a 13 year old with a bum foot on crutches could remember to keep her own foot elevated without me having to monitor her every minute of every day.

We could probably trade stories all night long.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
They came about as a response to litigation. In fact, judging by the responses within this blog in reference to many educational issues, not many around here place much faith in teachers to make decisions on their own which is why schools are sued so often.
Actually the schools get sued because it’s easier than suing the real culprit, the parents of the child who committed the offense.

When the elected officials and judges start holding the parents accountable for the actions of their children then you can start allowing teachers to make decisions. As long as the keep placing the blame on the teachers schools will continue to develop policies to protect themselves.
 
Written By: mac
URL: http://
Oh, and one last try at perspective and I’m off to bed:

Most of us probably spent 13 years in a public school. We’re likely to spend another 13 or more years dealing with the schools while our children are growing up.

That’s at least 26 years dealing with public school systems, administrators, and teachers.

How likely is it that you’re not going to find something to be pissed off about in all that time?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Any rule that enables the school to call the police to arrest a 5th grader for anything less than an actual felony assault with a deadly weapon is beyond stupid. Anyone that enforces it without protesting its existence is stupid and irresponsible. If the teachers and administrators at that school have not already protested for the record such an asinine policy to their respective unions deserves whatever opprobrium they receive.
I must consider myself fortunate in that I went to elementary school at a time when such things were handled calmly and reasonably, no police involvement and probably not even parental involvement. Today I would find myself in juvenile detention until the age of 18 for some of the things I did as a child. These are children, for God’s sake, and arresting them for trivialities like this is not the way to instill respect for laws, police, or the legal or political system in general. I can remember during the good old days of the Cold War when examples of such bureacratic idiocy were held up and mocked as typical of the tyranical Soviet system, which destroys individualism and individual responsibility. Looks like the joke is on us, now.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
It’s not banging your head on a wall for no purpose it’s saying "No, I will not" and meaning it.

I sympathize with teachers, I really do, because they are as bound as anyone else but with one exception... they can legally chose to be somewhere else.

Children can’t and many parents do not have the means to make other choices and we’re told that choices are bad and homeschoolers, at least when the idea was new, and those choosing private schools, are vilified for NOT staying in the system and fighting it with their children in the balance to make it better for kids who’s parents supposedly don’t care.

Well, making people powerless is a good way to make them not care. They can’t do anything about it anyway but beat *their* head on a wall for no purpose, because they *can’t* afford to legally chose something else. So the parents who aren’t a PITA at their children’s school are "bad" parents who don’t care, parents who are world class PITA’s are "bad" parents, and the good parents? Are they the ones who say, "Thankyou, may I have another?"

"...arresting them for trivialities like this is not the way to instill respect for laws, police, or the legal or political system in general."

Which is the important point.

Because that’s what they learn.
 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
If you can’t follow the rules outlined in your job, then change the rules or find another job.
Rules aren’t a substitute for commons sense and personal responsibility. A teacher who turns in a child for eating with a steak-knife, knowing that their report may result in a felony charge against that child, is not only a moron, but a gutless coward who is putting an innocent child in a horrible situation for no good reason. By obeying that rule and reporting the child, instead of handling it in a sensible manner, you bear responsibility for the resulting damage, right alone with the people who created the policy. Some things are more important than keeping your job.
 
Written By: David C.
URL: http://
they can legally chose to be somewhere else
And students can legally choose to cut their steak at home.
making people powerless is a good way to make them not care
If you think students and parents are powerless against the school system, then you’re in a dream world.

These over-reactions from some of the school systems are a RESPONSE to getting screwed over and over again after treating individuals as individuals rather than having consistent and measurable consequences.

For every parent who is frustrated at having to have a written note from a doctor there is another parent who is suing a school for not stopping their kid from taking medication when he didn’t need it.

For every parent who is mad that their kid is being punished for bringing a knife to lunch, there is another parent who is suing a school for trying to expel their violent student for having a knife but not threatening anyone with it.

But, hey, it’s better to wait until some kid gets stabbed so we really know the knife holder’s intent, right?

We all know that no kid who brings a knife to school for lunch is ever going to use it for any other purpose. And no one else is going to grab it and use it. Right?

