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savafan
03-01-2008, 04:59 PM
http://wcbstv.com/watercooler/pennies.readington.township.2.666113.html

READINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) ― Got pennies!

It's plastered on their shirts and these eighth graders wear it proudly because on Thursday they pulled a prank at the Readington Middle School, paying for their lunches entirely in pennies.

"At first it started out as a joke, then everyone else started saying we're protesting against like how short our lunch is," student Alyssa Concannon said.

Several lunch ladies who had to do the counting didn't think it was funny, even though some of the students put the coins in rolls. They're not authorized to put in their two cents but school officials say they felt disrespected and other students didn't get to eat lunch.

"There are ways to express yourself that are not disruptive to other kids and disrespectful to staff," said Readington Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jorden Schiff.

Eighth grader Jenny Hunt said in hindsight, the prank may have been a bad idea.

"Maybe we should have thought before we did it," Hunt said.

In fact, the penny prank has earned 29 students two days of detention.

"I don't think a detention is unfair," parent Wendy Hunt said. "I'm a little bit proud of them... I think communication is definitely key."

CBS 2 HD did the math

Each student brought in 200 pennies. Multiply that by 29 you get close to 5,800 pennies.

The superintendent says the students never raised concerns about the shortened lunch before. If they had, he would have worked with them.

"There are opportunities and avenues to raise concern," Schiff said.

The eighth graders, who arranged the prank through text messages, admit they didn't raise concerns before but:

"There was no rule in the rulebook about it," student Sarah Henschel said. "It was just unfair. It's U.S. currency."

Rulebook or not one parent whose son brought in pennies said he'll have to face the consequences.

"This will send a message to him that, hey, what you're going to do and how it affects other people," Lisa O'Donoghue said.

The eighth graders continued protesting Friday by brown-bagging it, but also gave the lunch ladies cards apologizing.

reds2221
03-01-2008, 05:09 PM
wow....I never knew 8th graders could come up with something like that!

oneupper
03-01-2008, 05:21 PM
Kids protested what they considered an abuse in a smart, legal, creative way.

Kids were punished.

I wonder what Ghandi and MLK would have to say.

Frankly, I consider the school's response to be sad. I would have given my kid a pat on the back for coming up with something like this (and sued the School for the unjust punishment).

AccordinglyReds
03-01-2008, 05:37 PM
That sounds like something I would do. lol

That's pretty good, but sad just how the school reacted to it.

TeamBoone
03-01-2008, 05:46 PM
I don't see anything wrong with it. Pennies are money too. I can see no way that it disrespected the staff; they were just ticked off because it inconvenienced them.

I'm glad they're now brown-bagging it. Perhaps they'd rather have pennies than no money at all?

GoReds33
03-01-2008, 06:10 PM
To go along with what TeamBoone said, this line says it all for me:

"There was no rule in the rulebook about it," student Sarah Henschel said. "It was just unfair. It's U.S. currency."
Now instead of being inconvenienced, the lunch ladies may be out of a job if this protest continues.

Caseyfan21
03-01-2008, 06:25 PM
This is garbage. There is no rule that you have to pay with a certain kind of money. These students should protest these detentions. I think it's a genius prank and another case of an overreaction by middle school staff. Maybe next week all the students should pay with $20 bills so the cafeteria runs out of money.

Edit: This is similar to a senior prank my class talked about pulling. Having all the seniors ride the school bus one morning instead of driving since the school has overcrowded buses. That would have been good too but maybe we would have gotten suspended. :dunno:

WMR
03-01-2008, 06:39 PM
Kids protested what they considered an abuse in a smart, legal, creative way.

Kids were punished.

I wonder what Ghandi and MLK would have to say.

Frankly, I consider the school's response to be sad. I would have given my kid a pat on the back for coming up with something like this (and sued the School for the unjust punishment).

You would actually sue over something like this???

IslandRed
03-01-2008, 06:53 PM
I have nothing against a little creative, harmless civil disobedience from time to time. I've heard of the pennies thing being used in other situations, I think it's kind of funny. And I don't care much for the "we feel disrespected" business. It's a job, get over it.

But... the kids made some mistakes that shouldn't be ignored. I don't know if I'd have given detention if I was in charge, but school is where people learn things to apply later in life, and there are a few points I'd have driven home to those kids:

(principal)

1. The lunch line backed up while the workers had to count your pennies, and some students didn't have time to eat lunch as a result. That's your fault. You didn't mean to, but life does not exempt you from the unintended consequences of your actions. Think things through.

2. The lunch-room ladies didn't cause the problem, you had no business making their lives more difficult, however minor it was.

3. ESPECIALLY don't dump on my staff because of a policy you don't like when you didn't even bother to tell me you don't like it.

(/principal)

There are acceptable ways to push for change, and there can be consequences for being less than thoughtful about it. That's what the school needs to be teaching here, whether or not any consequences are actually enforced.

Unassisted
03-01-2008, 06:55 PM
If my kid was one of the ones who didn't get lunch because he was behind these clowns, he and I wouldn't think it was very funny.

The courts have supported the notion over and over that school is not a democracy. Anything that causes a disruption can legally be punished. This is just another example of that.

oneupper
03-01-2008, 08:47 PM
You would actually sue over something like this???

Just do something to "inconvenience" them again.
The school's action is arbitrary and as such should be fought.

Unassisted is right that schools are not democracies, but they have become so stale, so rigorous, and now they take disciplinary action against behavior not expressedly prohibited (in school OR society) because it "might" be disruptive.

Who determines that?

and also...

What are the available channels for protest? (you'll probably find most have been closed up...because they are "disruptive").
...no protest T-shirts (suspension)...no petitions, strikes...etc...
forget it. Another school just banned "hugs".

We all like "order", but if you box things in too tight and squeeze...eventually they'll explode.

WMR
03-01-2008, 08:55 PM
Funny, what you've just described reminds me of the FCC and how they are the sole arbiters of what is "INDECENT" ... just an interesting parallel, nothing more...

I agree with you in principle... it is just such a difficult line to tread... and is also why most schools these days include multiple provisions placing disciplinary decisions at "the discretion of the principal."

hebroncougar
03-01-2008, 09:06 PM
Next time, pay in nickels. And don't roll them.

Boston Red
03-01-2008, 09:13 PM
How exactly do you justify punishing someone for paying $2 with.........$2? Unless you had some sort of no pennies rule beforehand. I'm no Constitutional Law expert, but I think there's even a legal tender Supreme Court case that would support their "right" to pay with pennies since it is legal tender.

Chip R
03-01-2008, 10:00 PM
I think actual punishment is a bit harsh for this. Schools have a lot bigger things to worry about than if students are paying in pennies. However, I think these students did need to be talked to about this.

They seemed to have had a problem with the lunches being too sort. I don't know if they actually talked to the administration about their problem before they did this so there would not be a disruption but I think detention was too much.

Falls City Beer
03-01-2008, 10:12 PM
Getting a public education is a privilege, not a right.

Chip R
03-01-2008, 10:40 PM
Getting a public education is a privilege, not a right.


True, but what is this school trying to teach their kids? When they study Ghandi or Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement in history, are they just going to paint them as troublemakers since they bucked the system, albiet peacefully?

Falls City Beer
03-01-2008, 10:45 PM
True, but what is this school trying to teach their kids? When they study Ghandi or Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement in history, are they just going to paint them as troublemakers since they bucked the system, albiet peacefully?

I certainly don't defend the punishing of the kids for this, but as far as suing the school for punishing the kids, forget it.

Chip R
03-01-2008, 10:46 PM
I certainly don't defend the punishing of the kids for this, but as far as suing the school for punishing the kids, forget it.


Oh, I agree. I think a lawsuit is an overreaction as is detention.

IslandRed
03-01-2008, 11:02 PM
True, but what is this school trying to teach their kids? When they study Ghandi or Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement in history, are they just going to paint them as troublemakers since they bucked the system, albiet peacefully?

I agree that this is a teaching moment, but it calls for some finesse. I wouldn't want the school teaching that bucking the system is evil. At the same time, they wouldn't be doing the kids any favors by implicitly approving the Not Particularly Well Thought Out Prank as a valid means of change. That can get people smacked around in the real world. It's not just about bucking the system or not bucking the system; how we do it matters. At least it does if we care about things like "succeeding" or "consequences."

Deepred05
03-01-2008, 11:03 PM
The students did not address the superintendent beforehand to give him a chance to rectify the situation? That seems a little unfair to blindside someone like that. On the other hand, two days detention seems a bit harsh considering the kids did come up with a pretty ingenious way to express themselves. These kids seem bright enough to understand that they should have taken steps BEFORE the protest.

GAC
03-02-2008, 12:31 AM
The superintendent says the students never raised concerns about the shortened lunch before. If they had, he would have worked with them.

"There are opportunities and avenues to raise concern," Schiff said.

The eighth graders, who arranged the prank through text messages, admit they didn't raise concerns before

Protests are fine when one presents their position/argument to the proper authorities, and are then either ignored or rebuked. You then have no other recourse in order to make your feelings known concerning a perceived injustice. They never gave those in charge that opportunity.

How can those in charge address an issue when they aren't even informed that it was a problem/concern?

Maybe now the school authorities can use this entire situation as a teaching moment, and how both sides made mistakes that can be learned from.

