Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Dumb School Rule

I enforce school rules. Even if the rule is one I myself wouldn't have made, I enforce the rules. Failure to enforce a rule breeds contempt for all the rules. If there's a rule you don't enforce, get rid of it.

Even when our school administration makes a rule that I think is silly or petty, I enforce the rule. I may not enforce it with a vengeance, but I'll tell the student that a rule is a rule and they need to correct whatever it is they're doing mucho pronto. Other teachers allow open violations of rules--personal music players in class, for instance--but I do not. Not enforcing rules undercuts the authority of our administrators, and since I don't ever want them to undercut my authority in front of students, I won't undercut theirs.

But the rule that came out today is so stupid, so lacking in logic, so ridiculous, that even I have to wonder if my own credibility as a thinking human would be diminished by enforcing this rule. It was published in our daily bulletin today: Due to their drug reference, shirts that display a snowman are not to be worn to school.

Did you catch that? Students cannot wear shirts with snowmen on them because someone has decided to make snowmen a drug reference. (Snowman, snow, cocaine--get it?)

Jokingly I note that the Christmas cartoon Frosty the Snowman, which can only be understood by someone under the influence of a hallucinogen, was made in 1969--the same year as Woodstock. See? It all ties together.

Of course, some students want to rebel and go buy snowman shirts and wear them tomorrow. I told them that if only a few of them, or even a few dozen of them, did that, all that would happen is they'd all get in trouble. No, if you want to protest a stupid rule, I said, you have to do it with intellect. Or satire. Or sarcasm, Or irony. Something that will make the makers of the rule embarrassed they ever created the rule in the first place.

Let's start with the obvious. The policy is that no shirt can have a snowman on it. Perhaps tomorrow snowmen should start popping up on pants, backpacks, caps, etc. Totally in compliance with the policy! Perhaps black armbands with snowmen on them with the saying, "Save Frosty". One student has already made me a sign that's hanging in my room. At the top it says "Say No to drugs", under that is a snowman, and under that is the "Save Frosty" statement that I so need to trademark.

Here's me at my most creative, though: Sell snow-cones on the quad at lunch and donate the proceeds to the Darfur refugees. Sell yummy frozen water to Save Frosty (tm), and help thirsty people in a desert in the process.

There's lots of snow in the mountains right now. Someone suggested that students should fill a pickup bed with snow and build a snowman in front of the main office. I like that idea, too.

Update, 3/3/06: Joanne Jacobs (see blogroll at left) links to this story and has an interesting idea of her own.

18 comments:

KauaiMark said...

"...students should fill a pickup bed with snow..."

Won't work. There already is a rule against it:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060224/ap_on_fe_st/snowball_suspensions_1

Darren said...

Yeah, I saw that story. Amazing, isn't it?

At least my students would go to the mountains *and* build the snowman on the weekend, which *should* exempt them from idiotic school rules.

Edward said...

Does the school you teach at have a serious problem drug problem?

Darren said...

Our students' families are for the most part very well off, so there *is* an overabundance of money around. And there's only so much a teenager can buy, and something has to absorb that extra money!

Is there a "problem"? There are not many drug-related "problems" on campus--in fact, I can't recall hearing of any in 3 years other than possession once or twice.

Anonymous said...

That is ridiculous. At this rate, soon people won't be able to wear white anymore.

Thorndog said...

This is fridiculous as a student, I must say. The student government recently came to my english class asking how we can improve school spirit, and when the school pulls stuff like this, all I can do is just shake my head.....

Scott McCall said...

I love how you had to add MY IDEA at the bottom. I actually have a better idea now that I saw the article posted above: my mom recommended that we have students who previousally graduated (my sister and a few great friends of mine being a few) do the act themselves. I wouldnt be anywhere near the school, so the only relation I would have, would it being my idead. The administrators already know my intentions, because I sent an email to one of the vice-principles, who I am on good relation with, stating what I plan on doing monday morning. I also stated that I plan on taking pictues of the incident, and giving them to the Principle myself. I should not get in any trouble for this, because I do NOT intend to start a snowball fight like the kids did in the article above. And this is NOT vandalise because I am doing NO damamge to the school by placing frozen water on school property. I just have to wonder: how many other snowmen will be waiting on school campus because other students stold my idea. Besides, the trick is...I wouldnt do this on monday morning.

Scott McCall said...

ya...about my previous blog....what do you think? should I, or should I not carry it out? and um, excuse the spelling errors above. idead should be idea. and damamage should be damage, and stold should be stole. there might be a couple more, im not sure.
i want to know as many opinions as possible on if i should do this or not. cause i will seriousally carry this out, depending on if i have support on this or not.

Darren said...

I can't imagine anyone having a problem with a snowman in front of the school. I don't know why someone doesn't do it every *year*--it would be a fantastic, harmless, entertaining prank.

Scott McCall said...

I know you can't legally tell me to do it, but does that mean that I shouldnt get in any trouble for it, and that I would have teacher support?

Darren said...

I don't see how it's a violation of any rule. As I said previously, it's something people should be doing every year anyway! Bringing sand from the beach? Damage. Bringing snow from the mountains? No damage at all.

*IF* you were to get in trouble, and I don't see how you could, some teachers would support you and some wouldn't. Them's the breaks. You can tell which side I'd be on.

Scott McCall said...

Hehehe, I'll do it, I'm just waiting for my snow to come back. (I'm having some friends of mine bring it back for me.)

Scott McCall said...

well...i made a snowman in front of the office, but with my guess...its gana be destroyed before the morning. but, if u wana see the pics, go to blog.myspace.com/6169539 because that will have the pics i took during the day. i also put the "(tm)" after "SAVE FROSTY" in ur honor. it was fun, its in the blog named "SNOW PROTEST". take a look.

Darren said...

I hope it's still there when school starts tomorrow.

Nice pictures :-)

Scott McCall said...

unfortunatly, it wont be. my parents FREAKED OUT, came down, and made me destroy it. but at least i got the pics of it!! the pics are gana be GREAT for the end of the year slideshow.

Anonymous said...

The "Angry Snowman", or "I got your snow...man" IS a drug reference to a drug dealer specializing in cocaine. Even if you don't think you have a problem at your school, doesn't mean that students, who are gullible to media images, won't take it out of context. Not every snowman (Frosty) means a cocaine dealer. Get all the facts! Then get a grip!

Darren said...

Anonymous:

I have the facts. I have a grip. Now I have a suggestion for you: communicate clearly. I'm not sure what point you're trying to make.

Jennifer said...

I teach in NC and this sounds just like something our admin would do. Every week they make a stupid rule like this. Their creed: if it doesn't make sense, let's do it!