Tuesday, February 26, 2008

[Lebanon Truth] A Response to A Particularly Frustrating Comment

This post is written as a response to a comment on this post over at LT's.

Anonymous @ 5:30 PM.... I don't even know where to begin, except to say that my experience does not match your impression of LHS. At all.

I'm going to go through all the claims you make one by one... let's see:

Kids wander the hall regularly and in groups without hall passes.

Sometimes. And often, they get busted for it. How is this a giant problem again?

Kids smoke in the church parking lot, bathrooms, stadium, behind the school and anywhere no one is looking.

And? That's been happening for decades. It's also more of a police function, don't you think? I return to the fact that a rotating cast of dozens smoke in the church parking lot behind the school every day and the police don't do anything about it. Why blame the school?

Open PDA is prevalent.

Hm. I saw very little that was unacceptable, unless "open PDA" includes things like holding hands and hugging. If you have a problem with those, I suggest you stop paying attention to a public school and start paying attention to something a little less grounded in reality, because the only way to prevent such harmless gestures is to turn LHS into a police state.

The dress code is a joke.

Why is there even a dress code in the first place?

Disrespect to staff members is rampant.

And has been for years; the present is only different in that staff are not allowed to hit students (and rightly so). This is a school, not the Army. A little (or even a lot) of healthy disrespect for authority is fine.

Total disregard for district property is the norm.

Again, this is not new, and "enforcing the rules" isn't going to do a damn thing to change this. If anything, this is a symptom of something else.

Vulgar language is the way to communicate.

For the third time, this is not new. If you're suggesting this is a "problem" solvable by anything short of police-state tactics, then I would politely suggest you're in error. It's certainly also a symptom.

And besides, students have a lot to be angry about. They perceive that many adults in the community don't care about them and are more interested in playing games with their futures. I'd be mad too if I thought I was in that situation.

Confront them and face the tidal flow of curse words, laughter and total apathy towrds authority.

Really? I never had that happen, and I worked with just about every student in the school at one point or another. I don't think "respect for authority" should even be a goal in and of itself - blind obedience and subservience is the antithesis of a good education, after all.

These kids are out of control.
And no one is there to control them.

That's just insulting to the entire staff.

There are alot of really good kids there who want to learn.

There are also a lot of really "bad" kids who want to learn, but are facing a variety of barriers. Let's talk about removing those barriers rather than trying to control behavior. Please?

But, too many students there would rather be at the mall.

Why is this the school's problem? How would the school even begin to solve it? Thousands - hundreds of thousands - of teachers, administrators, staff and other education professionals have tried to fight this. It's largely out of the hands of educators.

There should be zero tolerance for disregard of established policies
(which are outlined and approved by the school board).

What happens with zero tolerance? LHS starts kicking kids out for chewing gum or wearing the wrong T-shirts? Who wins then? Certainly not the students.

Let's start by enforcing the rules.

Another parting shot at the staff, huh?

Honestly, Anonymous, it sounds like you have some expectations for student behavior that are way out of line with what's possible - or even desirable. For the sake of the sanity of the students, I hope you don't work anywhere near a school.


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