Take it to court and sue? Our judges have better ways to spend their time then presiding over a case where certain parents felt a lunchroom "injustice" was committed and decided to sue.

harangatang
03-02-2008, 01:37 AM
I would be fine with it if all the kids actually got to eat lunch.

TC81190
03-02-2008, 02:30 AM
I would be fine with it if all the kids actually got to eat lunch.

Really? I think the fact that some of them didn't get to, speaks to their point rather well.

dougdirt
03-02-2008, 04:06 AM
I would be fine with it if all the kids actually got to eat lunch.

My problem is, why didn't these kids get to eat lunch? If this would have happened to me in 8th grade, I simply would not have returned to class until I was done eating my food. You can't deny a student the right to lunch, can you?

GAC
03-02-2008, 06:35 AM
My problem is, why didn't these kids get to eat lunch? If this would have happened to me in 8th grade, I simply would not have returned to class until I was done eating my food. You can't deny a student the right to lunch, can you?

Who created the situation that denied them the ability to eat their lunch? Their own classmates. ;)

If the complaint is you aren't given enough time to eat your lunch, and you form a protest that not everyone was participating in, yet are adversely effected by it, then, IMHO, the protest was not very well thought out.

They organized this little protest, yet they couldn't have, beforehand, organized a group of 8th grade representatives to arrange a meeting with the principal and other administrators to make the issue known?

It doesn't make cents! :p:

oneupper
03-02-2008, 07:26 AM
Getting a public education is a privilege, not a right.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights begs to differ.

Article 26

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory.

If you want to get technical that middle school isn't elementary...well ok. I'd say it's "fundamental" in the US.


And speaking of....

Article 6.

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

---seems like kids are not "people" in schools these days.


Article 9.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

--- this case sound arbitrary. It doesn't say schools are exempt.

Article 8.

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

--- this is why to take this stuff to court (or somewhere...actually taking it to the press was a good idea, IMO).

Yes, this case is silly...it's chump change if you will. But this is the kind of "small stuff" that you sweat if you don't want society to take away "bigger" stuff.

Believe me, coming from a place where the human rights situation has deteriorated significantly over the past decade, it's a slippery slope. (Venezuela...in case someone was wondering).

(So I guess, I'm WAY too sensitive about this stuff, but...)

.

GAC
03-02-2008, 07:41 AM
They should hire this guy....

http://domn.sopca.com/files/No_Soup_For_You.png

Chip R
03-02-2008, 09:41 AM
They should have addressed these complaints in a different way before they decided to do this but they are 8th graders. They probably just didn't think things through. I give them credit for a creative protest. As for the students who didn't get to eat lunch, they may have been better off if the food was anything like it was at my school. ;)

Ltlabner
03-02-2008, 09:45 AM
Frankly, I consider the school's response to be sad. I would have given my kid a pat on the back for coming up with something like this (and sued the School for the unjust punishment).

Yep, let's teach our kids to sue anytime they are punshised, or life isn't fair, or a girl dumps them, or if someone doesn't say thank you for opening a door for them. Good lesson. Don't like that you got a B+....sue. Don't like that you have to do homework....sue. Good stuff there.


True, but what is this school trying to teach their kids?

That there are consequences to your actions? Even Gandahi and MLK had to face consequences for their civil disobedience.

Not saying you specifcally are doing this Chip, but frankly, anyone who can draw a comparison to kids paying in pennies to the true sacrifices made and battles faught by Gandhi and MLK is compltely misguided. There's no comparison between those great men and some kids complaining about lunch. I wouldn't be suprised to find out one of these kids parents actually had the idea and put them up to it. Another great case of parenting (if that is indeed true). I can almost hear it...."they don't give you long enough to eat?!?! Why you have right to eat lunch for as long as you want. Heres what you should do Austin".

And maybe it doesn't apply at all to this case, but what happend to the days where what the school said went and if you got in trouble at school you got in 2x more trouble at home? More than once I got a whuppin for acting up in school only to find out years later that my parents had gone to the school in seceret to "discuss" the situation with the teacher because they took issue with how the teacher handled the situation. This, IMO, is a far, far better way of handling it. Running to the school on little Trevors behalf every time he gets in trouble, and telling him that he doesn't have to listen to the teacher sends the exact WRONG message. Then we are shocked when kids have to face actual life and can't handle it.

Chip R
03-02-2008, 10:08 AM
That there are consequences to your actions? Even Gandahi and MLK had to face consequences for their civil disobedience.

Not saying you specifcally are doing this Chip, but frankly, anyone who can draw a comparison to kids paying in pennies to the true sacrifices made and battles faught by Gandhi and MLK is compltely misguided. There's no comparison between those great men and some kids complaining about lunch.

I was afraid that what I said may have been taken like that. However, the point stands. Of course what these kids did doesn't even compare to what King and Ghandi went through. All I'm wondering is if this school takes the attitude that questioning authority is wrong, how does their curriculum handle the American Revolution and the Civil Rights movement? And what these students did wasn't even against any rules the school had. Should they have handled it differently? Probably, but I think dentention is somewhat harsh for doing that just like I think a lawsuit is a lttle harsh on the other end.

savafan
03-02-2008, 03:30 PM
Just do something to "inconvenience" them again.
The school's action is arbitrary and as such should be fought.

Unassisted is right that schools are not democracies, but they have become so stale, so rigorous, and now they take disciplinary action against behavior not expressedly prohibited (in school OR society) because it "might" be disruptive.

Who determines that?

and also...

What are the available channels for protest? (you'll probably find most have been closed up...because they are "disruptive").
...no protest T-shirts (suspension)...no petitions, strikes...etc...
forget it. Another school just banned "hugs".

We all like "order", but if you box things in too tight and squeeze...eventually they'll explode.

Indeed, home schooling is sounding better and better to me.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/02/29/earlyshow/main3891701.shtml

(CBS/AP) The school in the Cleveland suburb of Parma insists the boy's hair was a distraction to other kids. His mother disagrees.

A kindergarten student with a freshly spiked Mohawk has been suspended from school.

Michelle Barile, the mother of 6-year-old Bryan Ruda, said nothing in the Parma Community School handbook prohibits the haircut, characterized by closely shaved sides with a strip of prominent hair on top. The school said the hair was a distraction for other students.

"I understand they have a dress code. I understand he has a uniform. But this is total discrimination," she said. "They can't tell me how I can cut his hair."

An administrator at the suburban Cleveland charter school first warned Barile last fall that the haircut wasn't acceptable. The school later sent another warning to her reiterating the ban.

Mohawks violate the school's policy on being properly groomed, school Principal Linda Geyer said. Also, the school district's dress code allows school officials to forbid anything that interferes with the conduct of education.

Ruda's hair became a disruption more recently when Ruda arrived freshly shorn, Geyer said. Administrators called Barile last Friday telling her to pick Ruda up from school.

"This was his third infraction," Geyer said. "We felt that we were being extremely patient."

Rather than requesting a hearing to appeal the suspension, Barile said she'd enrolled him at another school, where he's starting Monday.

Changing the hairstyle is not an option, she said. "It's something that he really likes. When people hear Mohawk, they think it's long, it's spiked, it's crazy looking, and it's really not."

Barile said on The Early Show Friday, "It's not that I'm refusing to cut his hair, it's that they have no right to tell me to cut his hair. Just because they personally do not like it does not mean that it's wrong."

She told co-anchor Julie Chen that, when the school called her to pick her son up, she "didn't understand why. I was thinking to myself, you know, 'There's three months of school left. So what's the big deal now?' "

Barile insists Ruda's hair never caused a disruption and, she told Chen, "No one has ever given me a warning saying that his hair is a disruption ever. And he's had his hair cut like this since the first day of school.

"They told me ... that the board came to a decision that Bryan's hair was a distraction and, due to the distraction, he'll be suspended until further notice if he does not cut his hair."

She added, "We actually asked the principal, how is his hair disrupting the classroom, and she couldn't answer. All she told me was, 'I'm sorry, this is the board's decision.' "

Ltlabner
03-02-2008, 06:12 PM
All I'm wondering is if this school takes the attitude that questioning authority is wrong, how does their curriculum handle the American Revolution and the Civil Rights movement?

I think the lesson they are sending is, feel free to question authority, but be prepared that you may face some consequences for doing so. Just like in the Revolution, CR movement, life in general.

Is detention (or 2 days of it) the right responce. Not really sure, but the lesson should not be you can avoid consequences if you can be really clever or witty with your disobedience.

Chip R
03-02-2008, 06:54 PM
I think the lesson they are sending is, feel free to question authority, but be prepared that you may face some consequences for doing so. Just like in the Revolution, CR movement, life in general.

Is detention (or 2 days of it) the right responce. Not really sure, but the lesson should not be you can avoid consequences if you can be really clever or witty with your disobedience.


Usually their are stated consequences for actions. If you do this then that happens to you and if you do that, this happens to you. That wasn't the case here. All these kids were doing was paying for their lunch in a creative way to protest their short lunch hour. What if they had paid in $100 bills? That would have been even more of a disruption since the school would have had to scramble for change.

