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Nope, Don't See Any Connection Here...

Today's Boston Globe has two stories that, when I looked at them side by side, proved far more enlightening than, I suspect, the Globe intended.

The first was an account from a rather prestigious school in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Officials at the John D. O'Bryant School Of Mathematics And Science have been noticing that the students have been rather lackadaisical about getting from one class to another on time, so they implemented a new, tough tardiness policy. The headmaster walked through the halls, gathered up a bunch of students who were lollygagging, and took them off to the auditorium. There, they had to write a "reflection" on why they were late to their classes.

Well, the student body didn't take that well at all. They responded the next day with a show of force -- they blocked doors and entrances to make pretty much all the students late for their class.

The superintendant met force with force, and put the school in "lockdown" for the rest of the day. Students spent the last two periods in the same classrooms, and the administration made it clear just who owns the hallways -- and the schools.

It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out...

Meanwhile, a study by the Massachusetts Department of Education and Board of Higher Education (gee, I bet there isn't too much redundancy there, and I'm certain that every single bureaucrat in each organization is absolutely essential) shows that, while Massachusetts has one of the highest rates of high school graduates going on to college, well over a third of them are woefully unprepared for the academic demands of college.

I couldn't find more recent figures than 2004-2005 online, but here it shows that Massachusetts ranks fifth in per-student expenditures -- behind the District of Columbia, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. (Scroll down to Table 5.)

$11,681 dollars per year (it's probably up around $12,000 by now) per student, and they STILL can't get two-thirds of them educated enough to make it in college without "remedial" help.

That means the colleges have to teach their students stuff they should have learned in high school, but didn't -- despite the possession of a diploma.

Now, I'm just a product of the public school systems in the 16th-ranked state in per student funding (still about $800 more than the national average), so I know better than to make the "correlation equals causation" fallacy, but it seems to me that, generally, the more money we spend on education, the less we actually get in results.

The first story shows students focusing not on their education, but their perceived "right" to loiter in hallways and stroll into class whenever it strikes them as convenient -- and the administration reminding the students just who has the real authority in the schools. That sort of thing is all too rare, and -- I suspect -- is a factor in the second story: too many students getting diplomas that simply don't mean what they are purported to represent: a solid general education, and the educational system certifying that the holder has achieved a certain level of knowledge and skill.

Every now and then, you hear rumors of school districts being sued for malpractice by former students who coasted through and were given (word carefully chosen here; they did NOT "earn" the right to graduate, but got them as gifts) their diplomas despite not being able to read, write, and perform other basic tasks to the level the diploma ought to guarantee. I think it's long past time for such lawsuits to start to break out.

Also, I'd like to see colleges take a hard look at the schools that are graduating so many students that need "remedial" classes, and inform them that their word (as represented by the guarantee implicit in a diploma) is no longer trustworthy. They're committing a fraud, and need to be held accountable.

A little while ago, I advocated abolishing the entire federal Department of Education and giving half its annual budget to the states, on a per-student basis, to use as they see fit in educating our children. I'm starting to wonder if I didn't think grandly enough -- perhaps we should bypass the state level entirely and simply grant it to the individual school districts.

I've always believed that the most efficient use of government resources is done at the lowest levels, when the government is most accountable to the people. The higher level of government, the less accountability there is, and the more inefficient the spending gets. This is possibly best exemplified by the federal Department of Education, which teaches not a single student, runs not a single school, hires not a single teacher. To the best of my knowledge, all they do is pass along federal monies to actual schools and colleges -- after skimming off a healthy amount for their own operations.

If you need any more proof, the Boston Globe has a third piece in today's edition. It's an opinion piece by a professor of political science and education, and it's just as muddled and confused and vague as you could possibly expect. As far as I can tell, Professor Henig wants all three of the leading candidates to think a lot about education, and talk about how important it is. Oh, and how the things we're trying right now aren't all good or all bad.

The one thing I agree with Professor Henig on is this: "When education does enter national political debates, it's highly polarized and not fruitful."

Somehow, though, I doubt he'd sign on to my plan to solve that by simply getting education out of the national debate by getting the federal government out of the education racket.


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Comments (201)

Find the error before JT co... (Below threshold)
epador:

Find the error before JT corrects it and earn a NH HS diploma.

"...perhaps we should bypas... (Below threshold)
LGD:

"...perhaps we should bypass the state level entirely and simply grant it to the individual school districts."

A local school board here in Wisconsin would love this idea. They had budget money left over after a year's spending on sex education and anti-smoking campaigns and tolerance for trans-gendered diversity, so they bought half a dozen High-def plasma TVs for the high school. Now that Blu-Ray is taking over, they'll need money to replace those TVs...

If the Department of Educat... (Below threshold)

If the Department of Education were shut down today,

would there be any schools that couldn't open on Monday?

"... diplomas despite not b... (Below threshold)
LGD:

"... diplomas despite not being able to read, write, and perform other basic tasks to the level the diploma ought to guarantee. I think it's long past time for such lawsuits to start to break out."

I used to do the enrollment testing for the small career college I work for. I flunked a student on the CPAt Reading test, which only requires 15 out of 30 correct answers in a multiple choice test. She was distraught. [Actually, I don't think she knows that word.]

"But I have a 3.5 cumulative GPA from Wealthy Suburban High School! How could I fail?"

I suggested she sue her school district. She never did enroll in the college.

Actually, you didn't think ... (Below threshold)
meep:

Actually, you didn't think grandly enough. The money should go directly to the students, to be used to pay for whatever schools they desired. Why should there be any state-run schools?

Hi, I would like to ... (Below threshold)
A. Sullivan:

Hi,
I would like to make a comment pertaining to the reason why O'Bryant students protested yesterday.

The main objective was to prove to the school WHY we were so late. I'm sure that you did your research and know that our school is prestigious as well as crowded hence making it hard to travel from one side of the building to the other.

We attempted to "talk it out" but it seems as if our school's administration disregards the needs of the students and only does things in their best interest. The highly illogical policy hit us by surprise - what basically happens is the administrators sweep the hallways as soon as the late bell rings and holds students in the auditorium for about 25min to "teach us a lesson". Many, including I, found this outrageous for they are combating tardiness with even more...tardiness.

As someone that was part of the protest, I feel as if the Globe along with other media sources did not adequately cover both sides of the story. If the student's perspective was put in consideration you would literally be in shock because this protest was carried out to prove that actions speak louder than words.

I've always believed tha... (Below threshold)
just me:

I've always believed that the most efficient use of government resources is done at the lowest levels, when the government is most accountable to the people. The higher level of government, the less accountability there is, and the more inefficient the spending gets.

I absolutely agree with this sentiment. I work in a school district, and think the further away from direct student instruction you get, the more incompetence and waste you will find.

Also, another huge problem that I see are mixed messages-even the same administrators in our district aren't on the same page, and if they aren't on the same page, it is tough for the teachers to be on it.

I'm sure that you did your research and know that our school is prestigious as well as crowded hence making it hard to travel from one side of the building to the other.

I am having trouble empathizing with you here. I can just imagine how well you will do when you go to college and you have a class on one side of campus, and you have to be at the next class on the other side of campus in 15 minutes, and Oh my, you are also going to be walking on crowded sidewalks.

Suspend all those students ... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Suspend all those students to blocked the school doors and make them attend summer school this summer

I try not to comment too mu... (Below threshold)

I try not to comment too much in the arena of public school, as I home school my four children. Now I home school for reasons that began with my daughter being ill, and whenever we considered putting the children back in school, the placement test put my kids 2-3 years ahead of their grade.

I spend around $1000.00 a year on now 3(as one graduated last year). I do agree that the states might do a better job directing funds, but it's the curricula that is the issue. I seem to believe that very little emphasis is placed on the fundamentals anymore, as there are so many politically correct agendas that need to be addressed.

I have found in the past 14 years I have seen tons switch to home schooling, and maybe the vouchers would work, as most leave the schools because they are not satisfied with public schools. In my town where there are around 4500 students from K-12 we have over 250 kids in our home school group. And we average 3 or so new kids a month.

Best thing to due is bring it to the light...
Just my thoughts

Sullivan when you get a jo... (Below threshold)
LC:

Sullivan when you get a job your employer will be even less 'understanding' with repeated tardiness because the traffic was heavy. There are just too many people out there wanting a job for him to put up with you.

" The higher level of gover... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

" The higher level of government, the less accountability there is,.." jay

That sure is true when it comes to President Bush!

Baghdad barney - "That ... (Below threshold)
marc:

Baghdad barney - "That sure is true when it comes to President Bush!"

It's true of JT also. JT, you need to be far more accountable and send to loonbats like barneyGrubble to "I was banned for the larger good" hell.

"Off topic attack"..come on... (Below threshold)
Ran:

"Off topic attack"..come on JT.. can't ya at least give Ol' Barn a week off?.. PLEASE!

Sullivan, when I was in Hig... (Below threshold)

Sullivan, when I was in High School corporal punishment was still a part of the school's discipline policy. Tardiness was not a problem then.

to LCtry being on ti... (Below threshold)
Eric:

to LC
try being on time for work when you have to leave at a prescribed time too. we do not have the option of waking up ten minutes earlier to make it between classes on time.
to HughS
well over here in the twenty first century, we have some more enlightened ideas. When the punishment for stealing was loosing a hand, there was very little theft. do you also suggest returning to that system?
I was also a part of the protest. I can not speak for the entire school, but my problem with the policy is that it makes no distinction between people who loiter in the hallways for ten minutes, and those who simply cannot make it all the way across the school through crowds in four minutes. People were pulled off to the auditorium when they were five steps from their classroom. the existing policy of allowing teachers to punish students themselves was fine. A student who is thirty seconds late should not receive the same punishment as a student who is ten minutes late. a teacher can understand that. The administrators ignored any explanation, even if the student had a hall pass, and sent everyone off indiscriminately. As for the protest itself, I have tried other methods. Emails are ignored, it is impossible for a student to make an appointment, the student government has no power except to organize dances, and everyone is far to busy to listen to what we think. There were few other options, and obviously two hundred other students agree with me.
when the students were sent to the auditorium, they were held there for half an hour. when they were late, it was two or three minutes. I don't know what brand of calculator you are using, but I think that being late is the lesser of two evils. to everyone who is mad about the protest because the students don't want to be punished for being late, ask yourself why they did not protest back when they were given detention for being late. the issue for them is not whether there is punishments, but the method. obviously, unlike you would like to believe, they actually value their education and do not want to waste their class time.
Democracy should not end at the school doors. High school students have the right to protest too.

EricWhen the... (Below threshold)

Eric

When the punishment for stealing was loosing a hand, there was very little theft. do you also suggest returning to that system?

That was a truly high school response. Congratulations, you're performing at your level.

I'll make it very simple for you. If you are absolutely determined to get to class on time, you can and will do it. My mention of corporal punishment was to make the point (which clearly sailed over your head) that corporal punishment had a way of focusing the mind of a young person. When you focus on getting to class on time, if that is your sole mission starting when the bell rings to end class and ending when the bell rings to begin a new class, you will get to class on time.

Crowded halls, loitering students, distance between classrooms, limited time....those are just challenges you must find a way to overcome. When you get out of school you will learn that employers call those challenges excuses.

corporal punishment simply ... (Below threshold)
eric:

corporal punishment simply made everything else, including school-related things, secondary. When I am moving between classes, my priority is to get to class on time AND prepared. If I have to choose between loosing two minutes of class because I must stop at my locker to get books and wasting the remaining fifty three minutes because I do not have the books I need, the decision is obvious. and don't tell me that I should get it before class, I cannot carry four ten-pound (not exaggerating) books, four two-inch binders, an assignment book, a dictionary, a calculator, and a translator all at once. In the same way that standardized testing leads to "teaching to the test," this system leads to everything other than getting there on time to be ancillary.
And it is still unfair and illogical to deprive us of our education to keep us from depriving ourselves of our education. If the policy were to give detention, as it was before, we would not be complaining.
Calling a perfectly logical reason why we can not always make it across a very large school fully prepared an excuse is a very ignorant thing to do.
I am not writing this out of self interest. I am rarely late, because I have a locker in a convenient location. I actually care about not only my own education, but those of the other students at my school.

