We Decide What is TMI

While reading a story about a public school that got caught overstepping their authority and violating parental rights in the process , a post written last year came to mind. In that incident a HS teacher incurred the wrath of the school board by warning students to be mindful of self implication WRT to an school surveys put in front of them. A 3 day roe ensued, mostly between myself and Thrill. You can peruse the post here, with a follow up here if so inclined. While re reading the exchange I was struck by the fact that so many of our regulars have dropped off the grid. CM made a comment last week about this place being on life support, I wish that was not the case but it is hard to argue against the numbers. Nostalgia being what it is, I wish our traffic was higher. As with any blog, it is the commenter’s, the regulars that discuss the issues put forth, they drive, they define the blog and give it it’s personality. Maybe 2014 will be better.

But back the Nosey Parker school administrators and their fishing expeditions into the private lives of the parents;

The game is called “Cross the Line” and many outraged parents believe that it does just that.

A middle school in Marinette, Wisconsin got a group of 5th-8th graders together and organized a really fun game that asked students to step forward to answer “yes” to a series of highly personal questions.

Questions like…

Do your parents drink?
Do you cut yourself?
Has anyone in your family been to jail?
Have you ever wanted to commit suicide?
Do you or your parents do drugs?

Unbelievably, school administrators believed that this “game” would help the kids to be better and kinder friends. “The intent of this activity was to build stronger, more respectful relationships among students,” said Principal Shawn Limberg. The “game” was part of an anti-bullying program.

Of course, Limberg also said the “game” was completely voluntary, an assertion that was disputed by one young girl who told her mother she’d have to go to in-school suspension if she didn’t participate.

Well, at least they did not window dress the intrusion with lame excuses about social and emotional development compliance.

It is always amusing to see the standard fall back position whenever they get caught snooping, a position that pivots from altruism (for the children) to policy (we have to do this kind of stuff to comply with our bullying prevention program), then to mitigation (It’s totally voluntary, no pressure on the kids whatsoever).

We have talked before about the advantage authority figures have over impressionable children. Kids are taught at an early age (mostly from the school personal themselves who pull out their In Loco Parentis card whenever convenient) that you do what you are told in school. The teachers wield the power, regardless if the exercise of that power is lawful or in the best interest of the student. Areas of a private nature, that have nothing to do with bullying prevention, are probed and examined in front of the entire class, with no disclaimers provided. The exploitation of the child/teacher relationship for some undefined gain should offend all parents.

As with the Dryden case last year, the facade they hide behind is ultimately the child’s welfare, yet, the circuitous path to that welfare, including clear direct violations of both the child’s and the parents privacy, is nanny stating at it’s finest.

I think we can all see how easily this could go sideways. This collection of information from unwitting children could be used to instigate social services investigations, to find out which parents are using their 2nd amendment right to own firearms, whether they’ve complied with Obamacare, what their lifestyle choices are, how they practice their religious beliefs, what the family’s political beliefs are, or to single out kids for forced medical or mental health treatment against the wishes of their parents. We need only look at all of the zero tolerance hysteria to see how quickly this could get out of hand.

Much of this sounds familiar, some of the exact questions the IRS was asking of Tea Party non profits, very similar intrusions, and for what purpose?

What websites do mommy or daddy visit, what books they read (does dad have a current copy of Maxim on the coffee table? Um, I think social services should be notified) How do they show affection towards each other, what causes do they donate to, or even info about their taxes, I can see an entire sea of areas that are none of their business yet inclusive enough to fall under ,”We need this info to protect the kids”.

It’s tough being a kid, even tougher when those that are supposed to be looking after you, charged with your care, put that care second to whims of an ever rapacious education system, one who would rather spend time on areas that do not bring attention to their woeful teaching abilities.

Comments are closed.

  1. Seattle Outcast

    With every thread eventually falling into the pattern of CM hijacking it to spread the word of Marx, I’m not surprised.

    Also, see LOTS of news stories that I thought would show up here for discussion, but if they do it’s a week later.

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  2. hist_ed

    Wooohoooo back to mandatory reporter follies. A yes answer to a number of questions would require a call to CPS and/or the local PD. And the other stuff is not their business (unless they choose to share).

    For what it’s worth, I am amazed every year at what parents and kids do tell us. I was in a meeting a little while ago with a team of teachers, administrators and such and one smart but troubled student. His mom was phoning in, obviously on something at the time, and slurred through a fairly detailed history of her ex’s criminal past. The school psych tried to cut her off a couple of times (it obviously wasn’t terribly productive and her son really didn’t want to hear it) but she just kept rambling on and on.

    One kid who made a school year hell cheerfully admitted to me that she hated her parents, thought they should get a divorce and sometimes made stuff up about me so that they would get into a fight about changing her school. Smart little sociopath she was.