GAC
03-02-2008, 08:34 PM
I want to know where these kids got that many pennies! :p:

kaldaniels
03-03-2008, 12:36 AM
School is not a democracy...never has been. Tons of things will earn you a detention that are "legal" but disrepectful none the less. If these kids went out of their way to create a disruption, I'm not suprised they got a detention.

If a child gives a teacher a nasty look or talks back with attitude, sure thats legal in terms of the law...but should and will get a punishment in most schools.

I'm less than 10 years removed from school so I'm not an old timer...but lets face it...can you imagine dealing with 100's of today's youths at a time...you can't coddle them and need to let them know who is in charge.

What about the lunch lady...is it her job to count 100s of pennys some punk kid gives her. Uh oh - I just called these "protesters" punks...go easy on me.

To those who thought this was a clever prank/protest...I'm with you...the thought of dumping pennies at a clerk makes me laugh. However, everyone knows...these kids were asking for trouble and got it.

dougdirt
03-03-2008, 01:19 AM
What about the lunch lady...is it her job to count 100s of pennys some punk kid gives her.

Yes, that is indeed his/her job.

kaldaniels
03-03-2008, 01:22 AM
Yes, that is indeed his/her job.

Then why did the kids bring in apology cards to the lunch lady as per the last sentence in the news article?

savafan
03-03-2008, 03:07 AM
Then why did the kids bring in apology cards to the lunch lady as per the last sentence in the news article?

Why did I apologize to the waitress at Waffle House today for her having to take my food back that the cook didn't prepare properly?

dougdirt
03-03-2008, 05:15 AM
Then why did the kids bring in apology cards to the lunch lady as per the last sentence in the news article?

Because they made her do more work (and note that it is indeed work) than was likely needed, but how often at your job do you do more work than you really needed to because your boss isn't as smart as you? Happens to me all the time. I don't get any apology cards.... maybe I should.

Ltlabner
03-03-2008, 07:22 AM
All these kids were doing was paying for their lunch in a creative way to protest their short lunch hour.

No, they actually did it as a prank and then switched stories to "social protest".


"At first it started out as a joke, then everyone else started saying we're protesting against like how short our lunch is," student Alyssa Concannon said.

and...


The eighth graders, who arranged the prank through text messages, admit they didn't raise concerns before but:

If there was a history of them complaining about the lunch period, going to their teachers, go to the prinicpal, etc etc THEN you could claim this was some form of "civil disobediance". This was some group of kids being punks and then switching gears once the trouble started.

Let's not dress them up as some great band of politically savy visonaries. I know some folks (not saying you) are squimish about actually punishing the dear children and actually expecting them to face consequences because it might damage their fragile self-esteem, but the school is well within it's rights to punsh them for behavior they deem disruptive.

That it wasn't a rule beforehand is illrelevant. You can't possibly come up with a rule for every concievable scenario, therefore it is popycock to say you can't punish the kids because there wasn't a rule.

And before we continue to place these kids on a pedestal (the children are our future you know) has it been determined what length of time the children were allowed to eat? Because if they were mad they only had 30minutes and wanted an hour or something silly like that, the "social protest" angle becomes even more of a farce than it already is.

And in people's rush to protect the children it has been totally glossed over that this prank actually screwed other kids out of getting to eat their lunch.

These kids should be punished. Trust me, they woln't melt.

GAC
03-03-2008, 09:10 AM
Why did I apologize to the waitress at Waffle House today for her having to take my food back that the cook didn't prepare properly?

But it wasn't the school cook or cashiers fault. They don't set the lunch hours. Why take it out on them, or make their job more difficult? The kid's "anger" was misdirected at the wrong people IMO.

Falls City Beer
03-03-2008, 09:16 AM
Yes, that is indeed his/her job.

One day you'll appreciate how ridiculous this statement is.

kaldaniels
03-03-2008, 11:12 AM
Because they made her do more work (and note that it is indeed work) than was likely needed, but how often at your job do you do more work than you really needed to because your boss isn't as smart as you? Happens to me all the time. I don't get any apology cards.... maybe I should.

This has nothing to do with a boss that is not smart. This was a mean thing to do to the cashier. Giving them 5800 pennies isn't a kind way to treat an innocent bystander in this "lunch-time debate".

The "Its her job" argument does not justify that it was an unkind thing to do to these women. On a larger scale...what if (all planned out of course) I go to the furniture store and have them pull 10 pieces of large furniture from the warehouse and just as they are starting to put it in my truck I say "Eh, I changed my mind...put it back". Still is cruel on my part even though they are technically doing their job. I realize hauling furniture and counting change are at each ends of the manual labor scale...but apparently the example was necessary for my point to come across to you.

Sava...you also did not get the point. Messing up your order and this situation are totally different...come on. This was a planned disruption, not the American Revolution, Gandhi, or MLK (all of which have been brought up in this thread :confused: ).

Unassisted
03-03-2008, 11:15 AM
But it wasn't the school cook or cashiers fault. They don't set the lunch hours. Why take it out on them, or make their job more difficult? The kid's "anger" was misdirected at the wrong people IMO.Right on. There were kids in line behind these penny payers who didn't get lunch that day. They suffered because of this prank, too.

Ltlabner
03-03-2008, 11:24 AM
One day you'll appreciate how ridiculous this statement is.

No kidding.

Not only are they working in a physically taxing and unglammours job, they have to put up with snot-nosed punks all day long (and the parents who sue on their behalf). Civil-disobedence....please. This was a bunch of jerks who thought it would be funny and can't see past the end of their spoiled and protected noses.

Of corse, having actually worked in some of the same jobs gave me a whole new apprication for service workers. I guess I'm a dork, but I tip heavy, go out of my way to clean up my hotel rooms (pile used towels up in bathroom, put all trash in one can, try not to disturb things that I woln't use, etc), and am sure to put signs out with the trash if there is anything sharp or dangerous in the cans.

Falls City Beer
03-03-2008, 12:14 PM
No kidding.

Not only are they working in a physically taxing and unglammours job, they have to put up with snot-nosed punks all day long (and the parents who sue on their behalf). Civil-disobedence....please. This was a bunch of jerks who thought it would be funny and can't see past the end of their spoiled and protected noses.

Of corse, having actually worked in some of the same jobs gave me a whole new apprication for service workers. I guess I'm a dork, but I tip heavy, go out of my way to clean up my hotel rooms (pile used towels up in bathroom, put all trash in one can, try not to disturb things that I woln't use, etc), and am sure to put signs out with the trash if there is anything sharp or dangerous in the cans.


Yep. Life is short. A worker's dignity is pretty damn important in the big picture.

The only time that my father struck me in my youth was for stuffing loads of toilet paper down the men's toilet, stopping it up and causing a huge mess. I've never seen my father so mad--he made me volunteer to clean up after school with the janitors for a week and call the school and apologize to the head janitor.

Ltlabner
03-03-2008, 12:21 PM
The only time that my father struck me in my youth was for stuffing loads of toilet paper down the men's toilet, stopping it up and causing a huge mess. I've never seen my father so mad--he made me volunteer to clean up after school with the janitors for a week and call the school and apologize to the head janitor.

Same situation here. I made a big mess goofing around in the lunch-room one day and sprayed milk all over the place. In addition to a trip to the principals office, I had to go applogize, in person, to the janitor and head lunch-room monitor lady.

While it sucked at the time, I'm glad they made me do it.

durl
03-03-2008, 05:21 PM
... the kids made some mistakes that shouldn't be ignored. I don't know if I'd have given detention if I was in charge, but school is where people learn things to apply later in life, and there are a few points I'd have driven home to those kids:

(principal)

1. The lunch line backed up while the workers had to count your pennies, and some students didn't have time to eat lunch as a result. That's your fault. You didn't mean to, but life does not exempt you from the unintended consequences of your actions. Think things through.

2. The lunch-room ladies didn't cause the problem, you had no business making their lives more difficult, however minor it was.

3. ESPECIALLY don't dump on my staff because of a policy you don't like when you didn't even bother to tell me you don't like it.

I agree with you here. The kids did what (I believe) a lot of well-meaning protesters do these days: they didn't think about the ramifications of their actions and whether their actions would actually make a positive difference. This was simply a prank that they thought could be spun into a "protest."


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights begs to differ.

Article 26

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory.

If you want to get technical that middle school isn't elementary...well ok. I'd say it's "fundamental" in the US.

Everyone has a right to an education but a public education is not a right. A right shouldn't require that it be paid for with someone else's money. (Right to bear arms doesn't mean the government should buy everyone a gun.) And I find it interesting that Article says that something that is a "right" is also "compulsory." That one really made me do a double-take.

oneupper
03-03-2008, 05:39 PM
A public education is not a right. A right shouldn't require that it be paid for with someone else's money. (Right to bear arms doesn't mean the government should buy everyone a gun.) And I find it interesting that Article says that something that is a "right" is also "compulsory." That one really made me do a double-take.

Wow. "A right shouldn't require that it be paid for with someone else's money".

I suppose poor children should not be educated, poor indicted people have no right to a defense...etc.

You may not like what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says, but it says what it says and the US signed off on it.

Not only is public education a right...government has to force kids to go to school.

Last post for me on this thread...I guess I'll go back to reminisce about the 60s and 70s, when I thought I was actually conservative compared to my peers.

Post police should be closing in by now.