This is a different generat... (Below threshold)
Student:

This is a different generation of students. We do not have similar opinions to those older than us. Having such a tardy policy only entices the entire student body to become angry and fearful. Being a student in this school, I should not feel the need to become angry or fearful.

I understand why the school administration would set up a tardy policy, but it was not the correct method to do so. There are students only steps away from class forced to miss twenty or more minutes simply to write a reflection on why they were late. Does this seem logical?

Not only are they trying to end tardiness, but they aren't allowing people to go to the bathroom, even with a hall pass. We should be able to be trusted. This is not a disciplinary school, but an exam school, yet we are being treated like delinquents!

When the punishment for ... (Below threshold)
just me:

When the punishment for stealing was loosing a hand, there was very little theft. do you also suggest returning to that system?

Nobody was "loosing" hands back then either. They may have been losing them though.

Think your comparison was also a good deal hyperbolic-I don't think corporal punishment for tardiness is quite the equivalent of losing a hand for stealing.

And I agree with Hugh. You might as well buck up and look for a workable solution on your terms that you are in control of, because the schools response is that lateness isn't going to be tolerated.

This is a different gene... (Below threshold)
just me:

This is a different generation of students. We do not have similar opinions to those older than us. Having such a tardy policy only entices the entire student body to become angry and fearful.

LOL I may not be from the same generation, but I have a daughter in high school. And if my kid was blocking doorways and preventing students from getting to class because of some lame protest over being tardy she would be in big trouble.

Also, I don't notice her being all that angry or fearful over her own school's tardy policy (teachers can give detentions for tardies and 3 unexcused tardies equals an unexcused absence), and her high school is four floors. So far she managed to get to class on time.

Maybe you should attend a public high school, and you will be less fearful.

to just meI do not t... (Below threshold)
eric:

to just me
I do not think it should be the responsibility of the student to fit the needs of the school. The school should set up a system that does not require students to find solutions to its problems.

We understand that lateness is a problem, and if you had been paying attention you would have noticed that our complaint is not that we are expected to be in class on time. The administration should be able to come up with a solution that is worse than the problem.

This is a differe... (Below threshold)
Maggie:
This is a different generation of students. We do not have similar opinions to those older than us. Having such a tardy policy only entices the entire student body to become angry and fearful. Being a student in this school, I should not feel the need to become angry or fearful.

This guy sounds like a jihadis, it's always
something or someone elses fault, never their own.
Gonna have a piss poor time of it, in getting
and holding a job.

*that is not worse than the... (Below threshold)
eric:

*that is not worse than the problem

Quit whining and blaming ev... (Below threshold)
Pat:

Quit whining and blaming everybody but yourselves for your misdemeaners.If you are fearful and angry and can't abide the rules go to another school.

EricYou miss the p... (Below threshold)

Eric

You miss the point...again.

If I have to choose between loosing two minutes of class because I must stop at my locker to get books and wasting the remaining fifty three minutes because I do not have the books I need, the decision is obvious. and don't tell me that I should get it before class, I cannot carry four ten-pound (not exaggerating) books, four two-inch binders, an assignment book, a dictionary, a calculator, and a translator all at once.

I will tell you to get all of those books and supplies (what, fifty pounds?)into a backpack before class. Go to school prepared because, as you have told us, getting from class to class on time is difficult. Remember, if this is such a difficult problem, make it your sole mission to solve the problem. Focus your mind on solving the problem. If that means carrying a heavy back pack or simply carrying fifty pounds in your arms, find a way to do it.

And it is still unfair and illogical to deprive us of our education to keep us from depriving ourselves of our education.

Eric, life is unfair and illogical.Learn that and remember it. You are not being deprived of an education. You are being taught a real life lesson in how to solve a problem. Believe it or not, but adults in business,medicine,the millitary (better be careful with them, Eric, they have a way solving these problems: see my point on corporal punishment)and other professions deal with these kinds of problems daily.

interesting that you should... (Below threshold)
eric:

interesting that you should misuse the word "can't." In many cases, it is simply not possible for us to make it to class on time. it is a big school, it is always crowded between classes, and we need to be able to get our things for each class.

What has America come to?</... (Below threshold)
Ms. F:

What has America come to?

It's such blasphemy that the educational system has come to this. I agree with the kids, it seems as if they're doing what's best for them. From the looks of it they were protesting for AFTERSCHOOL detention.

As a teacher it seems as if the administration is to blame especially if it comes to the point where students are actually stepping out of their brain numbed selves to take action against unfairness.

So please, get off your high horses and come join the sensible people.

This guy sounds like a j... (Below threshold)
Student:

This guy sounds like a jihadis, it's always
something or someone elses fault, never their own.
Gonna have a piss poor time of it, in getting
and holding a job.

Please do not say such discriminatory things, nor involve race into this. Such matters are irrelevant. I am simply a supporter of the protest. I have not once been late to class, nor was I involved in the protest, so do not assume such things. You also assume that I have never worked a day in my life, so before you conclude, think.

Also, I don't notice he... (Below threshold)
Student:

Also, I don't notice her being all that angry or fearful over her own school's tardy policy (teachers can give detentions for tardies and 3 unexcused tardies equals an unexcused absence), and her high school is four floors. So far she managed to get to class on time.

Maybe you should attend a public high school, and you will be less fearful.

I do attend a public high school. The thing is, is that our teachers should be the ones deciding to give students detention whether we are late. Some do so. However, administrators do not know who most students are and do not allow students to explain why they are late. There is no justification for that.

I find the justifications b... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

I find the justifications by students above quite bizarre. The idea that the punishment for being late is disproportionate because they were "only" a few minutes late but then were punished for an hour is indicative of the entitlement mentality that young people have today.

Not to mention the debasement of the word "fair". It seems that we seen "its not fair" whining whenever spoiled children are not allowed their own wills.

Eric:Having read y... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

Eric:

Having read your comments, I have one suggestion:

Find and read a copy of "50 Rules Kids Won't Learn in School," by Charles J. Sykes. (You can buy a copy on Amazon, if your local library or bookstore lacks it.)

You will benefit from doing so. And you can read it on weekends. Reading it need not impact your school day.

HughSAnd you are mis... (Below threshold)
eric:

HughS
And you are missing my point. We should not have to make being to class on time our sole priority. In fact, we cannot. we are in school to learn, not to get there on time. I really do not see why the first two minutes of class are so vitally important that we have to run to class (which is not allowed), carry fifty pound bags (not only would all the things not fit, but that is terrible for your back), and fight past people (risk getting suspended) to be there for them. Most of the people I have talked to would even be willing to extend the school day five or ten minutes so we would have enough time to make it between classes. For the most part, this is not a matter of motivation, it is a matter of physical possibility. We are not allowed on some of the staircases, which causes rubber-necking on the others. We simply cannot carry all the books required. we cannot travel all the way across a very large school when we are not allowed to exceed three miles per hour.
Even if it were possible, I still do not think we should have to devote so much time and energy to it. A student's focus should be on learning, not planning the fastest route to the next class. It is a school, not a job, the expectations are and should be different.

Please do not say ... (Below threshold)
Maggie:
Please do not say such discriminatory things, nor involve race into this.

Islam is not a race, unless you are of
the mistaken opinion that all who are members
of Islam (regardless of ethnicity) are all
the same. Repeat, Islam (moslims/mohammedons) is not
a race.

to SPQRwe are not ma... (Below threshold)
eric:

to SPQR
we are not mad because we are punished for half an hour, they have been doing that since I have come to this school. The difference is that it was after school. we are missing tests, quizzes, homework, and lessons that we need. if they held us in the auditorium after school for half an hour, we would never have protested.

to MarkLI have read ... (Below threshold)
eric:

to MarkL
I have read that book, but the lessons about how difficult having a job and paying bills and all that stuff will be rather moot if we lose the education required to get a job, and by extent, bills to pay.
We are not asking the teachers to coddle us. we are asking for the education your tax dollars are paying for.

I believe many of you are m... (Below threshold)
Student:

I believe many of you are misunderstanding what we are trying to say. Giving detentions after school and before school is acceptable. However, the method they are using to help lower the amount of detentions is unacceptable. Our school claims that being late lowers our grades because we then would need to "catch-up" with the rest of the class. There are students only seconds late who are being forced to miss half of class, which contradicts the previous sentence.

If they want to help fight tardiness, they should have the teachers decide what to do with the student. The teachers know their students, so they should understand how to deal with them. Instead of this, unknown administrators are the one enforcing the policy. We are simply protesting the policy. We are not all against having consequences when someone fails to acknowledge the rules.

The students want to express themselves. Although the way the students may have protested was out of bounds, it was at the time the only way to get our voice out.

However, the method they ar... (Below threshold)
Student:

However, the method they are using to help lower the amount of is unacceptable.

Replace w/ tardies

come on, I was starting to ... (Below threshold)
eric:

come on, I was starting to enjoy the debate. where did everyone go?

EricEve... (Below threshold)

Eric

Even if it were possible, I still do not think we should have to devote so much time and energy to it. A student's focus should be on learning, not planning the fastest route to the next class. It is a school, not a job, the expectations are and should be different.

The expectations are in fact different all across this big world we live in. Consider yourself fortunate to have the opportunity to attend such a fine school.

....that we have to run to class (which is not allowed), carry fifty pound bags (not only would all the things not fit, but that is terrible for your back)

My best advice is to lose that answer as fast as possible. It won't go over well when you're looking for a job. Maybe the blog owner, Kevin, will delete it for you....we had that discussion just the other day here.

Being on time is part of th... (Below threshold)
LC:

Being on time is part of the learning process. It promotes responsibility and discipline. I think these students are in for a real shock when they grow up and get out into the real world. There will situations and rules much more stringent than simply being on time. All this protesting implies they have too much time on their hands.

HughSsome of us are ... (Below threshold)
eric:

HughS
some of us are not satisfied with good enough. I realize that this is a decent school, but that does not stop us from wanting to improve it.

If we were talking in person I would say this extra slowly because you do not seem to understand: We are not looking for a job. We do not have jobs. We are students, some of us as young as ten or eleven. Obviously you do not care about either our psychological or physical health, and it is people like you who put the policies in place that we were protesting, and the reason we needed to protest to be noticed.

For crying out loud, stop whining about how hard it is when you have a job. You also had the benefit of being a child, and the fact that it has now ended is no reason to ruin it for us.

If you do insist on treating us like employees, at least respect our right to unionize and strike against a policy we consider unfair.

ROTFLMAO!... (Below threshold)
Maggie:

ROTFLMAO!

Eric/Student, I still find... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Eric/Student, I still find your excuses unconvincing. Repetition does not improve them.

I am reminded of when I was teaching part time at a local community college. One of my students complained to the dept chair that I was biased as I discriminated against students who did not do their homework and did not come to class.

to LCIt is difficult... (Below threshold)
eric:

to LC
It is difficult to respond without repeating myself, so you will have to forgive me if I do. Unless bending space is also part of the learning process, we will not be able to. It is not because we do not care, or because we are not trying, it is because there is not enough time to get through the school, past a thousand people, with all of our things, in under four minutes.

We will deal with the problems of having jobs when we come to them. In the meantime, we are dealing with the problems of being in high school in the only way that the administration will pay attention to us.

we do not have too much time on our hands, in fact we did it during school, when we were supposed to be in class, exactly when we did not have time, and because we did not have time.

*to make it to class on tim... (Below threshold)
eric:

*to make it to class on time

I heard the same complaints... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

I heard the same complaints and excuses for tardiness when I was teaching a course on a local high school campus.

I solved it by locking the class room door at the start of class.

If we were talking in... (Below threshold)

If we were talking in person I would say this extra slowly because you do not seem to understand: We are not looking for a job. We do not have jobs.

