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View Full Version : The total lack of common sense in our schools continues!!



George Foster
12-17-2007, 10:07 PM
http://www.wftv.com/news/14858405/detail.html

10 year old little girl.

10 days suspended.

Taken to jail by the sheriff in the back of a car.

Charged with a felony.

This is how someone with COMMON SENSE would of handled it.

"Hey Mary, give me the knife dear. I know you are just cutting your steak with the knife, but your really not allowed to bring a knife to school."

Send a letter home with her and have a form letter sent home with the rest of the students in the school reminding parents and students that metal forks and knifes are not allowed to be packed in lunch boxes.

What a bunch of screw-ups! These idiots are in charge of teaching our children, and they can't even handle this innocent situation properly. wow. Call the police, Call the police!!!

Falls City Beer
12-17-2007, 11:00 PM
http://www.wftv.com/news/14858405/detail.html

10 year old little girl.

10 days suspended.

Taken to jail by the sheriff in the back of a car.

Charged with a felony.

This is how someone with COMMON SENSE would of handled it.

"Hey Mary, give me the knife dear. I know you are just cutting your steak with the knife, but your really not allowed to bring a knife to school."

Send a letter home with her and have a form letter sent home with the rest of the students in the school reminding parents and students that metal forks and knifes are not allowed to be packed in lunch boxes.

What a bunch of screw-ups! These idiots are in charge of teaching our children, and they can't even handle this innocent situation properly. wow. Call the police, Call the police!!!

This is administration or the board--don't lump teachers into this, please. As a former public school teacher, I can tell you that the vast majority of teachers possess more common sense than the lion's share of this nation--their jobs constantly demand common sense. Any teacher I know would be shaking his or her head at a decision like this.

Really, in many ways, the school board/administration act by and large in accordance with the laws and folkways of the community they serve. If the citizens of this district don't like this kind of stuff, you best believe this principal/superintendent/board president will be gone.

George Foster
12-17-2007, 11:50 PM
This is administration or the board--don't lump teachers into this, please. As a former public school teacher, I can tell you that the vast majority of teachers possess more common sense than the lion's share of this nation--their jobs constantly demand common sense. Any teacher I know would be shaking his or her head at a decision like this.

Really, in many ways, the school board/administration act by and large in accordance with the laws and folkways of the community they serve. If the citizens of this district don't like this kind of stuff, you best believe this principal/superintendent/board president will be gone.

This is what happens when you have generlized rules. It should be on a case by case basis. No way should the teachers have called the police. This should of been handled "in house." Screw the rules. The "save my own butt" mentality and "the heck with what happens to the little girl" is another issue. The teachers knew what the intent was of the little girl. They also knew what was going to happen to the little girl once the police were called.
You don't make examples out of innocent children. How traumatized is this child? What are the other children going to say to her after the 10 days? Who is looking out for her? The administration? Her teachers? Or are they looking out for themselves? "Protect thine own butt at all cost."

This would of been a perfect situation for teachers to stand up against a stupid rule of the school board. Tenure and teacher unions can be used for this as well.

I agree with you I made a generalization about all teachers that I did intend to do, I'm sorry for that. I was referring to these teachers involved and the school administration that made this stupid generic rule. 5 members of my family are teachers.

Caveat Emperor
12-18-2007, 12:22 AM
This is what happens when you have generlized rules. It should be on a case by case basis.

"Case by case basis" screams for future liability on unequal application of rules and/or the chance that something that seems innocent actually turns out not to be so (like someone carrying a steak knife to school and stubbing a student in the lunchroom). The headaches and possible harm of either one of those two scenarios is enough to make a bright-line rule necessary.

FWIW, I think calling the police isn't a bad thing -- but I think the better plan would be for the police officer to contact the DA / Prosecuting Attorney's office and be advised on what to do with this kid prior to arrest. Good rule of thumb is that anyone under 11 probably isn't going to be found competent to stand trial, so if it is possible, seek some other way to handle the situation besides arrest and filing of delinquency charges.

Not that I've got any experience with this or anything. ;)

George Foster
12-18-2007, 12:38 AM
"Case by case basis" screams for future liability on unequal application of rules and/or the chance that something that seems innocent actually turns out not to be so (like someone carrying a steak knife to school and stubbing a student in the lunchroom). The headaches and possible harm of either one of those two scenarios is enough to make a bright-line rule necessary.

FWIW, I think calling the police isn't a bad thing -- but I think the better plan would be for the police officer to contact the DA / Prosecuting Attorney's office and be advised on what to do with this kid prior to arrest. Good rule of thumb is that anyone under 11 probably isn't going to be found competent to stand trial, so if it is possible, seek some other way to handle the situation besides arrest and filing of delinquency charges.

Not that I've got any experience with this or anything. ;)

If a kid stabes another kid in the lunch room, the teachers did not find it in the first place. It's a crime, the kid gets expelled.

a girl cutting her steak with a knife, gets it taken away and a letter sent home to everyone. If it happens again, take the parents to court, not the kid. I did not pack my own lunch in elementary school, I'd say neither did this girl. It was an innocent mistake. What happen to this little girl is the result of having absolute rules in elementary school.

Generalized rules leaves a lot of innocent children and adults in it's wake. Like the 15 year old girl who takes a Motrin for PMS cramps an gets expelled. Does this make sense?

camisadelgolf
12-18-2007, 02:58 AM
These rules are in place because parents overreact and cry out too much. All it takes is one or a few crazy parents to complain, harass, threaten, and make a big scene before rules are put in place to shut them up. Feel free to get mad at people who work in the school district, but really, it's the parents of the children who deserve the most blame. After all, they're the ones who will scream that the school doesn't care about their children if something bad happens that could've been prevented.

MrCinatit
12-18-2007, 07:27 AM
Finally, the world is safe from crazed, knife-wielding 10-year-old girls. Now, if only they could do something about those maniacs with Hello Kitty backpacks.

Razor Shines
12-18-2007, 07:38 AM
If a kid stabes another kid in the lunch room, the teachers did not find it in the first place. It's a crime, the kid gets expelled.

a girl cutting her steak with a knife, gets it taken away and a letter sent home to everyone. If it happens again, take the parents to court, not the kid. I did not pack my own lunch in elementary school, I'd say neither did this girl. It was an innocent mistake. What happen to this little girl is the result of having absolute rules in elementary school.

Generalized rules leaves a lot of innocent children and adults in it's wake. Like the 15 year old girl who takes a Motrin for PMS cramps an gets expelled. Does this make sense?

I'd like to think that the parents didn't pack the steak knife for the girl. What kind of moron would think it was ok to his/her daughter to school with a steak knife? Especially in this day and age? I agree obviously the little girl shouldn't have been hauled away in a squad car, but perhaps the parents should have been.

Falls City Beer
12-18-2007, 07:57 AM
These rules are in place because parents overreact and cry out too much. All it takes is one or a few crazy parents to complain, harass, threaten, and make a big scene before rules are put in place to shut them up. Feel free to get mad at people who work in the school district, but really, it's the parents of the children who deserve the most blame. After all, they're the ones who will scream that the school doesn't care about their children if something bad happens that could've been prevented.

In general, this is true. Though the principal often gets to make the judgment. This is most likely a craven, cowed administration playing it close to the letter of the law. Again, though, blaming the teachers for this is just inaccurate; they ultimately have nothing to do with dishing out punishment.

hebroncougar
12-18-2007, 08:27 AM
This is what happens when you have generlized rules. It should be on a case by case basis. No way should the teachers have called the police. This should of been handled "in house." Screw the rules. The "save my own butt" mentality and "the heck with what happens to the little girl" is another issue. The teachers knew what the intent was of the little girl. They also knew what was going to happen to the little girl once the police were called.
You don't make examples out of innocent children. How traumatized is this child? What are the other children going to say to her after the 10 days? Who is looking out for her? The administration? Her teachers? Or are they looking out for themselves? "Protect thine own butt at all cost."

This would of been a perfect situation for teachers to stand up against a stupid rule of the school board. Tenure and teacher unions can be used for this as well.

I agree with you I made a generalization about all teachers that I did intend to do, I'm sorry for that. I was referring to these teachers involved and the school administration that made this stupid generic rule. 5 members of my family are teachers.

TEACHERS don't call the police. That would be at the administrations discretion. Don't lump teacher's into stuff like this. And the administrator's hands are probably tied by a school board policy. If you want stuff changed, get on the school board. You say teacher's should stand up for crap like this, well if the teacher would have "stood up", and then 2 months down the road the "little girl" does the same thing, and happens to stab a kid with that knife, you'll be screaming for the teacher who didn't report it to be fired. It's the LAW for a teacher to turn a case like this over to the administration. Let me repeat that, the LAW. Administration doesn't make policy either, it's the school board.

Allegro
12-18-2007, 09:27 AM
As a teacher myself, I have found that we do need these very specific rules in order to maintain order and "to draw a very clear line in the sand." It's just the way it is these days unfortunately. It is a shame it was handled this way, though. I would bet that there is a little more (or less) to the story than what is being reported.

traderumor
12-18-2007, 09:56 AM
Who would brown bag steak? Cold steak? Yuk. That bizarre behavior would cause me to think the child might have something bizarre in mind also. And that is only partially tongue in cheek.

Roy Tucker
12-18-2007, 10:04 AM
It's a sign of the times....

Rules for the schools are very clearly laid out. In our district, there is a student handbook that we have to sign a paper saying we have read it and understand it every year. In it are all the things that are considered weapons. And it clearly lays out what the punishments are for these weapons.

But they tried to call the parents and they weren't available (another sign of the times).

And if the school does nothing, they are opening themselves up for big problems for when a student *does* bring a knife to school for nefarious purposes and a pattern of neglect is shown (another sign of the times).

Do I like it? Heck no. I wish the principals and teachers could handle it "in house" and call the parents and work it out. We involve ourselves with the schools, get to know the teachers and principals, and have a good working relationship with them. We've gotten our fair share of calls from school that have started with "Mr. Tucker, there is something we need to discuss with you..." (and its always worked out well). But not everyone has that kind of relationship with the schools. So they have very carefully spell it all out and stick to it.

George Anderson
12-18-2007, 10:46 AM
"Case by case basis" screams for future liability on unequal application of rules and/or the chance that something that seems innocent actually turns out not to be so (like someone carrying a steak knife to school and stubbing a student in the lunchroom). The headaches and possible harm of either one of those two scenarios is enough to make a bright-line rule necessary.



So what has changed in society to where we have so many frivilous lawsuits anymore? I know attorneys are always out to make a buck but even just 30 years ago we never would have people wanting to sue a school system for "unequal application of rules", so just what has changed? I'm sure attorneys 30 years ago were out to make a buck so why didnt we have these frivilous type lawsuits 30 years ago?

Falls City Beer
12-18-2007, 11:05 AM
So what has changed in society to where we have so many frivilous lawsuits anymore? I know attorneys are always out to make a buck but even just 30 years ago we never would have people wanting to sue a school system for "unequal application of rules", so just what has changed? I'm sure attorneys 30 years ago were out to make a buck so why didnt we have these frivilous type lawsuits 30 years ago?


Fear-mongering media?

The solid truth is that kids have been bringing steak knives and other weapons to school for ages. Violence has been around in schools since the days of Socrates. This behavior isn't new. Yes, the power of the weapons has changed due to ready availability (assault weapons in every state in the union for sale with very few restrictions on their purchase), but in general, the behavior of kids is the same. What is different is how these occurrences are covered and disseminated. The fear that drives parents to hector school boards to take drastic action? Old as the hills.

