Educating Our Educators

This is going to be a multi issue rant; our education system, zero tolerance policies (zero tolerance anything is just stupid, period) our falling down on the job criminal justice system (indolence or duplicity, not sure here) and the extinction of the ability to weigh sound judgment in determining outcomes.

First off, I hate always dumping on the teaching industry and our education system in general, it is not the fault of the average teacher that our kids are so stupid, the system is so progressively biased, and money gets thrown down rat holes all under the guise of improving education. It is rotten from the head down and no amount of tinkering (at this point) can fix it. Stories of Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million donation to the Newark school system disappearing down the rabbit hole, DC kids getting $29,000 thrown at them, still dumber than dirt, NY mayor De Blasio and the unions colluding to feather their nest at taxpayers expense, our education rankings world wide (Damn Canadians, doing everything better than us), and the continual pleas of poverty from our teachers, always having their hands out for more. My bi annual property tax bill has 4 separate add ons to pay for education bonds, passed over the years to help our poor starving teachers, yet next month I get to vote on one more edu bond, measure S, it’s never enough.

So, here is the story for discussion.

A junior high school suspended a student and turned him over to police because of a “doodle” he drew showing a person being hanged, his father claims in court.
Robert Bernard Keller sued the Beaverton Police Department and Beaverton School District in Federal Court. Beaverton is a suburb of Portland.

Spend just a moment to allow the severity of the incident waft over you, a 13 year old kid was doodling in class (not sure how Nosy Parker teacher saw the doodle or even knew about it), the teacher rats him off to the principle who interprets said doodle as an implicit (or explicit, who knows how this guy’s brain works?) threat to do someone harm. Not bothering to like ask a few questions for clarification to maybe not blow this all out of proportion, the parents are called in, and the kid is suspended pending a “risk assessment”. Parents then tell principle ,”Fine, but no one talks to my kid unless I’m in the room, got it?”.

The inevitable soon follows, kid gets drilled by the school and the cops (who called them, is this really a police matter?) all with no Miranda and no parents present, law suit to follow. What I don’t understand is this, dad, obviously a lawyer, takes his kid to school May 2nd, knowing that his kid is scheduled for his risk assessment interview that day, why didn’t he stick around? If the kid was harmed (emotional distress is what the lawsuit lists as injuries) isn’t dad somewhat culpable not being present and not representing his son’s interests in the multiple hearings?

A few words about Miranda, SCOTUS has determined that minors should be afforded an expanded view concerning Miranda protections. The police know this, where Miranda comes into play with adults only when the investigation is focused on them as a suspect and they are not free to leave or terminate the interview, with juveniles, they are supposed to be Mirandized at all interviews, with a parent present.

As much as I lament our litigious society and think frivolous lawsuits are bad (losers should pay, simple as that) I hope Mr. “I’m too busy suing other people to sit on my own son’s interviews” lawyer gets a healthy pay day, courtesy of the local school system and police dept, both entities overreached big time here.

And this all reflects on the absence of sound judgement. Used to be that of all the personal traits agencies valued to hiring cops, the ability to use sound judgement in evaluating appropriate actions on the job was paramount. When anyone wields the power of life or death, to take away one’s own civil liberties, to affect arrests and incarcerate folks against their will, you want someone smart enough to follow policy but also one to weigh ALL the facts and determine the best course of action. School administrators hold similar powers over their students, when they are not allowed to engage their brain and most follow subservient like “zero tolerance” policies, juries need to spank them. The sad thing is that those responsible don’t get punished (yea, teacher’s union) and only the tax payers suffer, nothing a new school bond won’t fix.

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  1. CM

    Be interesting to hear if there is another side to the story. Can’t see anything anywhere, guess they’re saving it for court…

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