Eric,thank you for saying it extra slowly. I think I get it now. This is parody.

Satire is something that is hard to pull off because it must combine reality and absurdity, and the writer must spin it so that the reader remains, however so tenuously, in reality and not recognize the latent absurdity.

Your comments are patently absurd.


SQPRI am not making ... (Below threshold)
eric:

SQPR
I am not making excuses for being late. I am rarely late. However, the indiscriminate system, much like you, ignores the perfectly reasonable explanation why some students are late. And you can conceivably call any reason an excuse. Really, it just makes you sound like the type of person we (teenagers) really hate: you really do not care about us, you just want us to maintain the status quo and keep quiet. I am repeating myself because no one is listening, and that's why we have to make such a big gesture be noticed.

Not doing homework and missing class entirely are different and incomparable matters to being a minute or two late. That happens because the students are lazy.

I do not know why this is such a difficult concept for everyone to grasp. The administration claimed that being late was preventing us from receiving our education. to prevent that, they took us to the auditorium for half an hour, during school, depriving us of our education. Somewhere along the line, someone made a logical leap that I do not understand. If you could explain the theory behind this, I would greatly appreciate it.

I am sure that someone is going to say that we should not be late in the first place. Well, ignoring the REASONS that I have given previously, fine, we should not be late. However, there must be a better way to deal with it. Give us detention, suspend students who are repeatedly late, but it is very annoying to miss half a class, because we will fall behind that way. Quizzes are always done at the beginning of a class, and tests take the whole period. If we are less than five minutes late, then it does not make much of a difference, but if we are forced to be thirty minutes late, it is practically a guaranteed F. If they really cared about our education, they would think of something better. It does not take much creativity. We were not protesting because we want to do away with consequences, just ones that are not only worse than the infraction, but is the infraction itself.

SPQRfine, we will wa... (Below threshold)
eric:

SPQR
fine, we will wander the hallways. Obviously you do not value our education, or your own class time, but at least that way we would be able to finish work or study for the teachers who do care about us. The time would not be a complete loss.

MaggieROTFLM... (Below threshold)

Maggie

ROTFLMAO!

All I can say is let the rope out slowly. This might be one for the archives.

for everyone who referenced... (Below threshold)
eric:

for everyone who referenced how much harder things will be later in life

That is a problem for later. When a first grader complains about being unable to do subtraction, you do not tell them to shut up because division will be much harder. There have to be different standards. Just because you are bitter about your horrible job does not mean you can expect us to join you in your misery. Some of the students (excluding myself) are not cynical and jaded yet, don't ruin it for them.

Give them an inch and they'... (Below threshold)
Maggie:

Give them an inch and they'll take
a mile. Everytime.

*you do not tell him or her... (Below threshold)
eric:

*you do not tell him or her

maggieso you are say... (Below threshold)
eric:

maggie
so you are saying that they should not give us what we need because then we will ask for what we want?
it is a great reason to avoid doing anything for anyone. I should use that the next time my sister asks for my iPod.

At this point in time, unle... (Below threshold)
Maggie:

At this point in time, unless you are
gainfully employed, while in school
you are riding on someone else's dime.
And attempting to compare apples to
oranges does not a legitimate argument
make.
You've got a lot of growing up to do.

EricT... (Below threshold)


Eric

That is a problem for later. When a first grader complains about being unable to do subtraction, you do not tell them to shut up because division will be much harder. There have to be different standards. Just because you are bitter about your horrible job does not mean you can expect us to join you in your misery. Some of the students (excluding myself) are not cynical and jaded yet, don't ruin it for them.

I love my job. And I'm teaching my first grader addition and subtraction. There is no greater joy. And there is no yelling.

Are you projecting?

Oh, and let your sister borrow the iPod....trust me, you'll appreciate her support in the future.

Hugh, A classic in t... (Below threshold)
Maggie:

Hugh,
A classic in the making? And hung out
to dry by his own petard? Yep.

maggieat some point,... (Below threshold)
eric:

maggie
at some point, you were also riding on someone else's dime. You are making broad and cynical generalizations about humanity to justify keeping a ridiculous policy. I suppose I should take it as a compliment, now people are not saying that I am wrong for disagreeing with the late policy, you are just saying that the school should never give us anything we ask for because then we will want more. People always will want more, but that does not mean they do not deserve anything.

Eric,If most days ... (Below threshold)
U.P. Man:

Eric,

If most days you can make it on time why not all the days?
How wrong would I be to guess that at the beginning of the year tardies where high, and then dropped off and are rising again?

HughSmore progress! ... (Below threshold)
eric:

HughS
more progress! nothing even resembling a logical argument remains.

Eric, Student, et al.... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

Eric, Student, et al.

Keep it up. Ten years from now when you read the Wizbang archives you will realize how pathetically lame you sound. You will then find your comments to be more embarrassing than those baby pictures your parents will display to your potential mates.

Your best hope is that by the time you have kids your own age that the Wizbang archives will have joined those of Lt. Smash and A Small Victory in the Valhalla of abandoned blogs.

This Eric fellow is simply ... (Below threshold)
Etain_P:

This Eric fellow is simply astounding to me. Back in the day I was a long haired metal head slacker and I wouldn't even dream of copping an attitude like his.

I think there is some basic point that is missing from Eric. Eric you are not doing the school a favor by showing up for the classes and playing by their rules. They are doing you a favor by providing you with an education.

I would hardly even consider something as utterly basic as 'showing up on time' being a learning experience... but its possibly the first time in Eric's sheltered life he might be forced to do something he doesn't want to. Better get used to it.

Here are some zen koan's for you to meditate upon young grasshopper:

Necessity is the Mother of Invention
and
Where There's a Will There's a Way.

(By the way, Will refers to the force of character which propels you to do things you'd rather not in order to get things you want, in this case an education. Just wanted to make sure you were familiar with a possibly foreign term.)

U.P. Manyou would be... (Below threshold)
eric:

U.P. Man
you would be entirely wrong. since coming to the school three years ago, I have been late four times, two of them with passes (although that would not matter right now, passes no longer matter apparently).
However, this is almost entirely because I have multiple lockers, which I share with some friends so they are in convenient locations (despite this being against the rules). It also helps that I know someone who knows the exact second that the bell rings, so I know when to start running. Most people do not have these benefits.
I see people every day reaching class, rushing, ten to thirty seconds late. normally the teachers would let this go, they can see that they tried. now, those students would pulled away five meters from class, and sent to the auditorium. Even I have had a couple of close calls, and I have prepared a response for "what will you do to avoid being late in the future?"

"I will stop caring if I am prepared for class."

Eric,Don't fool yo... (Below threshold)

Eric,

Don't fool yourself; you've never served up anything resembling a logical argument. You have been played with here and treated quite gently.

Accept the advice you received and get to class on time.

EricIf I had attempt... (Below threshold)
Maggie:

Eric
If I had attempted such disruptive
behaviour, what I would have faced
at school would be mild in comparison
to what I would have faced at home.
Because I was riding on someone elses dime.
Apparently civility and good manners
don't apply to the so called 'enlightened'
generation of today.

Let me start by saying, "Mr... (Below threshold)
anonomous:

Let me start by saying, "Mr.Stembridge is a good principal." But like always, people become concern and too carried-away by frightening shootings in universities. I am a senior at the school and I had participated in the protest. Many students and I were furious by the claims you had published today in your article. Would "bias" be a right word for this? How much of it is actually true? This is why I am writing this letter.

Refer to article: "200 protest tardiness penalty" by Megan Hoolhouse, March 01, 2008

Their late policy is as follow: Immediately after the late-bell rang, even though students are just feets away from their class room were stopped and sent to the auditoium for a 15 minute writing on"how to get to class on time". The admins called this "sweeping", which conducted at the end of 2nd and 5th period. "Are we like trash? that sweeping to get rid of?", one of the student commented on the policy. Many teachers were annoyed as well, and are netural to this protest collectively held by students from all grades.


"protested a crackdown on tardiness yesterday by blocking doors and hallways and preventing hundreds of other students from getting to class on time" (Megan)

Was is really the protester that blocked the hallway? The one hallway and the only main stairwell that 1300 students stream through each period? Hundreds of students were on their way to the auditorium for the protest and simply had filled up the hallways.

"The headmaster put the school in safe mode," said Jonathan Palumbo, a spokesman for the Boston school system. "Any issue going on in the hallway needs to be addressed quickly."

Is it really that students that are in danger? Who got hurt? The protest was peaceful with no violence, though a student was hit by the door when a admin opened it with such force. At the second to the last periods, there was another planned protest. The Admins were just overwhelmed by the respond to their acute actions of the tardy policy that they called it a "containment lockdown". For the extra information, this containment drill was set up against intruders such as gunmen. They had used it to stop students from the protest.

"Officials said two fights had broken out at the school earlier this year."

I believe this sentence is missing a few words,"before and after school". We are teenagers, and arugments are always present. If people hold back their anger all the time, it could been even worest.

"bringing them to the auditorium and requiring them to write "a reflection" on why they were late."(Megan)

"It's not time for discussion!" the literal words spoken by a Admin. Students whom were caught by the policy were given a folder that "classifies" them. As of the reflection note, it was on "ways to get to class on time" not the"why" that students wanted to speak out.

"More than 200 blocked hallway and classroom doors, causing the entire student body to be late for class."(Megan)

This sentence is just rediculous. From "200 students protested" into "200 students blocked the hallways"? It shows just how bias is this article.

"Palumbo backed Stembridge's actions. "Apparently they're upset with a reinforced policy," Palumbo said. "They did this, as opposed to taking a more healthy approach to voicing their displeasure."

Students had told the admins and teachers their feelings towards the late policy. However, with no response and contiune rule, students were gathered to bring up the issue. Moreover, the "Admins" are rarely present. When we ask to see the admins, the office respond, "Oh they are in a meeting now", or "sorry, they are not in today".


The aftermath of the protest were surely astonishing. The senior and junior advisors said they will no longer assistance their students. Thus, all school activities are canceled as of Friday (eg. Prom, Graduation, Clubs, ect.). This had become an esculated problem, and will continue be for the up coming week.


Sincerely,

Annoymus
depp=true
notiz=spamming or trolling always causes disemvowelment

How immature and disingenuo... (Below threshold)
Maggie:

How immature and disingenuous Eric, your
ip address and email address gave you
away posting as 'anonomous'.

To maggiethat lett... (Below threshold)
Cantabery:

To maggie

that letter was posted by some one nameuobtex, Eric is just copyed and pasted up here.

Roosevelt once said to "spe... (Below threshold)
A. Sullivan:

Roosevelt once said to "speak softly and carry a big stick" which is exactly what these fine students have demonstrated.

I would like to start off by saying that what I am reading is epic. First off, the explanations that the O'Bryant students, including I, have provided are understandable by all means and repetition was the only way to get it through those hard heads of yours.

This is America and everybody has the right to protest. What this situation has done is proven that the First Amendment's rights really aren't granted in this institution thence action had to be taken.

Secondly I would like to address the fact that we wouldn't be late if we were given the power to run at lightning speed without running into other kids that are doing likewise.

As a student of the O'Bryant I am proud of what happened on Friday. We demonstrated that we had the ability to join forces and protest what we considered was unfair. Over 200 students, that were petrified of the repercussions, decided to band together and scare the proverbial crap out of the administration. Solidarity is key and it says a lot about our community.

Anyway, many of the issues and reasoning have been stated. I will point you in the direction of two sites that adequately explain why we went to the extent of staging a non-violent protest. Keep in mind, you are nothing to us - our school is our problem so your "suggestions" will be taken lightheartedly.

A">http://bostonist.com/2008/03/01/students_protes.php">A Student's Point of View

More POVs

Anonymous are you sure you ... (Below threshold)
just me:

Anonymous are you sure you are a high school senior? I am guessing remedial writing will be in your college future.

interesting that you should misuse the word "can't." In many cases, it is simply not possible for us to make it to class on time. it is a big school, it is always crowded between classes, and we need to be able to get our things for each class.