Like I said — the policy to automatically notify police is too extreme — but a zero-tolerance policy to ban any student from bringing a knife to school is NOT a zero-intelligence policy. It is common sense.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
knowing that their report may result in a felony charge against that child
Does ANYONE really think this girl will be charged with a crime?

That doesn’t excuse the policy from being too extreme, but the policy only took the girl to another location because they couldn’t reach the parents. She was not arrested. Again, that does not mean that she wasn’t mentally harmed by the over-reactive policy, you some of you are going overboard in your claims of felony charges.
Some things are more important than keeping your job.
No one is worried about keeping their job — they are worried about legally following a procedure so that other incidents are not thrown out of court.

How hard is it to understand that a written school policy sanctioned by an elected school board has legal ramifications for ALL actions within a school system?

By advocating that teachers ignore the school policy for this incident, you are advocating that they should forget about legally removing any student for breaking the same policy. So when a student who can’t be permanently kicked out of that school after bringing a knife ends up beating someone later, will "you bear responsibility for the resulting damage"?

Your logic works both ways.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
For every parent who is frustrated at having to have a written note from a doctor there is another parent who is suing a school for not stopping their kid from taking medication when he didn’t need it.

For every parent who is mad that their kid is being punished for bringing a knife to lunch, there is another parent who is suing a school for trying to expel their violent student for having a knife but not threatening anyone with it.

But, hey, it’s better to wait until some kid gets stabbed so we really know the knife holder’s intent, right?

We all know that no kid who brings a knife to school for lunch is ever going to use it for any other purpose. And no one else is going to grab it and use it. Right?
JWG - tell me why it is completely different at my daughters school. Yes she goes to a private school, but they make decisions there based on the rules AND common sense. Whether it be a case of her needing medication, to her leaving with the parent of another child, the school bases their actions on common sense and the rules. Heck, last week we were at an awards ceremony and a mother pulled out a 6 inch boot knife from her purse to cut cake with. If she did that in your school, she’d be arrested. At my school, we said ’thanks!’ (and I thought - don’t mess around with her!)
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
JWG
Ya know, I meant to ask, the demonic child that you guys had to put up with...
What was it he did?
It’s not enough that he had a tendency toward violence, he had to have done something(s) in school, right, other than being a smart-@ss disrespectful little turd.

And if he did something deranged and/or violent and he needed to be out of there, why wasn’t NORMAL law for deranged and violent people administered?

I don’t get why a zero tolerance law would have been better than the good old days of someone being expelled for something he did, and perhaps arrested, justifiably, for going across a line (like assaulting a teacher, or destruction of school property, etc).

Ya know, I don’t recall zero tolerance solutions being used growing up, and we ought to wonder why we have to have these things NOW when we didn’t have to have them then. It is probably the drift into an "I’m gonna sue your @ss" society, I’ll admit.

I can recall at least one kid I went to school (9th grade) with who we, literally, never saw again after an incident with some drug (it was the 60’s man....) and the assistant principle (Iron Joe Chancellor, Mr Chancellor to me of course...) collaring him.
Why were they not able to handle the kid in your example using normal, standard, every day recourse for legal action and for getting him out of school.


 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
JWG,
How hard is it to understand that a written school policy sanctioned by an elected school board has legal ramifications for ALL actions within a school system?
Totally irrelavant to the situation and to my point, which is about personal responsibility.
No one is worried about keeping their job — they are worried about legally following a procedure so that other incidents are not thrown out of court.
Oh that makes it just fine then. We need to punish the innocent in order to also get the guilty.
By advocating that teachers ignore the school policy for this incident, you are advocating that they should forget about legally removing any student for breaking the same policy.
No, I most definitely am not advocating that. I am advocating that a teacher employ basic commonsense and judgement when dealing with each individual situation. A child eating steak with a steak-knife is not the same situation as a child waving one around in the hallway, and it should not be dealt with the same way, regardless of what the school’s policy says. There is no logical reason whatsoever that the teacher couldn’t have just confiscated the knife, and explained to the girl that no knife of any kind is allowed in school. To report that girl, knowing that she was going to be arrested was unconscionable. I would not want a teacher with such bad judgment anywhere near my 10 year old.
By advocating that teachers ignore the school policy for this incident, you are advocating that they should forget about legally removing any student for breaking the same policy.
No, I’m advocating that the teacher not report the incident in the first place and simply handle it in a sensible manner.
So when a student who can’t be permanently kicked out of that school after bringing a knife ends up beating someone later, will "you bear responsibility for the resulting damage"?
Again, this makes no sense. If there is no incident in the first place, and no report, there is no effect on the school at large. The only effect will be that actual weapons violations get reported, not innocent mistakes.
 