IslandRed
12-18-2007, 11:33 AM
There was a book back in the '90s called "The Death of Common Sense" that went over a lot of this.

The shame of it all is, no matter how hard they try, they can't write policy manuals that properly address everything in advance. For the sake of not being accused of unfairness or being nagged by some lawyer, the Law of Unintended Consequences dictates that even sillier stuff can happen in the name of "following the rules." Whether we like it or not, for justice to be done, at some point in the chain someone has to be judicious.

traderumor
12-18-2007, 11:36 AM
Fear-mongering media?

The solid truth is that kids have been bringing steak knives and other weapons to school for ages. Violence has been around in schools since the days of Socrates. This behavior isn't new. Yes, the power of the weapons has changed due to ready availability (assault weapons in every state in the union for sale with very few restrictions on their purchase), but in general, the behavior of kids is the same. What is different is how these occurrences are covered and disseminated. The fear that drives parents to hector school boards to take drastic action? Old as the hills.I think students walking in and blowing away another student is a bit of an uptick (all sarcasm intended) in kids behaving badly in school. That kids are willing to use that weaponry instead of just "kicking someone's ***" is not business as usual. It takes a different kind of disregard for human life to use weaponry with the intent to slaughter than it does to go looking for a fist fight.

Falls City Beer
12-18-2007, 11:48 AM
I think students walking in and blowing away another student is a bit of an uptick (all sarcasm intended) in kids behaving badly in school. That kids are willing to use that weaponry instead of just "kicking someone's ***" is not business as usual. It takes a different kind of disregard for human life to use weaponry with the intent to slaughter than it does to go looking for a fist fight.

And I'm saying that kids brought knives or pocket revolvers (as opposed to assault rifles) to do their dirty work back in the day.

There has been bloodshed and the intent to kill in schools--maybe I should have been clearer when I said "violence"--forever. And the incidence is really no higher now than it was back then.

What's different, though, is how every single event from Columbine to this kid with the steak knife is writ large and available to people 24-7. Fifty years ago, unless you were a librarian who had access to newspapers from around the nation, you would never have heard of this incident.

Further, the packaging of news nowadays is always--"how will this affect YOU!" Never "the situation is tragic, and more than likely isolated," which is far more likely the truth. News nowadays is framed as a narrative unlike never before: "If it happens in New York City one time this year, it WILL happen to you in rural Ohio, so WATCH OUT!!!!"

That's just not reality. No matter how many times Brian Williams says "Be careful."

Johnny Footstool
12-18-2007, 11:58 AM
And I'm saying that kids brought knives or pocket revolvers (as opposed to assault rifles) to do their dirty work back in the day.

There has been bloodshed and the intent to kill in schools--maybe I should have been clearer when I said "violence"--forever. And the incidence is really no higher now than it was back then.

What's different, though, is how every single event from Columbine to this kid with the steak knife is writ large and available to people 24-7. Fifty years ago, unless you were a librarian who had access to newspapers from around the nation, you would never have heard of this incident.

Further, the packaging of news nowadays is always--"how will this affect YOU!" Never "the situation is tragic, and more than likely isolated," which is far more likely the truth. News nowadays is framed as a narrative unlike never before: "If it happens in New York City one time this year, it WILL happen to you in rural Ohio, so WATCH OUT!!!!"

That's just not reality. No matter how many times Brian Williams says "Be careful."

Exactly.

How many times do you hear that exact phrase from your local news broadcasters?

George Anderson
12-18-2007, 12:21 PM
But I think it goes farther than just weapons in schools. There is a local school that wont allow kids to bring in cupcakes to celebrate special occasions because they are afraid of being sued if there was something wrong with the cupcakes or some kid had a allergic reaction them. What has changed to where 30 years ago no one would dream about suing over their kid getting sick from a cupcake? Was it that 30 years ago judges would have laughed at this type of lawsuit but todays judges being more anti establishment are more than willing to listen to these cases and award people monetary damages for something as silly as getting sick over a cupcake or a certain disciplinary procedure wasnt handled in the exact manner another instance was handled?

traderumor
12-18-2007, 12:27 PM
And I'm saying that kids brought knives or pocket revolvers (as opposed to assault rifles) to do their dirty work back in the day.

There has been bloodshed and the intent to kill in schools--maybe I should have been clearer when I said "violence"--forever. And the incidence is really no higher now than it was back then.

What's different, though, is how every single event from Columbine to this kid with the steak knife is writ large and available to people 24-7. Fifty years ago, unless you were a librarian who had access to newspapers from around the nation, you would never have heard of this incident.

Further, the packaging of news nowadays is always--"how will this affect YOU!" Never "the situation is tragic, and more than likely isolated," which is far more likely the truth. News nowadays is framed as a narrative unlike never before: "If it happens in New York City one time this year, it WILL happen to you in rural Ohio, so WATCH OUT!!!!"

That's just not reality. No matter how many times Brian Williams says "Be careful."Fair enough, but I went to the middle school on the wrong side of the tracks and there were not even rumors of weapons on the tough guys, let alone any incidents. Now, of course, the black guys at the high school would have been accused of carrying switch blades (stereotypes by the whites on the "right" side of the tracks), but never actually saw anyone packing. But then, that was 25 years ago.

Now, we have had a 21 year-old girl recently tearfully plead guilty because she walked in to a druggies house and blew his head off in a "botched robbery." And another group of thugs killed a pizza delivery guy in cold blood in a robbery this summer. I blame it on "Grand Theft Auto." ;)

Caveat Emperor
12-18-2007, 02:49 PM
Was it that 30 years ago judges would have laughed at this type of lawsuit but todays judges being more anti establishment are more than willing to listen to these cases and award people monetary damages for something as silly as getting sick over a cupcake or a certain disciplinary procedure wasnt handled in the exact manner another instance was handled?

To your last point -- I direct your attention to the controversy that took place at the Lakota schools over putting on the play "Ten Little Indians." A play that has been performed thousands of times caught the school in a national situation that led to accusations of racism in the school, discriminatory hiring practices, and a "town hall meeting" to discuss issues of tolerance. This is over a PLAY, mind you.

You think schools won't go out of their way to make sure that situations like those don't arise because one girl is told "now, now - don't do that again" when she brings a knife to school and another one is arrested and thrown in the back of the squad car?

To your first point, it's a fact of life and common knowledge that we live in a more litigous society than ever before. Knowledge of that brings with it a hypersensitivity to anything that COULD result in a lawsuit. Schools, businesses and the government direct and conduct policy with an eye towards minimizing potential liability -- not because someone is GOING to sue, but because the threat is very real that someone COULD sue.

CYA. Rule #1 in the modern world. And, really, that's what all this comes down to: CYA on the part of the school. If they follow a pre-written procedure, approved by the lawyers, their posteriors are covered. They're hardly alone in this type of behavior.

vaticanplum
12-18-2007, 04:44 PM
Further, the packaging of news nowadays is always--"how will this affect YOU!" Never "the situation is tragic, and more than likely isolated," which is far more likely the truth. News nowadays is framed as a narrative unlike never before: "If it happens in New York City one time this year, it WILL happen to you in rural Ohio, so WATCH OUT!!!!"

That's just not reality. No matter how many times Brian Williams says "Be careful."

The thing is that for every story like this we hear about in the media, my bet is there are dozens of incidences of kids bringing potentially dangerous things to school and being gently scolded, item being confiscated, maybe parents getting a call...and that's the end of it.

Common sense isn't dead. It just isn't newsworthy.

I think FCB hit the nail on the head. My grandparents watch a lot of news, and they live in complete and perfect belief that I will get murdered, raped, robbed, crashed into, set on fire, knifed, stalked, and falsely accused of a crime every day of my life, despite the fact that I've lived tens of thousands of days of my life without any of these things happening to me. But the woman in Illinois was murdered by a cop, so it stands to reason that since there's a cop living on my street the same thing is going to happen to me. There are a looooot of people in the world, and very few stories like this.

Dom Heffner
12-20-2007, 10:06 AM
I've always thought that "zero tolerance" policies arose from the need to counter the "I have an excuse for everything" crowd.

Yeah, I brought the knife in to cut my cupcake. This is just a Swiss Army knife. These pills are for my migraines but I forgot to tell you about them. I didn't know the rules. I thought that rule meant something else.

People now call it the tossing aside of common sense, but if I'm a school official, I really don't have time to craft punishments around all the various excuses people bring up.

If school policy is to suspend anyone for bringing any type of knife to school, then don't bring a knife to school even if you have no nefarious intentions, because our public employees aren't human lie detectors. They can't tell your intentions by looking at you. I could bring in a knife to stab my friend with yet pack some jelly in a container and say, "This knife was to put jelly on my bread." Humans are crafty like that, especially when they know zero tolerance rules are in place.

Do most kids in violation have bad intentions? Of course not, but unfortunately the rules are there to protect everyone from the one in a thousands.

Hindsight is 20/20, and there is something to be said about foresight as well.

Before you send your kid off to school with the most innocent of knives, look up the rules as there are zero tolerance policies in effect, which, as a parent, you should know about.

The great part of this is now everybody is made more aware so the rules become more clear, even for those who don't think they apply to them.

Unassisted
12-20-2007, 11:37 AM
I've always thought that "zero tolerance" policies arose from the need to counter the "I have an excuse for everything" crowd.
Well stated, Dom and I agree with the entire post. I had been holding back from contributing to this thread because I was getting too bogged down in the hypotheticals that make the points that you made in your post. :clap:

Dom Heffner
12-20-2007, 11:41 AM
Well stated, Dom and I agree with the entire post. I had been holding back from contributing to this thread because I was getting too bogged down in the hypotheticals that make the points that you made in your post.

I get a bit confused about these things because the complaining about zero tolerance seems to come from the same crowd who brought us "personal responsibility."

To me, personal responsibility is taking the time to learn the rules.

traderumor
12-20-2007, 11:53 AM
I've always thought that "zero tolerance" policies arose from the need to counter the "I have an excuse for everything" crowd.

Yeah, I brought the knife in to cut my cupcake. This is just a Swiss Army knife. These pills are for my migraines but I forgot to tell you about them. I didn't know the rules. I thought that rule meant something else.

People now call it the tossing aside of common sense, but if I'm a school official, I really don't have time to craft punishments around all the various excuses people bring up.

If school policy is to suspend anyone for bringing any type of knife to school, then don't bring a knife to school even if you have no nefarious intentions, because our public employees aren't human lie detectors. They can't tell your intentions by looking at you. I could bring in a knife to stab my friend with yet pack some jelly in a container and say, "This knife was to put jelly on my bread." Humans are crafty like that, especially when they know zero tolerance rules are in place.

Do most kids in violation have bad intentions? Of course not, but unfortunately the rules are there to protect everyone from the one in a thousands.

Hindsight is 20/20, and there is something to be said about foresight as well.

Before you send your kid off to school with the most innocent of knives, look up the rules as there are zero tolerance policies in effect, which, as a parent, you should know about.

The great part of this is now everybody is made more aware so the rules become more clear, even for those who don't think they apply to them.Why isn't taking the knife away and reminding the child and the parent of the rules enough since it seems that the authorities did not perceive a threat, but were blindly following the letter of the rule instead of using "common sense" to apply the spirit of the rule? I think the "common sense" comment is appropriate and the actions taken by the school (sounds like the sheriff was bound by law rather than a "rule" as the school was) were over the top, based on the facts presented in the article. Perhaps a better word is "overreaction."