Let's go back to my daughter. She has a high school with four floors, her locker is on the third floor, and her classes are located on multiple floors. Tardiness is not a problem for her.

The point is that you need to grow up, and take some resonsibiity for yourself and get yourself to class on time. Your youth is not an excuse to work on that later. If your education is important to you, you will do what it takes to get to class on time.

And understand we have all been in high school. We have all had to follow the same rules about being to class on time. Holding kids accountable for arriving to class on time isn't anything new.

Mark LIf you do not ... (Below threshold)
eric:

Mark L
If you do not have a logical contribution to add, please do not waste my time. Insults are the last refuge of a poor argument.

Etain_P
I am "copping an attitude like this" because I am not a slacker. I am in two AP classes, getting good grades in them, and I could have gone to Boston Latin if I wanted to. I do my work, I do get to class on time, and I have studied enough history to recognize injustice and the value of protest, and read enough books to argue that.

Imagine me saying this slowly and condescendingly: we are not protesting consequences for being late in general, just this one. To prevent us from being two minutes late and wasting class time, they are "sweeping" us off to the auditorium and making us twenty minutes late. Not even the laziest student is that late, and yet they consider it to be an acceptable and logical punishment.

If you are going to join an argument, at least read the previous parts of it, so I do not have to repeat myself. I have no problem being on time. I am always on time. I consider this system ridiculous however, and protesting is the only way to get the administration to listen to us (I have tried emails, and they will not schedule appointments). For at least the fifth time, wanting us to be on time is reasonable, forcing us to be late because we are late is much worse for our education than missing the first two minutes of class.

HughS
Are you blind or just stupid? I AM ALWAYS ON TIME. I HAVE NO PROBLEM BEING EXPECTED TO BE ON TIME.
I ask you what the logic in the system is. I asked someone to explain the leap they made, and no one has been able to. Let us move back to a simple syllogism if you do not think that I have been logical.
Being late is bad.
Bad things should be avoided.
Therefore, being late should be avoided.
And yet the punishment for being late is to be held until you are even later. The reflection they make the detainees write is no worse than standard class. If someone could explain to me how this is beneficial to our education, and why there is no better alternative, I will accept your position, and leave.

Maggie
We are wasting our time in the auditorium writing a reflection on someone else's dime also. What good is the eleven thousand dollars spent on each student if they are not being taught anything?
By saying that the generation of today don't care about "civility and good manners" are you suggesting that previous generations did not protest? If so, then you should open a history book. If not, you will need to explain that claim to me, because every generation since the sixteenth century has protested, and a few before that.

I was quoting someone who was posting that as anonymous. I do not know why the vowels were removed, but I did like it. I thought it would be wrong to take credit for it myself

A.Sullivan, et al, with all... (Below threshold)
Maggie:

A.Sullivan, et al, with all due light
heartedness you wont mind reciprocation
of adults reminding you to be seen and not
heard.
Cantabery, doesn't matter why the
dishonesty, he's caught.

And understand we have a... (Below threshold)
A. Sullivan:

And understand we have all been in high school. We have all had to follow the same rules about being to class on time. Holding kids accountable for arriving to class on time isn't anything new.

Seriously, tough crowd tonight. I'm amused that you think that times haven't changed. Wow, so I'm assuming you're a conservative?

Anyway, the typical thing to say is "take a walk in my shoes" although at the O'Bryant it would translate to bolt to class while bumrushing anyone that with an arm's length.

Okay well, I would like to repeat myself once again:
WE ARE NOT PROTESTING AGAINST PUNISHMENT FOR TARDINESS AS A WHOLE, WE WANT THEM TO COME UP WITH A METHOD THAT DOES NOT INVOLVE US AIMLESSLY SITTING IN AN AUDITORIUM TAKING CRAP FROM PEOPLE THAT REALLY DON'T CARE ABOUT US.

There was a lot of build-up to this situation and I would like to say that it started when Mr. Stembridge stepped into our school. I don't lack respect for the man but hope that he can manage to piece things together again - judging from the looks of things, it's going to take a while.

Eric, you posted that comme... (Below threshold)
Maggie:

Eric, you posted that comment under an
anonymous nic, you did not accredit
your post. The game playing is over.

"It also helps that I kn... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"It also helps that I know someone who knows the exact second that the bell rings, so I know when to start running. Most people do not have these benefits.

Wow. You (Eric), A. Sullivan, and Student are something else, aren't ya? So, your "mission", should you choose to accept it, is getting to class on time? Oh, what a world, what a world! Sorry, I don't buy that 10 lb book crap, either. Let's say I did, though. You know those little hand trucks with the straps that attorneys use? I see students using those all the time. And no, they don't take up a lot of space.

If your school is overcrowded, that seems to be the problem, and why is the faculty just now noticing your tardiness problem if it's always been a problem? Otherwise, it's your responsibility to learn organizational and time management skills. Throw a little discipline in there, and you might just be preparing yourself for the outside world, which is the actual purpose of this prestigious and highly selective school. Get it?

Academic Expectations: John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics and Science students will be skillfull:


* Readers
* Researchers
* Users of Technology
* Problem Solvers
* Communicators

well theres no point of deb... (Below threshold)
Cantabery:

well theres no point of debating here.
ones for it ones against it.

Eric,... (Below threshold)


Eric,

Are you blind or just stupid? I AM ALWAYS ON TIME. I HAVE NO PROBLEM BEING EXPECTED TO BE ON TIME.


I'll ignore your ad hominem attack and address your most recent comment, which I answered earlier and will now answer for the last time.

And yet the punishment for being late is to be held until you are even later. The reflection they make the detainees write is no worse than standard class. If someone could explain to me how this is beneficial to our education, and why there is no better alternative, I will accept your position and leave.

Your education ("our education") is not the exclusive beneficiary of this policy. It is also a matter of building your character and your integrity. It is a matter of building accountability and trust.

Dwell on that for a while.

And consider this, from the smartest guy in any room:


"Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy," says Buffett. "And if they don't have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it's true."....Warren Buffett

Best of luck Eric.


one has the power to delete... (Below threshold)
Cantabery:

one has the power to delete comments,
one keeps on posting

to LaMedusa

would you push little 9th graders to walk faster?
or should you take the fire-stair-case in the back? theres only one hallway to another building! what other options dowe do?

to Eric

you can't win here because you are a student! they are adults and they can do whatever they want.

Little 9th graders? Forced... (Below threshold)

Little 9th graders? Forced to walk faster? Man, how DARE they expect you to be someplace at a particular time!

Maybe they should treat it as a troubleshooting exercise.

You have 5 minutes between classes. You have to travel X yards, with one stop that takes 1 minutes. What velocity do you have to travel at to get to your destination? What short cuts are available to you? What are you doing in transit that's possibly causing a problem? When you get to class, do you mill around outside in the hallway, blocking the transit of others?

I went to a high school of 5000, regularly had classes at diagonally opposite ends of the building. It can be done.

Cantabery-"t... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Cantabery-

"to LaMedusa

would you push little 9th graders to walk faster?
or should you take the fire-stair-case in the back? theres only one hallway to another building! what other options dowe do?

9th graders aren't midgets, and my high school was pretty crowded when I was a freshman.

Again, answer my question:

If your school is overcrowded, that seems to be the problem, and why is the faculty just now noticing your tardiness problem if it's (overcrowding)always been a problem?

Don't you think they would have implimented this severe discipline or noticed overcrowding sooner?

To the posters of the O'Bry... (Below threshold)
MunDane:

To the posters of the O'Bryant School,

It is truly amazing that your school has either grown so in physical size or become the focus of magnetic monopole so as to increase the gravity on the grounds.

According to your school's website, since 1989 the school has not changed in size, nor has the number of students radically changed, yet 2007-2008 school year has produced these unique problems, insoluable by this years students, yet previously followed.

Furthermore, your "protest" was nothing of the sort. It was rather juvenile bullying of other students who had the temerity of making the others look bad by getting to class on time. Since you had no ball you could gather up and take home, depriving others of their education became your goal.

Think about it: Do you honestly think your headmaster woke up on Thursday and said, "Hmmm, bored today. I think I will go and pick on some students." Or, maybe, he is responding to the complaints of your teachers to the lackadaisical attitude toward attention to detail evidenced by habitual tardiness.

To JLawson if your... (Below threshold)
Cantabery:

To JLawson

if your school can fit 5000 people, then it concludes that this is built for mass population.

to LaMedusa

thank you for your concern abouit our school. i'll will tell you some more details:
the recent killings in teh university was a catalyst for this, and there were 2 fights that happened recently. there was no blood or anything, just ferce arguements.

our population now is 1300, last year was 1000.
last year they rearranged classes so it would easier for students to travel, but wasnt efficent at all.
our lockers are fitted along teh walls, and 100 lockers on each floor are jammed in a block
of 10ft by 30 ft.


im sorry , 10ft by 30 ft mi... (Below threshold)
Cantabery:

im sorry , 10ft by 30 ft might be too drastic, i think it better to say about 1/4 of a basketball court.

to MunDane

why are u making a imaginary thought there?
our princable is a nice person. It is the unfair rules they are inforing that angered everyone.

Jesus. If you don't ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Jesus.
If you don't go to this school and know exactly what the problem is, can't you all just concede that the kids may possibly have at least one legitimate gripe?

When your argument gets down to 'Slap a 50 lb backpack on and run down the hallway, kid '; then maybe, just maybe there's something wrong here.

I say this as someone who went in to this thread with the attitude of "Suck it up kid, and get your ass to class on time." Now, I'm not so sure.

A friend informed me of the... (Below threshold)
Kate:

A friend informed me of the protest. While I think tardiness can be avoided, the way they're being punished is completely unreasonable. Doesn't it make more sense to just put the tardies in detention afterschool instead of dragging them away from class into the auditorium to write a "reflection" on why they were late? If the administration isn't going to let you explain why you're late, why bother WRITING about why you were late? The punishment is utterly riddiculous and its a waste of time and money that are suppose to be spent on education. That's what school is for, isn't it?

And as for the media coverage; I read an article over here that failed to capture the ACTUAL reason why the students retailated. Yeah sure its disappointing boo hoo, but complaining doesn't get anything solved. Reaching a compromise or an understanding is what they need to talk about, and if the administration refuses to listen to the students, how else are they suppose to let them know they're unhappy without having to protest like this?

"the recent killings in ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"the recent killings in teh university was a catalyst for this."

The police are investigating a recent death by falling, but what killings are you taLking about and where is it in the news?

well, its late now, and im ... (Below threshold)
Cantabery:

well, its late now, and im goig to sleep.
i wont come back here to respond again, maybe until monday.

On friday after the protest, they had cancelled all the activities (eg. Prom, Graduation, Clubs, ect.), so this will be the main focus on monday.

If they dont have any resolution or reason with us, there could be another protest at the end of the week.

"why are u making a imag... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"why are u making a imaginary thought there?
our princable is a nice person. It is the unfair rules they are inforing that angered everyone."

Okay, we'll take your word for it the priciple is nice, so why all of the sudden this form of discipline, and what was it before? Was the discipline detention after class? You should be in the Spring Semester of the school year, so why are just now "noticing that the students have been rather lackadaisical about getting from one class to another on time, so they implemented a new, tough tardiness policy."

Correction: why are the ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Correction: why are the officials just now

However, the indis... (Below threshold)
SPQR:
However, the indiscriminate system, much like you, ignores the perfectly reasonable explanation why some students are late. And you can conceivably call any reason an excuse. Really, it just makes you sound like the type of person we (teenagers) really hate: you really do not care about us, you just want us to maintain the status quo and keep quiet. I am repeating myself because no one is listening, and that's why we have to make such a big gesture be noticed.

When excuses are tolerated, students spend more time in finding excuses than in performing. Much as you are here.

