[un]necessarily angry.com

Category: School Administrators and Teachers

June 19th, 2007

[un]believably asinine

I could devote this entire Pors to stupid shit that authority figures, particularly school administrators, try to pass off as rules and good ideas.

Today, I've read an article about a rule so stupid, I nearly punched my computer. This isn't some "no senior prank" type of rule. This is a rule that at the very heart of it, has no purpose whatsoever.

You've heard of "No contact" sports? Well, how about "No contact" schools?

This particular school has set a ban on touching of any kind. That would include high-fiving, holding hands, hugging, and hand shakes. The claim is that "gangs" were using secret handshakes with each other to signify that they were, in fact, part of the gang. And that by banning it, it will help curb gang activity. Or something stupid like that.

Are you fucking kidding me? Where do I even start? In Vienna, Virginia, (and I'm speculating wildly here) I highly doubt that there's a serious gang problem in middle schools. Am I wrong? Fine. How about... Preventing kids from shaking hands to show they are in a gang will in no way stop them from being part of a gang. They can come up with secret codes, drawing, tattoos, clothing. In fact, these administrators, by banning physical contact, have forced all of these kids to find other ways to express these minor affiliations which are most likely more permanent than a handshake. Assuming there even is a gang problem.

But, for fuck's sake, preventing a kid from hugging his girlfriend or holding her hands? What does that teach kids? Affection for those you are close to is a bad thing?

Every time I write one of these rants, you will probably see the phrase "What does that teach kids?" or some variation of it. And if you have to ask that about a policy/rule at a school, chances are, the policy/rule is fucked and shouldn't be in place. I can't imagine who would think "Let's stop the kids from physically touching each other. That is a good idea." I am even more loathe to imagine that other people were given this idea, and they all signed off on it too. "Oh, hey, Mr. Henrickson [I just made up the name] came up with this 'No touching' thing. How great an idea is that? I totally agree."

You people are doing a great disservice to yourselves, to your students, and to your profession. You are fucking idiots. You are not teaching these kids how to learn. You are not teaching these kids a love of learning. You are not teaching these kids history or science or math or English or a foreign language or life skills.

What you are teaching these kids is twofold. First, you are teaching them how to be nitpicking little shitheads. By that, I mean that you are forcing these kids to find ways around a stupid rule. If they are in a gang, they will find something other than a secret handshake is my point. Secondly, you are teaching these kids that all touching is bad. And that is fucking ludicrous.

Touching is not always bad. In fact, it is rarely bad. It is teaching kids shit like this that causes so many frivolous sexual harassment lawsuits. It is teaching shit like this that makes kids call the cops when their parents are trying to give them a bath. It is shit like this that leads to kids being separated from their parents by social services because people don't understand where to draw the line anymore. They never learned it's ok to hug their friends and family, to high-five people after something awesome happens, to grab their girlfriend's ass. They learned that touching is inherently bad. They learned that you shouldn't touch anyone. And that's wrong. And that will cause these kids to be more sensitive to being touched than they should be. And that's fucked.

02.50.56.pm, by unnecessarily angry
Categories: People, Mini-rant, School Administrators and Teachers

May 21st, 2007

[un]educationed

I don't know what's happened to this country, but I don't like it. You know who's getting arrested these days? A lot of people. You know what they're getting arrested for? A lot of things.

But, I'm gonna talk about one subset of each of those questions. You know who's getting arrested these days? High school seniors. You know what they're getting arrested for? Senior pranks.

It's that time of year again. High school seniors across the country are getting ready to don their caps and gowns and celebrate their freedom from high school. Many of them have been accepted to, and plan to attend, colleges all across the country. But they are still kids, even if they are now 17 or 18, and they lack the judgment that an older person might have. And because of this they plan "senior pranks." They're thinking "We'll go down in history for this one!" and unfortunately for them, that is true. I say unfortunately, because they didn't think that "going down in history" would pan out quite how it will.

These kids pull off a prank. It's rarely that creative, more often slightly destructive, and always disruptive. But that is the point of a senior prank. And in days past (and occasionally still now), the school would laugh and everyone would have a good time with it and see it in the light that it should be cast.

But now there is a problem with the senior prank.

And it's not the kids, it's the adults and how they overreact to everything. Not that these kids are innocent -- they're fucking idiots. Not that the idea behind a senior prank is stupid, nor that getting caught doing so is stupid, although it's not smart, but the kids are idiots because they should see the climate around them and that most schools now will not react how they should and used to, but will react swiftly, mercilessly, and utterly irresponsibly. Seriously, it's just meant to be a prank. Clean it up, and charge the kids the cleanup costs, but it's ridiculous to bring in law enforcement and to possibly not let these kids graduate. They're just trying to have fun and celebrate their graduation. It is an error in judgment or a lack of judgment, but it is hardly a crime.

The crime, if anything, is that it used to be a standard thing, senior pranks, and now a "prank" will quickly escalate in to an arrest. It's irresponsible of the schools, the administrators, the teachers, and maybe even the police to let that happen. Their job is to teach these kids, prepare them for life, and set them on the right path. By putting them in jail for a prank or having the prank appear on their permanent record, they're putting them on the wrong path. Make them pay for the damages, that's fine, but let them graduate and go on with their lives rather than having to deal with legal bullshit which will destroy them.

It's sickening and stupid that these places that are supposed to help kids are letting them get arrested and then pressing charges against them for, what, a few hundred, maybe a couple thousand dollars? These schools and administrators and teachers, people whose job it is to help students are suddenly shirking their responsibilities and are turning against those that have been put in their charge. And that's fucked. The prank is a school-related happening. If you want to give them an in-school suspension, do it. If you want to fine them, do it. If you want to disallow them from walking during graduation, I think that is heartless and cold, but it's still fine. But to have them arrested or to expel them when they are hours away from graduating, is beyond unfair. It is completely [un]reasonable.




As if to illustrate my point further, here's another prime example.

05.22.34.pm, by unnecessarily angry
Categories: General, Internet, Mini-rant, School Administrators and Teachers

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