So my original plan for tonight was to write about HamJam #9. But my darling husband alerted me to an article which was just BEGGING to be responded to.
Cracked.com compiled a list of 6 stupid things that different school districts are doing “for the kids” which are both wasteful and stupid. I’ll go through them in the same order that Cracked did.
#6 – Forcing Students to Wear Electronic Tracking Devices
Instead of the standard Student ID with picture, name, and school info, two district in Houston, TX issued all students cards with RFID tracking tags in them (at a cost to the district of $150k). Theoretically this will help with tracking attendance (since state funding is tied to attendance). Here’s the big problem. It’s a CARD. You can hand them to a different student, or, (assuming that the school isn’t going to be constantly monitoring EVERY card and its location) just leave it in their locker. Also, even if the student DOES bring the card with them when they skip class, the range on the cards only extends 100 yards beyond campus. And since I’ve never heard of someone playing hookie within sight of the school, it doesn’t exactly seem effective for finding people who are, in fact, playing hookie.
There’s also a ton of privacy concerns tied in – hacking, tracking constantly, etc. And apparently, in case this wasn’t invasive enough, a school in San Antonio has taken it one step further! They’re putting ankle bracelets on kids who have truancy issues. Yep, that’s right, ankle bracelets…
#5 – Banning ALL Photography
In order to prevent child pornography (I guess in response to idiots distributing naked pics over text, etc), a school in England has banned ALL photography on school grounds or school events. This includes spectators at sporting events, field trips, school plays, etc. Because the danger of one idiot snapping a naked pic of her boobs and sending it to her love interest totally justifies Mr. and Mrs. Jones not being able to get a picture of little Suzie as the lead in the school play. Especially since most of these naked pics are NOT being taken at school or school events.
Here’s a novel idea – let’s have the parents actually impress upon their children the importance of NOT SENDING NUDIE PICS!
#4 – Absolutely NO Touching
In Fairfax, VA a middle school has overreacted to the issues of inappropriate touching by banning ALL touching. That’s right. Apparently they have decided that kids can’t figure out the difference between punching someone and high-fiving them. I mean, I know that I’ve lamented the state of youth, and yada yada, but seriously? Little Johnny doesn’t know that punching someone is NOT okay? Again, this is just lazy. How about we teach our children (and again, this shouldn’t fall on the teachers, it falls to the parents) what is and isn’t appropriate? Stop being your kids’ friend and be a freaking parent!
And after noticing that Fairfax had this going, a middle school in CT has adopted the same policy (apparently after one kid got kicked in the groin). Seriously? I’m pretty sure every kid on the planet knows that kicking in the groin is wrong. So the kid who did such a thing probably wouldn’t follow the rules of no touching.
#3 – Banning All Outside Food
So we all know that more and more allergies are appearing across the country. Some experts say it’s because we’re introducing allergens too early, some say we’re introducing them too late, some say we’re oversanitizing. Whatever the reason, more and more kids have severe allergies to foods. One Chicago school has decided to ruin lunch for everyone by banning kids from bringing food from home – unless it’s a strict dietary issue. So for every kid with a healthy immune system or a non-diet restrictive religion, they are all now required to buy lunch at school. And yes, they are actually requiring any hungry child to spend money at the school. I find myself doubting that this is even a theoretically moral issue – I feel like it’s probably financially motivated, because in this economy, I’m sure people weren’t buying school lunches when they could bring their own. So the school increased their lunch revenue. Apparently, however, students (and their parents) are rebelling against this and kids are actually skipping lunch altogether – which I’m sure is just SOOOOOO healthy.
#2 – Wearing Prison Jumpsuits for Dress Code Violations
Yep, you read that right. When your high school kid violates a dress code stipulation in Gonzales, TX, they have to wear a navy blue jumpsuit. What makes it more ridiculous is that dress code violations include cargo pants, baggy pants and t-shirts. Yep, pretty much every normal teenager will be forced into a jumpsuit. At least they didn’t choose orange though – gotta give them credit for that.
The real kicker though? Many of the students are intentionally violating the dress code so they can wear the jumpsuit! Yep, this sounds effective…
#1 – Bad Behavior = Fines
Oh yes, your kindergartner will now be coming home not only with macaroni art and marker stains, but with tickets and fines for bad behavior. And these are tickets from the police, not from the school – so you get to take your kid to juvenile court (by taking off of work), pay the ticket, and court costs, all because your 6-year-old was giggling with his friends and caused a disturbance. And no, I’m not exaggerating, many of the tickets are being given to elementary school kids, so there’s no way to make them pay their own ticket, like you can do with your high-schooler who can get a job.
So this is really punishing the parents for behavior that they have no direct control over. Because I don’t know about you, but when I was a teenager, I cussed at school. And it wasn’t because my parents were bad, it’s because I was a teenager, and that what teenagers do.
This is legislating morality – and seeing as that worked so well with Prohibition, I’m sure this kind of policy will prove to be successful (/end sarcasm)
Oh, and don’t forget that this places more of a burden on our already overtaxed courts and police departments.
Yep, all of these policies seem destined to be highly “effective”. Seriously, has everyone lost their minds?
Here is my overarching solution to all of the issues – PERSONAL AND PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY.
TADA! You’re welcome for solving these problems with a minimum of cost.