posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 03:25 PM
Where are the parents?
Well, you must not have much experience with the Public School system in America post-Columbine. I certainly know a lot has changed since I went to
school (and it wasn't that long ago). Just wearing a necklace with a religious symbol other than a Christian Cross is enough to get you suspended
and/or arrested. Dressing in black is a guarantee of being expelled. The essays and reports I wrote in Public School (and got A+ grades on) would now
get me a one way trip to the School Counselor, an appointment with a Psychologist, and a transfer to a "special" school for at-risk students.
Because of the tragedy at Columbine, Public Schools have been given almost the same as Police Powers. Students no longer have any rights in Public
School, and their parents have no recourse other than with the Civil Courts.
To an extent, I understand and appreciate the situation that Public Schools are in and realize that much of what they do is for Legal Indemnity to
protect them from Civil Lawsuits.
If they have students that are diabetic, then it's understandable that the Schools would go to extremes to cover their legal back-sides by
confiscating all substances in school that contain sugar from all students, and perform random searches of lockers for substances containing sugar,
lest that kid ask one of their friends for a stick of gum and go into a diabetic shock or coma from it, thus putting the School at risk of being sued
by the parents.
Or doing the same with any foodstuffs because there are some students with peanut allergies or others with shellfish allergies, and so forth.
I can understand prohibiting OTC medicines as "Illicit Drugs" along with Heroin and PCP. The school doesn't want to be held legally accountable if
a student gets drunk on Cough Syrup their parents gave them. So, they just expel and arrest if you have an aspirin in your backpack.
I can understand subjecting students to Metal-Detectors and Bag Searches at the entrance of school. You don't want a child bringing a gun or knife to
class. So, if a child is caught with a fingernail file on a small pair of fingernail clippers, the Schools just expel and arrest.
However, there are a lot of other practices that Public Schools expel and arrest for that don't make much sense. Check out the wrong book at the
Library and you will find yourself expelled and arrested (so why is it in the School Library then?). Bring a violent (rated T for Teen) videogame
downloaded on your iPhone, even if you aren't playing it and it is in your backpack in your locker during class so as not to be a distraction, and
the school expels (and possibly arrests). Bring a Model Rocket to School with permission of your Science Teacher and be expelled and arrested for
bringing explosives into the School. Identify in any way with a non-mainstream culture and find yourself with a one-way ticket to expulsion from
Parents can go to the School Board and petition for a hearing. However, the School is going to pull the "it's in the interests of the well-being and
safety of the students" excuse. The only recourse for the parents, at that point, is to call out the lawyers to get any form of remediation from the
Public Schools. Even then, there is no guarantee as School Districts tend to have entire firms of lawyers at their disposal, so by the time your case
gets to court, your child is already of age to go to College.
Anymore, the only recourse parents have vs. Public Schools is to Home School their children themselves...and to many parents (single-parents, working
parents, under-educated parents) that is not a viable option.
Don't blame the parents. Our hands are tied by the system. We can protest. We can threaten to pull our children out of the Public School System, but
ultimately the problem is beyond our ability to fix in the immediate now. About the best we can do is let other people know how ridiculous the
sound-byte "think of the children" has become, and that common sense in Education has been abandoned for blind obedience to that chant.