Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Of The Six Of You, One Of You Must Be A Parent

I do not have any children of my own, so parents, help me out here.

We go to the faculty meeting and something came up. Discipline. For some reason, the school seems interested in it all of a sudden. Naturally, the subject of cell phones came up.

Children are not allowed to have cell phones at school. So all of them do. Turns out, when an administrator or security officer notices a student with a phone, some of the kids complain that they see teachers using cell phones. Problem one: our school is starting to develop a culture in which the word of the student is taken over the word of the teacher. Here's the solution, as handed down by an administrator in whom my esteem has taken a severe plunge: teachers stop using cell phones.

You heard me. In order to stop our kids from using cell phones, teachers must stop using them. It's called setting a good example. Methinks the captain of this particular institution of learning hasn't heard of the Captain's Perogative: rank has it's privileges. I guess back in the day, he would have supported prohibition. We don't want kids to drink? No one drink. We don't want ten year old kids driving cars? No one should drive cars. Dang, he might be onto something with this good example thing!

He could always decide to be rational and accept that some people are allowed to do things that other people aren't. And there's nothing wrong with that! It's been going on since the very first cave woman told her cave man that she wanted to go on the next big hunt, and he grunted and kept watching the big game, leaving her to gather berries. Not everyone should be allowed to do everything.

But why be reasonable? This is education we're talking about. So teacher, the next time a fight breaks out in your room, whatever you do, don't use your cell phone to call security. You'll be setting a bad example. Funny how attending school every day and being on time hasn't had the same effect on students.

Seriously though, mom and dad, is this how you handle a child? We seem to say yes to everything. Is it ever ok, once in a while, to just say no?
Father of a four-year-old, so not yet directly affected by this.

Yes, rank has its privileges. And your administrator is an idiot.

I'm also not adverse to to the kids using cellphones in certain situations, like the lunchroom. Ban them in the class and in the hallways, but what's wrong with allowing calls while eating.

Teachers - keep it to your time and try to limit to breakroom or office if available, or empty classroom. No making calls while your class is taking a test.
What is it about adults these days that they're uncomfortable with asserting their authority and earned rights as against that and those of children?

OK, kids are people with "equal value" in a particular theoretical and philosophical sense, but not in terms of day-to-day reality, practicality, societally and so forth.

Why do we think inflating their "standing" helps them become adults? Why do adults think deflating theirs is health either for themselves or the people they're trying to raise to adulthood?

I don't get it.
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