Saturday, October 21, 2006

Stupid Suspension Rescinded

Joanne (see blogroll at left) has the story of a Concord, CA girl who was suspended for--what? Bringing a knife to school? Bringing a metal fingernail file? Bringing bullets but no firearm to school? Bringing bullets and a firearm to school?

No--for bringing hot sauce to school. Apparently the administrative stupid-pills wore off and the suspension was revoked.


Ellen K said...

OMG... what next? They would have to suspend most of my student population and half the staff-including me! What utter nonsense.

Darren said...

In one of the primary grades, my son had to read a story, make stick puppets representing the characters, and use the stick puppets to retell the story to his class.

His mom made pictures on her computer to represent the characters, and my son taped them to the "sticks"--which turned out to be plastic knives from a box of flatware. I, a teacher, didn't even anticipate the problem when, the night before he was supposed to take them to school, she called me in a panic about the knives.

Dutifully, I untaped each of them and used some snips to cut the serrated end off the knives, leaving only the plastic handles--and a corner sharper and more dangerous than the original knives ever would have been! That, however, was entirely acceptable.

No suspensions or expulsions that day :-)

Anonymous said...

While I agree that the suspensions sound like nonsense, I have to point out that two students caused a major disruption at the school. The point in going to school is to learn. Do you really have to bring hot sauce to school? Does it help you to better learn in math class? No, it was brought to be used as a "challenge", to see who could handle it. Apparently, not the kid who ingested it nor the kid who got it in his eye. I can see why the school was upset with the student who brought the hot sauce.

Darren said...

No, you don't *have* to bring hot sauce to school. But "use some hot sauce, go to jail" doesn't sound like a winning sound bite to me--except in a stupidity contest.

allen said...

Administrators aren't stupid. At least there's nothing about the profession that selects for stupidity. They're just reacting, appropriately, to the situation in which they find themselves.

One of the things administrators hardly have to concern themselves with is the quality of the education the organizations they run, deliver. If they did have to concern themselves with education then there's several I can think of who wouldn't just be fired, they'd be fired out of a cannon.

Just because administrators don't have to be worried about education doesn't mean they get a pass. Other factors loom larger because the ostensible primary purpose for which the public education system exists is relegated to second or third place. Labor peace, budgetmanship and political adroitness all become more important because education is less important.

It might even be that the degree of control which parents can exert over a public education system which otherwise ignores them, by going off the deep end about safety-related issues, raises those concerns to unrealistic extremes.

But dismissing administrators as stupid is both sloppy reasoning and a conceit since the implication is that anyone who observes the stupidity of administrators isn't, themselves, stupid.

Darren said...

I'm not buying it, Allen. These particular people had to be on something when they suspended a girl for bringing freakin' hot sauce to school.

I'm being generous assuming they were on stupid pills. The alternative is that those involved in this incident are just naturally stupid.