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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Columbine: Just give up the ghost!

Oh my freakin' gosh... has every school official and PTAnal (as opposed to those that just participate in the PTA for the benefit of their students), just lost their minds?

I know I am not the only parent in the world taking on a school board over school uniforms, and certainly I am not the only one that thinks the banning of cupcakes is a bit over the top. But I must admit, I have small battles to fight compared to parents that have School Administrators that do things such as (thanks to Doug Reality Me , and BusyMom for the links, and take a look at his take, as he has put much more work into the finding the source of FACTS than I have, and/or BusyMom with her humorous but telling crotchedy old lady take), ban recess it in the "name of safety", Ban Recess in favor of Sensitivity Training , or ban Pizza Parties.

Now some things I can take in better stride and almost understand (I said almost). The whole banning of cupcakes and Pizza is just taking a good idea and taking it to an illogical conclusion. We all make mistakes of this type in our lives, we take what starts out as a good idea and run with it until we finally reach a point of saying, "What the hell am I doing?" The only unfortunate point with something that is political (and don't kid yourself, if you think that just because they do not run on "party tickets" that politics are not involved), it takes a long time to correct things when they go off course.

But now let us look at the Draconian schemes. School Uniforms and this latest stupidity banning Recess. I have found one common thread, that I find frightening alarming, but at the same time a perfect clue that an idea is based on stupidity rather than anything that resembles a reasonable fact. The commonality, is administrators "selling" their idea by trying to frighten parents with visions of the Columbine Massacre.

Now I was annoyed when my local school board did it, citing certain types of clothing would make it easier to smuggle weapons into school. But I could almost see the argument that they were trying to make (not agree with it, but at least understand it). Of course that fell apart, first when it was pointed out that at Columbine, they carried in their weapons in duffel bags, and second when the kid they showed with all those concealed weapons in the film, was wearing a shirt very similar to the one being proposed for the uniform shirt (hmmm... maybe they should have reviewed the tape before the public hearing). But, I could not be annoyed, because I was too stunned when I read in the "justification" for banning recess when P.A.T. (I assume that is the same as a PTA or PTO) member Pat Kirputnik stated:

Did you know that every single grade school feeding into Columbine High School had recess?

"And here's the most shocking part," continued Kirputnik, "The school board continued the practice even after the tragedy there, as if they didn't see a connection at all. I would characterize that as criminally negligent."

Wow! How did we ever survive as a society? I mean Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold went there that day and shot 12 fellow students and a teacher because they had recess in Grammar School? Obviously Ms. Kirputnik has some serious information that she should share with the world here since she found that link so obvious.

Please people don't forget the lesson's from Columbine, but let us put it to rest as an excuse whenever we decide to justify squeezing kids under your thumbs a little more. Video games didn't lead these individuals to do what they did. Neither did recess, or their not wearing a school uniform (hell they were NOT a member of the Trenchcoat Mafia, as was originally widely reported). A Zero-Tolerance policy where good student gets expelled under questionable circumstances, will not "prevent it." Let Columbine rest in peace, and stop using it as an excuse for everything you wish to do.

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