Dom Heffner
12-20-2007, 11:59 AM
Why isn't taking the knife away and reminding the child and the parent of the rules enough since it seems that the authorities did not perceive a threat, but were blindly following the letter of the rule instead of using "common sense" to apply the spirit of the rule? I think the "common sense" comment is appropriate and the actions taken by the school (sounds like the sheriff was bound by law rather than a "rule" as the school was) were over the top, based on the facts presented in the article. Perhaps a better word is "overreaction."

Because that would teach kids that you get around a zero tolerance policy based on your intentions, which makes the rules not zero tolerance.

For me, "common sense" is not bringing a butter knife to school when zero tolerance rules are in effect.

Dom Heffner
12-20-2007, 12:01 PM
the spirit of the rule?

The problem with the spirit of the rule philosophy is that it assumes innocent intentions are only innocent intentions.

Like with the example I gave above, I could bring a butter knife in along with some jelly and still plan on stabbing a classmate after lunch.

Dom Heffner
12-20-2007, 12:06 PM
The purpose of "zero tolerance" policies isn't to make felons out of steak eating children, it's to keep all knives out of schools.

But if you want to pretend the rules don't apply to you because all you wanted to do was cut up your steak, then you sort of get what you deserve.

Caveat Emperor
12-20-2007, 12:59 PM
The purpose of "zero tolerance" policies isn't to make felons out of steak eating children, it's to keep all knives out of schools.

But if you want to pretend the rules don't apply to you because all you wanted to do was cut up your steak, then you sort of get what you deserve.

I'm so stealing this for a closing argument in the near future. :D

Roy Tucker
12-20-2007, 01:05 PM
And this is the one case that hit the news. I know of many instances where something like this happened and it was all kept in-house.

I can also say that most, if not all, of those instances were where the parents had a good relationship with the teacher/principals/etc and could be handled in that fashion. Not a brown-nosed kind of thing, but the parents showed up for conferences, were involved in the classroom, etc etc so the principal could be comfortable making the call.

Preferential treatment? Yeah, but its what the realities of the world are. Know the system and work the system to your advantage is what I say.

traderumor
12-20-2007, 01:18 PM
Because that would teach kids that you get around a zero tolerance policy based on your intentions, which makes the rules not zero tolerance.

For me, "common sense" is not bringing a butter knife to school when zero tolerance rules are in effect.I already admitted it was a dumb thing to do, but it is reasonable to see how a family could lose sight of such a policy if they were generally not troublemakers. I think a "zero tolerance policy" has room for innocent mistakes. No one was getting around anything. She was busted. A ride in the sheriff's car is over the top, even if they let her play with the siren. The school could have handled it better. It is very simple, really.

There was no mandate to send her off in the paddywagon, they did that because her parents couldn't be reached. As far as I know, the rule had no number of tries before getting the authorities involved. They could have left it as continuing to try and get a hold of the parents, keep her in the office until that was accomplished. It sure as heck would have beat putting a 10 year-old in the back of a law enforcement vehicle.

It isn't like they didn't have choices here, at least as I understand based on the facts in the article. Unless they thought the parents were in on a conspiracy, perhaps purposefully sending their daughter to school not only with cold steak, but with a steak knife as a diversion to get the principal out of his office, tie him up in the office and tickle his nose with a feather until he agreed to change one of her grades.

BTW, I would imagine you use "spirit of the rule" arguments when it supports the side you are trying to defend.

Dom Heffner
12-20-2007, 01:38 PM
I think a "zero tolerance policy" has room for innocent mistakes.

Then it's not zero tolerance.

That's 99% tolerance, becuase someone is going to have an excuse for everything.

Heck, substitute excuse for alibi.

traderumor
12-20-2007, 01:51 PM
Then it's not zero tolerance.

That's 99% tolerance, becuase someone is going to have an excuse for everything.

Heck, substitute excuse for alibi.
And again, nothing was tolerated. Nowhere have a I suggested that the child did not break the rule. I am speaking to the subsequent handling, which obviously included a pecking order of "contact parents before arresting." I am saying that they could have continued to contact the parents since nowhere is it intimated that the child was indeed a danger. Then, it is a non-story because they eventually would have gotten hold of the parents. Somehow, we are talking past each other.

Dom Heffner
12-20-2007, 01:55 PM
One point I want to make before everyone thinks I'm a heartless guy:

I hate when something like this happens. One never wants to see the rule of law applied this way.

Unfortunately, words have to mean things or the law is rendered meaningless. I'm different because I only wanted to chop up my steak will turn into everybody bringing steak knives to school.

I normally hate black and white rules, but when it comes to schools, I kinda dig the zero tolerance stuff because it's basically a way of saying, look, we have several hundred people here and we have better things to do with our time than to figure out if the knife you brought to school is a weapon or an eating utensil.

I seriously doubt anything is going to come out of this, but if I'm the school board, I take it as far as I can to show everybody they aren't playing around so it's clear to everyone.

Sending a letter home is going to bring up, "Well when Johnny did it all you did was send a letter home why is my kid being punished," or, "I didn't get the letter because the mailman lost it...or I moved here after the letter was sent."

Zero tolerance kinda rocks in that it's like, enough with the excuses, follow the rules. All you need is your books, paper, and a pencil.

Falls City Beer
12-20-2007, 01:58 PM
In general, zero tolerance policies preclude common sense. They're designed to remove any and all power from managers like principals and school board members, "empower" parents, and cut down on cases showing up in court (judges got to hit the links). In short, they're largely mechanisms of expedience.

Imagine if a judge were to disregard the nuances of a case and say something like, "All first-time DWI offenders will serve 3 months in the county jail, no excuses, no mitigating factors, no peek at their prior records, nothing. 3 months!" Suffice it to say that judge would not be re-elected (no matter how many "tough on crime" billboards he posted), or he wouldn't be re-upped when his term ended.

Dom Heffner
12-20-2007, 01:59 PM
And again, nothing was tolerated. Nowhere have a I suggested that the child did not break the rule.

I was merely addressing the need for zero tolerance policies- or rather, why they are there.

If a pecking order was violated, shame on the school. Whatever the procedure for this is, follow it. If there isn't one in place, get one. You can't have such a stringent rule for students and then take a "call it as we see it" approach to yourself.

But to make an exception for the punishment contained within the rule because the intent was to merely chop up steak, that's a slippery slope because steak consumption will suddenly be on the rise for those who want to bring knives in for other reasons.

Hoosier Red
12-20-2007, 01:59 PM
One point I want to make before everyone thinks I'm a heartless guy:

I hate when something like this happens. One never wants to see the rule of law applied this way.

Unfortunately, words have to mean things or the law is rendered meaningless. I'm different because I only wanted to chop up my steak will turn into everybody bringing steak knives to school.

I normally hate black and white rules, but when it comes to schools, I kinda dig the zero tolerance stuff becuase it's basically a way of saying, look, we have several hundred people here and we have better things to do with our time than to figure out if the knife you brought to school is a weapon or an eating utensil.

I seriously doubt anything is going to come out of this, but if I'm the school board, I take it as far as I can to show everybody they aren't playing around so it's clear to everyone.

Sending a letter home is going to bring up, "Well when Johnny did it all you did was send a letter home why is my kid being punished," or, "I didn't get the letter because the mailman lost it...or I moved here after the letter was sent."

Zero tolerance kinda rocks in that it's like, enough with the excuses, follow the rules. All you need is your books, paper, and a pencil.


Just make sure the pencil's not too sharp.:p:

Falls City Beer
12-20-2007, 02:02 PM
Just make sure the pencil's not to sharp.:p:

Exactly. It's a sieve to stop lava flow. Just empower the administration, parents, and the board. When a crime is committed, deal with it then.

Roy Tucker
12-20-2007, 02:47 PM
Zero-tolerance doesn't have to be a binary state, i.e. do nothing or the death penalty.

For offense #1, remove the weapon and the student sits in the principals office the rest of the day, notify the parents and call them in, and face-to-face tell them the rules and what will happen the next time.

Offense #2, suspension for n days.

Offense #3-n, call the cops and expel the student.

traderumor
12-20-2007, 02:54 PM
One point I want to make before everyone thinks I'm a heartless guy:

I hate when something like this happens. One never wants to see the rule of law applied this way.

Unfortunately, words have to mean things or the law is rendered meaningless. I'm different because I only wanted to chop up my steak will turn into everybody bringing steak knives to school.

I normally hate black and white rules, but when it comes to schools, I kinda dig the zero tolerance stuff because it's basically a way of saying, look, we have several hundred people here and we have better things to do with our time than to figure out if the knife you brought to school is a weapon or an eating utensil.

I seriously doubt anything is going to come out of this, but if I'm the school board, I take it as far as I can to show everybody they aren't playing around so it's clear to everyone.

Sending a letter home is going to bring up, "Well when Johnny did it all you did was send a letter home why is my kid being punished," or, "I didn't get the letter because the mailman lost it...or I moved here after the letter was sent."

Zero tolerance kinda rocks in that it's like, enough with the excuses, follow the rules. All you need is your books, paper, and a pencil.It actually all started with teachers snatching the knife. It sounds more like a Suite Life of Zack and Cody episode than real life, and it looks like those handling the matter thought they only had 20 minutes to resolve the conflict. In all organizations, you have leaders who cannot use the brain the good Lord gave them to make easy judgment calls, or all they can see is the rule and lose sight of trying to minimize the damage done by enforcing the rule, like quietly taking the child to the office after removing the knife and trying to get a hold of the parents instead of flopping out their cell phones to call 911 (exaggeration mine). I hear what you are saying about the law, which FCB has pointed out the inherent flaws and laziness of such policies. I simply think it should have never gotten to the point of calling in law enforcement. Even the principal sounded apologetic and hinted at "yea, my teachers were a bit overzealous, but we had to follow procedure."

Dom Heffner
12-20-2007, 03:28 PM
which FCB has pointed out the inherent flaws and laziness of such policies.

For me, it isn't so much laziness but having to deal with every excuse in the book and the infinite list of reasons why it's okay for rules not to apply to people.

But heck, I've never worked a day in the public school system, so I could be making this too black and white.

Caveat Emperor
12-20-2007, 04:02 PM
Exactly. It's a sieve to stop lava flow. Just empower the administration, parents, and the board. When a crime is committed, deal with it then.

And then tell somone's parents "We're sorry your daughter got stabbed, but the girl swore she just wanted to cut her lunch."

camisadelgolf
12-20-2007, 06:39 PM
If I really want to stab a classmate, I'll find a way to do it with a ruler or pencil if I have to. As for high schools, I think 18-year-old students and all teachers should be allowed to bring weapons to school as long as they're used only in self defense.

pedro
12-20-2007, 06:42 PM
G. Gordon Liddy only needed a pencil.

Caveat Emperor
12-20-2007, 07:19 PM
As for high schools, I think 18-year-old students and all teachers should be allowed to bring weapons to school as long as they're used only in self defense.

Well, unless everyone is holding their weapons in front of them all day, that'd be a good way to get the entire school arrested for CCW.

Dom Heffner
12-20-2007, 08:46 PM
If I really want to stab a classmate, I'll find a way to do it with a ruler or pencil if I have to.

That's why we advocate loosening the rules for bringing a bomb on an airplane, because if someone really wants to blow it up, they could anyway.

Falls City Beer
12-20-2007, 09:08 PM
That's why we advocate loosening the rules for bringing a bomb on an airplane, because if someone really wants to blow it up, they could anyway.

