Friday, November 12, 2004

San Jose school to gymnast: "You vill NOT turn cartwheels undt you vill LUFF it!!"

A few months ago I published "People who should be shot when the revolution comes", a handy guide on who to hunt down like rabid dogs when the breaking-point is reached. It was all tongue-in-cheek, 'course, although there was an ulterior good that it served: when the revolution gets unleashed I want this to help keep the civilian casualty figures low.

Anyway, the second group of people on the list that we should be gunning for are "'Zero tolerance'-happy public school principals" and this next story should make it clear why some of them should be booted down to the pariah caste on... no, beneath the totem pole:
Student Of The Month Suspended After Warning (about turning cartwheels)
WEST COVINA — Doing cartwheels and handstands got an 11-year-old West Covina girl bounced out of school.

Deirdre Faegre, a sixth-grader at San Jose-Edison Academy in West Covina, was suspended Tuesday when she disobeyed school officials who had repeatedly told her not to do gymnastic stunts during lunchtime, ABC7 Eyewitness News has learned

"They told me I can't do it anymore because I can hurt other people or myself," Deirdre told a local newspaper. "There's other kids that do ... but it's obviously only been told to me and I don't know why."

San Jose-Edison Academy Principal Denise Patton said she's warned Deirdre numerous times, talked to her parents and given her lunch detention, but the 90-pound gymnast won't stay on the ground, so she had to suspend her.

"Our first concern is the safety of all of our children," Patton said in the newspaper report. Her acrobatics have "created an unsafe situation for herself and others."

She could accidentally strike another student or hurt herself, Patton asserted.
Mash here for the full story. The principal elaborates further that the REAL reason little Deirdre was suspended was because other students might see what she was doing and try to imitate her stunts.

Let's see, students can now be suspended or expelled for: bringing 2-inch long action-figure guns to school, drawing pictures of guns, accidentally leaving a butterknife in the back-seat of a car, kissing a first-grade classmate on the playground, wearing a t-shirt that offends a faculty member while off-campus, Heaven knows what else, and now turning cartwheels because other kids might hurt themselves copying the tumbler. Sheesh, aren't kids allowed to have a little fun anymore?

One or both of two motives are at work here I think: Deirdre is obviously a very talented young lass... too talented for her own good. She's smart, and she's an excellent gymnast (I found where she trains at: turns out it's the same team that's produced a couple of Olympic athletes). Plus her dad obviously is showing her how to think for herself: double-plus ungood that is citizen. Sad to say but ours is a culture that frowns upon individuality and achievement. The school policy wonks probably look at Deirdre the same way that the Matrix's Agents see Neo: someone who threatens to show everybody how to question the system. They couldn't stand to see her showing off her talent so they slammed the hammer down on her.

Either that, and/or because I've come to believe that for the most part our schools - and our entire current system of government - is hellbent on making the American people into a race of children that will look to the Big Daddy state for all their needs. Think that's worth defying and revolting against? Yer damned right it is. And I'll tell y'all this: any state trooper or police officer in North Carolina that someday tells me that my future six-year old daughter has to be in a baby seat is going to calmly, and quite confidently, told to stick it where the sun don't shine. Why should any of us give a flying rat's butt about these penny-ante tin-plated autocrats?

As ticked-off as I'm coming to be at how screwed-up things are, don't be surprised if y'all read about me getting arrested for taking a ball-peen hammer to one of those red-light cameras someday. Don't think that thought hasn't crossed my mind anyways...

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