Sunday, December 24, 2006

Judge Orders School To Reinstate "Teddy Bear Movie" Students

When I first wrote about this, I was concerned about "zero tolerance" and "terrorist threats" run amok. Now it's been resolved and the students can go back to school--but they have to make up all the assignments they've missed since they were wrongfully expelled in October! What's up with that? It's not their fault that they missed assignments for two months. It's the school's fault.

The judge ruled that they didn't break any laws and the school wrongfully expelled them, but also said the students should apologize for making a tasteless movie.

The judge said the movie was "vulgar," "tasteless," "humiliating" and "obscene," but ruled that school officials did not prove it disrupted school.

The judge said she did not believe it was a coincidence that the teacher in the movie had the same name as a math teacher at Knightstown Intermediate School. She urged the teens to apologize to the teacher and the school administration.

"School officials need to know you've learned a lesson," Barker said.

Hopefully the lesson they've learned is that there are limits to the power of government, especially schools. The homework requirement, and the suggestion to apologize, show this judge to be half an idiot--only half, because she did rule the correct way regarding the 1st Amendment.

1 comment:

allen said...

Maybe the administration of this school or this district won't be quite so rambunctious in their use of their power, for a while. But longer term they'll be back to this and by "longer term" I mean six months.

The reason is that "zero tolerance" policies aren't meant to protect the kids, they're meant to protect the staff from any charge that not enough is being done to protect the kids. Since you can't be too careful about dangers to your career and there's no brake on exploring the outer limits of zero tolerance policies, you get these and the rest of the sorry parade of over-the-top zero tolerance policy outrages.

This type of nonsense isn't going to go away until the administrators have something to lose when they abuse of their power in this fashion. If the admin who's responsible doesn't have to balance the danger to school safety against the damage to the education of the kid in question, why worry about that kid's education?