Thursday, April 14, 2005

Two Stories About Schools

Question: What ties a minor story about cursing to a disgusting story about sexual assault?
Answer The reactions of the high school administrations.

A simple story about cursing run rampant in public schools in the same post as a story about the sexual assault of a disabled 16 year old girl in Ohio, tied together by the horrible reactions of school officials.

Let me be perfectly clear. I am not equating sexual assault to cursing so don’t even make that type of comment. What I would like to do is use both stories to comment on the state of school administrator in the United States. Please read both stories. Right now, I would like to quote from the article on cursing.
Teachers say their principals often don't give them support on the issue, and principals say they can't because administrators are worried about "bigger" problems. [like sexual assault – ed.] Many parents are no help, cursing themselves or excusing their children's outbursts, teachers say. And though many school systems ban profanity, not much happens to most offenders. Many teachers say they no longer bother reporting it.
The school environment that exists today is highly politically charged. I deal with school officials daily in my job. The politics on the school side are far and away much greater than the politics in the local government. Like any good politician, the cover-up of the sexual assault takes precedence over the correcting the cursing problem.

There are two roots to this current problem. First, schools rely on state and federal funding along with local tax dollars. When one takes the money, one must comply with the regulations. Second, schools exist in highly litigious environments where parents will sue for almost anything. This creates a culture of paranoia. Thus, School Boards all over the country are hiring administrators that can protect them from the perils that schools face today. Those perils do NOT stop at teaching grammar.

The two stories quoted in this post are perfect examples of the state of school administration today. “But I thought schools were about teaching our children,” you say. Not any more, my friend. Not anymore.