So you're cool sitting in airport security for 6 hours because you brought toenail clippers in your carry-on?

I know which slippery slope *I* don't want to travel down.

We all love zero tolerance until we're caught up in its glistening bureaucratic web.

Dom Heffner
12-20-2007, 09:18 PM
So you're cool sitting in airport security for 6 hours because you brought toenail clippers in your carry-on?

The point is you don't relax rules for other items because somebody can kill you with a pencil.

At some point there are materials that are necessary to a situation. You don't take seat belts off a plane because someone could rip the male end out and bop a flight attendant in the head with it.

Pencils are necessary to a classroom, even though they are sharp objects.

It's about risk versus necessity.

And you know, you hear all the time how people rob others at pencil point.

GAC
12-20-2007, 09:18 PM
I understand that school's may now have "zero tolerance" policies; but does that mean we leave common sense at the door?....

"She did not use it inappropriately. She did not threaten anyone with it. She didn't pull it out and brandish it. Nothing of that nature," explained Marion County School Spokesman Kevin Christian.

Don't these teachers KNOW the children in their own school? We're talking a 10 yr old girl here. Yes, she brought a steak knife to school.... to eat her food. It was wrong, and she obviously made a mistake or didn't understand the school policy.

So you take the steak knife away, explain to her why, and continue to make contact with her parents (they have to come home at some point), and call them in for a session to clarify school policy, and that this cannot happen again.

"But a couple of teachers took the utensil and called the sheriff. When deputies arrived, they were unable to get the child's parents on the phone, so they arrested her and took her to the county's juvenile assessment center."

Simply stupid and unnecessary actions by adults IMO. The patients have taken over the insane asylum.

Dom Heffner
12-20-2007, 09:25 PM
GAC, you're absolutely right. Probably not the way to go here.

Zero tolerance requires protocol on what to do once you have a 10 year old suspect in custody. :)

IslandRed
12-20-2007, 10:26 PM
Zero tolerance requires protocol on what to do once you have a 10 year old suspect in custody. :)

I guess the moral of the story is, if a school is going to let the policy manual make the decisions, it had better be a good policy manual.

Otherwise, the kids conclude the authority figures in their schools either can't figure out the right thing to do or don't have the guts to do the right thing. Kids being kids, they'll eventually start believing the grownups are dolts anyway, but it doesn't help when they have a good argument.

George Anderson
12-20-2007, 11:10 PM
Having worked in many schools and having umpired High School baseball where teachers were coaches I can honestly the vast majority of teachers I have met badly lack common sense. Yes it is a very admirable profession but I just think when you have people who spend from age 5 to well into their adulthood in a classroom and not in the real world they just dont have a very good grasp of reality and certainly not alot of common sense. Sure the are exceptions but from my experiences which are many, it tends to be the case.

GAC
12-21-2007, 08:45 AM
GAC, you're absolutely right. Probably not the way to go here.

Zero tolerance requires protocol on what to do once you have a 10 year old suspect in custody. :)

Exactly. It was that Crips jacket and forearm tattoos that caused suspicion. ;)

The thing about these zero tolerance policies is that the only ones it catches are the 10 yr olds who mistakenly bring a steak knife to school to eat their lunch or a 6 yr old who brings a cap pistol to show n tell. :lol:

Do they actually think a deranged teenager, mad at some classmates, is going to somehow be dissuaded from bringing a gun and backpack full of ammo to school to take out vengeance because the school has a strict zero tolerance policy?

While they got the 10 yr old pinned up against the wall frisking her, this other kid comes strolling unnoticed right by. ;)

Roy Tucker
12-21-2007, 09:11 AM
Having worked in many schools and having umpired High School baseball where teachers were coaches I can honestly the vast majority of teachers I have met badly lack common sense. Yes it is a very admirable profession but I just think when you have people who spend from age 5 to well into their adulthood in a classroom and not in the real world they just dont have a very good grasp of reality and certainly not alot of common sense. Sure the are exceptions but from my experiences which are many, it tends to be the case.

George, I normally don't say these kinds of things, but that's the biggest load of crap I've heard in a long time.

I can't think of a better grounded in reality group of people than our school teachers.

George Anderson
12-21-2007, 10:02 AM
George, I normally don't say these kinds of things, but that's the biggest load of crap I've heard in a long time.

I can't think of a better grounded in reality group of people than our school teachers.

Well I have dealings with many people in education through my regular job and my side job of officiating and from my experiences it is more often the case. Now if you have someone in education who has worked in another profession before becoming a teacher than that person tends to have common sense, but if you have someone who has done nothing with their professional career but spend it in the classroom then those people just lack the real world life experiences that give a person common sense.

redhawkfish
12-21-2007, 10:26 AM
I am a teacher, but also a father, husband, homeowner, stockholder, fisherman, sports enthusiast, and even a licensed driver.(:D)

What other experiences do I need to have to gain this "common sense" you speak of?

pahster
12-21-2007, 10:28 AM
Having worked in many schools and having umpired High School baseball where teachers were coaches I can honestly the vast majority of teachers I have met badly lack common sense. Yes it is a very admirable profession but I just think when you have people who spend from age 5 to well into their adulthood in a classroom and not in the real world they just dont have a very good grasp of reality and certainly not alot of common sense. Sure the are exceptions but from my experiences which are many, it tends to be the case.

A cogent argument steeped in rational thought. Clearly no one who has spent the majority of their life in a given environment would have any idea how to control it in an efficient manner. :rolleyes:

dsmith421
12-21-2007, 10:34 AM
but if you have someone who has done nothing with their professional career but spend it in the classroom then those people just lack the real world life experiences that give a person common sense.

That's just an utterly offensive comment. People who choose teaching as their vocation make a commitment at a young age to eschew big money and prestige in order to make a difference in society. They should be applauded.

George Anderson
12-21-2007, 10:37 AM
That's just an utterly offensive comment. People who choose teaching as their vocation make a commitment at a young age to eschew big money and prestige in order to make a difference in society.

Yes being a teacher is an admirable profession as I said earlier but one of the downsides to having a job to where you see nothing but the insides of a classroom is you lack real life experiences that make you a more rounded person.

Dom Heffner
12-21-2007, 10:41 AM
I think there is always going to be a percentage of people who lack certain skills, no matter the profession.

Just becuase they give up better jobs doesn't make them any better, nor does the simple fact that they chose to teach make them less skillful in some areas.

pahster
12-21-2007, 10:48 AM
Yes being a teacher is an admirable profession as I said earlier but one of the downsides to having a job to where you see nothing but the insides of a classroom is you lack real life experiences that make you a more rounded person.

What about people who have jobs in which they see nothing but the insides of a cubicle? Do the walls of a cubicle (or of anything not related to education) have a special property that causes an increase in the number of real life experiences in someone's life? Are teachers unable to have a life outside of work? Are they sedentary creatures who live in burrows under their desks awakening from their dormant state only when the bell rings in the morning?

dsmith421
12-21-2007, 10:51 AM
Yes being a teacher is an admirable profession as I said earlier but one of the downsides to having a job to where you see nothing but the insides of a classroom is you lack real life experiences that make you a more rounded person.

Such as?

CySeymour
12-21-2007, 10:51 AM
Just out of curiosity, what role has the teachers unions played in these "zero tolerence" policies?

George Anderson
12-21-2007, 11:04 AM
What about people who have jobs in which they see nothing but the insides of a cubicle? Do the walls of a cubicle (or of anything not related to education) have a special property that causes an increase in the number of real life experiences in someone's life? Are teachers unable to have a life outside of work? Are they sedentary creatures who live in burrows under their desks awakening from their dormant state only when the bell rings in the morning?


Yes someone who spends their entire professional career doing the same type job in a somewhat isolated environment will lack the real life experinces that help contribute to a persons common sense. The same goes if someone spends their entire professional career working in a factory, they simply lack life experiences that would lead to a better understanding of the world around them.

All of these professions are honorable professions but they do have a down side to them and from my experiences which are many what I described above tends to be the case.

George Anderson
12-21-2007, 11:14 AM
Such as?

Someone who spends their entire life from kindergarten to retirement in a classroom and has spent zero or very little time in another profession simply lack the experiences that others benefit from being in the business world.

Quite simply reading and studying about how the world works and actually living it are to different matters. Again being a teacher is a very admirable profession but there are certain downsides to working in this admirable profession.

vaticanplum
12-21-2007, 11:18 AM
Yes someone who spends their entire professional career doing the same type job in a somewhat isolated environment will lack the real life experinces that help contribute to a persons common sense. The same goes if someone spends their entire professional career working in a factory, they simply lack life experiences that would lead to a better understanding of the world around them.

All of these professions are honorable professions but they do have a down side to them and from my experiences which are many what I described above tends to be the case.

I'm not sure what makes teachers any more or less prone to experience "real life" than any other profession. The extent of anyone's life experience tends to be a result of personality, interest(s) and sense of adventure, not profession. If anything I'd think teachers have a little more time in the day, and in the summer, to pursue other interests than many other professions.

If you're somehow implying that life inside a classroom is somehow "less real" in itself than other professions, I'd say you may need a reality check. My guess is that preparing children for a life in the real world, while constantly being exposed to the basics of everything we know as well as the basics of human understanding, adds a lot more to someone's perspective than the number crunching and corporate beauracracy that a lot of us put up with on a day-to-day basis.

traderumor
12-21-2007, 12:54 PM
Yes someone who spends their entire professional career doing the same type job in a somewhat isolated environment will lack the real life experinces that help contribute to a persons common sense. The same goes if someone spends their entire professional career working in a factory, they simply lack life experiences that would lead to a better understanding of the world around them.

All of these professions are honorable professions but they do have a down side to them and from my experiences which are many what I described above tends to be the case.This fine collection of Archie Bunkerisms probably relates more to the entertainment industry than teaching. A word of advice...when you're in a hole, stop digging!

George Anderson
12-21-2007, 01:26 PM
This fine collection of Archie Bunkerisms probably relates more to the entertainment industry than teaching. A word of advice...when you're in a hole, stop digging!

Sorry you couldnt follow along better.

Caveat Emperor
12-21-2007, 02:08 PM
Someone who spends their entire life from kindergarten to retirement in a classroom and has spent zero or very little time in another profession simply lack the experiences that others benefit from being in the business world.

Quite simply reading and studying about how the world works and actually living it are to different matters. Again being a teacher is a very admirable profession but there are certain downsides to working in this admirable profession.

Not for nothing, but 90% of the people I know in the "business world" spend most of their days staring at a computer screen, and the extent of their "living it" experiences consists in answering e-mails, gossiping with the next cubicle over, and walking to the break room to heat their instant soup for lunch.

Why does working in business give you more of an indication of "how the world works?" Because you put a company polo shirt or a suit and tie on and drive to an office that somehow gives you a stronger intellectual compass than the rest of the world? Do you really spend lots of team learning the ways of the force, or do you sit and become an expert on whatever it is your company does and do that all day? My guess would be the latter.

Unbelievable. Talking down to the teaching profession is probably one of the most indefensible positions one can take. That is, unless you think there are a lot of people in your office that could teach thirty 6 year olds how to read in a single year. At the same time.

919191
12-21-2007, 02:23 PM
Someone who spends their entire life from kindergarten to retirement in a classroom and has spent zero or very little time in another profession simply lack the experiences that others benefit from being in the business world.

Quite simply reading and studying about how the world works and actually living it are to different matters. Again being a teacher is a very admirable profession but there are certain downsides to working in this admirable profession.

