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The inevitable victory

The instant I heard the story of King Philip High School and its two graduating West Point-bound seniors, I knew that it would eventually have a happy ending. The lines were too clearly drawn, the outrage too widespread, the opportunity far too great for politicians to ignore. The superintendant's refusal to allow the United States Military Academy to send a representative to formally accept William Small and Jeffrey Chin as cadets at the awards banquet would, in the end, lead to far greater accolades to these outstanding young men.

And I was right. (I probably shoulda said so publicly, but I was still in full dudgeon and didn't want to dampen the furor, even to the slight degree I might be able to.)

No, Chin and Small did not get honored at the Awards Ceremony. But the planned formal acceptance will take place at graduation this Saturday. But before then, Massachusetts' Governor Mitt Romney will hold a special ceremony just to honor them today.

As is well and fit. West Point only accepts 1,300 cadets every year. For a school to have one of its graduates attend is a singular honor. But to have two is astonishing.

I would so very much not want to be Superintendant of Schools Richard Robbat right now. He won his battle, but it cost him huge amounts of good will. I strongly suspect the taxpayers of the district will be spending a lot of time talking to their school board members about his future, and quite frankly it looks bleak.


Comments (9)

What in the world would hap... (Below threshold)
Candy:

What in the world would happen to these idiot military-haters if the military suddenly ceased to exist?

Another bad decision by a l... (Below threshold)
moseby:

Another bad decision by a liberal hippie.

I don't think this guy did ... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

I don't think this guy did this because he was a liberal hippy... I believe, having dealt with school officials on many occasions, that he did it "Because it's the rule!", as any "competent bureaucrat" would, demonstrating why no "competent bureaucrat" should hold a position where flexibility and judgement are required.

"I strongly suspect the tax... (Below threshold)
Joe:

"I strongly suspect the taxpayers of the district will be spending a lot of time talking to their school board members about his future"

...Not to be cynical...oh, all right, to be blatently cynical, I doubt that most people care to do that. At least locally, school board elections are poorly attended.......

Would've, Could've, Should'... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Would've, Could've, Should've, is only an excuse. The simple fact is he's an under the radar america hater running a school. In other words he's a 'todays' democrat.

Candy: Most likely we would... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Candy: Most likely we would be speaking German or Japanese.

Someone once said: Thank a teacher if you speak well; thank a soldier if you speak English.

My high school class had 2 ... (Below threshold)
ech:

My high school class had 2 going to West Point, 1 to Annapolis and 1 to Colorado Springs.

The listkeeper is right.</p... (Below threshold)

The listkeeper is right.

This is how schools work. There are rules that must be followed. There is almost no room for the immediate situation to be taken into account, no room for common sense. Which is what can be expected in any socialized system, but that's probably a separate rant.

The inflexibility, IMO, is primarily a way for administrators to avoid having to take any personal responsibility... they can always cite the rules and say it's not their fault. And they know if they make an exception that a whole bunch of people are going to show up and say, "But you let so-and-so..." and because they don't have the backbone to say "no" on their own authority "I've decided and I'm the decider," they will go to extreme lengths to avoid the situation ever happening to begin with.

Same reason they punish everyone who is "fighting" in school no matter the circumstance, then they never have to stand up to a parent and say that *yes* they personally determined that their child was the agressor and the suspension stands.

If school administrators had the ability to refuse service to parents who are too much of a PITA the situation might be different. A free market would take care of that so I suppose we're back to the rant about socialized and compulsory services.

Bravo to the two young men.... (Below threshold)
rookseven:

Bravo to the two young men. I would have no problem a West Point ceremony at my child's school. However ...
1) West Point officials have been quoted saying that some schools allow ceremonies at award nights; others allow them at graduation; still others bar them entirely.
2) This is a school award ceremony, and the school sets the rules. Community groups and organizations only, that doesn't sound unreasonable. I checked my kids' school, and last year their awards night was totally local: Rotary Club, local unions, the teachers, etc. Not one outside-the-district group.
3) Flip this situation 180 degrees. A young lady in my town has been accepted to Julliard in the fall. A few dozen kids get in, tops. Should Julliard want to have a special ceremony at awards night, do you allow them?
What if this was an ACLU national award? An award from the national gay-transgendered alliance? Or, gasp, Harvard? Would you allow them in?

Yes, I know we're talking West Point, one of a kind. But once you let one group in, folks, you're letting everyone in.




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