Written By: David C.
URL: http://
Heck, last week we were at an awards ceremony and a mother pulled out a 6 inch boot knife from her purse to cut cake with. If she did that in your school, she’d be arrested.
No, the rule is only in regards to students. And we don’t have to call the police.
they make decisions there based on the rules AND common sense
So do we. It is common sense to disallow a student to bring a metal knife to school. What action to officially take if a student DOES bring a knife to school is debatable. This particular school went overboard in requiring police notification.
if he did something deranged and/or violent and he needed to be out of there, why wasn’t NORMAL law for deranged and violent people administered?
Bringing a knife to school is NOT violent or deranged, as we have just argued. If a student with a violent past (fighting and bullying) brings a knife to school, can you tell me without a doubt that the student was actually going to use it in a violent manner? Bullies have to cut their meat and fruit, too.
Why were they not able to handle the kid in your example using normal, standard, every day recourse for legal action and for getting him out of school
Like most non-mega sized districts, my school district does not have an alternative placement program. Therefore, we have nowhere to send students to continue their education if they cause problems in a regular school setting. The only way to remove a student is to expel them. That is a lengthy legal process outlined by each particular state legislature written into the state’s school code.

We could not use the fact that the student had brought a "weapon" to school (he never used it as a weapon) as the final serious-enough reason to expel him since there had been other students who had not been suspended for similar circumstances.

The student is now actually expelled from the district (after two more years) because of continued fights at the high school. I am sure that all the students bullied and bloodied by him in the meantime rested easily at night in the knowledge that we had been reasonable and rational when it came to who brought a "weapon" to school.
If there is no incident in the first place, and no report, there is no effect on the school at large.
Then you are not living in the real world. Just because there is no report doesn’t mean it didn’t legally happen. It just means that the school legally looks like they don’t apply written rules consistently. That’s a problem for the school.
By advocating that teachers ignore the school policy for this incident, you are advocating that they should forget about legally removing any student for breaking the same policy.
No, I most definitely am not advocating that
But that is the result of what you advocate. According to your stated logic: "you bear responsibility for the resulting damage."
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Homeschool, people...
 
Written By: Rob
URL: http://
I’m surprised that so many of you are having trouble differentiating between "moral" and "legal". They are not the same and the legal system does not care what anyone claims as a "rational" morality.

Public schools, as government entities, must exist in the legal realm. No matter what individuals within that system define as "moral" they are obligated to act legally.

Instead of bitchin’ about people fulfilling their legal obligations, why don’t you check out your state’s school code, your school’s written policy, and become more involved in the local school board elections?

Maybe you could volunteer to be a community member on a school committee the next time your local school is looking for people to review policies. It probably happens yearly and schools are always trying to demonstrate to the state bureaucrats how they are connected to the local community.

Naaaahhhhh...it’s much easier to point out other people’s "moral cowardice" than to actually participate in the democratic process, isn’t it?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
JWG,
If there is no incident in the first place, and no report, there is no effect on the school at large.
Then you are not living in the real world. Just because there is no report doesn’t mean it didn’t legally happen.
Of course it does. What are you talking about? If there is no incident there is no incident, no record of it, no nothing — just a teacher telling a little kid not to do something.
I’m surprised that so many of you are having trouble differentiating between "moral" and "legal".
It’s funny you should mention that, since it appears that you yourself think following the law/rules is the only thing that matters. You say:
No matter what individuals within that system define as "moral" they are obligated to act legally.
I disagree. What you are apparently advocating is blinding following the rules regardless of the situation. Reporting a 10 year old for using a steak knife is a prime example. Are you actually arguing that people should obey laws that are immoral just because they are legal?
Naaaahhhhh...it’s much easier to point out other people’s "moral cowardice" than to actually participate in the democratic process, isn’t it?
Of course it’s easier but also irrelevant to any of the points that have been made. That’s what we do on blogs, comment and offer arguments about things that we usually aren’t personally involved with.
But that is the result of what you advocate. According to your stated logic: "you bear responsibility for the resulting damage."
No it isn’t. That would only be true if you failed to report a dangerous incident. What I am advocating is that teachers (and administrators) use their judgment to implement the intent of the policy (preventing violence in school) and not blindly adhere to the letter of it. There is no need to activate "the system" for a situation that doesn’t require it.
 
