I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend. (J.R.R.Tolkien, The Two Towers)

When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

Marko Kloos "Why the Gun is Civilization"

Sunday, March 02, 2008

It's all about "CONTROL" AKA Big Brother Is Watching You

The following article was copied from Yahoo News at http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080227/ap_on_fe_st/odd_kindergarten_suspension

Wed Feb 27, 5:11 PM ET

PARMA, Ohio - A kindergarten student with a freshly spiked Mohawk has been suspended from school. Michelle Barile, the mother of 6-year-old Bryan Ruda, said nothing in the Parma Community School handbook prohibits the haircut, characterized by closely shaved sides with a strip of prominent hair on top. The school said the hair was a distraction for other students.

I understand they have a dress code. I understand he has a uniform. But this is total discrimination," she said. "They can't tell me how I can cut his hair."

An administrator at the suburban Cleveland charter school first warned Barile last fall that the haircut wasn't acceptable. The school later sent another warning to her reiterating the ban.

Mohawks violate the school's policy on being properly groomed, school Principal Linda Geyer said. Also, the school district's dress code allows school officials to forbid anything that interferes with the conduct of education.

Ruda's hair became a disruption last week when Ruda arrived freshly shorn, Geyer said. Administrators called Barile on Friday telling her to pick Ruda up from school.

"This was his third infraction," Geyer said Tuesday. "We felt that we were being extremely patient."

Rather than request a hearing to appeal the suspension, Barile said she'll enroll him at another school. Changing the hairstyle is not an option, she said.

"It's something that he really likes," Barile said. "When people hear Mohawk, they think it's long, it's spiked, it's crazy looking, and it's really not."

I taught elementary school for 36 years, mostly in the 3rd grade in two different schools under 3 different superintendents and 6 different principles all in the same school system. I have seen things from both sider of the teacher's desk as my two sons attended the same school in which I taught.

When you apply to work for a company that has a dress code, you have the choice to accept the job or not. In the public school system you don't really have that choice. Yes, I know that you have the option of homeschooling your child but that option just isn't feasible for the vast majority of parents.

So by law you are required to send your child to school and you have to live with whatever rules and regulations they may have. And believe me they have them on all levels. In the system I worked for there were 3 layers of regulations. First the county had their regs in their county student/parent handbook. Then each school had their own regs in the school's handbook which always included things that weren't in the county's. Then each teacher had their own classroom rules to be followed. At each level the student and parent both had to sign a form saying that they had read and agreed to abide by these rules. Not signing wasn't an option.

Now if you will read any of these handbooks in any system in the state or country, you will find a phrase that goes something like this...
The code allows school officials to forbid anything that interferes with the conduct of education.

What that means is that no matter how reasonable the rules seem to be the school / administrator / principal / teacher can have any rule they want just by saying something is interfering with the educational process. Kind of like the way the phrase "A Matter of National Security" is thrown around by the Feds.

So in the above article it's not about discrimination or reasonable rules or even about things that interfere with the educational process, it's about who has the control of what happens in the schools. And believe me it's not the students or parents.

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At 6:55 PM, Blogger CG said...

Have you followed the one in Bristol, Vance Middle School, where they can't wear purple? Started with a walk for cancer shirt or something, principal lied to the newspaper, etc. Makes me roll my eyes and know how glad the school system is that my kids are homeschooled.

Listen, I gave you an award! I should probably tell you on your most recent post, but I'll start here since I'm already here!


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