LoganBuck
03-03-2008, 11:25 PM
I use pennies in my occasional moments where I try to "stick it to the man". I applaud these kids. Their message was heard. They will do the time, and be proud to do it.

RBA
03-04-2008, 09:09 AM
On a side note, did you know that overseas in the military they don't deal in pennies? They just round it up or down to the nearest 5 cents.

durl
03-04-2008, 10:29 AM
Wow. "A right shouldn't require that it be paid for with someone else's money".

I suppose poor children should not be educated, poor indicted people have no right to a defense...etc.

I did not say that poor children should not be educated. There is a fine line here. I said that it is not a right if it is to be funded by others. I do agree that it's a privilege and should be made available. Girls in Afghanistan were denied an education because of they were girls. That's wrong. They have a right to obtain an education.

The kids in the school at the heart of this thread have a right to an education. However, they do not have an unalienable right for me to fund their schooling. If that were the case, my right to my personal property is diminished. "Public" education is a privilege made available to children...and a good one.

And poor people have a right to a defense. The US Constitution does not declare a public defender to be a "right" but does state the accused's right to Counsel. Later legal precedents modified and expanded this right beyond the initial construct.

registerthis
03-04-2008, 02:46 PM
"Public" education is a privilege made available to children

Never mind that our society overall benefits immensely from an educated populace, or that our continued development and growth is completely dependant upon the education of our children--receiving an education is, apparently, no different than getting your driver's license.

Granting that someone has a "right" to something is pretty much meaningless if sufficient pains aren't taken to ensure that said "right" is actually attainable. If you're a tax-paying citizen of the U.S., then--like it or not--you're funding the education of children such as those in the article in question. You don't get to pick and choose on which programs and services your tax dollars are spent due to personal preference.

durl
03-04-2008, 04:19 PM
Never mind that our society overall benefits immensely from an educated populace, or that our continued development and growth is completely dependant upon the education of our children--receiving an education is, apparently, no different than getting your driver's license.

Granting that someone has a "right" to something is pretty much meaningless if sufficient pains aren't taken to ensure that said "right" is actually attainable. If you're a tax-paying citizen of the U.S., then--like it or not--you're funding the education of children such as those in the article in question. You don't get to pick and choose on which programs and services your tax dollars are spent due to personal preference.

Every society benefits from an educated populace. Please don't think I'm anti-education because that's the furthest thing from my mind. Everyone has a right to learn. My intent here is to stress that there is a difference between rights and privileges. Every citizen has a right to be educated, either on their own or by another. An education provided by fellow members of a society is a privilege. A point to ponder: if a public (taxpayer funded) education is a "Right", why does that right cease to exist at 12th grade?

Rights, as defined in the Declaration of Independence, were not "granted" by government or society. The Bill of Rights spells out what government can NOT do in relation to our unalienable rights, it does not bestow rights. Things granted by a government can be revoked by a government, but unalienable rights cannot be revoked or transferred.

Rights (unalienable ones) are not "attainable," they simply are; they're "self-evident". They do not require fellow citizens giving up (forcibly or not) their own property for them to be fully obtained.

Again, I'm all for education. Everyone should take advantage of all opportunities to learn.

M2
03-04-2008, 04:31 PM
Protest, schmotest. It was pretty damn funny. I like hearing that 8th graders want to mess with the system.

In a sane world everyone would agree that they all got a good story out of it.

Falls City Beer
03-04-2008, 04:37 PM
Every society benefits from an educated populace. Please don't think I'm anti-education because that's the furthest thing from my mind. Everyone has a right to learn. My intent here is to stress that there is a difference between rights and privileges. Every citizen has a right to be educated, either on their own or by another. An education provided by fellow members of a society is a privilege. A point to ponder: if a public (taxpayer funded) education is a "Right", why does that right cease to exist at 12th grade?

Rights, as defined in the Declaration of Independence, were not "granted" by government or society. The Bill of Rights spells out what government can NOT do in relation to our unalienable rights, it does not bestow rights. Things granted by a government can be revoked by a government, but unalienable rights cannot be revoked or transferred.

Rights (unalienable ones) are not "attainable," they simply are; they're "self-evident". They do not require fellow citizens giving up (forcibly or not) their own property for them to be fully obtained.

Again, I'm all for education. Everyone should take advantage of all opportunities to learn.

Right. The Constitution does not guarantee a free public education; that is the domain of the states. Further, the whole point of bringing up the whole right/privilege distinction is that one can't run roughshod over a school or a district and still be compelled to accept said student into its arms again. Every student has a "right" to walk in the doors of a learning institution, regardless of background, religion, income, whatever. But that doesn't mean that a student can abuse the school, break its rules over and over, and expect to be welcomed there. (Though unfortunately, districts all too often force behavior problems back on schools so as not to raise a stink).

smoke6
03-04-2008, 04:42 PM
My brother has to pay $100/mth support to his ex-wife who is in the loonie bin. He sends $100 in pennies every mounth. He's a great guy.

Falls City Beer
03-04-2008, 04:45 PM
Protest, schmotest. It was pretty damn funny. I like hearing that 8th graders want to mess with the system.

In a sane world everyone would agree that they all got a good story out of it.

I disagree. I know--bad ole bureaucratic school, blah, blah.

What I don't understand about hyperlibertarian folks is why more of them aren't homeschooling their children instead of inflicting their children on the school systems.

I guess they don't want to take the time to actually sit down with their little brats and teach them; they want to send them to school to get them out of their hair then complain at the school when Johnny doesn't get his way.

If you don't like the school, participate in effecting change there, homeschool your kids, or shut up.

BRM
03-04-2008, 04:53 PM
If you don't like the school, participate in effecting change there, homeschool your kids, or shut up.

That's putting it bluntly.

M2
03-04-2008, 05:48 PM
I disagree. I know--bad ole bureaucratic school, blah, blah.

What I don't understand about hyperlibertarian folks is why more of them aren't homeschooling their children instead of inflicting their children on the school systems.

I guess they don't want to take the time to actually sit down with their little brats and teach them; they want to send them to school to get them out of their hair then complain at the school when Johnny doesn't get his way.

If you don't like the school, participate in effecting change there, homeschool your kids, or shut up.

Nothing hyperlibertarian about it, I just approve of the instinct to cause trouble. If anybody at the school had bothered to notice it, the students actually displayed some quality creative thinking there. It's like they used their brains in school. I'm for that.

Falls City Beer
03-04-2008, 06:08 PM
Nothing hyperlibertarian about it, I just approve of the instinct to cause trouble. If anybody at the school had bothered to notice it, the students actually displayed some quality creative thinking there. It's like they used their brains in school. I'm for that.

I'd bet every penny I possess that this was arranged by a few parents. 8th graders are incapable of large-scale organization like this.

A better way to use their brains would be to make that teacher who is doing nothing but collecting a paycheck work his/her arse off, not torture the lunchladies who make $11 an hour and need to take on a second job to pay their mortgage.

M2
03-04-2008, 06:32 PM
8th graders are incapable of large-scale organization like this.

Have you met 8th graders? I remember a massive planned food fight (based on the notion that they can't suspend everybody) and a school dance alternative party in the nurse's offices (again, planned, we stocked the office before the dance and a dozen of us then slipped away and returned in five minute intervals).


A better way to use their brains would be to make that teacher who is doing nothing but collecting a paycheck work his/her arse off, not torture the lunchladies who make $11 an hour and need to take on a second job to pay their mortgage.

It was a pain in the arse thing to do, but torture? I beg to differ. If the lunchladies had been on their toes, they'd have made the kids count it in front of them. Seems to me this started as good natured hijinks and could have finished in that vein if people weren't predisposed to take offense.

Falls City Beer
03-04-2008, 07:14 PM
Have you met 8th graders? I remember a massive planned food fight (based on the notion that they can't suspend everybody) and a school dance alternative party in the nurse's offices (again, planned, we stocked the office before the dance and a dozen of us then slipped away and returned in five minute intervals).



It was a pain in the arse thing to do, but torture? I beg to differ. If the lunchladies had been on their toes, they'd have made the kids count it in front of them. Seems to me this started as good natured hijinks and could have finished in that vein if people weren't predisposed to take offense.


I'm not opposed to pranks; I'm not humorless. Just make sure you hit the right target.

M2
03-04-2008, 07:22 PM
I'm not opposed to pranks; I'm not humorless. Just make sure you hit the right target.

When you're 13 and 14, the world is your target.

Falls City Beer
03-04-2008, 07:59 PM
When you're 13 and 14, the world is your target.

Then, I can think of nothing better for the little darlings than cleaning up the lunchroom for a week.

M2
03-04-2008, 08:13 PM
Then, I can think of nothing better for the little darlings than cleaning up the lunchroom for a week.

It's pennies for crying out loud. I understand that American education tends to revolve around telling them where to stand and what to wear, but I'd like to think that maybe some adult somewhere could have figured out how to handle this in a non-stick-up-the-rear manner.

Falls City Beer
03-04-2008, 08:29 PM
It's pennies for crying out loud. I understand that American education tends to revolve around telling them where to stand and what to wear, but I'd like to think that maybe some adult somewhere could have figured out how to handle this in a non-stick-up-the-rear manner.

How is giving these kids detention a big deal?