Written By: David C.
URL: http://
use their judgment to implement the intent of the policy (preventing violence in school) and not blindly adhere to the letter of it.
And I’m telling you that in the real world the legal system does not support it. You either apply the written rule as it is written, or it is de facto NOT a rule that can be enforced within the legal system against anyone.
If there is no incident there is no incident, no record of it, no nothing — just a teacher telling a little kid not to do something.
And when the lawyer for the kid you’re trying to expel asks if anyone else has ever brought a knife to school you would say what? "Well, since there’s no record of it, it must not have happened!"
since it appears that you yourself think following the law/rules is the only thing that matters
No, I am arguing that it is the only thing that matters to the legal system. The people in public schools don’t get to decide who gets to stay and who must go. The judiciary does based on the laws written by the legislative branch and the rules adopted by a democratically elected school board.
There is no need to activate "the system" for a situation that doesn’t require it.
Legally, if you don’t follow the written procedures for little Mary when she brings a knife to school, then you don’t get to complain when the courts won’t let you apply the procedures to Johnny when he brings a knife to school.

It may not seem morally right, but that’s how the law works in a land without unicorns and candy-cane trees.
offer arguments about things that we usually aren’t personally involved with
Well I am personally involved in situations just like this and have been for the past 15 years, which is why I am telling you that your idealistic version does not work in reality.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
"Does ANYONE really think this girl will be charged with a crime?"

Then why involve the police? Kids may be ignorant, but they aren’t stupid. What they learn from incidents like this is a justifiable contempt for authority.


"why wasn’t NORMAL law for deranged and violent people administered?"

Because there is no place in the sacred halls of academe for the rule of civil law. The educational establishment is a law unto itself. "Pigs off campus" is the technical term, if I remember correctly. My father in law taught in a high school. One day one of the students hit him and left him lying unconscious in the hall. A three day suspension for the future upstanding citizen. It is a good thing that high school student didn’t have steak for lunch, he would have been in real trouble.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
The educational establishment is a law unto itself.
Actually, the exact opposite is true. Any decision that affects the students must be sent through the legal system to ensure that due process has been met. Schools cannot do anything to a student without having a lawyer double-check it.

Your father-in-law example should show how hard it is to administer discipline.
What they learn from incidents like this is a justifiable contempt for authority.
And they learn that bringing a knife to school is treated very very seriously.

As I said before, this girl was not arrested or processed. She was taken off campus when the police could not get in contact with her parents. Claims about a felony charge are simply a way to generate hysteria.

With 85,000 schools to choose from how many incidents can you find that involved the police and a student eating lunch with a knife?

We’re not witnessing the collapse of civilization.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
"Your father-in-law example should show how hard it is to administer discipline."

How hard is it to dial a telephone and call the police? Assault and battery is a violent crime, not just a violation of school policy. I guess some schools DO get to choose which laws they will enforce.


" She was taken off campus when the police could not get in contact with her parents."

Why? Was she a threat to the other students? They couldn’t find anywhere in the school?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Why?
Maybe by the time they got tired of trying to find an adult guardian it was the end of the school day. Maybe the police have a procedure to follow along with the school. They probably had to ask her and her parents some questions before they could legally determine there was no threat. I don’t know their local laws. Anyone can claim she was just using the knife to cut her food. Maybe they were worried that there was a possibility that she brought the knife as protection and didn’t want to release her to go home without a parent knowing about the situation.