I've read of accounts where teachers have ventured out of the classroom and actually left the building. They experienced, and created alot of problems. They had never experienced using a gas pump. The red light/green light thing was confusing. They had no idea what to do in a store, or a restaurant. They had no idea when to bathe, or to take shelter from inclement weather. You are right- career teachers have no idea about the real world.



Seriously, you paint a dim view of the world of education, and I just don't by it. I think your view is just skewed.

vaticanplum
12-21-2007, 02:31 PM
Not for nothing, but 90% of the people I know in the "business world" spend most of their days staring at a computer screen, and the extent of their "living it" experiences consists in answering e-mails, gossiping with the next cubicle over, and walking to the break room to heat their instant soup for lunch.

Why does working in business give you more of an indication of "how the world works?" Because you put a company polo shirt or a suit and tie on and drive to an office that somehow gives you a stronger intellectual compass than the rest of the world? Do you really spend lots of team learning the ways of the force, or do you sit and become an expert on whatever it is your company does and do that all day? My guess would be the latter.

Unbelievable. Talking down to the teaching profession is probably one of the most indefensible positions one can take. That is, unless you think there are a lot of people in your office that could teach thirty 6 year olds how to read in a single year. At the same time.

On top of all this, I'm also a little lost here as to the correlation between "real world experience" and common sense. I know people have real world experience up the wazoo and still lack common sense, and people who have never left their hometown and have it in spades.

I have a theory that many workplaces attempt to replace common sense with something called Processes. Teachers deal with real-world, off-the-cuff situations about a dozen times a day.

George Anderson
12-21-2007, 03:32 PM
Seriously, you paint a dim view of the world of education, and I just don't by it. I think your view is just skewed.


Well if you look at the recent woeful graduation rates and test scores that are rampant in the world of education then you would have to agree its kinda dim.

George Anderson
12-21-2007, 03:41 PM
Not for nothing, but 90% of the people I know in the "business world" spend most of their days staring at a computer screen, and the extent of their "living it" experiences consists in answering e-mails, gossiping with the next cubicle over, and walking to the break room to heat their instant soup for lunch.

Why does working in business give you more of an indication of "how the world works?" Because you put a company polo shirt or a suit and tie on and drive to an office that somehow gives you a stronger intellectual compass than the rest of the world? Do you really spend lots of team learning the ways of the force, or do you sit and become an expert on whatever it is your company does and do that all day? My guess would be the latter.

Unbelievable. Talking down to the teaching profession is probably one of the most indefensible positions one can take. That is, unless you think there are a lot of people in your office that could teach thirty 6 year olds how to read in a single year. At the same time.

People in the business world tend to have to produce or their job will be eliminated. Teachers are protected by teachers unions and dont have to produce because they have job security.

I think alot of you people are really getting off track here. The original point of this post was that there seems to be a lack of common sense in our schools today. Being one that for over 15 plus years has dealt with many Teachers, Principals, Vice Principals, Athletic Directors, School Superintendants, Coaches/teachers I can say with certainty that in GENERAL they lack a certain degree of common sense because many of them have not been out in the real world but only behind the walls of a school learning or reading about how the real world works in particular the business world.

I realize some of you are probally teachers yourselves and this point I am making may hurt your feelings but realize every profession out there has its areas where one can criticize, Im just amazed educators think they are above being criticized,

dsmith421
12-21-2007, 03:41 PM
Quite simply reading and studying about how the world works and actually living it are to different matters. Again being a teacher is a very admirable profession but there are certain downsides to working in this admirable profession.

Jesus wept. I honestly can't penetrate this particular veil of delusion.

GAC
12-21-2007, 08:01 PM
I am a teacher, but also a father, husband, homeowner, stockholder, fisherman, sports enthusiast, and even a licensed driver.(:D)

What other experiences do I need to have to gain this "common sense" you speak of?

MY statement, concerning common sense was aimed directly at adults and not a profession (teachers). I apologize it that was misconstrued in any way Dan.

IMO - it was the adults who completely mishandled this situation. What happens if it would turn out that it was adults (parents) who got her in this situation? ;)

What if Mom, while packing this little girl's lunch, showed poor judgment by putting the steak knife in her lunch box? Her daughter knew nothng about it, didn't give it a second thought when she opened her lunch box, yet she's the one who ends up suffering the consequences.

I would have taken the knife away from her obviously. But then I would have sat down next to her and inquired how/why it was packed in her lunch. If she had packed it, and it was most likely due to not knowing (innocent mistake), then I would have explained to her why it was wrong, and made sure she understood school policy, and got assurances it wouldn't happen again. Problem solved.

If I found out one of her parents packed it, then I would have let the little girl return to class and made a very strong effort to get ahold of these parents and get them into the school for a meeting.

I understand that teachers have their "hands full" at school. But calling the police on a 10 yr old just seems like it's the easy way out while avoiding getting involved. Just poor judgment in this situation IMHO.

MWM
12-21-2007, 09:37 PM
George, nothing personal, but judging by the comments you've made in this thread, I'd say you are probably the one not very well-versed in the "real world."

George Foster
12-21-2007, 11:48 PM
I understand that school's may now have "zero tolerance" policies; but does that mean we leave common sense at the door?....

"She did not use it inappropriately. She did not threaten anyone with it. She didn't pull it out and brandish it. Nothing of that nature," explained Marion County School Spokesman Kevin Christian.

Don't these teachers KNOW the children in their own school? We're talking a 10 yr old girl here. Yes, she brought a steak knife to school.... to eat her food. It was wrong, and she obviously made a mistake or didn't understand the school policy.

So you take the steak knife away, explain to her why, and continue to make contact with her parents (they have to come home at some point), and call them in for a session to clarify school policy, and that this cannot happen again.

"But a couple of teachers took the utensil and called the sheriff. When deputies arrived, they were unable to get the child's parents on the phone, so they arrested her and took her to the county's juvenile assessment center."

Simply stupid and unnecessary actions by adults IMO. The patients have taken over the insane asylum.

This was the post I was looking for when I started the thread.

Dom Heffner
12-22-2007, 12:39 AM
This is what talk radio has done to America. You take a situation after the fact when all is known and you want to make yourself look really smart so you bash everybody involved who didn't have the benefit of hindsight like you did.

Look- Calling the police doesn't sound like the first thing any of us would do, but relax.

To me, either the parents unknowingly let their kid walk out of the house with a knife or they let her do it and didn't follow the rules. They couldn't be reached by phone, their kid was in possession of something the school looks at as a weapon as defined by policy, so they called the police. Without seeing the actual policy, it's tough to say what should have happened here.

But here's a few things we have to keep in mind:

1) Just because it was a 10 year old with the knife doesn't mean it couldn't have been used by a 10 year old.
2) Just because it's a girl doesn't mean she wasn't capable of using it.
3) Just because she used it to eat her steak doesn't mean she couldn't have used it later in the day.
4) Just because she was the one with possession with it doesn't mean somebody else couldn't have taken it from her and used it on somebody else.

It's so easy to sit here and talk about what's likely, but when the unlikely happens, the first thing all the talk shows would do is whine about how the school didn't follow protocol when a knife was found in the cafeteria. They'd ask what the point of zero tolerance was when the school didn't act according to the policy.

You can't win with the kneejerk crowd because they jerk that knee no matter what the story is. It's more fun to be the person who says, "Did you hear about what's happening in our schools?" so the storyteller looks really smart and the people who actually have to do the work look like idiots.

If you don't like the rule, change it. But don't get upset when somebody follows it (again, if calling the police is protocol when the parents are not available.).

I'm not really taking a side here, I'm just telling those who are "in shock" how we get to this point.

Life is simple when all you have to do is become a hindsight commentator.

I realize no one is advocating letting the girl keep the knife. But if all you do is send a letter out to parents, you're asking for more knives to be brought in because the message you send out is "When kids bring knives to school, we just send a letter out."

And then parents say, "Sure honey, you can bring that knife to school if all you are going to do is cut your steak- if you get caught, all they do is send a letter out."

But if you make an example out of the people who merely innocently violate the rule, now we're talking, because it puts everybody on their toes and they get the picture that the rule actually means something and yes, dear, it applies to you.

We need to learn from the IRS. They don't care why you filed late- the penalty applies to you.

I'll come down now. I promise I wasn't going to jump. :)

Dom Heffner
12-22-2007, 01:05 AM
So you take the steak knife away, explain to her why, and continue to make contact with her parents (they have to come home at some point), and call them in for a session to clarify school policy, and that this cannot happen again.


They already have a zero tolerance policy. Isn't that the school's way of saying this can't happen again? Because this little girl can't be the first student to have innocently broken the rule.

And forgive me, but how much clarification does the term "zero tolerance" need?

It would be great to sit down and explain a self-explanatory rule to every violator of it, but if a parent teacher conference is what we need to drive home that steak knives don't belong in schools, then I don't think it's the school system that needs common sense, it's the parents.

BoydsOfSummer
12-22-2007, 01:15 AM
It's obvious the little girl needs counseling, let's get a case worker on it ASAP.

Dom Heffner
12-22-2007, 01:23 AM
It's obvious the little girl needs counseling, let's get a case worker on it ASAP.

If it's so easy, go ahead and write an enforceable weapons policy for schools in this thread.

Make sure you bold the part about distinguishing a weapon from an eating utensil. I'd like to read that part. :)

GAC
12-22-2007, 04:55 AM
This is what talk radio has done to America. You take a situation after the fact when all is known and you want to make yourself look really smart so you bash everybody involved who didn't have the benefit of hindsight like you did.

First of Dom, I want to say how good it is to be arguing with you again. I miss those good ol' days buddy. And I'm on my 3rd cup of java and ready to go! :lol:

But It doesn't have to be "after the fact" Dom in order to see that this situation was not handled properly. People are involved in situations every day, especially authority figures, where they are required to use discretion and sound judgment at the spur of a moment.


To me, either the parents unknowingly let their kid walk out of the house with a knife or they let her do it and didn't follow the rules.

How do you know the little girl knew the knife was in her lunch? My wife packs our kids lunch every morning while they are getting ready for school. They then grab the lunch, never looking inside, and head out to the bus.

If my 16 yr old daughter doesn't straighten up I guess I know how to get her back. :lol:


They couldn't be reached by phone, their kid was in possession of something the school looks at as a weapon as defined by policy, so they called the police. Without seeing the actual policy, it's tough to say what should have happened here.

And that is my problem with these zero tolerance policies - their interpretation and strict enforcement without any discretion and/or investigation. Yes, a steak knife can be used as a weapon; but so can a sharpened #2 pencil, and ink pen, or the eating utensils they use in the cafeteria. How about one of these....

http://images.jupiterimages.com/common/detail/96/35/22183596.jpg

If a kid is intent on finding a weapon to hurt someone, and is resourceful enough...and that is the key issue with me: is there intent to use the item as a weapon?... then there are plenty of utensils in home ec, shop class, and elsewhere that they could find. Doesn't take a McGyver to do it.


But here's a few things we have to keep in mind:

1) Just because it was a 10 year old with the knife doesn't mean it couldn't have been used by a 10 year old.
2) Just because it's a girl doesn't mean she wasn't capable of using it.
3) Just because she used it to eat her steak doesn't mean she couldn't have used it later in the day.
4) Just because she was the one with possession with it doesn't mean somebody else couldn't have taken it from her and used it on somebody else.

