Posts Tagged ‘Suspension’

The Hugging Rule: Another Example of Running Schools Like Prisons

November 4, 2011

There is a huge difference between hugging someone because they are your friend and sexual harassment.  It is not hard to distinguish one from the other.

Friends hugging innocently in the playground in no way prevents schools from punishing children for sexual harassment.

A 14-year-old Florida student who hugged his friend was suspended as a result of his middle school’s zero-tolerance no-hugging policy.

Nick Martinez said he gave a quick hug to his best friend, a female student, between classes, WKMG-TV reported.

The public display of affection was spotted by the principal of Palm Bay’s Southwest Middle School, which is 120km south-east of Orlando. While the principal told WKMG-TV he believed the hug was innocent, he brought the two students to the school’s dean, who penalised them with in-school suspensions.

According to the Southwest Middle School’s student handbook, students can receive a one-day out-of-school suspension for kissing, while students caught hugging or hand-holding are penalised with a dean’s detention or suspension.

The school’s strict policy stipulates that there is no difference between an unwanted hug, or sexual harassment, and a hug between friends, WKMG-TV reported.

What measures like this do, is transform schools which are already unnatural places for children and make them even more dreary and dictatorial.  The irony is, that while bullying continues to be a major problem, you would have though that acts of friendship would be encouraged, not outlawed.
What’s next – banning students from complimenting each other?
It’s about time we started matching school bans on children by imposing bans on schools.  I would love to ban schools from implementing rules inspired by political correctness gone wrong!

Students Are Not Allowed Opinions Anymore

September 26, 2011

As a teacher, it isn’t uncommon to confront opinionated students.  Of course, many of their opinions I don’t personally agree with (some of which are a reflection of their immaturity).  That being the case, I still feel that it is much healthier for a child to have too many opinions that to have none at all.  As our job description includes nurturing each childs’ critical thinking skills, you would have thought that the canvassing of opinions is vital to a functioning classroom.

But you would be wrong.  More than ever before, the powers that be have been stifling debate, silencing contrasting views and imposing a mantra of political correctness.  Take the case of Dakota Ary:

The mother of a Fort Worth student said she unhappy her son was given in-school suspension for making a comment in class about homosexuality and Christianity.

During a discussion in his German class at Western hills High School on Tuesday, freshman Dakota Ary said he commented to a friend that his religious beliefs say homosexuality is wrong.

“I said, ‘I’m Christian and, to me, being homosexual is wrong,'” Ary said. “And then he (the teacher) got mad, wrote me an infraction and sent me to the office.”

It is my view that you don’t change a person’s viewpoint by silencing or suspending them.  Whether I agree or disagree with my students is immaterial, they are still entitled to share their views with the class.  Usually views materialise from only considering one side of the argument.  A healthy classroom discussion often features a range of insights and perspectives.  This healthy discussion often leads kids to change or alter their views and accept differences of opinions.

Unfortunately, in the age of political correctness opinions are becoming a thing of the past.


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