Can you imagine the uproar if she was beat up on her way home after being released by the police and/or school because she was afraid to tell the authorities about her situation?
How hard is it to dial a telephone and call the police?
Did your father-in-law forget how to dial the phone when he was conscious? Did he just get in his car and drive home after being unconscious? He never reported it nor sought medical treatment? He was an adult, right?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
BTW, I didn’t mean the questions about your father-in-law to sound snarky if they come across that way.

My point is that just like we don’t know the answers to the question "Why" about the little girl because of the lack of reporting/information, I don’t know the answer as to why no legal action was taken in your father-in-law’s case. But I would think he would be able to pursue the case himself. We have parents who have the police charge students with a crime after a school fight.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
[David C.] A teacher who turns in a child for eating with a steak-knife, knowing that their report may result in a felony charge against that child, is not only a moron, but a gutless coward who is putting an innocent child in a horrible situation for no good reason. By obeying that rule and reporting the child, instead of handling it in a sensible manner, you bear responsibility for the resulting damage, right alone with the people who created the policy.
[JWG] No one is worried about keeping their job — they are worried about legally following a procedure so that other incidents are not thrown out of court.
JWG, I’m agreeing with most of what you’ve had to say on this thread, but not right here. The average teacher is thinking more about their job than about what might happen when the district lawyers are in court. Most of us teachers have never had to go to court, but we’ve all got to pay our bills. Administrators might be thinking about legally following a procedure so that other incidents are not thrown out of court. But as you’ve been saying throughout this thread, there’s a difference. Your thought process as described here would be the minority for teachers.

(aside: McQ, if you were to say that school administrators "should be given a list of alternatives depending on the situation, not a single, one-size-fits-all dictum which in reality fits very few situations", then I might agree. Teachers don’t call the police. Administrators do. It’s an extremely important distinction.)

David, a teacher who does not turn in the child and risks their job is not necessarily sparing the child being turned in. If a single person besides the teacher sees the knife, then you’re asking the teacher to risk his/her job without even having the guarantee that the student won’t be turned in. Turning the knife in and describing the situation is not necessarily moronic or cowardly. In fact, that teacher may be going out of his/her way to vouch for the kid while you ignorantly sit at home berating that teacher without knowing what the hell actually happened. There is probably a word to describe that type of behavior... maybe "moronic"?


Look, gang. The average teacher is going to confiscate the knife even if they see it as no threat. They will do this both to protect their job and to show that rules are not just for kids who have been in trouble before. They will make the assumption that the administrators will be able to use their better judgment. The administrators will call the police if required... both to protect their job and to show that the rules are not just for kids who have been in trouble before. Once the police have been called, the student cannot legally be released without talking to the parents. If the parents can’t be contacted, the kid goes with the cops. If it wasn’t this way, we all know that there would be incidents where a kid gets stabbed by a knife that the attacker had earlier told a teacher was for lunch, yeah, for a steak, see? And then the teacher would be a moron and a coward for not disarming the student when they saw the weapon... gutless lefty wuss teachers!

Yeah, those stupid teachers and their unions, they’re the problem.
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
Shorter JWG: "Nuremberg."

 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
"Maybe by the time they got tired of trying to find an adult guardian it was the end of the school day."

So let her go home like she normally does. Was she a flight risk who needed to post bail?

"Maybe the police have a procedure to follow along with the school."

Once again, why was it necessary to call the police?

"before they could legally determine there was no threat."

Sure. Guilty until proven innocent. Another good life lesson for the kids.

." Maybe they were worried ...."

jeebers. And maybe little green aliens would kidnap her. And maybe she was a member of an Al Qaeda cell. And maybe...


"Did your father-in-law forget how to dial the phone when he was conscious?...He was an adult, right? "
"

I don’t know. He was an adult, but he was not in charge of the school and maintaining a safe learning and working environment in it.

" BTW, I didn’t mean the questions about your father-in-law to sound snarky..."

Not to worry. It is often difficult not to sound snarky when asking a question or making a point. Been there, done that.

"My point is that just like we don’t know the answers to the question ..."