And if you read the article, the lunchladies said they felt "disrespected." I sense a race or class divide there (middle class kids/non-white lower income cafeteria workers) that likely didn't sit well with some folks.

And really, the whole "school-is-THE-MAN" stuff is garbage; those kids will never be given as many second chances, kept as safe from harm, or socialized better than they will in a decently-funded public school.

Rojo
03-04-2008, 08:44 PM
And if you read the article, the lunchladies said they felt "disrespected." I sense a race or class divide there (middle class kids/non-white lower income cafeteria workers) that likely didn't sit well with some folks.


I do too. Wikipedia says "Nationwide, Readington Township ranks 87th among the Highest-income places in the United States with a population of at least 10,000."

M2
03-04-2008, 09:00 PM
How is giving these kids detention a big deal?

I just find the impulse to turn everything into a punishable offense a regrettable commonality in our educational system.

GAC
03-04-2008, 09:40 PM
the students actually displayed some quality creative thinking there. It's like they used their brains in school. I'm for that.

No one denies that the fact that they used some creative thinking. I don't know about using their brains though.

I agree with protesting. But only after you went to those you have a "grievance" against, voice it, and give them the opportunity to address the concern. They weren't afforded that opportunity.

dougdirt
03-04-2008, 10:24 PM
I think there is a difference between protesting and being a pain in the butt to demonstrate a point. These kids weren't protesting, they went about their normal activities in a slightly different way.

Ltlabner
03-05-2008, 07:56 AM
Seems to me this started as good natured hijinks and could have finished in that vein if people weren't predisposed to take offense.

Good natured hijinks? sure...unless you were one of the lunch-ladies who had to count the change or one of the kids who go screwed out of eating your lunch because of this prank.

And I love how the school punishing kids for being disruptive is being "predisposed to take offense". As if the school is the one in the wrong here and these smart, wonderfull and creativley brilliant little kids are poor martiers for a cause. I mean really, we can't punish these little creative brilliant minds can we? I mean, their self-esteme would be crushed. God forbid!


I just find the impulse to turn everything into a punishable offense a regrettable commonality in our educational system.

Funny, I find the impluse to allow kids to do whatever they want, act as if every little kiddie was the most precious and wonderfull darling in the world and being loathe to enact any sort of discipline or punishement a regrettable situation in our educational system.

Ltlabner
03-05-2008, 07:58 AM
I think there is a difference between protesting and being a pain in the butt to demonstrate a point. These kids weren't protesting, they went about their normal activities in a slightly different way.

No kidding...people keep pushing that angle when the kids themselves admit it was a prank. Lets stop pretending these kids were Rosa Parks protesting a grevous social injustace.

Ltlabner
03-05-2008, 08:04 AM
Double post

Ltlabner
03-05-2008, 09:28 AM
When you're 13 and 14, the world is your target.

Frankly at that age, girls were my target.

Trying to save the world through protest and civil disobediance was the last thing on my mind.

Roy Tucker
03-05-2008, 09:49 AM
If my kids were involved with this, I'd chuckle a bit and think it clever.

But I'd also think the detentions were warranted and tell them the "protest" was a little misdirected.

The school had to nip this in the bud. If they didn't give detentions, someone would do it again. These things spread like wildfire.

dabvu2498
03-05-2008, 09:56 AM
If my kids were involved with this, I'd chuckle a bit and think it clever.

But I'd also think the detentions were warranted and tell them the "protest" was a little misdirected.

The school had to nip this in the bud. If they didn't give detentions, someone would do it again. These things spread like wildfire.

Agreed. Jr. high kids acted out like jr. high kids are apt to do and they were punished like jr. high school administrators are apt to do.

Nothing to see here.

IslandRed
03-05-2008, 11:05 AM
If my kids were involved with this, I'd chuckle a bit and think it clever.

But I'd also think the detentions were warranted and tell them the "protest" was a little misdirected.

That's about how I feel too. It's one of those things from a parent's perspective where I'd be laughing with them as I told them they were going to be punished anyway. ("You did what? Bwahahahaha... ok, you're grounded.") I don't want my kids to grow up to be jerks, so I couldn't actually approve of dumping on someone for no good reason.

Roy Tucker
03-05-2008, 11:13 AM
Yep. If they were suspended, then I'd think I'd beef to the principal if I were a parent. But detentions gets handed out like bubble gum in middle and high school. A slap on the wrist.

Watching my kids cycle through HS and hearing about the hijinks that go on, it's pretty funny. HS kids can really be clever. Principals and administration have their hands full.

Thinking about it, I never got a detention in school till my senior year. And then I did it deliberately just to see what it was like. It was pretty boring. I guess that's the point.

M2
03-05-2008, 11:41 AM
Good natured hijinks? sure...unless you were one of the lunch-ladies who had to count the change or one of the kids who go screwed out of eating your lunch because of this prank.

And I love how the school punishing kids for being disruptive is being "predisposed to take offense". As if the school is the one in the wrong here and these smart, wonderfull and creativley brilliant little kids are poor martiers for a cause. I mean really, we can't punish these little creative brilliant minds can we? I mean, their self-esteme would be crushed. God forbid!

Oh please. All I'm saying is there was a way for adults to handle the situation in a good natured fashion rather than be complete drag asses. The lunch ladies could have created a non-penny express line if they wanted. This was hardly a catastrophe situation.

Of course we live in a society where everyone's an aggrieved party, where a simple prank -- and that's exactly what this was -- turns into a crisis.


Funny, I find the impluse to allow kids to do whatever they want, act as if every little kiddie was the most precious and wonderfull darling in the world and being loathe to enact any sort of discipline or punishement a regrettable situation in our educational system.

A good prank is a good prank. I support the impulse to break out of the sheep pen.

westofyou
03-05-2008, 11:51 AM
A good prank is a good prank. I support the impulse to break out of the sheep pen.

Nah... rules, rules, rules... it will make them better droids in the new brave world.

M2
03-05-2008, 11:58 AM
If my kids were involved with this, I'd chuckle a bit and think it clever.

But I'd also think the detentions were warranted and tell them the "protest" was a little misdirected.

The school had to nip this in the bud. If they didn't give detentions, someone would do it again. These things spread like wildfire.

I don't really care about the detention so much as the adults not being able to handle it with a sense of humor. It's the "How dare they!" reaction that sits wrong with me.

Personally I think the school should have put the offenders on lunch duty ... and had them work the penny line. Then the kids would at least understand what happens when you throw a monkey wrench into the works.

As it is I suspect the only thing they got out of it is the adults who are always pissed off at them and telling them what to do are once again pissed off at them and telling them what to do.

Anyway, I think you hit on the appropriate response - "Good one, but we're going to do a little something about it."

Falls City Beer
03-05-2008, 12:03 PM
Nah... rules, rules, rules... it will make them better droids in the new brave world.

You guys are fighting the wrong boogeyman.

Schools aren't the conformity machines; the communities who elect the boards and who all drive the same SUVs are. Teachers can be some of the least conforming, eccentric folks your kids will see in their young life. Then they'll see a few more when they get to college.

But then they'll graduate, go to Oscar parties, buy the same dinnerware as the folks they meet at office parties, have play dates in the same cookiecutter homes...and never examine their lives.

I know where stifling conformity comes from, and it ain't from a bunch of puppet administrators and working class lunchladies.

westofyou
03-05-2008, 12:16 PM
Schools aren't the conformity machines

I went to a high school with no walls, and a college with no grades... I must have picked up the wrong message somewhere.

M2
03-05-2008, 12:20 PM
You guys are fighting the wrong boogeyman.

Schools aren't the conformity machines; the communities who elect the boards and who all drive the same SUVs are. Teachers can be some of the least conforming, eccentric folks your kids will see in their young life. Then they'll see a few more when they get to college.

But then they'll graduate, go to Oscar parties, buy the same dinnerware as the folks they meet at office parties, have play dates in the same cookiecutter homes...and never examine their lives.

I know where stifling conformity comes from, and it ain't from a bunch of puppet administrators and working class lunchladies.

You and I clearly attended different schools. Did some time substitute teaching too. At the middle school level the lesson plan always seemed to revolve around keeping the little bastards in line.

I agree with you that the conformity machine extends well beyond schools, but don't try to sell me on the notion that conformity isn't the organizing principle in much of our educational system. In fact, middle schools were designed to be holding pens for kids going through hormonal upheaval.

I covered the schools in one community where a new principal faced an in-house teacher rebellion when he suggested they actually start teaching the kids some stuff at the middle school level (e.g. algebra, more advanced literature, mandatory foreign language, lab-based science). As it was explained to me, early teens are savages and the job of teachers at that level is to make sure they don't start any fires.

Falls City Beer
03-05-2008, 12:29 PM
You and I clearly attended different schools. Did some time substitute teaching too. At the middle school level the lesson plan always seemed to revolve around keeping the little bastards in line.

I agree with you that the conformity machine extends well beyond schools, but don't try to sell me on the notion that conformity isn't the organizing principle in much of our educational system. In fact, middle schools were designed to be holding pens for kids going through hormonal upheaval.

I covered the schools in one community where a new principal faced an in-house teacher rebellion when he suggested they actually start teaching the kids some stuff at the middle school level (e.g. algebra, more advanced literature, mandatory foreign language, lab-based science). As it was explained to me, early teens are savages and the job of teachers at that level is to make sure they don't start any fires.