All true Dom. But again, this gets back to what I stated earlier about teachers KNOWING their students (and a vast majority do). I doubt very much, and I don't think it has to be after the fact either, that when a teacher sees a 10 yr old sit down at a cafeteria table, gets their lunch out, and then pulls out a knife that's required to cut her food that everyone can see what her intent was. She wasn't trying to hide it from anyone.


It's so easy to sit here and talk about what's likely, but when the unlikely happens, the first thing all the talk shows would do is whine about how the school didn't follow protocol when a knife was found in the cafeteria. They'd ask what the point of zero tolerance was when the school didn't act according to the policy.

But that's just it Dom. A majority of people are shaking their heads at these zero tolerance policies, not because of their existence/need; but the way they are being interpreted and enforced. I guarantee you that an overwhelming majority of people, after reading the facts of this situation, would say the school over reacted - zero tolerance policy or not.


I realize no one is advocating letting the girl keep the knife. But if all you do is send a letter out to parents, you're asking for more knives to be brought in because the message you send out is "When kids bring knives to school, we just send a letter out."

And then parents say, "Sure honey, you can bring that knife to school if all you are going to do is cut your steak- if you get caught, all they do is send a letter out."

I don't see where anyone is simply saying "send a letter to the parents." You definitely have to have a face-to-face conference with the parent(s).


We need to learn from the IRS. They don't care why you filed late- the penalty applies to you.

And that is why the IRS is hated. ;)

Joking aside. Yes, we live in a society where there are rules and laws. But are those laws always strictly enforced to the "letter" in every situation?

Once that authority figure... a police officer who pulled you over, or that judge you're standing before... investigates/hears all the facts, as well as getting your side of the account, do they ever agree and show leniency? Maybe even let you go or throw the case out?

I was let go a couple weeks ago by a local police officer who stopped me while on the way to work. My teenagers ran me late, and even as I left the house and was driving I was still somewhat upset and my mind wasn't on my driving. Next thing I know I'm getting pulled over. "In a hurry?" the officer asks. I tell him I am because my kids were running me late for work - "Was I speeding?". Yeah, you were going almost 40 in a 25 mph zone. He takes my license, does his check, and then comes back and says "I got teenagers too. Just slow down and be safe."

I guess he should have followed the "letter of the law" and made an example of me so others wouldn't speed.

I agree with you Dom that these zero tolerance rules need to be changed. They need to be "refined" so that it allows for these types of circumstances, and that we are not shipping grade school kids off to a detention center because they brought something to school that could be used as a weapon.

These policies came as a result of Columbine and other tragedies. But these zero tolerance policies aren't going to stop or catch those kids. If we are that concerned about this happening in our schools, then install those security measures that would work. Yes, it would cost money; but if we are that concerned about the safety of OUR kids then we'd do it.

Dom Heffner
12-22-2007, 12:07 PM
First of Dom, I want to say how good it is to be arguing with you again. I miss those good ol' days buddy. And I'm on my 3rd cup of java and ready to go!

They finally found something we can talk about! :)

You ever get the feeling that we'd be great friends if we worked together? Some of my favorite friends and co-workers are the ones I have discussions like this with.

One of my employees I just hired is very devout and we had a very long conversation on the subject yesterday. Just an hour long verbal jousting session. It was simply beautiful.

It was so friendly and respectful, which is why I got out of the message board business for awhile: no matter how hard I try to not sound like a jerk, sometimes I do. So sorry for all those times, because 100% of the time I have a smile on my face. :)

I feel sorry for all the posters who hav missed our conversations over the years. Though I understand why the rules are what they are, it doesn't mean I don't still miss those days.


How do you know the little girl knew the knife was in her lunch? My wife packs our kids lunch every morning while they are getting ready for school. They then grab the lunch, never looking inside, and head out to the bus.

I was putting the responsibility on the parents. Either they knew or they didn't. Either way, they screwed up. And either way, it's no excuse in the eyes of a zero tolerance policy. That's the point I was making.


If a kid is intent on finding a weapon to hurt someone, and is resourceful enough...and that is the key issue with me: is there intent to use the item as a weapon?... then there are plenty of utensils in home ec, shop class, and elsewhere that they could find. Doesn't take a McGyver to do it.

A few quick thoughts I hope I can articulate. One, you can kill someone with your hands. We can't ask people to leave those at home (though a straight jacket would be cool for some of these little monsters, wouldn't it?).

So the question becomes, yes, while everything can be a weapon, what do we need here at school and what do we leave at home to not add to the problem?

Resourcefulness becomes a little more challenging when a steak knife isn't allowed. In deciding what is allowed and what isn't it, it's a simple question: what items serve a legitimate purpose at school? Is eating steak necessary to the education of kids? No.

Is a protractor? Is a compass (is that what you have pictured there?)? Can be, sure.

Like I said, airlines don't take seatbelts off the plane because someone could get strangled by one.

The point is that we shouldn't allow easier methods becuase there are more difficult ones available.

A thought on compasses and pencils: They have small points, and they stay the same width as you go further up their length. They also don't have an exposed blade running down one side and never have dual edges.

The difference is huge.

And if we want to pretend that we don't know what weapons are because pencils can stab people, I'll argue the other extreme that kids should carry guns because sometimes they encounter the occasional locked door.


All true Dom. But again, this gets back to what I stated earlier about teachers KNOWING their students (and a vast majority do). I doubt very much, and I don't think it has to be after the fact either, that when a teacher sees a 10 yr old sit down at a cafeteria table, gets their lunch out, and then pulls out a knife that's required to cut her food that everyone can see what her intent was. She wasn't trying to hide it from anyone.


"Knowing a student" is not an enforceable policy. It works in your example, but how would you like it if your kid brought a steak knife in to eat with and he was taken to a detention center and the teacher said, "I know your kid and he's dangerous because he has long hair and he just looks bad, I just know it."

Additionally, if a child brought a gun to school with innocent intentions- maybe just to show a classmate their father's cool antique revolver- we should take that into consideration?

If so, we make it more dangerous for everybody there, because then that becomes a reason to have one.

Zero tolerance says there is never a reason to have knives or guns or other weapons. The idea is to make things simpler. Not sure it works, but that's the idea. :)

The challenge for educators is making rules that are enforceable. Intent is a pretty dangerous litmus test, because the only way you can ever prove illegal intent is when it's too late: someone has a knife sticking out of their chest and we say, yeah, I'd say he meant to use that a weapon.


Once that authority figure... a police officer who pulled you over, or that judge you're standing before... investigates/hears all the facts, as well as getting your side of the account, do they ever agree and show leniency? Maybe even let you go or throw the case out?

You are correct here- they most certainly do, and I've been an advocate of not doing this for the most part.

If I roll a stop sign at 3 in the morning when there are no cars around at an intersection where there wasn't even the possibility of oncoming traffic bing involved, should I get a ticket? (This happened to me- I was at an intersection where it was simply a 90 degree angle and I made a rolling stop to turn right- I mean, who was I going to hit?)

I would argue that I deserved the ticket, regardless of circumstances.

When schools opt to go zero tolerance, they fully understand that 99% of infractions are going to be innocent. But they choose to go this way because they think that safety is more important than worrying about those who can't comply with the rule. And there are so many problems with allowing exceptions and letting some people get away with things but others not.


"I got teenagers too. Just slow down and be safe."

To me this is more of a reason to give you a ticket than to let you off. :)


I agree with you Dom that these zero tolerance rules need to be changed. They need to be "refined" so that it allows for these types of circumstances, and that we are not shipping grade school kids off to a detention center because they brought something to school that could be used as a weapon.


As much as I would love to mark this as the first moment that we agree on something, I'm not sure this is what I'm saying. Or maybe I am.

I have no idea if zero tolerance works or if it is even enforceable. On paper, it's brilliant.
But when you have 10 year old girls being detained over steak knives, the detractors have a point, no matter the intent of the law.

But I can really understand how schools get to this point. Imagine being responsible for hundreds of students and trying to craft words in a rule book in an attempt to keep them safe while being fair.

Makes me want to give James Madison a hug.

Falls City Beer
12-22-2007, 01:19 PM
If the school district would just spring for plastic knives, we wouldn't be in this mess.

dsmith421
12-22-2007, 06:09 PM
If the school district would just spring for plastic knives, we wouldn't be in this mess.

My school district sprung for sporks.

I went to law school. Ergo, sporks = success.

GAC
12-24-2007, 05:30 AM
They finally found something we can talk about! :)

You ever get the feeling that we'd be great friends if we worked together?

I believe we would Dom. I may have strong ideological differences with you; but I don't choose my associations/friendships based on what that other person believes. I married a Democrat. ;)


It was so friendly and respectful, which is why I got out of the message board business for awhile

It's the main reason why I don't post over there any more. It isn't, for the most part, respectful and friendly. It was more two sides name calling, belittling, and showing very little respect to the other "sides" position, and only wanting to gain the upper hand somehow. Partisanship threw any objectivity out the window.

I've had the opportunity to meet some of the people I've had disagreements with on this forum and the Peanut Gallery. RBA and Johnny Footstool are two of them. After a night over beers and watching the Reds we all came to the conclusion that the other guy is a pretty stand up person.

They just can't hold their liquor and we have to end up baby sitting them! :lol: (just kidding fellows)

I've gained newfound respect for some of them, and find it pointless (unfruitful) to get into those discussions anymore. What purpose does it serve other then to possibly harm friendships?



I was putting the responsibility on the parents. Either they knew or they didn't. Either way, they screwed up. And either way, it's no excuse in the eyes of a zero tolerance policy. That's the point I was making.

I agree - THEY (parents) screwed up, yet their daughter suffered the consequences. I don't know if the following is true or not; but at our family Christmas get-together this past weekend when we were all sitting around and talking about a range of topics, this one came up. And my brother and two of my aunts said that the little girl, due to the zero tolerance policy and the strictness of the law, has a felony on her record that will come off when she turns 18. I really hope that isn't true.


A few quick thoughts I hope I can articulate. One, you can kill someone with your hands. We can't ask people to leave those at home (though a straight jacket would be cool for some of these little monsters, wouldn't it?).

So the question becomes, yes, while everything can be a weapon, what do we need here at school and what do we leave at home to not add to the problem?

I throughly agree. It's sad in this day and age that we have had to come to this point. I can remember when I use to go to school, and during hunting season, guys would have their shotguns on a rack in the back of their truck. And a lot of guys back then, because they they were hunters/farmers, use to carry knives on their belts. And it wasn't given a second thought. The times they have a changed.

And we never saw the tragedies/incidents like we are seeing today. If you had a problem with another kid, then you met after school in the woods and settled it over a fist fight with everyone watching. And whether you won or lost... and I had a losing record :lol: ...... it was over, and you didn't carry it any farther then that.


Resourcefulness becomes a little more challenging when a steak knife isn't allowed. In deciding what is allowed and what isn't it, it's a simple question: what items serve a legitimate purpose at school? ....The point is that we shouldn't allow easier methods becuase there are more difficult ones available.


A thought on compasses and pencils: They have small points, and they stay the same width as you go further up their length. They also don't have an exposed blade running down one side and never have dual edges.

The difference is huge.

And if we want to pretend that we don't know what weapons are because pencils can stab people, I'll argue the other extreme that kids should carry guns because sometimes they encounter the occasional locked door.

That is all true; but my point is that a steak knife, for all intent and purposes, is designed to be an eating utensil. Yes, it can be used AS A weapon though, just like that pencil, protractor, or various other objects. The objective is still the same - to stab someone and inflict physical harm. And all of them can be quite effective in that sense.

But I agree that a steak knife shouldn't be brought to school, regardless if the intent was just to eat your meal.





