Posts Tagged ‘suspended’

Teenager Suspended for Anti-Bullying Movie

May 25, 2012


It doesn’t matter how sensitive the themes in Jessica Barba’s anti-bullying movie is, at least she has the presence of mind to do something about the issue. Yes, a fictionalised suicide may be pushing the boundaries somewhat, but bullied children do commit suicide. I would much rather teenagers address the issue than sit back and ignore it.

The Long Island student suspended over her anti-bullying video and fake Facebook page is garnering national attention. For the first time since the incident played out over YouTube, the school is speaking out to CBS 2.

It’s been a whirlwind of publicity for 15-year-old Jessica Barba, but not the kind she expected. She anticipated a few thousand hits on online. Instead, she has made headlines and appeared on national television.

“As long as the word about bullying is getting out, that’s what it was all about in the first place. If I’m able to touch more kids’ lives, that’s what I will do,” she told reporters.

“Her project turned out so wonderfully and we’re so proud of it,” said Barba’s mother, Jody.

The Longwood School District remained mum on how Barba “created a substantial disruption” and “violated school policy,” but CBS 2′s Jennifer McLogan caught up with the reluctant superintendent, Dr. Allan Gerstenlauer.

McLogan: “Why are you unable to speak about this?”

Gerstenlauer: “We cannot speak about any student discipline issue because of the privacy issues that are engaged in that.”

The school said privacy issues are the only reason they aren’t speaking about reprimanding Barba for creating the fake Facebook page and YouTube video about a fictitious teen who commits suicide after being bullied in school and online.

Jessica Barba said it was part of a school project on persuasive speech. A parent alerted police and the school, apparently concerned that it was all real. Although a caption at the beginning and end states the character, 12-year-old “Hailey,” is fictional.

Since then, students have claimed they have been threatened for wearing t-shirts they created, petitions and flyers in support of Barba’s project.

The school has denied any threats. The principal and Barba’s guidance counselor, along with her parents, have a 7 a.m. meeting on Thursday.

Barba’s suspension began one week ago. She hopes to be reinstated and return to class to turn in her anti-bullying project.

Attack of the Crazy Suspension Addicted Schools

May 9, 2012

There was a time there when suspensions actually meant something. If you were given a suspension, you knew it was for something major and you dreaded the inevitable grilling by your parents when they reluctantly turned up at your school. Whenever I was sent to the Principal’s office, I was on edge that my misdemeanor might lead to a suspension. The fact that I am still alive to write this post tells you that I never got one.

But today, for whatever reason, schools find it necessary to cheapen and make mockery of the very punishment that was a proven success over many years. Nowadays, you can get a suspension for scratching your head or making snorting sounds when you laugh.

You don’t believe me? Well then read this:

A school north-west of Melbourne has been forced to apologise to a student with a learning disability after he was suspended because his parents failed to attend a parent-teacher interview.

Brendan Mason was allowed to return to classes at Sunbury Downs College in Sunbury today, the Herald Sun reports.

Brendan’s father Andrew Mason said the meeting was one of many they had throughout the year with his teachers, integration aides and pathways teachers to discuss his progress.

Principal Brett Moore said Brendan was wrongly issued two detentions after his parents missed the meeting, and this was increased to a one-day suspension after Brendan failed to turn up to either punishment.

Mr Moore said the staff member who issued the detentions made a mistake. The staff member did not understand that Brendan’s parents were not required to go to the meeting because they had already attended a group session with his aides, Mr Moore said.

“I’ll investigate this matter … I’ll unreservedly apologise — I have to the father and I will in person.”

But Brendan’s father said his son would struggle to make up classes he had missed.

“I don’t think he can go back today — he’s not up to it, part of his problem is he gets affected by stress … he definitely can’t go back today,” he said.

In Australia, it is the politicians that are accused of being reactive and low on conviction. However, in my opinion, there is no better current day example of a ‘turncoat’ than schools. They seem to make these incredibly big mistakes. Mistakes that they would happily continue making, until someone gathers the courage to stand up for themselves and notifies the media. Then, without a moments hesitation, they do a complete 180 degree turn and blame their mistake on an errant staff member.

Schools come across as fickle, naive, incompetent and asleep at the wheel. They are quick to blame Governments, parents and students, but are almost never blameless themselves.

It’s time our schools woke up to their failing and got there acts together. Restoring confidence in our schools is pivotal to the hopes and aspirations we have for our children.

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