That's not at all how schools are nowadays.

Administrators are almost totally handcuffed in their authority; parents can (and do) undermine any kind of disciplining brought on the kid.

It's the least top-down schools have ever been. Maybe that's great; maybe individual expression is winning the day. But I sure as hell don't see it in my college students. If anything there's a greater premium on conformity where I teach. And I can tell you that these rich kids that I teach are NOT getting beaten down by an oppressive middle school disciplinary code.

M2
03-05-2008, 12:59 PM
That's not at all how schools are nowadays.

Administrators are almost totally handcuffed in their authority; parents can (and do) undermine any kind of disciplining brought on the kid.

The administrators at my kids' school have plenty of authority. Then again, my kids go to school in a system that's known far and wide for being free of the nonsense that seems to plague most systems.

And I've got friends and family in the teaching profession and they say far too often that it regrettably is how schools are nowadays and that it's only getting worse now that everyone's got to adjust their courses to conform to a specific standardized test.


It's the least top-down schools have ever been. Maybe that's great; maybe individual expression is winning the day. But I sure as hell don't see it in my college students. If anything there's a greater premium on conformity where I teach. And I can tell you that these rich kids that I teach are NOT getting beaten down by an oppressive middle school disciplinary code.

It's been 15 years since I taught college freshman. The big problem back then is that a large number of them were functional illiterates.

Anyway, I'd suggest you've forgotten what middle school is - constant regimen. Your college students are trying to figure out how to handle copious amounts of free time. Middle schoolers have their entire day segmented and planned, even after school in many cases. Apples and ducks.

If you're looking for which kids might someday in the future actually examine their own lives or look to get outside the maze that leads you to the cheese, IMO you ought to start with the kids who came up with the penny plan.

Falls City Beer
03-05-2008, 01:35 PM
The administrators at my kids' school have plenty of authority. Then again, my kids go to school in a system that's known far and wide for being free of the nonsense that seems to plague most systems.

And I've got friends and family in the teaching profession and they say far too often that it regrettably is how schools are nowadays and that it's only getting worse now that everyone's got to adjust their courses to conform to a specific standardized test.



It's been 15 years since I taught college freshman. The big problem back then is that a large number of them were functional illiterates.

Anyway, I'd suggest you've forgotten what middle school is - constant regimen. Your college students are trying to figure out how to handle copious amounts of free time. Middle schoolers have their entire day segmented and planned, even after school in many cases. Apples and ducks.

If you're looking for which kids might someday in the future actually examine their own lives or look to get outside the maze that leads you to the cheese, IMO you ought to start with the kids who came up with the penny plan.

I've taught both highschoolers and college kids for the last 15 years of my life, in one capacity or another.

And I can say that, to a person, the most original, self-reflective, outstanding students I have had are never the overtly or demonstratively anti-conformist. In fact, they are invariably the simply-dressed, quiet, introspective types. Not the goths, the Student Government-types, the responsible-Sues, the over-involved Charlies--but the mild, conservative looking guys or gals who speak three or four times a semester. Those kids aren't looking for peer approval. They're doing their own thing. And it almost always shows in their work.

Rojo
03-05-2008, 02:00 PM
I've taught both highschoolers and college kids for the last 15 years of my life, in one capacity or another.

And I can say that, to a person, the most original, self-reflective, outstanding students I have had are never the overtly or demonstratively anti-conformist. In fact, they are invariably the simply-dressed, quiet, introspective types. Not the goths, the Student Government-types, the responsible-Sues, the over-involved Charlies--but the mild, conservative looking guys or gals who speak three or four times a semester. Those kids aren't looking for peer approval. They're doing their own thing. And it almost always shows in their work.

Wow, this made my day. Seriously, thanks.

BTW, how clever is paying with pennies? My answer -- not very.

Ltlabner
03-05-2008, 02:32 PM
Of course we live in a society where everyone's an aggrieved party, where a simple prank -- and that's exactly what this was -- turns into a crisis.


The only ones making this a "crisis" are the parents and students complaining about recieving a detention and those suggesting the school should be sued. The only ones acting "agrieved" are the students who are shocked that the school is actually holding them accountable (and really, it's detention...big whoop).

The students pulled a prank and got in trouble. The school responded.

It's all really rather simple.

registerthis
03-05-2008, 03:29 PM
Every society benefits from an educated populace. Please don't think I'm anti-education because that's the furthest thing from my mind. Everyone has a right to learn. My intent here is to stress that there is a difference between rights and privileges. Every citizen has a right to be educated, either on their own or by another. An education provided by fellow members of a society is a privilege. A point to ponder: if a public (taxpayer funded) education is a "Right", why does that right cease to exist at 12th grade?

It doesn't cease to exist after 12th grade--in addition to vast amounts of money used to subsidize public universities, there are significant sums of government money available to individuals wishing to pursue their education farther; the difference here being that funding becomes available based upon need and merit, as opposed to the funding available for schooling in grades 1 - 12 where no distinguishment is made regarding merit or need.

Regarding the "right" to a public education, your response seems to imply that my position--and others--is that children should be permitted to attend public schools in deference to any consequences which poor behavior may incur. That is certainly not my position; each individual school and school district have processes in place which allow for the suspension and/or removal of children who present a problem for the school teachers and administration. No one is arguing that children be permitted to attend classes in schools where they are continually disruptive and difficult.

M2
03-05-2008, 03:37 PM
The students pulled a prank and got in trouble. The school responded.

With all the uptight intensity of Dean Wormer.

Maybe now those snot-nosed kids will understand how serious everything is.

BRM
03-05-2008, 03:39 PM
With all the uptight intensity of Dean Wormer.

Maybe now they'll understand how serious everything is.

I guess I just don't see "uptight intensity" here. The kids got a couple of days of detention. That's not a big deal in my opinion and certainly not a harsh punishment.

M2
03-05-2008, 03:46 PM
I guess I just don't see "uptight intensity" here. The kids got a couple of days of detention. That's not a big deal in my opinion and certainly not a harsh punishment.

I tend to view RightSpeak as a sign of uptight intensity -- we must behave this way.

For instance, "There are ways to express yourself that are not disruptive to other kids and disrespectful to staff." I regard that as a phrase dripping with quiet desperation.

dabvu2498
03-05-2008, 03:50 PM
I tend to view RightSpeak as a sign of uptight intensity -- we must behave this way.

For instance, "There are ways to express yourself that are not disruptive to other kids and disrespectful to staff." I regard that as a phrase dripping with quiet desperation.

What would have been an appropriate response from school administration?

BRM
03-05-2008, 03:51 PM
What would consider proper punishment for these kids?

EDIT: looks like dab beat me to the question.

durl
03-05-2008, 04:15 PM
It doesn't cease to exist after 12th grade--in addition to vast amounts of money used to subsidize public universities, there are significant sums of government money available to individuals wishing to pursue their education farther; the difference here being that funding becomes available based upon need and merit, as opposed to the funding available for schooling in grades 1 - 12 where no distinguishment is made regarding merit or need.

Grant money for university is a privilege because it IS based upon need and merit. Rights do not depend on such things. At some point, the theoretical "right" to a publically-funded education will come into conflict with another person's right to their personal property. These cannot co-exist. If one party can claim another's property in order to exercise their right, that other person's right to property is null and void.

Privileges are good things but they need to be seen as such. That will help us keep perspective.

M2
03-05-2008, 04:18 PM
What would have been an appropriate response from school administration?

I already covered that.

The lunch crew could have turned this into a non-event. Pennies? Back of the line.

And the administration could have been less robotic. After all, that is the essence of the prank -- you're such robots we can undo you utterly with loose change. My take is the adults here are terrified that the kids have seen through them.

FWIW, my kids can't use cash to buy lunch. They've got a PIN for that. No joke.

BRM
03-05-2008, 04:22 PM
The lunch crew could have turned this into a non-event. Pennies? Back of the line.


That would have been an interesting way to handle it. Just don't accept the pennies at that moment. Tell them they go last if pennies are all they have so they don't force everyone else to wait. Interesting.

dabvu2498
03-05-2008, 04:24 PM
I already covered that.

The lunch crew could have turned this into a non-event. Pennies? Back of the line.

And the administration could have been less robotic. After all, that is the essence of the prank -- you're such robots we can undo you utterly with loose change.

FWIW, my kids can't use cash to buy lunch. They've got a PIN for that. No joke.

I agree somewhat about the lunch crew. Perhaps there could have been some witty retort that could have quelled all this. However, if I read the article correctly, this situation was ongoing. This was not the first time these lunch ladies had issues with these kids. Of course, none of us was actually there to know what and how it all went down.

Could you define "less robotic" for us?

Ditto on the PINs for most schools around here also.

dabvu2498
03-05-2008, 04:31 PM
FWIW, I took a couple education classes in college, thinking that might be something I might like to do. I'll never forget what one of the EDUC profs said on the first day of class. Something to the effect of "If you want to succeed as a teacher, there are three groups of people you have to have on your good side -- the secretaries, the cafeteria staff, and the janitors -- because they deal with the paper, the food, the dirt, and the puke." Honestly, that may be the thing I remember most from my entire college education.