As for not caring about you, that is another example of how little you understand, eric. I went to a great deal of effort when I taught high school students to challenge them to perform. Accepting excuses can be the path of least resistance, but I was far more interested in challenging students to meet high standards.

If I truly did not care about students, I would not have spent time in the classroom being paid a small fraction of what my time is worth outside of the classroom.

There is a serious problem with student discipline today, in that students have been somehow taught - I wish I knew where - that whining about rules is more profitable than compliance.

Its not something I tolerate.

LaMedusa,No matter... (Below threshold)
Kate:

LaMedusa,

No matter what the punishment was beforehand, the one they're inforcing now is stupid. Doesn't disciplining tardiness with more tardiness defeat the purpose of the punishment? Besides, isn't the fact that the students have retaliated against the school prove that the punishment isn't working?

haa im suppose to go but si... (Below threshold)
Cantabery:

haa im suppose to go but since u wrote so much i'll try to answer u.

Northern Illinois University shooting on 02/15/2008 that killed 18 students is the topic i was refering to.

they implant this strict system is for teh good of the students, but its actually causing a bad effect.

im not saying all the students are great, theres always some bad eggs in the basket. but making this new policy that affected all the student body is just rediculous.

some students had wrote letters and this site here has a few. The third comementer was great on criticising the media for being bias bostonist.com/2008/03/01/students_protes.php

During the protest, I have ... (Below threshold)
Student:

During the protest, I have not seen one such moment where the protesters were intentionally trying to prevent other students from heading to class. Whatever some articles may state, such an event never occurred.

It is not that we believe that our headmaster is "picking" on us. It is assumed that the tardy policy was started to help control tardiness. Also, teachers do not need to complain about habitual tardiness because if they see a problem, they have the right to do whatever they need to solve such tardiness. One of my teachers has attendance given as a quiz grade, one gives detentions to those tardy, and another one gives detentions and forces them to write a reflection.

If anything is to be done, it would make more sense for the teachers to help motivate the students to get on time. However, instead it is the administration who is forcing students to miss class time to write a reflection when something important may be happening in class.

Again, I have stated that the reason for the protest was in order end this tardy policy, not to end consequences for not following rules altogether. The way they have handled tardiness was not an intelligent way. They should have a more proper method to deal with tardiness. Considering we students should be "problem solvers", it appears that the administration needs such a skill as well.

We all cannot be the ones solely to blame. If there are students who are constantly tardy to class, time after time, they should be the ones having the severe consequences. Everyone one else, like those who are a minute late only a few times a year should not need to be dealt with.

Have any of you never broken a rule in your entire life once? Are problems going to fix themselves if everyone keeps silent? I seriously doubt it.

ohh one more thing i'll say... (Below threshold)
Cantabery:

ohh one more thing i'll say.

i'll try to take some pictures and show all the people of our hallway situation on monday...

a picture saids a thousand words right?

A.Sullivan wrote:<blockquot... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

A.Sullivan wrote:

Roosevelt once said to "speak softly and carry a big stick" which is exactly what these fine students have demonstrated.

This incoherent use of a comment by Teddy Roosevelt about diplomacy and foreign policy has nothing to do with either school discipline nor with claims of civil disobedience to it.

Evidently, someone was tardy to 20th Century US History class.

SPQRand because of t... (Below threshold)
Steve:

SPQR
and because of that mistake, the entire argument is wrong?

Also, in responce to MunDan... (Below threshold)
Kate:

Also, in responce to MunDane, thought this article states that students were being blocked from entering class, I see no quote from any student confirming this fact. Actually, I see no mention of any students' oppinion anywhere. (yeah I really do think that the editor of this article ought to look over his work a bit closer...) And if students were knowingly being forced away from their classes, I don't see the need to put EVERYONE in school on lockdown for 2 periods.

Based on the punishment and on the reaction to the protest (such as the removal of school activities), I find myself concluding that the school administration is abusing their authority a wee bit.

My son goes to the O'Bryant... (Below threshold)
steve:

My son goes to the O'Bryant, and he walked through the area of the protest just before it happened. The hallway was not crowded until after the second (late) bell rang. any student who was on time made it through without any problems. The goal was not to block the hallways, it was to overload the administrators so they could not deal with everyone.

Obviously, MOST of the stud... (Below threshold)

Obviously, MOST of the students have no problem at all getting to every class on time every day (and, as MunDane points out in #81, have been doing so for nearly twenty years now), so it isn't a question of it being physically impossible to do, is it?

Do eric and his cohorts spend too much time talking at the lockers? Do they lazily meander the halls instead of going directly to their classes? Or, as might be deduced by their writings here, are they simply dullards who are easily distracted by shiny objects along the way?

Seriously, I wouldn't have been passed out of the 6th grade with grammar similar to that used by the purported students above! Perhaps the solution would be sending the stupid kids to special schools, with simpler layouts, so they wouldn't have to stress over complicated mental processes like figuring out how to get to class on time? Or isn't that PC these days?

Actually, Steve, the rest o... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Actually, Steve, the rest of his comment was worse, based on USSCt decisions, students do not have a First Amendment right to stage protests in hallways at schools.

"LaMedusa,<... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"LaMedusa,

No matter what the punishment was beforehand, the one they're inforcing now is stupid."

Nope. It is important, Kate. This late in the school year is enough to determine whether or not what they were using before was effective. A comparison would indicate just how "stupid" the recent enforcement is, or how justified.

"a picture saids a thousand words right?"

Yep, I would like to see them.

Thank you, Steve.A... (Below threshold)
Kate:

Thank you, Steve.

Am I the only one who finds it very amusing that the students are this misunderstood by the administration, that there would be so many students involved in the protest that they couldn't differentiate who wanted to go to class and who didn't. It really is halarious. :)

LaMedusa,When I sa... (Below threshold)
Kate:

LaMedusa,

When I said that statement, I'm comparing the riddiculousness (for lack of a better term) of their current punishment. And besides a protest against said punishment, what more of a comparison do you need to know that the "recent enforcement" is stupid?

Jim AddisonCome down... (Below threshold)
steve:

Jim Addison
Come down off of your high horse. They are not writing essays, I am not going to be picky if they use an adjective instead of an adverb on an internet conversation.

Obviously, at least two hundred of the students do have a problem. Normally, if they were just a minute late, they would not get in trouble, so it was not usually a problem. now, it is, even if they are ten seconds late, and they will suddenly miss twenty minutes of class as a result.

from what "eric and his cohorts" have said, they are usually not late. however they do believe that if they were, it should not result in the loss of more class time.

oh, and I have been to that school, there are no shiny objects. plain white and blue, to suppress independent thought.

Kate, your comment is a log... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Kate, your comment is a logical fallacy.

SPQRI heard about th... (Below threshold)
steve:

SPQR
I heard about this in advance. The idea was to have everyone late at once. While still being a protest, it was not meant to be staged in the hallway. it seems to have worked too well, because the administrators could not keep up, and all of the students were stuck in the hallway trying to make a point, but no way to make it. I agree that it should not have taken place in the hallway, but it was not intended to.

"When I said that statem... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"When I said that statement, I'm comparing the riddiculousness (for lack of a better term) of their current punishment. And besides a protest against said punishment, what more of a comparison do you need to know that the "recent enforcement" is stupid?"

Kate, recent enforcement for a recent offense noticed by the officials. For some reason, the officials didn't notice an increase in tardiness until now. Could it actually be that the same students complaining of their inability to get to class on time now were able to before?

Regardless, steve, there is... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Regardless, steve, there is no first amendment right to such a disruption.

Well I heard about this inc... (Below threshold)
BLS Senior:

Well I heard about this incident and would like to say that the BLS seniors extend their support over to the O'Bryant student body.

What had happened is morally unacceptable on the administration's behalf and we will back any future protests without hesitation.

SPQRI never claimed ... (Below threshold)
steve:

SPQR
I never claimed that there was.

I would also argue that just because the students are supposed to leave their civil liberties at the door, does not mean that the policy was not unfair to them. It is impossible, even for a parent, to get any attention from the administrators. I email on a regular basis, and rarely get a response. I call when I am especially upset about something. for this, I actually went to the school. I waited in the office for an hour, and got a rushed, ten minute interview. obviously, they did not put much weight on my opinion.

BLS Senior, you will "back"... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

BLS Senior, you will "back" any future protests?

ROFL

Well, there is a meaningless proclamation.

What color ribbon have you chosen to wear to demonstrate your meaningless support? Have to find a color not taken yet, good luck with that.

I cannot imagine how hard i... (Below threshold)
Steve:

I cannot imagine how hard it is for the students to get any attention. I do not think they had any choice if they wanted to make a point.

Our parents are lawyers and... (Below threshold)
BLS Senior:

Our parents are lawyers and judges, we're sure we can work something out.

;D

Steve, I cannot tell you ho... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Steve, I cannot tell you how much it annoys me when the phrase "it is unfair" is used as a synonym for "I did not get my way".

"morally unaccept... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"morally unacceptable"

How does morality fit into the equation if we are trying to determine why this punishment was enforced 5 months into the school year? Nobody chained these kids to their desks during detention, yet "They (the student body) responded the next day with a show of force -- they blocked doors and entrances to make pretty much all the students late for their class."

BLS Senior, yes, parenting ... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

BLS Senior, yes, parenting by litigation. It is going to work out great for your generation to have your parents complicit in your failure to learn self-discipline.

If we had a court system that had not already corroded from the inside out, courts would long ago have sent parents packing with sanctions who litigate against school administrations for the parents' own failure to raise their children.

LaMedusa,The schoo... (Below threshold)
Kate:

LaMedusa,

The school did see an increase of 300 students as compared to last year. Also, the rule became enforced directly after a week-long vacation. I wouldn't be surprized if more people were late than usual.

And if it's a recent offense, surely they could have instituted less strict rules to give those who weren't repeated offenders a break.

Indeed, LaMedusa, now attem... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Indeed, LaMedusa, now attempts by a school administration to control their charges is immoral.

The hyperbole is getting ridiculous .. but that matches the ridiculous behavior here by students and parents.

The failure of parenting going on in our society is going to have some immense consequences.

SPQRPerhaps its no... (Below threshold)
Kate:

SPQR

Perhaps its not the parents but the educational enviornment. They obviously found something wrong with it, I mean why else would the protest?

Kate, that is the second ti... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Kate, that is the second time your comment begged the question.

Could people just do me a f... (Below threshold)
A. Sullivan:

Could people just do me a favor and stop quoting the Globe and the Herald? I have lost all respect for both reputable newspapers for they are one sided beyond belief.

For once kids are doing the right thing by standing up for themselves yet we are being chastised. Is there no mercy for a tyrant's victims?

How did I not get my way, I... (Below threshold)
Steve:

How did I not get my way, I do not have a direct interest in the situation? I do not have a way. I think the policy is stupid, if you prefer that word. Ridiculous is also common. absurd, outrageous, preposterous, ludicrous, nonsensical, imprudent, inordinate, unconscionable, unreasonable, foolish.

I, for some reason, think that students who waste my tax dollars sitting in an auditorium instead of in class learning, is a bad idea. go figure.

"The school did see an i... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"The school did see an increase of 300 students as compared to last year. Also, the rule became enforced directly after a week-long vacation. I wouldn't be surprized if more people were late than usual."

Then this would have affected the students' attendance in September last year with the increase, not four months before Summer and different actions would have been taken. Last full school year would've been September of 2006.

A.Sullivan, tyranny? Your ... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

A.Sullivan, tyranny? Your debasement of language continues.

You just keep on fighting for the right to be tardy, it can be your generation's legacy.

SQPRThe students are... (Below threshold)
steve:

SQPR
The students are not represented, and must follow the administrations rules without any chance to have any influence in the decision-making process. How do you define tyranny?

Nobody chained these ki... (Below threshold)
Student:

Nobody chained these kids to their desks during detention, yet "They (the student body) responded the next day with a show of force -- they blocked doors and entrances to make pretty much all the students late for their class."