"Knowing a student" is not an enforceable policy. It works in your example, but how would you like it if your kid brought a steak knife in to eat with and he was taken to a detention center and the teacher said, "I know your kid and he's dangerous because he has long hair and he just looks bad, I just know it."

Additionally, if a child brought a gun to school with innocent intentions- maybe just to show a classmate their father's cool antique revolver- we should take that into consideration?

If so, we make it more dangerous for everybody there, because then that becomes a reason to have one.

Zero tolerance says there is never a reason to have knives or guns or other weapons. The idea is to make things simpler. Not sure it works, but that's the idea. :)


The challenge for educators is making rules that are enforceable..... When schools opt to go zero tolerance, they fully understand that 99% of infractions are going to be innocent. But they choose to go this way because they think that safety is more important than worrying about those who can't comply with the rule. And there are so many problems with allowing exceptions and letting some people get away with things but others not.

But the challenge for our educators is to also not only find rules that are enforceable, but in those cases where, as you say, they understand 99% are innocent infractions, we aren't hauling our kids off to jail and giving them criminal records because Johnny brought a swiss army knife to show n tell.


But I can really understand how schools get to this point. Imagine being responsible for hundreds of students and trying to craft words in a rule book in an attempt to keep them safe while being fair.

I fully agree and understand that their task is not an easy one. These zero tolerance policies have been in effect for several years now, and we are seeing, in a lot of people's eyes, extreme over reaction in a majority of these cases. I just believe that I feel they can refine this process, after seeing these types of actions being taken, to make it far more balanced and fair.

Especially when you're dealing with grade school level children ages 6-11. I could see being stricter on high school level kids though. The maturity/responsibility level of a 16-17 yr old is far greater then a 6-7 yr old.


Makes me want to give James Madison a hug.

I bet James carried a musket to work with him. :lol:

GAC
12-24-2007, 05:37 AM
If the school district would just spring for plastic knives, we wouldn't be in this mess.

While in the Navy, I witnessed a guy stab another guy in the chest with a plastic knife on board ship. Punctured the guy's lung and laid him up for some time. The guy was given prison time and a dishonorable discharge.

traderumor
12-24-2007, 08:56 AM
This is what talk radio has done to America. You take a situation after the fact when all is known and you want to make yourself look really smart so you bash everybody involved who didn't have the benefit of hindsight like you did.

Look- Calling the police doesn't sound like the first thing any of us would do, but relax.

To me, either the parents unknowingly let their kid walk out of the house with a knife or they let her do it and didn't follow the rules. They couldn't be reached by phone, their kid was in possession of something the school looks at as a weapon as defined by policy, so they called the police. Without seeing the actual policy, it's tough to say what should have happened here.

But here's a few things we have to keep in mind:

1) Just because it was a 10 year old with the knife doesn't mean it couldn't have been used by a 10 year old.
2) Just because it's a girl doesn't mean she wasn't capable of using it.
3) Just because she used it to eat her steak doesn't mean she couldn't have used it later in the day.
4) Just because she was the one with possession with it doesn't mean somebody else couldn't have taken it from her and used it on somebody else.

It's so easy to sit here and talk about what's likely, but when the unlikely happens, the first thing all the talk shows would do is whine about how the school didn't follow protocol when a knife was found in the cafeteria. They'd ask what the point of zero tolerance was when the school didn't act according to the policy.

You can't win with the kneejerk crowd because they jerk that knee no matter what the story is. It's more fun to be the person who says, "Did you hear about what's happening in our schools?" so the storyteller looks really smart and the people who actually have to do the work look like idiots.

If you don't like the rule, change it. But don't get upset when somebody follows it (again, if calling the police is protocol when the parents are not available.).

I'm not really taking a side here, I'm just telling those who are "in shock" how we get to this point.

Life is simple when all you have to do is become a hindsight commentator.

I realize no one is advocating letting the girl keep the knife. But if all you do is send a letter out to parents, you're asking for more knives to be brought in because the message you send out is "When kids bring knives to school, we just send a letter out."

And then parents say, "Sure honey, you can bring that knife to school if all you are going to do is cut your steak- if you get caught, all they do is send a letter out."

But if you make an example out of the people who merely innocently violate the rule, now we're talking, because it puts everybody on their toes and they get the picture that the rule actually means something and yes, dear, it applies to you.

We need to learn from the IRS. They don't care why you filed late- the penalty applies to you.

I'll come down now. I promise I wasn't going to jump. :)

With all due respect (I think GAC has hijacked Dom's username with these long posts ;) ), I don't listen to talk radio and work extensively with children, rather it be raising my own, coaching a ball team, or working with youngsters at church (where children act like they do in school). I am in a position of making quick application of rules, and we even discuss "zero tolerance" rules to deal with certain problems. I am confident that I would not have acted so rashly and been able to think a little better on my feet than these teachers did, zero tolerance or no. BTW, I have written letters to get IRS penalties abated for clients, so they are not a good example of "zero tolerance." They will listen to reason--on a good day ;)

RFS62
12-24-2007, 09:37 AM
George, I normally don't say these kinds of things, but that's the biggest load of crap I've heard in a long time.

I can't think of a better grounded in reality group of people than our school teachers.



Just saw this thread, and I couldn't agree more.

The way we pay our educators is a disgrace.

George Anderson
12-24-2007, 12:08 PM
Just saw this thread, and I couldn't agree more.

The way we pay our educators is a disgrace.

I would say that educators are paid along the same lines as we pay firemen and policemen. If you want to bump the overall pay of educators then firemen and policemen should be bumped also. If that happens where the pay of all three are bumped then hold on to your wallet with the tax increases.

Another point is here in Indiana anyway it is practically impossible to get a teaching job right out of college. I believe strongly in supply and demand, so if the teaching profession was so woefully underpaid then we would have few people wanting to enter that field when in fact it is the other way around.

traderumor
12-25-2007, 06:58 AM
Just saw this thread, and I couldn't agree more.

The way we pay our educators is a disgrace.I'm not sure that is true anymore. Some teacher clients I have are making in the 50-60K range with summers off. Husband and wife teaching couples are pushing six figures these days and living in upscale homes. Many are doing so well they are retiring early. Throw in a few advanced degree classes and the pay bumps even more. I'm sure this is more suburbia teachers (my town is not suburbia, but large midwest small town USA) than inner city, but I'm not crying a river for teacher salaries.

Ltlabner
12-25-2007, 09:17 PM
Yes, the power of the weapons has changed due to ready availability (assault weapons in every state in the union for sale with very few restrictions on their purchase),

Actually, this is false.

6 or so states have maintained a ban on what they deam "assault weapons" past the sunset of the AWB of 1994. Since assault weapon is really a made up term each state's legal definition varies but generally they ban the sale of weapons with high capacity magazines (usually it's 10 round limit), pistol grips, telliscoping/folding stocks, threaded muzzels and a couple of other charicteristics. I forget the states right off, but I'm pretty sure they include CA, NY, NJ, MD and a couple of others.

In addition, several large cities outside these states ban the sale of weapons they deam to be "assault" weapons. Again, the rules vary by city. For example, you can not purchase a silencer in Cook County, IL (Chicago).

Further you have to be either 21 or 18 (again, can't remember off top of my head) to purchase either a long-gun or hand-gun. Whichever age it is, neither of them qualify as "school aged". Additionally you have to pass a background check looking for past drug, violent crime or domestic issues. They aren't perfect, and people can sneak through, but it's a decent means of filtering out the more obvious people who in no way should leagaly own a gun of any kind.

Now, certinally there are idiot parents who don't secure their weapons, and kids who will find a way to get ahold of guns, and the availibility of guns in general has increased. But your claim that there's "very few restrictions" and certian weapons are available "in every state" is not true.

Ltlabner
12-25-2007, 09:23 PM
I can't think of a better grounded in reality group of people than our school teachers.

Yea, it's not like there would be a bunch of them being busted for having sex with their students or anything.

Dom Heffner
12-26-2007, 12:21 AM
Yea, it's not like there would be a bunch of them being busted for having sex with their students or anything.


Yeah, there are just tons of other occupations that have a chance to succeed or fail in this situation.

Ltlabner
12-26-2007, 06:54 AM
Yeah, there are just tons of other occupations that have a chance to succeed or fail in this situation.

Opportunity shouldn't matter to such a well grounded and rock solid group of realists should it?

Teachers are people, yet because they are doing an admirable profession people tend to idolize them. Like any profession there's really, really good ones, some medicore ones and some complete idiots.

So blanket statements like "teachers are the most grounded group" are just downright silly.

Also like any profession, the 24 year old strait out of teachers collage is likely to be idolistic, stick straight to "what the book says" and be a bit nieve. Also like any profession, the good ones (and there are many) quickly learn what works, what doesn't, what part of "the book" to keep and what to pitch and how to respond to situations based on their experience.

Teachers are doing important and needed jobs, but let's not go overboard with the idolization.

westofyou
12-26-2007, 09:54 AM
Teachers are doing important and needed jobs, but let's not go overboard with the idolization.

In the face of the slamming they were getting I hardly call it going overboard, but you read all the stuff before that right?

flyer85
12-26-2007, 10:14 AM
The way we pay our educators is a disgrace.The real problem is the school of education are the academic slums of almost every university.

Caveat Emperor
12-26-2007, 02:18 PM
The real problem is the school of education are the academic slums of almost every university.

That, and the fact that the cost of attendance at said academic slums is mostly paid through borrowing these days.

The fun thing about borrowing for college is that repayment hits at the time when most people can least afford it: during their first few jobs right out of college.

George Foster
12-27-2007, 12:04 AM
I'm not sure that is true anymore. Some teacher clients I have are making in the 50-60K range with summers off. Husband and wife teaching couples are pushing six figures these days and living in upscale homes. Many are doing so well they are retiring early. Throw in a few advanced degree classes and the pay bumps even more. I'm sure this is more suburbia teachers (my town is not suburbia, but large midwest small town USA) than inner city, but I'm not crying a river for teacher salaries.

This is true. They don't pay Social Sec. taxes either. Add another 16% to their check that we don't get. They pay into a self funded retirement plan that is quite good. It's actually what our Social Sec. SHOULD BE. In Kentucky, concidering full retirement, teachers get 80% of their final pay FOR LIFE...not bad my friend. If you start teaching at 23, you can retire at 50 with 80% of your final pay.

If you live to be 80 (which is not a stretch), and your final pay was 55K, you will make $1,320,000. That is 1.3 million dollar retirement plan!!!!

I think they are paid pretty good. Most of us would take this right now.

Dom Heffner
12-27-2007, 10:43 AM
Opportunity shouldn't matter to such a well grounded and rock solid group of realists should it?

You seemed to suggest that teachers weren't a well grounded group of people in comparison(or whatever term you want to insert here) with others because they sleep with their students.

By definition, no other profession can sleep with its students, so it's sort of silly to use this as a distinction.

I'm with you, I don't think teachers are more grounded, I don't think they are less grounded. They are people, and they are going to fail at the same rate at certain tasks as the rest of us.

But to sort of take a low blow and say that teachers sleep with their students so they are not very grounded people- I mean, what other profession has a chance to even do so?

It's like saying priests are not as grounded as others because of the trouble they have been in. Who else has a priest/altar boy relationship other than those involved to compare to?

vaticanplum
12-27-2007, 11:05 AM
This is true. They don't pay Social Sec. taxes either. Add another 16% to their check that we don't get. They pay into a self funded retirement plan that is quite good. It's actually what our Social Sec. SHOULD BE. In Kentucky, concidering full retirement, teachers get 80% of their final pay FOR LIFE...not bad my friend. If you start teaching at 23, you can retire at 50 with 80% of your final pay.