I didn't end up going into education, but I've tried to carry that over into my current professional life. I always try to treat the secretaries, court reporters, bailiffs, etc. with as much or more courtesy and respect as I do judges and other lawyers. Plus, I get good hearing times, get my clients called early in dockets, and some other perks out of it. :)

Perhaps that's the real lesson those admins were trying to get through to those kids. :dunno:

Falls City Beer
03-05-2008, 04:36 PM
Perhaps that's the real lesson those admins were trying to get through to those kids. :dunno:

If I know superintendents, he wanted to keep the cafeteria workers from quitting en masse by trying to save a little face for them while at the same time not angering the parents.

Welcome to education politics v. 2008.

dabvu2498
03-05-2008, 04:37 PM
If I know superintendents, he wanted to keep the cafeteria workers from quitting en masse by trying to save a little face for them while at the same time not angering the parents.


I've got no problem with that.

Falls City Beer
03-05-2008, 04:40 PM
I've got no problem with that.

Except that the move is strictly a political one, not one designed to do the right thing necessarily.

It worked out that the politically efficacious thing was the "right" thing, but seldom are hard choices made in education because it's the "right" thing, in and of itself.

dabvu2498
03-05-2008, 04:46 PM
Except that the move is strictly a political one, not one designed to do the right thing necessarily.

It worked out that the politically efficacious thing was the "right" thing, but seldom are hard choices made in education because it's the "right" thing, in and of itself.

Point taken.

Keeping the ship sailing as smoothly as possible generally results in the greatest common good, though, don't you think?

And believe me, I try not to be a conformist.

Puffy
03-05-2008, 04:47 PM
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa - they got detention. I spent my entire youth in detention.

Sac up, kids!

Roy Tucker
03-05-2008, 04:47 PM
I like the kids pulling lunchroom duty punishment.

As a tangental comment, I think all kids need to have cafeteria duty. At our public schools were janitors, etc clean up the cafeteria, I'm repeatedly shocked at how much the kids trash the place. At a local private school where each class has KP duty one week a month, everyone picks up.

Rojo
03-05-2008, 04:48 PM
And the administration could have been less robotic. After all, that is the essence of the prank -- you're such robots we can undo you utterly with loose change.

God I used to love it when I worked a cash register and some spoiled brats would goof on me and tell me to lighten up. Fun, fun, fun.

dabvu2498
03-05-2008, 04:51 PM
I like the kids pulling lunchroom duty punishment.

As a tangental comment, I think all kids need to have cafeteria duty. At our public schools were janitors, etc clean up the cafeteria, I'm repeatedly shocked at how much the kids trash the place. At a local private school where each class has KP duty one week a month, everyone picks up.

I hate to be a lawyer on this one, but somehow, I think liability issues might get in the way of some common sense on that idea.

Falls City Beer
03-05-2008, 04:51 PM
Point taken.

Keeping the ship sailing as smoothly as possible generally results in the greatest common good, though, don't you think?

And believe me, I try not to be a conformist.

Compromise is obviously an important part of any political position, but I don't need to tell you that sometimes unpopular decisions turn out great while popular ones become total failures.

dabvu2498
03-05-2008, 04:53 PM
Compromise is obviously an important part of any political position, but I don't need to tell you that sometimes unpopular decisions turn out great while popular ones become total failures.

How do you know my wife so well??? :)

Roy Tucker
03-05-2008, 04:58 PM
I hate to be a lawyer on this one, but somehow, I think liability issues might get in the way of some common sense on that idea.

Sorry, KP was probably the wrong term. The parochial school kids had to pick up the trash left on the table by their fellow classmates. No cooking, dishwashing, etc.

Just picking up empty potato chip bags, sandwich wrappers, pop cans, and wiping down the tables.

Doesn't take long for the kids to realize how big of a pain in the neck it is when people are careless and messy.

kaldaniels
03-05-2008, 04:58 PM
I already covered that.

The lunch crew could have turned this into a non-event. Pennies? Back of the line.

And the administration could have been less robotic. After all, that is the essence of the prank -- you're such robots we can undo you utterly with loose change. My take is the adults here are terrified that the kids have seen through them.

FWIW, my kids can't use cash to buy lunch. They've got a PIN for that. No joke.

Here's the thing about the "undone by pennies" remark.

Let's face it...the lunchtime time period is tight. I highly doubt children were going hungry before the protest...but I have no doubt eating, not social activities, had to be the priority in such a short time.

Now, if a group of students bands up and figures out a way to throw a wrench into things by paying with pennies...the plan will work. It has nothing to do with the fact we live in a "robotic" society...it has to do with the fact that alot of students = alot of loose coin = alot of time to count.

Your "back of the line" would have resulted in this....the lunchtime period running out of time...some students going hungry because there was no time to count all their money (note:the students who went hungry would be hungry b/c of their own choice to slow down the lunch line with pennies...but the press and others on here wouldn't see it that way...we'd simply hear of the "starving school children of America...punished and starved for trying to pay with American money".

Not a wise place/time to pull off such hijinks...detention served...done deal.

My problem isn't at all with the students...its with those wanting litigation and penalties given to the administration for the horrible,tyrannical penalty given....detention. :rolleyes:

Falls City Beer
03-05-2008, 05:05 PM
Sorry, KP was probably the wrong term. The parochial school kids had to pick up the trash left on the table by their fellow classmates. No cooking, dishwashing, etc.

Just picking up empty potato chip bags, sandwich wrappers, pop cans, and wiping down the tables.

Doesn't take long for the kids to realize how big of a pain in the neck it is when people are careless and messy.

When I taught high school, I demanded my kids pick up the classroom before they left each day. And these were seniors.

Two weeks into the year I didn't have to remind them anymore.

registerthis
03-05-2008, 06:03 PM
Grant money for university is a privilege because it IS based upon need and merit.

Not necessarily. The Morrill Land Grant Act provided each state with federal land which the states could then sell for cash, or alternately provided cash directly, which the states could use to construct and operate institutions of higher learning within its boarders. There were no requirements of merit or need attached to the grants.


At some point, the theoretical "right" to a publically-funded education will come into conflict with another person's right to their personal property. These cannot co-exist. If one party can claim another's property in order to exercise their right, that other person's right to property is null and void.

Your argument is much more broad than simply funding for public education, because your personal property is taken all of the time to pay for services that are used by and for others--and there is nothing unconstitutional about such a policy. There is, for example, no "fundamental right" of a community to appropriate taxpayer funds for police and fire protection, roadway services, prisons, etc. Yet we do not question their right to do so. Which goes back to my original point: it's not an option for citizens to pick and choose which services their taxes will be used to pay for. Education, police and fire protection, libraries, roadway maintenance, waste disposal--all have been deemed necessary for the ongoing functioning and propsperity of our society. They are services enjoyed (or that can be enjoyed) equally by all, and are thus acceptable uses of taxpayer funding. Yes, your "property" (in the form of money) is being taken away from you to fund these things. That is simply the price one pays to live as a citizen in the U.S.

M2
03-05-2008, 06:07 PM
\As a tangental comment, I think all kids need to have cafeteria duty.

I like that idea.

On a separate note, I'm in shock to hear that Puffy's not still in detention.

Unassisted
03-05-2008, 06:12 PM
The parochial school kids had to pick up the trash left on the table by their fellow classmates. No cooking, dishwashing, etc.

Just picking up empty potato chip bags, sandwich wrappers, pop cans, and wiping down the tables.
The 8th grade class had that duty when I was in parochial school. The 7th grade class had to clean the church.

I can just imagine the uproar if public school kids were made to do cleanup duty nowadays.

Falls City Beer
03-05-2008, 06:15 PM
Not necessarily. The Morrill Land Grant Act provided each state with federal land which the states could then sell for cash, or alternately provided cash directly, which the states could use to construct and operate institutions of higher learning within its boarders. There were no requirements of merit or need attached to the grants.



Your argument is much more broad than simply funding for public education, because your personal property is taken all of the time to pay for services that are used by and for others--and there is nothing unconstitutional about such a policy. There is, for example, no "fundamental right" of a community to appropriate taxpayer funds for police and fire protection, roadway services, prisons, etc. Yet we do not question their right to do so. Which goes back to my original point: it's not an option for citizens to pick and choose which services their taxes will be used to pay for. Education, police and fire protection, libraries, roadway maintenance, waste disposal--all have been deemed necessary for the ongoing functioning and propsperity of our society. They are services enjoyed (or that can be enjoyed) equally by all, and are thus acceptable uses of taxpayer funding. Yes, your "property" (in the form of money) is being taken away from you to fund these things. That is simply the price one pays to live as a citizen in the U.S.

The argument may be semantic to some extent--there is no "legal" "right" to an education, nothing enumerated in the Constitution, and so forth.

It's a state's decision to provide public education and make it available to all, no matter what--that falls under the 14th amendment.

However, whether it's fundamentally treated as a "privilege" is up for debate; functionally it has become a "right," for all intents and purposes.

M2
03-05-2008, 06:23 PM
I can just imagine the uproar if public school kids were made to do cleanup duty nowadays.