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  3. Hal_10000

    CM made a comment last week about this place being on life support, I wish that was not the case but it is hard to argue against the numbers. Nostalgia being what it is, I wish our traffic was higher. As with any blog, it is the commenter’s, the regulars that discuss the issues put forth, they drive, they define the blog and give it it’s personality. Maybe 2014 will be better

    Part of that is on me. I’ve been posting a lot less and about a lot fewer things. It’s been kind of quiet politically and I’ve been fairly busy. But hopefully we’ll start ramping things up again. All we need is for Obama to screw up in a big way. Should take no more than a week.

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  4. InsipiD

    Yeah a few big missed stories and the death of the popular Mr. DJ posts have cut the number of comments a lot. It would be nice if there were a couple of very regular posts, maybe one each on monday and friday or something to keep things busy. A few non-political posts, as Lee sure wasn’t averse to posting a quick remark on some current event, would also add to the discourse.

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  5. richtaylor365 *

    Part of that is on me.

    I don’t believe that. You post more than anyone. Life can be hectic, especially with a new baby.

    As being probably the only retired regular here, my problem is not time, I could post more, but writing a post, especially if you care about the quality, takes time and effort. Often I embrace the “whats the point attitude”, like yelling in the forest if no one else is there, or interpret lack of participation as a reflection of my own stuff being boring or not interesting.

    Also, and here is a really dated analogy, it’s like being Paul at CHEERS, being part of something, than Cliff or Norm don’t show up for a while and you wonder what happened.

    So, here’s a thought, Thrill, Kimpost, Poosch, Cress, MY, Guitarcarver, Starvingwriter, Manwhore, WVR, Aussiesmurf, (and any others that I forget and have been conspicuously absent of late), check in once and while. Just because the next round is on you doesn’t mean you have to find another bar.

    InsipiD, that’s all doable. I tire easily over the slog of politics and try to post in other areas. But if something tickles your fancy, and this goes for everyone, shoot one of us an email and we will throw something up. I can’t remember the guys blog name but there used to be a regular here (I think he was a big Auburn football fan) that like once a week would shoot me an email on a topic that I shortly posted on, haven’t seen him in over a year now, too bad.

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  6. CM

    I think perhaps all those regulars have moved to Somalia.

    With every thread eventually falling into the pattern of CM hijacking it to spread the word of Marx, I’m not surprised.

    If anything is certain, it is that I myself am not a Marxist

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  7. blameme

    Hey Rich – I’m still here and War Eagle! Awesome year – not bummed about the BCS NC game at all – Auburn proved it belonged and the season was a blast. Beating bama like we did made anything else gravy.

    Anyway, I read from time to time, but frankly most of the posts devolve into shouting matches between one or two posters and become overly pedantic.

    Really has hurt the blog IMHO. I still like to read what you and Hal and others post, but the interaction with the readers has pretty much made it where I don’t read any of the comments.

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  8. richtaylor365 *

    Hey Blame, you guys are going to be good this year as well, that BCS NC game was one for the ages.

    Yes, It would be nice if things did not devolve into silliness, we will try to keep things moving.

    Don’t be a stranger.

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  9. ilovecress

    I still read most days – and I’ll keep contributing, but it gets tough when discussing a topic or issue devolves into point scoring between ‘the libs’ and ‘the cons’. When in reality I don’t think any of us fit into those boxes really that neatly. Poor old Hal gets it from all sides because he often doesn’t blame or praise the right people.

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  10. CM

    Well said Cress. I keep calling it ‘binary’. As in binary positions are taken or ascribed and no allowance appears to be provided for anything outside those narrow parameters.

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  11. hist_ed

    I am up and down on commenting-really depends on how busy I am. My wonderful new job situation means I have more free time because my soon to be ex boss can’t micromanage me anymore. Hence, more comments.

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  12. stogy

    I am still around a bit, but I am on the road so much that I seldom have the time or energy to comment much these days. I am hoping that things will settle down a bit later in the year.

    An abuse thread might be fun! Remember Lee used to do those periodically?

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  13. richtaylor365 *

    Hey Stogy, good to hear from you, but refresh my memory, what is an “abuse thread”? Is that directed at an individual or a group? Seems like we are always making fun of someone around here anyway so I don’t know how that would be different.

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  14. richtaylor365 *

    As in binary positions are taken or ascribed and no allowance appears to be provided for anything outside those narrow parameters.

    Let me ask you a question, isn’t that the way it is at all political blogs? Do you visit any left leaning blogs? Are they not just as binary? Not saying that it a good thing, I guess, folks are set in their beliefs, but there are times that I have taken a second look at something, most people have I think. And I don’t have to remind you to be honest here, I would expect nothing less anyway.

