Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Candy Canes A Weapon At School

When candy canes are outlawed, only outlaws will have candy canes.

It's hard to get people to take educators seriously when we in the field do stupid things like this:

They call themselves the "Christmas Sweater Club" because they wear the craziest ones they can find. They also sing Christmas songs at school and try their best to spread Christmas cheer.

Now all 10 of them are in trouble because of what they did at their school.

"They said, 'maliciously maim students with the intent to injure.' And I don't think any of us here intentionally meant to injure anyone, or did," said Zakk Rhine, a junior at Battlefield High School.

The boys say they were just tossing small two-inch candy canes to fellow students as they entered school. The ones in plastic wrap that are so small they often break apart.

Skylar Torbett, also a junior, said administrators told him, "They said the candy canes are weapons because you can sharpen them with your mouth and stab people with them." He said neither he nor any of their friend did that.

Next thing they knew, they were all being punished with detention and at least two hours of cleaning. Their disciplinary notices say nothing about malicious wounding but about littering and creating a disturbance.

"It was at 7 in the morning, before school even starts, so I don't what we'd be really disrupting," said Cameron Gleason, also a junior.

Principal Amy Etheridge-Conti says she can't comment on the students' discipline but did say there was a lot more to it than handing out candy and that the discipline was warranted...

Patti Gleason, the mother of Cameron Gleason says, "I am 100 percent sure they did nothing wrong. We've gotten so many different stories. It went from maiming kids with candy canes, to littering. And then when received the referral (disciplinary notice) it said 'disruption.' So nobody really knew what they were getting in trouble for, they were just making up a whole bunch of different things.

Yes, this is how we adults think and act in public schools.


Susan said...

Great blog Darren! I'm amazed at how many times I read a story like this or see it in my school and I'm still dumbfounded. Why are we worrying about these things when we have real issues going on with student learning, teaching standards, and educational policy shifts? Obviously, we don't know the full details - but that principal has an incredible priority issue if she's giving punishments for these kinds of offenses. Ugh.

Steve USMA '85 said...

Sounds like there is a lot more to the story than is here. I remember when I was in high school. Something like this could have easily turned into how hard you could throw the 'harmless' candy cane at someone to see if you could actually hurt them. This could be very disruptive.

The 'stab' comment could also be someone embellishing on an otherwise sane comment. Don't know. Without more info, I wouldn't jump down the administration's throat so fast.

MiaZagora said...

lol! I saw the news video, and a parent claimed the principal made the statement that not everyone is cheerful at Christmas or wants to be cheerful, so maybe they should just keep their Christmas cheer to themselves! I'll bet SHE gets a lot of party invites! :0)

I think Principal Buzzkill needs to read A Christmas Carol. One can only hope Marley will give her a visit this year!

EdD said...

This fiasco is one of the most eloquent arguments I have ever heard in favor of vouchers and charter schools.

skeneogden said...

These are the type of people who are "teaching" our children? Bah humbug is one lesson I don't want my children learning.

Vouchers, charter schools and home schooling is the only answer to inane educators like principle Etheridge-Conti.

I can only imagine what she got in her stocking for Christmas, and I'm betting it wasn't a candy cane.