If you live to be 80 (which is not a stretch), and your final pay was 55K, you will make $1,320,000. That is 1.3 million dollar retirement plan!!!!

I think they are paid pretty good. Most of us would take this right now.

Wow, teachers are rich AND stupid. Makes you really wonder why it's so hard to fill teaching spots, eh?

westofyou
12-27-2007, 11:18 AM
Wow, teachers are rich AND stupid. Makes you really wonder why it's so hard to fill teaching spots, eh?

Yeah, boy oh boy... they are ripping US off.

westofyou
12-27-2007, 11:24 AM
http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/07/15/loc_teacherpay15.html


Ohio ranks in the top third in the nation for average teacher pay, while Kentucky remains in the bottom third, according to the annual salary survey by the American Federation of Teachers to be released today.

Roy Tucker
12-27-2007, 11:31 AM
I just saw where this is all continuing....

Are there good teachers, mediocre teachers, and bad teachers? Of course.

Are they more well-grounded? My statement on this was in response to an opinion that said that teachers, as a whole, lack common sense. Which I still disagree with the logic of and the conclusion of.

Are they better grounded that everyone else? No. Are they well-grounded? I'd say yes. They certainly interact with a complete cross-section of the community and have to do so in a fairly reasonable way with parents and children. Which is more than I can say for a lot of people.

Are they role models? There are teachers in my life and my childrens lives that have made a positive impact on my life. This sticks with me. At least for me, teachers as a group have done this more than any other group.

Are there teachers that have made a negative impact? Yes, but to much lesser degree. There are idiots everywhere and I don't dwell upon their idiocy. I'd much rather dwell upon people that have made a positive impact on my life.

dsmith421
12-27-2007, 11:37 AM
Also like any profession, the 24 year old strait out of teachers collage is likely to be idolistic, stick straight to "what the book says" and be a bit nieve.

If there's a better way to completely torpedo your point about the educational system than misspelling four words in a single sentence, I'm not sure what it is.

flyer85
12-27-2007, 12:35 PM
If there's a better way to completely torpedo your point about the educational system than misspelling four words in a single sentence, I'm not sure what it is.... or maybe it is an abject demonstration on the current state of the education system.

pahster
12-27-2007, 01:09 PM
Ohio ranks in the top third in the nation for average teacher pay, while Kentucky remains in the bottom third, according to the annual salary survey by the American Federation of Teachers to be released today.

I guess that means that teachers in Ohio must be fabulously wealthy! :p:

Ltlabner
12-27-2007, 01:16 PM
I'm with you, I don't think teachers are more grounded, I don't think they are less grounded. They are people, and they are going to fail at the same rate at certain tasks as the rest of us.

But to sort of take a low blow and say that teachers sleep with their students so they are not very grounded people- I mean, what other profession has a chance to even do so?

I was just making the point that a blanket statement that all teachers are dandy is silly. The number of teachers caught up in sex problems is miniscule compared to the total number so I'm not making some case that teachers are a bunch of wild sex manaics, just that (as you said) they are people. Some good, some bad, all with flaws of some sort. They are all undertaking a difficult and much needed task and are worthy of our admiration because of the sacrificies they make, but they are no more or less realistic, or grounded or wise as a whole than most any other profession.

Ltlabner
12-27-2007, 01:19 PM
If there's a better way to completely torpedo your point about the educational system than misspelling four words in a single sentence, I'm not sure what it is.

Ah yes...when you have no way to refute a point, ripping on the messengers spelling is always a good way to bolster your case. :rolleyes:

By the way, pointing out that I don't give a rip about spelling is like pointing out that it gets dark at night. Doesn't take a lot of energy to build that case.

Ltlabner
12-27-2007, 01:22 PM
Not that it has much to do with this discussion, but in high school I had a history teacher swear up and down that the "high tide of the Confedercy" took place at the Battle of Vickburg. Nearly the entire class missed that question and when students challenged him he would not back down. In fact, he threatened detentions if people keep trying to persude him of his error.

dabvu2498
12-27-2007, 01:41 PM
Not that it has much to do with this discussion, but in high school I had a history teacher swear up and down that the "high tide of the Confedercy" took place at the Battle of Vickburg. Nearly the entire class missed that question and when students challenged him he would not back down. In fact, he threatened detentions if people keep trying to persude him of his error.

Some have actually argued that it was Antietam... pretty subjective question, I reckon.

traderumor
12-27-2007, 06:43 PM
Wow, teachers are rich AND stupid. Makes you really wonder why it's so hard to fill teaching spots, eh?Part of it is in the category of "you can't pay me enough to..." I don't know if you work with the current generation up close, but I do, and I can certainly understand why many won't do that job for any amount of money.

George Anderson
12-27-2007, 07:00 PM
Part of it is in the category of "you can't pay me enough to..." I don't know if you work with the current generation up close, but I do, and I can certainly understand why many won't do that job for any amount of money.

It depends on the school system. Someone such as myself would have no problem working in a school system out in the suburbs. In the inner city "you can't pay me enough to.."

dsmith421
12-28-2007, 12:54 AM
Ah yes...when you have no way to refute a point, ripping on the messengers spelling is always a good way to bolster your case.

What, to refute your point that elementary/high school teachers are ivory tower academics? I think it's so completely moronic that it doesn't deserve a response. Especially when you know a few of the interested parties.

Good spelling, by the way, is a courtesy to those who read your writing. Those who don't spell well tend to spout drivel. It's certainly true in your case.

dsmith421
12-28-2007, 12:56 AM
It depends on the school system. Someone such as myself would have no problem working in a school system out in the suburbs. In the inner city "you can't pay me enough to.."

Again, absolutely moronic. Just completely ridiculous.

Seriously, do you know any teachers? Do you realize the expectations that rich suburban parents place on their kids? And how, often, it is the teacher who is blamed for little Johnny's shortcomings?

Yeah, you're more likely to be stabbed at a CPS school. Congrats for sussing that out. But it ain't a bed of roses at Mason and New Richmond, either.

George Anderson
12-28-2007, 01:49 AM
Again, absolutely moronic. Just completely ridiculous.

Seriously, do you know any teachers? Do you realize the expectations that rich suburban parents place on their kids? And how, often, it is the teacher who is blamed for little Johnny's shortcomings?

Yeah, you're more likely to be stabbed at a CPS school. Congrats for sussing that out. But it ain't a bed of roses at Mason and New Richmond, either.

Lets see I can spend my day working in a inner city school where security guards are needed for my safety so I dont get stabbed or I can work in a suburban school where I may have to deal with a suburban mother who thinks I graded her sons spelling test unfairly. Now which school do you think is going to have trouble attracting teachers and which one isnt???

Let me clue you in, I have been in hundreds of schools in the state of Indiana. I have officiated probally the same amount and no doubt the inner city schools are the absolute worst. I can walk down the halls of a suburban school and feel very safe but I can hardly walk down the hall of a inner city school without hearing kids openly swear, refuse to give the right away to others in the hall including myself as an adult and just act like basic thugs. I have in the past couple years refused to do anymore work for the inner city school in Indianapolis IPS because I refuse to put up with the nonsense. I dont have as much pull with who schedules me to officiate but the person who does schedule me knows not to send me to many IPS schools to officiate because he knows I have zero tolerance for the nonsense. I am not alone in this, IPS can get very few contractors to work in their schools because they refuse to put up with the nonsense I just described. The same goes with the officiating, I know no officials who want to work inner city athletics because it is the absolute pits.

Yea once again give me the snooty mom who is mad because I graded her sons spelling test unfairly as opposed to working in a inner city school and being afraid to use the bathroom because I might get jumped.

GAC
12-28-2007, 06:44 AM
I have to agree with you on this last post George when it comes down to choices.

There isn't a person on this thread, if and when they had the choice/alternative as to where they wanted to live, send their kids to school, and work, wouldn't (and don't) take into consideration the situations you mention above.

Do some not have that choice? Obviously not. But when it comes to feeling safe and providing a constructive environment in which one can raise a family and work, then there is a reason why suburb populations have exploded while the inner city has been abandoned and deteriorated tremendously.

I've lived in both the inner city and the suburbs. I currently live in the country. I have few worries/concerns where I live at now, and that was the main reason why we purchased our home here.

My kids currently go to a country school that per capita is ranked one of the best in the state of Ohio. It's kind of nice not having to worry or be overtly concerned about some of the "problems" that exist/plague inner city schools. Other than a teacher calling emailing me that my kid didn't turn in their assignment on time, or one of them "acted up" on the bus and got detention.

When faced with the choice - I know which environment I'm going to choose.

hebroncougar
12-28-2007, 08:50 AM
... or maybe it is an abject demonstration on the current state of the education system.

Or maybe a demonstration of how some people refuse to pay attention to anything a teacher says. Or an attitude of, "Why do I need to learn how to spell? I've got a computer with spell check." :)

hebroncougar
12-28-2007, 08:58 AM
This is true. They don't pay Social Sec. taxes either. Add another 16% to their check that we don't get. They pay into a self funded retirement plan that is quite good. It's actually what our Social Sec. SHOULD BE. In Kentucky, concidering full retirement, teachers get 80% of their final pay FOR LIFE...not bad my friend. If you start teaching at 23, you can retire at 50 with 80% of your final pay.

If you live to be 80 (which is not a stretch), and your final pay was 55K, you will make $1,320,000. That is 1.3 million dollar retirement plan!!!!

I think they are paid pretty good. Most of us would take this right now.

Absolutely not true. Ky teacher's get 2.5% per year on their retirement. It cracks me up, the retirement plan is about one of the only perks of teaching, and you agree it is what SS should be, yet you act like it's wrong that teacher's get this. How about the 401K plans that lots of companies have, and match contributions from employee? And have you seen KY teacher's health care plan? How about $750 a month for a family? Try that on for size when you are a middle of the road (35-40K a year) teacher.

Caveat Emperor
12-28-2007, 02:52 PM
Yea once again give me the snooty mom who is mad because I graded her sons spelling test unfairly as opposed to working in a inner city school and being afraid to use the bathroom because I might get jumped.

99.9% of the felony teacher assaults I see are teachers attempting to break up fights between students and getting hit in the process.

I've yet to see a single "teacher got jumped" case in the last year and a half.

FWIW.

westofyou
12-28-2007, 03:03 PM
Absolutely not true.

Never question.... unless you want you mother to pick out your funeral clothes today.

Falls City Beer
12-28-2007, 07:11 PM
I worked for three years in an inner-city high school--not once did I feel threatened in my tenure there. Three of the most rewarding and stimulating years of my life.

There was violence in the neighborhood, no question about it--when the kids left the school, unfortunately there were no guarantees they would be safe; but in the school, those kids were safe as kittens.

A ton of misinformation flowing in this thread, for the record--with some obvious exceptions.

Ltlabner
12-28-2007, 10:34 PM
What, to refute your point that elementary/high school teachers are ivory tower academics? I think it's so completely moronic that it doesn't deserve a response. Especially when you know a few of the interested parties.

Good spelling, by the way, is a courtesy to those who read your writing. Those who don't spell well tend to spout drivel. It's certainly true in your case.

Yea, I pointed out that teachers are just people who are neither worthy of idolozation or condemation. That you couldn't really generalize about the entire group. That's just crazy stuff ain't it. Total drivel.