So what’s new? That’s life. If you want to wait until you learn absolutely everything about a situation you will never make a decision or form an opinion. Being nonjudgemental may sound laudable and fair but, as someone said, it is cowardice after you reach a certain age and level of experience. My opinion, and I assume the others expressed here, is based on the information available. If more information becomes available, opinions may change. It wouldn’t be the first time I have changed an opinion after receiving new information.


 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
he was not in charge of the school and maintaining a safe learning and working environment in it.
He was a teacher. He is in charge of maintaining a safe teaching environment.

He is also a responsible adult (according to all the comments in this thread) who can make the decision to call the police when he is assaulted.
The average teacher is thinking more about their job than about what might happen when the district lawyers are in court.
I don’t know any teacher who is worried about losing his job over making a decision to not send a kid to the office for breaking a school policy.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
I don’t know any teacher who is worried about losing his job over making a decision to not send a kid to the office for breaking a school policy.
Well, I definitely do. Over some policies, but not others. I’ll agree to say that our disagreement here is based on the different environments and conversations we’ve had.

And beside that one point, I think your comments here have been correct - comparisons to genocidal automatons simply don’t apply. Folks, I’ve seen too many situations just in my school district that made it to the press and were nearly unrecognizable from the actual course of events. It’s very easy for people to assume motivations, fill in the blanks a little, read between the lines, and wind up getting it all wrong. It’s interesting how many blog readers have no problem getting their full load of info on this story from a single link to a traditional media source.

I hope that the situation leads to the idiotic rules being changed somewhere in that chain of events that unfolded. But that lies beyond what the teacher is capable of by himself/herself.

It would be more productive to take a proactive approach to zero-tolerance laws and rules... how many of you who were bitching here have since contacted your local schools to find out what zero-tolerance policies await kids in your community? How many of you will do anything about it? My guess is that the answer rhymes with hero. Just click your heels and say "there’s no place like homeschool".
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
Shorter JWG: "Nuremberg."
I already addressed this complaint when it was brought up by saying: "And we’re not talking about the Holocaust, so take all the Nazi references and shove them up your a$$es."

But I’ll go ahead and elaborate by admitting that this is just like the Nazis...except for the girl not being arrested...or processed...or talked to in a harsh manner...and she was released when a family member showed up...but other than that it was just like the Holocaust.

As I’ve said, if the school does not follow their written policy they will not be able to apply it legally when another student shows up with a knife (and doesn’t use it in a threatening manner).

Out of 85,000 public schools there is bound to be a few who have poorly written policies. A smart policy in this case would require a pyramid approach to the violation in which the school didn’t have to jump to the most extreme reaction right away.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
"I already addressed this complaint when it was brought up by saying: ’And we’re not talking about the Holocaust’,..."
Nobody said we were and that is not the point of the allusion.

I could be wrong, but I believe that you understand the point and cannot afford to cop to it. If you don’t understand, then that’s a whole ’nother thing by itself, and it explains your flat 2-D union-rep-styled defense of this bloody crap.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
"He was a teacher. He is in charge of maintaining a safe teaching environment."

Nonsense. What, then, is the function of the school administration and principal? Awhile ago you were saying teachers must follow policy, now you say they are independently responsible for maintaining a safe environment.



"Out of 85,000 public schools there is bound to be a few who have poorly written policies...."

This argument would have more weight if I hadn’t seen or read of instances of academic idiocy many times over many years, or talked to teachers. I suspect there are more cases just as idiotic that never get any publicity. Some years ago, when I lived in Florida, there was a newspaper article with a photograph whose caption said something about an 18 year old criminal suspect, a highschool senior, whose public defender had to sign all the court documents for him as he couldn’t write his own name. I was assured by a school board spokeswoman that such cases were exceedingly rare and that social promotion was an absolutely necessary and vital policy. I didn’t believe her then, and it seems that the rest of the state came to share my belief, as the entire state implemented some reforms a few years later. Evidently social promotion is not quite as vital as I was told. I am similary skeptical of zero-tolerance policies.
I sometimes think about that kid and about how he had just about zero chances of becoming a functioning member of society. But I am comforted in knowing that his teachers and school administrators were adhering to a policy that benefitted him and was vital for the successful maintainance of an orderly and productive learining environment.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
it explains your flat 2-D union-rep-styled defense of this bloody crap.
Neither my wife nor I are union members.