As I have stated in my previous post, there were no doors nor entrances blocked at all. If people listened to only the news and nothing else, people would not see that the news is watered down facts. The Boston Globe article is clearly one-sided. There are only quotes from the officials and administrators, yet none from the students.

SPQRMy wording was... (Below threshold)
A. Sullivan:

SPQR

My wording was appropriate and I stand by it.

If you're going to sum up our generation based on this conflict then I have the right to call you naive.

We have potential - we'll be the ones turning out to the polls, I'm sure we can make responsible decisions.

"Perhaps its not the par... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"Perhaps its not the parents but the educational enviornment."

It always starts with the parents. The school may have a lot of other problems that we don't know about, but the timing and the rebellion of the students is quite interesting.

SPQR,I beg the que... (Below threshold)
Kate:

SPQR,

I beg the question because it needs an answer, and I can't understand why the answer isn't so obvious to the administration. Their course of action is not working so they should think of a new one instead of forcing it upon the a majorety of the students who have already openly expressed their attitude towards it. Of course, the protest was an extreme action, but an action neseccary for an administration as ignorant as this.

LaMedusa,

Then I withdraw my statement, comparing the student population to last year's. However, my assumption for the increased tardiness still stands with it being because of the February break. But if you really want a straight answer, you'd need to ask the students yourself.

LaMedusa,Interesti... (Below threshold)
Kate:

LaMedusa,

Interesting in the sense that they disagree with the policy? I fail to see how interesting that is. Its more obvious, if you ask me.

And is it so bad that their... (Below threshold)
Kate:

And is it so bad that their parents teach these students to fight against what they believe to be wrong? Like I said before, sure it's upsetting that it had to come to a protest, but who's to say that they didn't exahust other options? Just because they're teenagers doesn't mean that everything they do is against authority. The adults' ignorance towards their oppinions is what made them come to this in the first place.

Kate-What is obvio... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Kate-

What is obvious?

"The protest was unusual at the school, which typically has a well-behaved student body of 1,300 and boasts test scores in math that are among the top in the state. Officials said two fights had broken out at the school earlier this year. When students came back from the recent school vacation week, the school's headmaster, Joel Stembridge, found many more students loitering in the hallways and taking seven to eight minutes to get to class, instead of the typical four minutes, Palumbo said."

Joel Stembridge and Palumbo are lying about the students' change in behavior right after the holiday?

LeMedusa,Stembridge ... (Below threshold)
A. Sullivan:

LeMedusa,
Stembridge and Palumbo said that to justify the policy. After vacation, like all vacations, we went about or ways in normal fashion.

Of course there's no arguing with you, you quoting the Holy Boston Globe.

It may not be obvious to th... (Below threshold)
Kate:

It may not be obvious to the administration, but to the students who had to endure the riddiculous punishment it was very obvious. And have you considered that the change in behavior was brought upon by the punishment?

And may I add that the article is a senseless site for shunning the oppinions and the situation of the students. The article is completely bias.

A. Sullivan-Then y... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

A. Sullivan-

Then you are saying that Stembridge and Palumbo lied about the usual 4 minute increase to seven or eight. You are saying that the people quoted and the newspaper are liars. One-sided and misinformation are two different things.

"The article is complete... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"The article is completely bias."

If what officials said is not the truth, they should retract what they said, and so should the newspaper. Again, bias is not the same thing as misinformation.

I think what we have here i... (Below threshold)
toddk:

I think what we have here is a bunch of spoiled brat teens drama queening.
end of story

I was a teenager not very long ago so I know how stupid and indignant teens can be over the dumbest of things.

Oh nooooo you might have to carry multiple textbooks, geez you're teenagers how out of shape can you be?

When I was a teen back in t... (Below threshold)
Etain_P:

When I was a teen back in the day, I carried every book with me in one super stuffed backpack. I never even used my locker. I let my friends use it instead. There are simple solutions to such a basic problem...

As to the two hour mass detention thing... I dunno, I would hate to see any of these kids in boot camp. "Mr. DI sir, waking us up at 3 AM is very inconvenient, how are we supposed to learn to be soldiers if we haven't had a good nights sleep? I say lets stage a protest boys! We'll get these silly DI's straightened up right away!"

I dunno this is the funniest thread I have read on a political blog in ages.

The art of the powerplay - ... (Below threshold)

The art of the powerplay - glad to see our Universities are teaching students practical things that they can use in real life. Meeting force with force is the usual response. It usually doesn't work, but that's no reason not to play the game.

Students: With your attitud... (Below threshold)
Pat:

Students: With your attitudes I'd say you would make good professional protestors. They get paid too. But,I think they would also expect you to be on time for your appointed task.
I hope that somewhere along the line you will begin to take your education seriously. Grow up and quit whining.

would you push little 9t... (Below threshold)
just me:

would you push little 9th graders to walk faster?

My little 9th grader is taller than I am and plays varsity boys soccer. I think she can handle walking at a brisk pace from one class to the next.

As for cries that the punishment is excessive, maybe, maybe not, but in the end that is the punishment decided upon by the people in charge, if you don't like it, then make sure you arrive to class on time.

Since I work in a school, and have kids in school I have a pretty good idea what is happening here. My guess is that tardiness has gradually become a major problem, and the teachers at some recent meeting asked for administrative back up, and this is the solution the administrators came up with. You may not like it, but they are the ones in charge, and while the punishment may seem excessive it isn't that excessive, so yeah, suck it up.

As one who has been a stude... (Below threshold)
engineerr:

As one who has been a student and a teacher, I can see both sides of this issue. As a student it was sometimes difficult to get from one class to another if they were on opposite ends of the building (even worse in college when they were on opposite ends of the campus). As problem solvers, my friends and I came up with solutions to prevent tardiness. We share lockers in strategic locations, carrued backbacks, didn't stop to talk in the hallways and learned to walk briskly. Occassionally we would be late. Sometimes it would be a teacher keeping us over, but all the other times it was our fault. We forgot something and had to backtrack, we dawdled and tried for that date with Mary Lou. The point was, it was always possible to get to class on time if that was your goal. However, with some that seems not to be that important of a goal.

As a teacher, the school I taught at had to trell with student tardiness. With a four minute break there was always 10% student tardiness. The administration assessed this problem and extended the break to 5 minutes. Tardiness fall off to less then 2%. Problem solved.

For one week.

Over the next couple of weeks, tardiness went back up to 10%. The student just regauged their time to the five minutes. They all could have easily made it to class on time, they just were gaming the system to see what they could get away with.

BLS Senior says... (Below threshold)

BLS Senior says

Our parents are lawyers and judges, we're sure we can work something out.

I've been waiting for a comment like that. BLS, ask the parents who are judges how they deal with lawyers that are chronically late for hearings. Ask those parents who are lawyers what the judges say to them when they offer the excuse that the hallway was crowded and they had to carry a fifty pound briefcase.

I do recognize one positive... (Below threshold)

I do recognize one positive note in this marathon thread. Student commenter A. Sullivan is developing a healthy contempt for the Boston Globe. Maybe there is hope.

I've only read down about a... (Below threshold)

I've only read down about a dozen or so comments, but I would like to remark on what a couple of students attending the school in question are saying.

With all due respect, HughS, you're being a task master without regard to the task. And the students commenting are shutting down communication here simply saying we don't understand while they make little effort to help us "understand".

HughS, let's say your boss sends you from one job to the next. Let's say it's across town, and he gives you five minutes to get there through heavy traffic then docks your pay for being late. Wouldn't you expect him to work with you and at least look at the problem systematically to find the cause? The solution might be to send you at a different time when traffic is lighter. Instead, he says, "If you want this job, you'll find a way to get there on time." Let's say you really hauled ass to get to the other job and another guy sent to the same job stopped for lunch on the way and you were both docked an hour's pay even though you were in the parking lot of the second job when time was up while the other guy was still at Denny's. I don't know about you, but I'd probably be looking for another job in the meantime.

To the student who complained he couldn't carry 50 lbs of books around all day:

You may have a legitimate complaint. I don't know, you've given too little information. But no one said you should carry 50 lbs of books. If you were being logical though, you *could* carry books for two (or three) classes if you know that one class is across campus from another and switch out books in between two classes that are closer together. This is what we adults call "looking at a problem systematically" to find a solution. You could talk to what's likely to be the vast majority of students who seem to get to class on time and ask how they do it - rather than use the "rail against The Man" approach. Tell me, how's that working out for you?

What it looks like to me is that there are certain students who really don't care and loiter in busy halls slowing traffic and holding others up and the faculty won't take the time or initiative to single these individuals out. This may be due to political correctness and "uniformity" thrust upon them by a bureaucracy. THIS is what speaks to Jay's second linked article.

OysterWith all due r... (Below threshold)

Oyster
With all due respect, I disagree with your point that I'm being a task master and your example of my boss sending me to a job across town. The latter is not applicable because class schedules are known well in advance, heavy traffic is a known issue and the tardy policy is known. Also, the penalty imposed in your example is known as sentencing disparity in the judicial system. Is it fair? No. Will it end? No.

My comments in this thread have been an attempt to eliminate a lot of noise and try to identify the real problem.

I have three kids in school. I am in those schools several days a week and, given that experience, I think I know what might be going on.

A certain group of students loiter around lockers, chat and generally are focused on some thing other than getting to class on time. These students are a small minority of the student population. The consequences of their behavior range from tardy slips to lower grades because of missed class time. If their behavior does not change, they eventually will not make it through school. That usually gets the parent's attention, particularly if the have not been paying attention up to this point.

As to the task master issue, my comments to Eric were very clear. He is aware of the traffic problem, he nows the class schedule well in advance, he knows how heavy the books are. With all of this advance knowledge (which is absent from your "my boss/across town example)is it asking too much of a young man to figure out a way to get to class on time? Eric says he gets to class on time. Maybe he should help his classmates that somehow can't do it?

The other issue of the protest is serious. Blocking exits and throughways in a school is a serious offense. I'm surprised the students were not at least suspended.....all 200 of them.

Hugh S,Though I do... (Below threshold)
Kate:

Hugh S,

Though I do agree with you that tardiness is aviodable, as Eric has said before and as many of the students said before, the issue at hand and the reason for the retaliation was because of the unreasonable punishment. They aren't saying that they shouldn't be repremanded for being late, but to think of a punishment that doesn't envolve cutting practically 20 minutes of class time writing a "reflection" as to why they were late, which is impractical because it teaches students not to be late, by making them even more late for class. Also, if the administration isn't going to bother to listen to an excuse, it makes writing one for 20 minutes a complete waste of time.

And as for the claim that the 200 and more protesters blocked the hallways and classrooms, until I see a picture or a quote directly from a student who did not agree with the protest and who says they were blocked from class, I cannot agree with that statement.

And to LaMedusa,

The article is bias towards the students. I see no imput from any of the students involved or even against the protest. It's painly obvious that it's completely one-sided and partial to the school.

KateComment #69</p... (Below threshold)

Kate

Comment #69

As a student of the O'Bryant I am proud of what happened on Friday. We demonstrated that we had the ability to join forces and protest what we considered was unfair. Over 200 students, that were petrified of the repercussions, decided to band together and scare the proverbial crap out of the administration. Solidarity is key and it says a lot about our community.

This is the statement I have a problem with. I admit it doesn't meet your requirement of wanting to hear from a student who was not a part of the protest, but it is a clear declaration of intentions and acts.

Its an interesting statemen... (Below threshold)
Kate:

Its an interesting statement, that's for sure and I do believe diplomacy could have been used to deal with this more civilized-ly. However, because of the ignorance of the administration I find it doubtful that the student body's attempts at negotiation would have been taken seriously; and it probably wasn't, for it to have come to this. And in relation to my earlier post, it mentions nowhere that they prevented other students from entering classrooms or passing through hallways. I stand by my skepticism.

