Friday 7 June 2013

Bad  decisions  made  by  school  authorities

There have been numerous decisions made by school authorities that have turned out to be outright ridiculous.  Silly rules when enforced bring contempt on the school authorities that insist on enforcing them. If injuries or death is a result of such stupidity, then trustees, superintendents, principals and teachers alike can be held civilly responsible.  Some of these sill rules have resulted in students being suspended from their school.  Unfortunately, the courts have often ruled that persons who are called upon to make decisions are not always accountable for their mistakes if their mistakes are a direct result of bad judgment. Generally, liability can only be determined if the decision was made as a direct result of carelessness or malicious intent.

Here are some examples of really stupid decisions made by school authorities.

On September 29, 2009, a boy whose first name is Zachary brought his camping utensil to school to use at lunch (spoon, fork, bottle opener, and knife). As he was getting off the bus, a teacher asked him what he was holding in his hand. Zachary showed it to her and explained why he had brought it. It was to be used to eat his lunch. The teacher gave the utensil to the principal, at which point Zach was suspended from school pending a school district hearing. The School District committee recommended that he be alternatively placed at The Douglass School, a reform school for juvenile delinquents. This is the same school where they place children who have severe behavioral problems and who are guilty of such offenses as assault and battery, rape, drug offenses, concealing a deadly weapon, and more.

A 13-year old boy, Kyle, was suspended in May of that year and ordered to attend the Christina district’s reform school for 45 days after another student dropped a pocket knife in his lap. The boy was a straight-A student, was later home-schooled by his mother rather than her consenting to have her son sent to the reform school. The Christina school district attracted similar controversy in 2007 when it expelled a seventh-grade girl who had used a utility knife to cut windows out of a paper house for a class project.

Ten kids in a Haymarket, Virginia school called themselves the “Christmas Sweater Club” because they wore the craziest ones they could find. They also sing Christmas songs at school and try their best to spread Christmas cheer. Then all ten of them were in trouble because of what they did at their school. They were just tossing small two-inch candy canes to fellow students as they entered school. The ones in plastic wrap were so small they often broke apart. Administrators told them, (sit down and get ready for it) “Candy canes are weapons because you can sharpen them with your mouth and stab people with them.”

Next thing the boys knew; they were all being punished with detention and at least two hours of cleaning. Their disciplinary notices said nothing about malicious wounding but instead, it was about littering and creating a disturbance. The boys admitted their incident may have caused litter since some kids dropped their candy canes on the floor. Here is a message to the dolt administrators. “You pay janitors to clean the floors of your schools.”

The following incident is one where stupidity reaches far above common sense.

The Calgary Police Service confirmed that it was contacted following an incident involving three students who were attending the Sir John A. Macdonald School. The exploits of a Calgary teen (Briar MacLean) was reportedly reprimanded after protecting a student from a knife-wielding bully. The decision of the school to punish the teen has garnered massive interest lately with national newspapers and U.S. websites running with the story of the punished hero. He was kept in the principal’s office all day while waiting for his mother to appear.

The boy’s principal (Michael Bester) told his mother that the school's primary concern was the safety of three students involved in the altercation.

Here is what really happened.

Apparently a school a bully began harassing a student in a Grade 7 classroom. The bully put another student in a headlock. Other students said they saw the bully pull a knife. That's when Briar jumped into the fray, pushing the knife-wielding boy to the side.

Now you have to lay down for this next one. Briar MacLean and his mother were called to the principal's office where Briar’s mother was told that Briar was involved in an incident where he decided to play the role of a hero. According to the principal, the school does not condone heroics.

I can only interpret that to mean that the school only condones cowards.  Who is going to be our firemen and policemen and soldiers in the future if our schools teach them to grow up to be weaklings and ignore what is going around them.

That stupid principal later said, “It is not recommended that students intervene in incidents such as this to ensure their own safety. There was a teacher nearby who could have been asked to assist before the third student became involved.”  Yeah—and where was the teacher all this time?

Briar didn’t see the knife however he heard a clicking sound that was similar to a deployable knife snapping into position.

The Calgary police later confirmed that a knife was involved. Brian’s intervention should be at the very least celebrated for managing to stop the incident from becoming more deadly. He wasn’t punished however. Oh! There is a small amount of common sense emanating from that principal’s brain. The other two boys were disciplined.

I am not going to state what might have happened if Briar hadn’t intervened but we all are aware of situations where people didn’t intervene and instead stood by as spectators.

There have been many situations in the past when students faced violent incidents in their lives and retreated to seek help. However, there are also moments in some occasions when leaving the scene of a violent attack to seek help won’t help the victim at all. By the time the help arrives, the victim has already been killed. When a person should intervene or even if he or she should, is a personal decision that person should make alone. However, if a student intervenes to save another; he or she should certainly not be punished.

Was tackling a student with a knife the safe thing to do? No, it wasn’t. But many people risk their lives to save others and sometimes they are awarded with medals. Heroic students have been known to save the lives of other students and even teachers in the past. If we all stand by and do nothing to save other persons, then we sink to the level of animals.

There you have it, my dear readers. Most schools are run by competent principals and teachers but on occasion, some schools are run by twits. That is the way some things happen unfortunately.

It's important to remember that reasonable people can disagree in good faith on important issues. The above situations may give you some food for thought if a case that goes beyond reasonable disagreement were to arise for you.

Albert Camus said, “We make decisions every day; everything we say and do is the result of a decision, whether we make it consciously or not. For every choice, big or small, there's no easy formula for making the right decision. The best you can do is to approach it from as many perspectives as possible and then choose a course of action that seems reasonable and balanced at that time.”


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