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  15. ilovecress

    It’s not about people taking opposite sides of an issue. It’s when there are three or four people arguing with **a position they assume the other person holds** that gets tiresome.

    It’s the assumption that the other side only holds their position because they are evil/stupid/bought off that’s annoying – which is exactly like all political blogs, and why this one used to be different – and better.

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  16. Iconoclast

    CM made a comment last week about this place being on life support…

    There were a couple of left-leaning blogs I used to comment on a couple of years ago. I recently went back to them to see how they were doing, but they’re now both dead as proverbial doornails.

    For what it’s worth. Not sure if it means anything.

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  17. richtaylor365 *

    Cress has answered it perfectly Rich

    OK, just so that I understand, you are backing away from the position that this place is too “binary” (the point that you have made here many times) and adopting Cress’s position that misinterpretation or projection is the problem.

    That is your opinion and you are certainly welcome to it, but honestly, I could see that being an issue with a new commenter, but you have been around long enough for folks to get a good handle on your belief system, particularly if that topic has been discussed in the past.

    Whenever I find my comments taken out of context or misinterpreted, I look at myself first, figuring I was not lucid enough and take another whack at it. If pettifogging persists than I move on.

    But as I said in the post, the commenters make the blog, so if this is a place that you care about or wish to improve, than the onus is on all of you to make it so.

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  18. CM

    OK, just so that I understand, you are backing away from the position that this place is too “binary” (the point that you have made here many times) and adopting Cress’s position that misinterpretation or projection is the problem.

    Ah no, misrepresentation or projection is constantly used to ascribe a binary position/opinion. It’s as if those on the right are able to have nuanced positions but those on the left can only be extreme left. Look at SO and Alex with all their constant lame “you’re just a Marxist” nonsense.

    …you have been around long enough for folks to get a good handle on your belief system, particularly if that topic has been discussed in the past.

    Right. So there is no real excuse. It’s just laziness. I’ve had to repeat myself consistently on some things.

    Whenever I find my comments taken out of context or misinterpreted, I look at myself first, figuring I was not lucid enough and take another whack at it. If pettifogging persists than I move on.

    The last two times I’ve not taken the bait.

    But as I said in the post, the commenters make the blog, so if this is a place that you care about or wish to improve, than the onus is on all of you to make it so.

    I think a big part of the problem is that obvious nonsense (including obvious misrepresentation, even after it’s pointed out) is ignored or even enabled simply because it’s the ‘correct’ flavour. People seem to have adopted a firm ‘us versus them’ attitude (as you point out in the other active thread, I get downvotes just for commenting) and will accept anything from their ‘own side’ if it’s anti -‘them’. Which is consistent with seeing everything as 1’s and 0’s. Generally there seems to be a very strong will for this place to be rid of anyone other than those who occupy a narrow spectrum of political thought. Which is why pretty much everyone else has left, or isn’t active.

    There were a couple of left-leaning blogs I used to comment on a couple of years ago. I recently went back to them to see how they were doing, but they’re now both dead as proverbial doornails.

    Those places will probably come alive when the POTUS is Republican. So they can attack them for having the wrong sort of birthday party etc etc etc. ;-)

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  19. Xetrov

    Well said Cress. I keep calling it ‘binary’. As in binary positions are taken or ascribed and no allowance appears to be provided for anything outside those narrow parameters.

    Your position is wrong.

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  20. ilovecress

    01110011 01101111 00100111 01110011 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 01110010 00100000 01100110 01100001 01100011 01100101 00100000 01111000 01100101 01110100 01110010 01101111 01110110

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  21. Iconoclast

    Those places will probably come alive when the POTUS is Republican. So they can attack them for having the wrong sort of birthday party etc etc etc. ;-)

    :-)

    Time will tell, I suppose, assuming we ever again get a GOP POTUS…

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  22. AlexInCT

    Time will tell, I suppose, assuming we ever again get a GOP POTUS…

    Not if the GOP can help it. These fucks are their own worst enemies. Especially those that are just as enamored with the big government shit and the pwoer it gives them as the left is..

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  23. CM

    It all goes in cycles. In every country. There’s a two-term GOP president not far away. It’s inevitable (despite the demographics not being favourable). Even if the next President is a Dem, I reckon they’ll likely only get a single term. Who wants 16 years of the same flavour of anything when you get a choice?

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  24. richtaylor365 *

    Times are different, CM. Never in our history have we seen such a large dependent class, one that prefers the status quo, and never have we seen a political party so adept at playing to that dependent class. All the dems have to do is convince 51% that the other 49% will take care of them and provide for their needs, after all, who wouldn’t want to take Pelosi’s advice, to chuck everything and pursue your dreams, being work logged is for suckers, better to live off others. Who is the one that said ,”Money won is much better than money earned”?

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