HughSThat is only on... (Below threshold)
steve:

HughS
That is only one opinion. there are others like it, but none from students who were blocked from class by the protest, or who disagree with it. There were a few who did not want to do it, but because they were afraid of the repercussions, not because they disagreed with the protest. Really I think it was a very moderate approach to the situation. all they were really doing is being late for class. It is a mathematical impossibility that the entire school was blocked from getting to class, there are not enough students there to do that.

Steve: The ... (Below threshold)
SPQR:
Steve: The students are not represented, and must follow the administrations rules without any chance to have any influence in the decision-making process. How do you define tyranny?

If the inmates don't run the asylum, its a tyranny? Unbelievable.

kate: I beg the question because it needs an answer, and I can't understand why the answer isn't so obvious to the administration. Their course of action is not working so they should think of a new one instead of forcing it upon the a majorety of the students who have already openly expressed their attitude towards it. Of course, the protest was an extreme action, but an action neseccary for an administration as ignorant as this.
Begging the question is a term for a specific logical fallacy, Kate. it means you prove your argument by assuming that once you've stated it, its true.
And is it so bad that their parents teach these students to fight against what they believe to be wrong?
yes, kate, it is bad. Parents undermining school discipline is a significant problem in the reduction in school effectiveness in our nation.
A.Sullivan:If you're going to sum up our generation based on this conflict then I have the right to call you naive.
I'm summing up your generation based on my personal observations, and those of my friends and acqaintances in education. And my observation of the sons and daughters of friends and acquaintances.
We have potential - we'll be the ones turning out to the polls, I'm sure we can make responsible decisions.
Actually, from all my observations, you can't. Further, those young people I've seen graduate from high school in the last decade or so are singularly unequipped for reality in my experience. I've seen young people try this "its not fair" routine when subjected to requiremetns in the workplace, and its an attitude that fails in the business world. I've seen young people surprised that showing up, and "trying" does not satisfy employers. the busines world won't give you a "B" grade for just showing up as you've come to expect and your mommies can't harrass your employers into giving you raises.

The next decade or two will not be pretty for the American economy.


SPQRYou are comparin... (Below threshold)
steve:

SPQR
You are comparing the students to prisoners. That is the satirical argument students usually make, and you are trying to make it seriously. It is a school, not an asylum. I cannot decide whether to laugh or cry about the future of the world.

Kate is assuming that since she stated it, and you have not given a satisfactory answer, that it has become part of the basis for future argument.

Parents teaching their children to stand up for what they think is right is a good thing. Where would the world be without protest? African-Americans would still be at the back of the bus, monopolies would still be controlling the country, and I would still be paying taxes on my tea. I am sure you do not think that these things are comparable to student protest, but if we teach them that what they are doing now is wrong, it will lead to the same thought in the future when it is a more serious problem.

You made the generalization about the conflict.

I am quite certain that every generation in history has thought that the next one was going to destroy the world. When I was growing up, my parents were complaining about how the "pot-head hippies" were going to destroy the country. In the twenties, parents panicked because their daughter's knee was showing in public. Such is progress, and it always seems to work out. As a result of this protest, I am even more confident in this generation's ability. Also, who are you to decide whether a decision is responsible. You could be wrong just as easily.

SPQR-not every kid in this ... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

SPQR-not every kid in this generation is that bad. My "little" ninth grader finds this whole thing to be whining on the part of the students.

She suggested they carry books for the classes far apart with them to the earlier class. She also noted that she has a class on the 4th floor, her locker on the third floor and a class on the bottom floor, and she hasn't been tqardy for any classes this year.

So there is some hope at least for some of the kids in this age group.

Oh thank god, in your objec... (Below threshold)
steve:

Oh thank god, in your objective opinion, we have the perfect model for the future in your daughter.

Steve, certainly you are no... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Steve, certainly you are not a model, not least for your attempts to misrepresent my comments.

Begging the question ... (Below threshold)
Kate:

Begging the question is a term for a specific logical fallacy, Kate. it means you prove your argument by assuming that once you've stated it, its true.

I fail to see where I have done that in any of my posts, discluding the one where I found the views of students to administration (and visa versa) to be so misunderstood it was funny. That, of course, is my own personal oppinion, and I did not and do not claim it to be true for everyone else.

Parents teaching their c... (Below threshold)
just me:

Parents teaching their children to stand up for what they think is right is a good thing. Where would the world be without protest?

This parent in this situation cries fowl. If it were my kid she would be told to get her butt to class on time.

There are times when I would encourage my kid to take a stand, but this isn't one of those times. Being on time is one of those things that is important as an adult. Kids need to learn to be resopnsible, and I think the adult world goes out of their way to protect kids from their dumb decisions anyway. Let the kids figure out their own solutions, and learn from them.

"And to LaMedusa,</p... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"And to LaMedusa,

The article is bias towards the students. I see no imput from any of the students involved or even against the protest. It's painly obvious that it's completely one-sided and partial to the school."

Kate,

The article is a reportage of an incident occurring at a school of mathematics and science. It's not a "point, counterpoint." We are hearing a couple of the students right now in this thread:

"Our books are too heavy."

"We would have to run to class."

"The school is crowded."

Why do you think that kind of rebuttal would appear more sound in a newspaper?


I cannot believe that so ma... (Below threshold)
steve:

I cannot believe that so many students have said so many times that they are not against consequences or being on time, and you are still arguing those points. Even the most time-conscious student will be late on occasion, and even if that is just once a year, they should not lose thirty minutes of their class for it. Yes, there were students who loitered around the hall for five minutes after the bell rang, and they should be punished, but for the ones who are thirty seconds late once a month, it is an unreasonable punishment. They never protested after school detention, or suspension for repeat-offenders, but they did protest a policy that forced them to miss class. If they were lazy, they would have utilized that punishment to get out of homework, class, and tests. Instead, they are protesting for more class. Yes, they should get to class on time, but if they do not, they should not miss class as a result.

Oh thank god, in your ob... (Below threshold)
just me:

Oh thank god, in your objective opinion, we have the perfect model for the future in your daughter.

I would never argue perfect, but she does have her head on straight and isn't one to look for constant excuses or somebody else to cast blame onto.

Yes, they should get to ... (Below threshold)
just me:

Yes, they should get to class on time, but if they do not, they should not miss class as a result.

And my answer is as a parent, I would tell my child to do their best to get to class on time, and instead of encouraging my child to disrupt the class day, I would go to the administration as a parent to protext the current policy, but I don't see the benefit of disrupting the school day over something that doesn't appear to be a real problem for the majority of the student body.

I agree with you that tardi... (Below threshold)
Kate:

I agree with you that tardiness sould not be tolerated and that it can be avoided, but unfortunately it happens - to everyone. And this method of punishment is obviously jepordizing the future of many students. What if you have a test in the class you were late to? If you miss half the period then thats almost a guaranteed failure.

But for the last time, the problem isn't that they're being repremanded for being late, but the punishment for being late. THAT is where the article and some of your arguements fail to acknowlege how riddiculous (or not riddiculous) it is for students late to class (either as repeated offenders or unfortunates) to be taught that being late to class is bad, by taking them away from class to write a "reflection" for half the period.

Just meThey are not ... (Below threshold)
steve:

Just me
They are not trying to make excuses. They are not trying to find a scapegoat for their faults. They are not protesting because they do not want to be on time. I do no know how many other ways I can say this, but they are only protesting a policy that wastes their class time. Can you explain to me why this system is better than giving them detention after school? Why not call the parents, and let us deal with it? Maybe your daughter can explain it to me, because neither I, my son, nor anyone else I have been talking to can.

I did go to the administration to protest myself. I also tried phone calls and emails. Obviously, they did not work. The students are undoubtedly given even less attention. The protest disrupted ten minutes of the school day, for one day. The tardy policy disrupted twenty minutes of the school day, every day.

What if you have a te... (Below threshold)

What if you have a test in the class you were late to? If you miss half the period then thats almost a guaranteed failure.

That's a good point, Kate, but we may agree for different reasons. It actually places a very high premium on promptness, particularly test days. It also is a severe panalty for being tardy.

I think commenter "just me" has distilled this down a very understandable maxim: If it were my kid she would be told to get her butt to class on time.

Steve-"I cannot... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Steve-

"I cannot believe that so many students have said so many times that they are not against consequences or being on time, and you are still arguing those points."

Yeah, I read Eric mention it a couple of times. And you, of course. Ironically, Eric is the same kid who says his priority is to arrive to class on time.

For some reason, though, A. Sullivan has a different take:


"The main objective was to prove to the school WHY we were so late. I'm sure that you did your research and know that our school is prestigious as well as crowded hence making it hard to travel from one side of the building to the other."

Should these differing angles be included included in the newspaper? Incidentally, taking 3 to 4 extra minutes to get to class in a given day can add up to 20-40 minutes of valuable class time in a week (assuming you are only late for one class in a given day.)

HughSunless you have... (Below threshold)
steve:

HughS
unless you have never been late for anything ever, the "get your butt to class" theory does not work. It is virtually impossible to be on time, with everything, every day. something is going to go wrong sooner or later, and that could result in missing a test, quiz, and really even missing regular class time is a waste. With 1300 students, at least ten of them are going to be late for a class, whether because they dropped their books, or because a teacher held the class for a minute, or because they forgot something important in their locker. you cannot expect every one of the students to be absolutely perfect. something will go wrong, and that is a waste. It is not that hard to come up with a better system, something that does not waste their time and my money.

Eric said that his priority... (Below threshold)
Steve:

Eric said that his priority was to get to class "on time AND prepared." I am sure that even he makes mistakes occasionally, he said he had been late four times. That is a very low number, yet that results in the loss of two hours of class time.

Yes, that adds up to thirty or forty minutes, but with the new policy, suddenly that adds up to three or four hours a week. How does that make sense?

Steve-unless yo... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Steve-

unless you have never been late for anything ever, the "get your butt to class" theory does not work.

Eric indicates that he has been late, but it's still a theory makes work, paraphrased, of course.

Steveget you... (Below threshold)

Steve

get your butt to class on time is not a theory, it is a behavior. Of course I've been late to meetings and appointments before, but it doesn't happeen often. I strive to be prompt and I expect it of others.

you cannot expect every one of the students to be absolutely perfect.

I never said that. What I am saying, in my comment to Kate above, is that this school, given its policy, places a very high value on promptness and a severe penalty on tardiness.

HughSI have no probl... (Below threshold)
steve:

HughS
I have no problem with a severe penalty. Hold them after school ten minutes for every minute they were late or something, that is fine. Have them write an essay about the cotton gin that night. Make them do something that makes up for the class time that they missed, instead of making them lose more. Every student is going to be late sooner or later, just as every person is going to be late sooner or later. When you are late for a meeting, do you think that it would make more sense to stay behind a couple minutes to talk to someone about what you missed, or do you think you should wait outside for twenty minutes? I realize that the situations do not parallel each other exactly, but they are similarly illogical.

Steve, you know how B.S. th... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Steve, you know how B.S. this sounds, don't you?

"Make them do something that makes up for the class time that they missed, instead of making them lose more."

What if you are late on a day that requires extra note-taking for a final? Sure, you can get papers and notes from the teacher and your classmates, but what if a group project or a test is scheduled? You are being inconsiderate to everyone in your class, not just the instructor. Funny, how that valuable time takes on a whole new meaning when the instructor uses it to educate on punctuality. Then, such an imposition seems so unfair or unreasonable.

Hugh, while my analogy is i... (Below threshold)

Hugh, while my analogy is imperfect, I think you took too much offense at it. While you are trying to pinpoint the cause of the problem you are decidedly working against productive dialog with these young people. Criticism is often a good tool in making counterpoints, but one should also foster logical thought.

These are young people who are still developing logical thought processes, making connections between cause and effect and understanding certain consequenses. I'm not making excuses for them as evidenced in my response to them in the second part of my post. But some things we, as more experienced and older people, take for granted.

It's one thing to just tell someone to quit whining and buck-up. It's another to couple that with encouragement and pertinent advice. Yes, some of the kids' responses have been juvenile, but they ARE juveniles.

