Tuesday, October 02, 2007
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
Remember back when you were in high school (okay, some of you may be in high school now but please bear with us old gomers for a bit). I'll bet, if you were like me, there were lots of stupid things that irked you. I, for example, spent every fifth hour in the Vice-Principal's office being harangued that my hair was too long. I then spent an extra hour after school in detention generally for the same thing.
Well some high school students in the Jacksonville, Florida area are ticked off because a fence has been wrapped around their school and they are starting to feel like they are in prison.
The school says it is for security, but come on, just how much more security does a fence provide over, say, a door and the buildings wall.
Students think the fence is just one large hassle. But students have almost zero rights.
Then again, these high school kids being high school kids decided to make their grievances known in a colorful way.
So the students at Fleming Island High School donned bright orange t-shirts Friday, (which the principal said were disrupting class - principals, of course, think virtually everything kids do is disrupting clas).
The front of the shirt read, "Fleming Island Prison." The back said, "Inmate 'Til May 2008."
Senior Katie Smith, one of the organizers said, "You have to go through gates to get into school. It's just such a hassle if you're late for school. You have to walk all the way around the school just to go to your car for two seconds."
Smith and her co-organizer Adam Taylor told local NBC 12 News they feel the school is safe without the gates. They also feel the gates aren't very strong anyway.
Taylor said, "No not at all. I've seen the gates get pushed right open. They're not sturdy gates at all."
Principal Sam Ward said the whole thing shouldn't even be discussed in the school. Students should be attending their studies after all.
By the way if you want to see what kids are saying about the rules at their own schools check out http://forum.minitokyo.net/thread/36301/stupid-school-rules/ This is just one of many sites kids have put up about what goes down as far as rules at their schools.
My question is why, oh why, are all these stupid rules in effect and why or why doesn't anyone bother to even discuss them with the kids.
The only good thing about all these dumb rules is that they teach kids how idiotic and authoritarian those with the power can and will be with that power.
I, for one, would like to thank my high school Principal Carl Ison and Vice Principal Trask for all their devotion to keeping us safe from ourselves...or whatever the heck they thought they were doing. I believe they and the dumb rules at my high school (where our principal was actually known to measure how close you danced) helped me to become who I am today by teaching me to rebel.
Unfortunately I think fools like them also have to take their share of the responsibility for creating conditions that have led to the school shooter phenomenon.
Just my opinion.
The following is from the Florida Times Union.
Students protest school's new fence
A student protest apparently sparked by new fencing at Fleming Island High School in Clay County did not resurface Monday after some protesters were suspended for a half-day Friday, school Principal Sam Ward said.
About 40 students arrived Friday wearing orange shirts and proclaiming themselves "inmates" at the school. Most complied, Ward said, when he told them to turn the shirts inside out.
The students were upset by new security fencing at the school that has limited access to certain areas, the principal said.
He said the fencing was installed for safety reasons and because the school has been the target of vandals in the past.
"My number one responsibility is to provide a safe, clean environment," Ward said.
The principal called protesters together to discuss the issue and to have them remove or reverse the shirts. He said at least two refused and were suspended from the school for the remainder of the day.