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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What Happened to Encouraging Creativity?

"Chandler school officials have suspended a 13-year-old boy for sketching a picture that resembled a gun, saying it posed a threat to classmates. But parents of the Payne Junior High School student said the drawing was a harmless doodle of a fake laser, and school officials overreacted.

``I just can't believe that there wasn't another way to resolve this,'' said Paula Mosteller, the boy's mother. ``He's so upset. The school made him feel like he committed a crime. They are doing more damage than good.''

The Mostellers said the drawing did not show blood, bullets, injuries, or target any human. They said it was just a drawing that resembled a gun. But Payne Junior High administrators thought the sketch was enough of a threat and gave the boy a five-day suspension, later reduced to three days. Chandler district spokesman Terry Locke said the sketch was ``absolutely considered a threat,'' and threatening words or pictures are punishable.

The school did not contact police and did not provide counseling or an evaluate the boy to determine if he intended the drawing as a threat. School officials issued the suspension Monday afternoon. They notified the student's father, Ben Mosteller. He met with school officials and persuaded them to shorten his son's suspension from 5 days to 3.

Ben Mosteller said that when he came to the school to discuss his son's punishment, school officials mentioned the seriousness of the issue and talked about the massacre at Colorado's Columbine High School - the site where two teenagers shot and killed 12 students and injured 24 others in 1999. The Mostellers said the Columbine reference was extreme and offensive. They have contacted the district's governing board about the incident involving their son."

I think school officials have taken their 'power' way too far! Had this rule been in place when I was in school, 90% of the students would've been suspended! I used to draw when I'd get bored, which was most of the time and some of them included my teachers being hurt or humiliated in some fashion not just a gun if you can call his drawing that. But I never actually harmed or humiliated any of my teachers. That's not true, I got into it once with one of my teachers in high school and instead of allowing her to demean me in front of the class, I stood up for myself and told her off. She ended up crying and I was sent to the Principal's office.

I'm sorry but I must also mention that it scares me that they say a 13 year old drew that so-called gun, because it looks like a 6 year old was drawing his house or an airplane. And what gun has little stick figure people climbing all over it? What happened to encouraging creativity?

While driving home last night I heard another story about power monger administrators. Chandler's Basha High School had changed their tardy rule. If your child is one minute late, one time they have to to go to 4 hour Saturday school (like the Breakfast Club). ONE MINUTE, ONE TIME! I wonder if this means that every time you are late, you get a Saturday or if your late Monday, you may as well be late all week because you've already earned a Saturday? Apparently last year the rule was on your 4th tardy you earned a 4 hour Saturday. When asked why it was changed, they said "it didn't work." So instead of coming up with alternatives they put on their power hungry hats and decide to go insane!

And these are the people teaching our children. Jory and I have always talked about how we would home-school our kids. This is another reason why we will be doing that!


MisterJ said...

This is the kind of thing that makes people think that all teachers are idiots. But it's the DISTRICTS that are idiots, because they make these zero tolerance policies so that they don't have to think.

Joey said...

I thought of you when I wrote this blog because I wondered what your opinions on this would be.

I totally agree with you! There should be no zero tolerance policies because there is no such thing as zero tolerance!

PS...I think you should move to Arizona!

Mr. E Mann said...

Man I'm glad to send my kids to school in here in Arcata where things are vastly different and better than that and what I got. Mat starts Kindergarten on Monday and his school is as much about teaching interaction with others, creativity, culture etc. as numbers and letters (which Mat is already reading at a ridiculously high lvl and his math isn't far behind). I am actually jealous his school sounds so much funner than any of the MANY schools I went to over the years.

THINK it's not illegal yet! (But you may just get suspended...)

MisterJ said...

And leave all my gringos behind?
(This year, all 23 of my students are white.)

Joey said...

Casey that's crazy! Or is it for Pleasant Grove? I don't really know that area. lol

Jerry said...

The one minute thing cracks me up. If i was in school and one minute late, I think i would than take the rest of the class as well.

or at least 15 or 20 minutes of it.

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