Jay's very title says much. There's a connection here between the escalation of the students' behavior and the way the faculty has acted. The faculty has chosen the tried and failed "no tolerance" approach. And punishing students who do indeed make efforts the same as those who hinder them and don't try, seems to me to have compounded the problem.

Two wrongs here have made a bigger wrong. It's like when two kids are fighting over a toy. One kid had it first but the parent is tired of them arguing and takes the toy from both of them. It's not fair to the kid who had it first and both kids learn the wrong message.

OysterI appreciate... (Below threshold)

Oyster

I appreciate your comments. You make a good point about communicating with kids this age. As a Dad, I find it a constant challenge.

It's one thing to just tell someone to quit whining and buck-up. It's another to couple that with encouragement and pertinent advice.

Agreed. I thought my comments 64 and 77 reflected at least an effort at that. But then again, my 14 year old daughter would probably disagree :)

HughS,I suppose we... (Below threshold)
Kate:

HughS,

I suppose we do agree for different reasons. However, couldn't they think of a penalty just as severe that didn't take away from class time? Yeah, I'll beg the question again, SPQR, until I hear an intelligent answer either agreeing or disagreeing with it.

LaMedusa,

The bias article states in its headlines that they protested against the "tardiness penalty". Also, while I suppose there are those who had their own interior motives, the majorety of the students whom I've asked and who have posted here have shown their disapproval of the punishement.

And I fail to see how the tardies can't pay for inconveniencing the class afterschool.

Kate, you still do not unde... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Kate, you still do not understand the logical fallacy of begging the question. Sadly.

Well, unless you have somet... (Below threshold)
Kate:

Well, unless you have something to counteract it, I find the statement completely fine for me to use.

KateI suppos... (Below threshold)

Kate

I suppose we do agree for different reasons. However, couldn't they think of a penalty just as severe that didn't take away from class time? ....well, yes they could. I suggested one method in comments 16 and 14, but they weren't well accepted by the students.

If the overriding concern is to come up with an effective penalty that does not take away class time then I would suggest a response that will include the parent and the student: Saturday School and Summer School.

For example, if a student earns a certain number of tardies then that student must attend Saturday School beginning at 7AM and ending at 3PM. The parent must pay for the Saturday School expense incurred by the school.

If a student is chronically tardy and Saturday School doesn't remedy the problem, then a required session of Summer School is implemented, at the parent's time and expense.

I've actually seen this type of policy effectively used. It works. Why? because the parent is included in the process....early every Saturday morning and during the summer.

"LaMedusa,T... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"LaMedusa,

The bias article states in its headlines that they protested against the "tardiness penalty". Also, while I suppose there are those who had their own interior motives, the majorety of the students whom I've asked and who have posted here have shown their disapproval of the punishement."

Five students came here to comment, including Eric, who used a different screen name, anonymous. Eric also stated that he is "rarely" late. A. Sullivan said "The main objective was to prove to the school WHY we were so late. I'm sure that you did your research and know that our school is prestigious as well as crowded hence making it hard to travel from one side of the building to the other."

And who are the majority that you have spoken to, the whole 200 that protested? Was this face to face, via telephone, on another message board that we can view?

"And I fail to see how the tardies can't pay for inconveniencing the class afterschool."

Detention after school would not teach the value of time during regular class hours. If after school detention is what they were doing before, apparently it was not affective.

Some people just have no li... (Below threshold)
Cantabery:

Some people just have no life sitting here and flaming on this topic.
The students aready said their view and people still picking words by words
and on minor details that hardly matter to reason/respond of the protest.

Like the original creator of this article, he complains the education money per student and the quality of it.

Well, if you were that concern, why do you step it up and do some change about it?
"Oh, I cant do anything with myself only"
Well, then get a bigger group and protest about students not being educated!!
"Oh sorry, I can't protest, im just follow the rules, 'suck it up! and just let them be' "
Why don't you go out and actually help the educate the students?
"Noo, I'll just sit here and post comments about how they being ammature and don't know about the real world"

It all goes around, if u dont respond to a problem and get some attention nothings going to happen.

HughS,I actually t... (Below threshold)
Kate:

HughS,

I actually think your idea is a reasonable one, except for the payment needed for Saturday Schooling. I understand why you would suggest it; it also brings parents to discipline their kid and not just the school. However, wouldn't that incite authorities to hand out infractions for the smallest things? I sense injustice at a costly price. (no pun intended)

LaMedusa,

Phone, if you must know. And while I'm very much with the students, and my friends that attend the school, I'm not so passionate about their cause as to call every single student involved in the protest. And if you really want something set in stone, (at least, regarding your question) look at the article again, or ask them yourself.

And I beg to differ; being a student myself (of a different school) I find having to stay afterschool a huge inconvenience. I have sports, clubs, and a social life to attend to. I also consider the affect of having so many latenesses (and detentions) on my record. Colleges obviously won't bother allowing someone into their campus if they don't bother to show up on time.

"LaMedusa,<... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"LaMedusa,

Phone, if you must know. And while I'm very much with the students, and my friends that attend the school, I'm not so passionate about their cause as to call every single student involved in the protest." And if you really want something set in stone, (at least, regarding your question) look at the article again, or ask them yourself."

Then Kate, stop wasting time on this thread with your bullsh*t words like "majority" if you're not passionate (??) enough to link real sources to back up your argument. All you want to do is argue. It doesn't matter how much you "beg to differ" if you have no reasoning in your comments. No, I'm not going to take your word for it, and reading the article again does not prove that you spoke to anyone at all.

Incidentally, how is the tardiness at your school? Do you guys have a problem showing up for class on time? Nah, didn't think so.

Cantabery-

"Some people just have no life sitting here and flaming on this topic."

And yet you chose to return here to say all that. You missed all us flamers, didn't ya?

Wow. What a thread! I tri... (Below threshold)
epador:

Wow. What a thread! I tried to read every comment carefully, but it got difficult, as my daughter needs help with her science and math homework.

Did ANYONE mention that folks that arrive tardy disturb the educational process for the students that did get there on time and the teacher? Which is the REAL reason being tardy is wrong/bad?

"Did ANYONE mention that... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"Did ANYONE mention that folks that arrive tardy disturb the educational process for the students that did get there on time and the teacher?"

Yeah, epador, it's in there a couple of times. I'm too pooped right now to find both for you. I said it somewhere, and either SPQR or Hugh did before me. Whew! You have a wonderful evening! :)

Whew, Math done! She can w... (Below threshold)
epador:

Whew, Math done! She can write her essay on the history of the Indy 500 for science by herself.

Thanks LaMedusa. I take it none of the students addressed that issue?

Kate, don't let your AFFECT... (Below threshold)
epador:

Kate, don't let your AFFECT effect improper grammar. Stay in school. You have got a long way to go.

epador, notice they have be... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

epador, notice they have been reduced to "troll voting?" All there arguments abandoned them and "went that-away". Giddyap!

LaMedusa I've notice... (Below threshold)

LaMedusa
I've noticed the troll voting also. It's been one of the funniest things about this thread.

Troll voting? Yes, of cours... (Below threshold)
A. Sullivan:

Troll voting? Yes, of course, I've reduced myself to that. Perhaps your answers were illogical and we were right?

Anyway, I'm still up for debating. I'm sure you have plenty more to discuss.

epadorit disrupts th... (Below threshold)
steve:

epador
it disrupts the class much more when the students come in twenty minutes late. then the teacher is in the middle of the lesson. if they come in two minutes late, the teacher has just started, if he or she has started at all.

"Troll voting? Yes, of c... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"Troll voting? Yes, of course, I've reduced myself to that. Perhaps your answers were illogical and we were right?"

Then why didn't you rise above that with actual debating in your comment against said "illogical answers", if you are so up to it? Which ones were those by the way, and to which questions, A. Sullivan? I'm speaking only of your questions and the answers to them, of course.

Steve-"two minutes... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Steve-

"two minutes late" The article (yeah, that pesky article) says tardiness increased to seven or eight minutes. Yep, I'd say that's still disruptive.

La Medusa,"Then... (Below threshold)
A. Sullivan:

La Medusa,

"Then why didn't you rise above that with actual debating in your comment against said "illogical answers"

If you're using circular reasoning in an attempt to make a point then you'll get no answer from me.

Stop working logical fallacies into your statements, they're wasting my time and yours. By the way, your obfuscations crowd up your arguments - try keeping it concise next time.

Perhaps your answers were illogical and WE were right?"

First off all, I do not acc... (Below threshold)
steve:

First off all, I do not accept the article as absolute fact. Second, it says in the halls for seven to eight minutes, including the four minutes they are actually allowed. finally, there are always going to be students who do not care at all about their educations, but the majority of students are only a couple minutes late.

A. Sullivan-"Pe... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

A. Sullivan-

"Perhaps your answers were illogical and WE were right?"

Not if you can't tell me why they were illogical.

"If you're using circular reasoning in an attempt to make a point then you'll get no answer from me."

No I wasn't. I was asking you to specify which answers were illogical and why. That is not circular reasoning. No answer from you means you won't be derailing this thread with inaccurate semantics bullsh*t. That's a blessing.

"First off all, I do not... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"First off all, I do not accept the article as absolute fact."

What do you mean, first of all?!

"SPQR
I heard about this in advance. The idea was to have everyone late at once. While still being a protest, it was not meant to be staged in the hallway. it seems to have worked too well, because the administrators could not keep up, and all of the students were stuck in the hallway trying to make a point, but no way to make it. I agree that it should not have taken place in the hallway, but it was not intended to.

106. Posted by steve"

Who cares, steve? This still doesn't prove the punishment was not justified. If anything, the punishment for this stunt was completely justified if the idea was to make everyone late at once. That's about as immature as it gets.

Let's focus a bit.Th... (Below threshold)
Tunya Audain:

Let's focus a bit.
This article by Jay Tea is getting international attention not because of the O'Bryant incident but because of the shame of public schools "graduating" students into colleges who are unprepared. Jay Tea uses language such as malpractice, fraud, education racket in this thoughtful piece, yet people are stuck on a small tardiness issue.
What about the issue of giving diplomas to students who don't earn them? Is that fraud?
What about the colleges who accept these ill-prepared students? Are there no placement exams?
Is there a remediation industry that feeds on this kind of incompetence?
Let's look at this "education racket" for what it is -- a great deceit/scam on the citizenry and taxpayers.

International attention? C... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

International attention? Cool!

LaMedusaIt is called... (Below threshold)
Steve:

LaMedusa
It is called a typo. I was typing quickly, so sue me

That was meant to explain why they were blocking the hallways. It was never intended to cause other students to be late. I do not deny that it was immature, but let us face it, they are immature. That is to be expected of them, and while I do not think that this was the best possible method of dealing with the situation, I do think that the situation did need dealing with. If immaturity were worth punishing, a lot of people would never have made it out of high school.

"It is called a typo. I ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"It is called a typo. I was typing quickly, so sue me"

Oh, of course, steve. I should have known that the number two should have been twenty.

"It was never intended to cause other students to be late."

Then why did you say this in comment 106?:

"SPQR
I heard about this in advance. The idea was to have everyone late at once."

Nonsense, man. If kids are going to be educated and disciplined, it's not up to them to choose the punishment.

"Everyone" as in "everyone ... (Below threshold)
steve:

"Everyone" as in "everyone in the protest." The intention was not to cause other students to be late, or to block the hallways.
I have still not heard anyone explain the logic of the punishment. I also will not, as I have a job, two kids, and a wife to deal with, I do not have the free time to waste arguing with you. See you when we have a new issue to discuss, hopefully one that we have hope of agreeing on.

So that's why you kept comi... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

So that's why you kept coming back, because you don't have the time. I see...

Instead, check out comment 196.

"Let's focus a bit.
This article by Jay Tea is getting international attention not because of the O'Bryant incident but because of the shame of public schools "graduating" students into colleges who are unprepared."

I think we would both agree on this.




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