Monday, March 05, 2007

the noise in the ceiling... among other things

I’m irritated. My Internet is down and I don’t like that. Not only can I not mess around online at work (bad girl, I know), but I can’t check my email, which I NEED to do for my job! Frustrating. The ‘net goes down around here all the time – but just on my computer. It’s usually only a couple of hours, but nobody knows why it does that and nobody seems particularly interested in fixing it. So, I’m bored. Not just because of the things I shouldn’t be doing but can’t, but because I need to be able to get to email to get a logo I need for a job, and can’t. So what do I do? Well I open Word, of course, and type a blog entry.

It sounds like there is something crawling around in the ceiling above my head – L swears it’s just the wind when someone leaves the door open – and every time it happens I swear the ceiling is going to fall down on me. If there is some kind of animal up there (we’ve had a bird once), I swear it’s going to totally freak me out. Ugh – animals belong outside!

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I read something in the paper the other day that bothered me. If I could get online, I’d get the exact quote, but since I can’t I’m going to have to go by memory. The story was about a boy who supposedly flipped off the transportation director after getting off his badly delayed school bus. Now the bus wasn’t delayed because of anything this particular boy did. It was delayed because another student was acting up. The bus driver called the transportation director who said he’d be right there and not to move the bus. FOURTY MINUTES LATER – he showed up and the bus got moving again. First of all, as a parent I’d be very upset if they kept my child on a bus that long for what doesn’t seem like a very good reason. That just seems irresponsible to me. I would expect my child home around the correct time every day and I would not expect the bus driver to make him late because of another child. But that’s not the point.

When the boy in question got off the bus, the transportation director, who was tailing the bus, said the boy flipped him off. The bus driver didn’t see it, the other boy who got off at that stop didn’t see it… nobody saw the boy do this except the transportation director. And so the boy got in trouble.

I think that’s wrong, but that’s not what bothered me. Later in the article, the superintendent was quoted saying something to the effect of the school being responsible for children door-to-door… meaning they are responsible for their conduct and safety until they reach home. This is a good policy. Or, it would be if the school actually followed it. Which they don’t, obviously except when it suits them.

When my son was attacked on the way home from school, I was told that between school and home is a gray area and the school would do nothing. Along with their false zero-tolerance policy, this door-to-door policy seems to be suitable only to the school’s needs. I find it absolutely ridiculous that they would use this “rule” to punish a child, with no credible witnesses, for something as innocuous as a finger, and ignore it in the case of two children attacking one child – with witnesses. The further my son goes in this school district, the more I wish we had choices. If there were somewhere else I could send him, I would seriously consider it. I just find it difficult to have faith in a school system that looks out for it’s own interests more than the safety of the kids. I simply do not understand why it’s more punishable for a child to * maybe * have flipped off an adult, than it is for two children to attack another.

I guess it’s okay to beat the tar out of each other… just don’t do it in front of the transportation director.

2 comments:

Ray-Ray said...

That's SO FRUSTRATING. It speaks to the disconnect between some adults and children. I was just reading about something like this is an old New Yorker article:

Little Jimmy tells his mom that his big sister Sam stole his toy, and his mom says "Jimmy, don't be a tattle-tale!" and then Dad comes home and Mom says to Dad "Little Jimmy didn't complete all of his homework. My boss was mean to me at work today. Your brother lost his job." And little Jimmy thinks -- um, what??? Isn't she tattling???

So if child A attacks child B -- ah, well, boys will be boys. But if child A is rude to adult A -- "What a terrible child! We must teach him to respect others and to respect authority!!! Otherwise he will grow up to be a rude adult and get nowhere in life!!!!!"

When really, all this teaches child A is to pick on the weak and suck up to the powerful and, basically, be an out-and-out manipulative sociopath.

So -- I guess -- if there's some comfort here -- it's that your boy is being taught that life isn't always fair but that he will always have someone (you) on his side to fight for him and love him -- while the boy who beat up your boy is being taught to be a sociopath.

I mean, I think we'd all agree -- we'd rather be Jaben than the sociopath.

Rebecca said...

You're absolutely right and you said it way better than I did! Thank you! I would rather be Jaben too!