And my defense of this is based on how the legal world operates in real life rather than in the world of milk chocolate rivers and fairy dust rainstorms.

I thought teachers were commie sympathisers interested only in making sure the students feel good about themselves. Now I’m learning that we are really immoral automatons out to crush any student who stands in the way of our job security.

Here’s an idea: we’re over 3 million individuals who make a multitude of decisions that impact hundreds of students in our care every day. Some of us screw up by creating policies that end up being too restrictive or too lax and some of us screw up when we don’t follow written policies that get the school into legal trouble. On any given day the overwhelming majority of us make the right decisions despite the antics of hordes of screaming, hyper, whining, crying, and excitable hairless monkeys that scamper throughout the building.

Here’s another idea: Think of your own house with your own children and their behavior and moods. Ever make a mistake when dealing with just 1, 2, or 3 kids? Now add a room or a school full of children in tens of thousands of buildings to that mental picture and calm down.
This argument would have more weight if...
Even if you heard of one academic idiocy story every day for 5 years — you’re talking about 2%.
Nonsense. What, then, is the function of the school administration and principal? Awhile ago you were saying teachers must follow policy
All adults in the building are responsible for maintaining a safe teaching environment. Who do you think monitors the classrooms, hallways, bathrooms, cafeteria, and outside school grounds? Who do you think delivers and documents the vast majority of discipline, calls home, or gets into the middle of fistfights to break them up?

And EVERY adult must follow the written policies, including the administrators and the school board members.

I can’t even fathom the fact that you seem to think your father-in-law would be incapable of calling the police after he was attacked.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
hairless monkeys
I forgot to add that some of them fling poo — literally — I’m not joking.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
"I can’t even fathom the fact that you seem to think your father-in-law would be incapable of calling the police after he was attacked."

AsI said, I don’t know why he didn’t, so I can’t fathom why you came to that conclusion. Nice of you to hold him responsible, though, instead of his superiors, the ones paid to make those decisions. S*** rolls downhill, as we used to say.

"All adults in the building are responsible..."

No one is in charge? What, exactly, is the function of the principal and administrators?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Nice of you to hold him responsible, though, instead of his superiors
If you are attacked at work, are you going to expect your boss to call the police after s/he finds out about it (assuming the boss did not witnessed it)? If s/he doesn’t, are you just going to say "Oh, well, I guess the attacker is just going to get away with it"?

Since when does an adult not have responsibility in deciding if they want police involvement in their own attack?
No one is in charge?
How do you go from a statement that EVERYONE is responsible for creating a safe environment to "no one" being in charge?

Teachers take care of the vast majority of discipline in a building themselves. They (should) keep a record of what they do and (should) keep the office informed.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
"If you are attacked at work, are you going to expect your boss to call the police after s/he finds out about it"

Yes. Out of fear of a lawsuit if nothing else.

"If s/he doesn’t, are you just going to say "Oh, well, I guess the attacker is just going to get away with it"?"

Not me, but I am sure you can come up with a myriad of reasons why I should.


"Since when does an adult not have responsibility in deciding if they want police involvement in their own attack?"

Since when did I say they didn’t?
Since when does the school administration not have any responsibility? This typifies your whole argument of ’pass the buck’. First you say the teachers have no authority for independent action, now you attempt to lay the entire responsibility on the individual teacher.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
First you say the teachers have no authority for independent action, now you attempt to lay the entire responsibility on the individual teacher.
Try again.

I stated EVERY adult has a legal obligation to follow the written policies. Failure to follow those policies by EVERY adult places future actions in legal jeopardy.

As far as attacks against individuals, it is always the responsibility of the victim to press charges. Your father-in-law was the victim. It was his responsibility to press legal charges against his attacker.

According to your story, the school took action within their policies. Your father-in-law must have chosen not to press criminal charges.

Your boss can fire an employee for attacking another employee. Your boss can demand the police charge a person for trespassing or any other crime against the company. Your boss cannot make the decision to press charges for the attack against you.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://

 
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