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View Diary: Update on Florida teen arrested for doing science while Black (268 comments)

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  •  I recall that zero tolerance. My son was in 8th (28+ / 0-)

    grade art club. The club kids and the teacher who ran it were walking into town after school as they had volunteered to paint some window Christmas decorations.
    One of the boys, maybe my son (oddly don't recall that part) pulled out some chewing tobacco and passed it around. All the guys had some. The teacher noticed and asked what it was. When they told her she told them to spit it out. They did. They then went on to do their volunteer work.
    The next day all the boys were suspended for 2 weeks, couldn't make up the word etc.
    When I objected they told me it was that zero tolerance policy. I asked to see it... and these kids got the same punishment as if they had been doing cocaine on school grounds. I suggested better punishments like a research paper on long term consequences or  oral tobacco use. They weren't impressed. 2 weeks.
    I said I wanted to appeal it and they said okay but kids had to stay out of school until the hearing which would be in 2 weeks anyway.
    I objected again, they should stay in until we lost the hearing... didn't sway them.

    First I called police to check the legal status of minors possessing chewing tobacco. At the time it was not illegal.
    Then I went to school board office and was prepared to wait to fight this out. As soon as I told someone what my issue was she went into an office, then called me  in. There were several people sitting there who asked a few questions and then pronounced the punishment ridiculous and said they'd take care of it. So they could stay in school until hearing? Yes, they could stay in school but doubted there would be a hearing.
    The junior high vice principal called to tell me my son was back in school but then got pretty bitchy, telling me the other parents didn't complain. So? Well now all the kids were reinstated. Good. They didn't think so, naughty kids and no consequences. I suggested again the research paper and she got angrier. They couldn't tell me how to discipline but I was telling them and blah blah.

    Let me say I didn't immediately know I would act, hey that was there rule. But I realized if it was one of my kids/clients when I was a delinquency worker I would stand up to an unfair rule, I should certainly do the same for my son.

    He did write that research paper, footnotes and all but that was my discipline. What he learned grossed him out and he said he'd never use it agin unless he went to Sweden. As far as I know he didn't, but what do parents know.

    I am so very against suspension as punishment in any case. I remember high school enough to know I'd have enjoyed it if both parents were working..
    and often both parents do. Then you have an unsupervised kid at home all day
    After school detention along with fitting consequences makes more sense. When a kid should be suspended there should still be an attendance requirement at some special school or room...

    •  absolutely. I remember when I was caught up (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Be Skeptical

      in an incident and I was told I had to apologize which I thought was wrong. They threatened me with expulsion if I didn't apologize. I said fine. I would have been quite happy with that.

      They were very unhappy. They repeated the threat. I said fine but the other person should be the one apologizing and I wouldn't.

      Then they said my mother would have to come to school if I didn't. They said either I apologized or they would call her. I knew she would be furious if she had to come to school — furious at me!  I can't remember if they did or if I caved without it — it was over half a century ago.

      Florida schools. Bless them. They were pretty lousy then and they seem to have only gotten worse. Petty tyrants grow into administrators. It pays more than teaching.

      This is a travesty. The whole school to prison pipeline is horrific for the students, the school and the country.

      Folks, pay attention to elections for judges and school board members. It is critically important.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Sun May 12, 2013 at 03:32:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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