Just a guess, but I'll bet if you gave parents the option of having their kids work a few lunch/janitorial shifts during the year, you'd get something in excess of 90% taking you up on the offer.

registerthis
03-05-2008, 06:31 PM
The argument may be semantic to some extent--there is no "legal" "right" to an education, nothing enumerated in the Constitution, and so forth.

It's a state's decision to provide public education and make it available to all, no matter what--that falls under the 14th amendment.

However, whether it's fundamentally treated as a "privilege" is up for debate; functionally it has become a "right," for all intents and purposes.

Yes, I suppose that's a more succinct way of phrasing what I'm getting at.

I've been writing copy all day and am feeling quite verbose.

Ltlabner
03-05-2008, 07:23 PM
I tend to view RightSpeak as a sign of uptight intensity -- we must behave this way

Yea, don't be a horses-ass in line, make life difficult for the lunch-lady and screw your classmates out of eating their lunch.

I mean really, how the hell can society impose such draconian restrictions on 13 year olds? Why, they might never growup to be self-obsessed twits. Sooooooooo unreasonable to expect so much from the precious youths.

Ltlabner
03-05-2008, 07:28 PM
And the administration could have been less robotic. After all, that is the essence of the prank -- you're such robots we can undo you utterly with loose change. My take is the adults here are terrified that the kids have seen through them..

Wow....

These are pimply face, pre-pubescent jerks and you are ascribing them all sorts of wisdom and deep understanding of life, which I guarentee you they just plain don't have.

Serriously, if you think the kids are thinking of this on that level you are completley just off the mark. The essence of this prank was..."dude! It would be, like, so cool if we all paid in pennies"...."yea dude, that would be da sux". "No way! rightous!". "LOL". and then someone would notice Jenny Tomkins suddenly has boobs and the coversation would drift off.

These are the same kids who would laugh hystarically if you farted in class yet you are pretending as if this was some Jungian braintrust.

EDIT: In the interest of full disclosure, I still laugh at farts.

registerthis
03-05-2008, 08:14 PM
These are pimply face, pre-pubescent jerks and you are ascribing them all sorts of wisdom and deep understanding of life, which I guarentee you they just plain don't have.

Not taking sides here, but didn't you just blanketly ascribe characteristics to a group of people in the same way you accuse M2 of doing?

8th graders can be surprisingly on top of things.

Ltlabner
03-05-2008, 08:17 PM
Not taking sides here, but didn't you just blanketly ascribe characteristics to a group of people in the same way you accuse M2 of doing?

8th graders can be surprisingly on top of things.

It wasn't that he was blanketly ascribed things to the group, it was what he was ascribing to them.

8th graders aren't total blithering idiots, but they aren't sitting around in dreaming up plots in the way he describes either. More likely someone thought it would be funny, that it would impress a girl or someone's parent gave the kid the idea.

M2
03-05-2008, 08:25 PM
Wow....

These are pimply face, pre-pubescent jerks and you are ascribing them all sorts of wisdom and deep understanding of life, which I guarentee you they just plain don't have.

They apparently understand how to push some buttons that can set you off from a thousand miles away. My guess is they'd consider that a score, even better than being on your lawn.

As for you not recognizing that kids have a remarkable talent for figuring out how to undermine adult authority, do you have kids? These are pimple-faced, hormonally overloaded, pubescent (seriously, eighth grade, deep in throes of puberty) jerks ... and they make a sport out of raising the blood pressure of the adults around them. That I'm old enough to be able articulate what they do -- spot adult weakness and attack it -- and they're not, doesn't mean they don't do it (though you don't give kids nearly enough credit, they're smart and they know enough not to let on how smart they are much of the time).

I blame it on that crazy jazz music.

(BTW, you do realizing you're now arguing these kids weren't smart to do what they did, right?)

Rojo
03-05-2008, 08:55 PM
And you thought they just paid in pennies.

GAC
03-05-2008, 10:19 PM
If my kids were involved with this, I'd chuckle a bit and think it clever.

But I'd also think the detentions were warranted and tell them the "protest" was a little misdirected.

The school had to nip this in the bud. If they didn't give detentions, someone would do it again. These things spread like wildfire.

Same here Roy. Good post. I have three teenagers. If they had done this I'd probably chuckle and commend them for being involved and wanting to do something. But I'd also sit down with them and "talk it through" to find out if it was the best approach, and were they being fair to those they had the grievance against?

If you had a "protest" or grievance against your Mother and I, and believe me they have, would you take the same tactics with us? My kids come to me at times and complain about their increased responsibilities (chores) around the house. They feel it is an added burden because they also have school work and such. They also feel they should get more allowance. Would striking and refusing to do them, without first coming to me, convince me otherwise?

Sure, as the parent, I'm going to be the final authority; but I think I have also shown my kids that doesn't mean I am always authoritarian; but I have been fair, objective and reasonable. Let's TALK about the situation.

And when I have sat down with them over such an issue, and shown them that both myself and the wife are working parents and shouldn't be expected to shoulder the entire load ourselves, and that they live in this household too - mess up rooms, dirty dishes, have laundry that needs cleaned and folded, trash taken out, etc, etc - are we suppose to do it all? What are your responsibilities, if any?

The "comforts" they enjoy are due to our working. And when it comes to allowance, they don't seem to count all the times, which I love to highlight, we give them money to go to movies, local sporting events, and numerous other activities that cost where we don't count that towards their allowance. Maybe we should.

And I always keep in my "back pocket" as added ammo if needed, their Ebay or Amazon bill for video games.

My son then shuts up and finishes doing the dishes and sweeping the floors. ;)

GAC
03-05-2008, 10:22 PM
We were all 8th graders once.

I can remember where a bunch of us, after gym class, went out into the parking lot, actually picked up the gym teacher/football coach's Volkswagon Bug and moved it to the parking lot on the other side of the school. :lol:

Ltlabner
03-06-2008, 08:26 AM
(BTW, you do realizing you're now arguing these kids weren't smart to do what they did, right?)

Yep. That's exactly what I'm arguing. I'd wager the prank was born of the raging hormones you described not a nefarious plot hatched by a mini-Lex Luthor type.

I'm not saying 8th graders aren't smart or that kids that age are total idiots. I just don't buy that they had all these machiavilan schemes that you described figured out BEFORE they pulled the prank. Kids act up to annoy adults...but they mostly do it instinctually not even really understanding why what they are doing is annoying.

My point is that it's far more likely these kids thought the prank would be funny/good attention than a subtle protest against the man that would unclothe the flaws of society and begin a ripple that would erupt into a tidalwave forever changing humanity (or whatever that gibberish you were trying to push was).

And the school didn't react becuase they were "terrified at being unmaksed". The school punished them because they were being disruptive and disrespectfull.

The kids prank haven't pushed my buttons at all. I'm more irritated by those amoung us who apparentley fear disciplining children or find a detention to be tantamout to torture.

M2
03-06-2008, 10:31 AM
My point is that it's far more likely these kids thought the prank would be funny/good attention than a subtle protest against the man that would unclothe the flaws of society and begin a ripple that would erupt into a tidalwave forever changing humanity (or whatever that gibberish you were trying to push was).

I never once said or bought into the notion this was some sort of protest. This was kids lighting on a goof. The rest of what you wrote is you clearly not understanding a word of what I've been typing.

registerthis
03-06-2008, 11:59 AM
Yep. That's exactly what I'm arguing.

The kids were pretty clever. You've gotta give them credit for that.

Rojo
03-06-2008, 01:50 PM
The kids were pretty clever. You've gotta give them credit for that.

No I don't. As pranks its pretty old.

registerthis
03-06-2008, 02:31 PM
No I don't. As pranks its pretty old.

OK, I guess you don't. You got me there.

Ltlabner
03-07-2008, 01:53 PM
I never once said or bought into the notion this was some sort of protest. This was kids lighting on a goof. The rest of what you wrote is you clearly not understanding a word of what I've been typing.

You are the one trying to dress up a bunch of kids as uber-brilliant criminal masterminds. I understand exactly what you are saying. Bascially you dislike disciplining children for fear that their creative muse & self-esteme will be damaged beyond repair. That, and your "Breakfast Club" view of school systems; that the adults are all cluessless, conformest dolts and the kids are the ones with the real smarts.

In your rush to crap all over the school system you completey overlook that the story doesn't comment on the past behavior of these children. It's entirely likely this isn't the first time these kids have been disruptive and disrespectfull so the detention is not the terrified response you described but rather a wholy reasonable responce. Oh no...that doesn't cross your mind. It's the school that's "got a stick up their butt".

These are jerk kids who pulled a prank and got punished. You'd rather berate the school for daring to disipline them than realize these are children...not brilliant gurus worthy of respect. Makes no sense.

registerthis
03-07-2008, 02:13 PM
It's entirely likely this isn't the first time these kids have been disruptive and disrespectfull

Just curious why you feel that way?

M2
03-07-2008, 02:56 PM
You are the one trying to dress up a bunch of kids as uber-brilliant criminal masterminds.I understand exactly what you are saying.

Your first sentence belies the second. What follows is drivel. I've clearly wasted my time bothering to explain my thoughts to you.

Ltlabner
03-07-2008, 09:28 PM
Just curious why you feel that way?

I don't know if that's the case or not. Just saying it's a posibility.

Boston Red
05-16-2008, 03:14 PM
At least we know where Griffey got his idea.