GA Teen suspended for not hanging up on Mom in Iraq


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Kestryll
May 6, 2005, 01:58 PM
His Mom is deployed in Iraq and called him on his lunch break at school.
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/05/06/national/a092353D08.DTL

Oh and the school's website with contact info...
http://www.mcsdga.net/schools/high/spencer.html

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Beav
May 6, 2005, 02:19 PM
Well from the article...

It sucks but IMO you can't blame the school. How are they to know who is on the phone? You let one kid slide then all the kids are talking to relatives in Iraq. He should have acknowledged the request and wrapped it up instead of being defiant and then using profanity later. It wasn't the phone call that got him suspended but rather his attitude.

DarkKnight01
May 6, 2005, 02:21 PM
That disgusts me... those disrespectful arrogant asses !! Id do alot more than use some profanity if I were in his shoes..

"Kevin got defiant and disorderly," Parham said. "When a kid becomes out of control like that they can either be arrested or suspended for 10 days. Now being that his mother is in Iraq, we're not trying to cause her any undue hardship; he was suspended for 10 days."

Gee how nice of them... Im sure she will be so relieved :rolleyes:

Id be more than out of control... Id be putting folks in the hospital for something like that... A teacher tried to grab me once in HS... I grabbed his hand and squeezed til he was on his knees... They tried to suspend me... but my father called and threatened with his attorneys... they changed their minds...

DarkKnight01
May 6, 2005, 02:23 PM
It sucks but IMO you can't blame the school. How are they to know who is on the phone? You let one kid slide then all the kids are talking to relatives in Iraq. He should have acknowledged the request and wrapped it up instead of being defiant and then using profanity later. It wasn't the phone call that got him suspended but rather his attitude.

His attitude? No thats not the problem... when they said jump he didnt respond with how high... And he told the teacher hes speaking to his mother deployed in Iraq...

Beav
May 6, 2005, 02:32 PM
Well I wasn't there I am only going by what is in the article.

Spreadfire Arms
May 6, 2005, 02:34 PM
DarkKnight01 wrote:

"Id be more than out of control... Id be putting folks in the hospital for something like that..."

the report does not state that any physical force was used against the student. he was advised to terminate the call which he did not. his phone was not taken away, nor was he touched so it appears. you advocate violence when no violence or threat of violence is directed towards you?

doesn't sound right to me. :confused:

Jeff White
May 6, 2005, 03:06 PM
DarkKnight01 said;
Id be more than out of control... Id be putting folks in the hospital for something like that... A teacher tried to grab me once in HS... I grabbed his hand and squeezed til he was on his knees... They tried to suspend me... but my father called and threatened with his attorneys... they changed their minds...

Your dad would need his attorneys around here...to get you out of jail on an aggravated battery charge :uhoh: . I suppose that the teacher just tried to grab you because he was having a bad day? :confused:

Read your reply again. "Id be more than out of control... Id be putting folks in the hospital for something like that..." I think that you took the wrong lesson away from that experience. Just how would it help the situation to put someone in the hospital? IMHO attorneys are the proper answer to the situation that is the subject of this thread, and the threat of them against the school district may not have been the proper answer to your incident.

Jeff

Oleg Volk
May 6, 2005, 03:13 PM
I had to hit a teacher back in Russia who objected to the humor in my Basic programming commentaries and grabbed me by the lapels. Looking back, the only thing I regret is not hitting a lot harder. If I ever laid my hands on my students except in self-defense to to prevent a capital crime, I'd fully expect to be shot for cause.

ddc
May 6, 2005, 03:19 PM
There's got to be more to that story...

My gut reaction is that the school district grossly over-reacted. Hopefully more information will be forthcoming...

Viking6
May 6, 2005, 03:29 PM
"My gut reaction is that the school district grossly over-reacted."

Seems to be a lot of over-reaction on this thread.

SpookyPistolero
May 6, 2005, 03:33 PM
High schools are little more than p.c. prisons these days. Every right you have is stripped at the door and anything the ruling elite decide is against a proper learning attitude earns you punishment. It is a disgusting and vile mark on our society, and reason enough to home school your child in my opinion.

ny32182
May 6, 2005, 03:36 PM
I don't care if he's talking to the President; he had no call to do what he did if this story is accurate. 10 days might sound excessive, but I'd bet money that this wasn't the kid's first offense.

Anyone caught physically assaulting a teacher at my old high school would promptly have their ass kicked by the cops, and find themselves in jail. You would need a lawyer alright...

DarkKnight01
May 6, 2005, 03:39 PM
Your dad would need his attorneys around here...to get you out of jail on an aggravated battery charge . I suppose that the teacher just tried to grab you because he was having a bad day?

No he was an a$$ of a teacher... He grabbed me by the back of the hair... HE would have faced the assault charge... Not me, I was defending myself. Hes lucky all he ended up with was a sore hand.. He was known to get physical with students... why it was tolerated I dont know.. He was near retirement so perhaps they turned their heads coz he was near the end of his teaching career anyway.

Read your reply again. "Id be more than out of control... Id be putting folks in the hospital for something like that..." I think that you took the wrong lesson away from that experience. Just how would it help the situation to put someone in the hospital? IMHO attorneys are the proper answer to the situation that is the subject of this thread, and the threat of them against the school district may not have been the proper answer to your incident.

Well perhaps I was out of line, reading it disgusted me... And yes the threat of attorneys to the school district was the proper answer. It was self defence not just me going off and crushing his hand coz he put it on my shoulder... He grabbed me by the back of the head by my hair and was about to throw me, which is when I grabbed him.

spacemanspiff
May 6, 2005, 03:41 PM
we wouldnt be discussing this if i had my way and all cell phones were smashed to smithereens.

seriously, no one is so important they have to be able to take a call 24/7. the girls who answer the main phone line in my office even try to track down people so they can put calls through. ferchrissakes! theres freakin voice mail for a gosh darn reason!!!!

all right, i'm stepping away from my soapbox, and am going to spend the next hour in complete solitude.


[ohhhhmmmmmm] i am one with the universe [/ohhhhhhmmmm]

Alex45ACP
May 6, 2005, 03:42 PM
I wonder if many of you would feel the same way if his mother had been at a gun violence seminar when she called ;)

115grfmj
May 6, 2005, 03:45 PM
owe an apology not only to the kid and his familiy but to all americans
for such behavior. Even after they found out that he was telling the truth
the still imposed suspension. Thats just plain anti-american. Now this brave
American, has to think of her son getting suspension for talking to her on
the phone. My dad was in the army, and when your deployed there just
aint that many oppurtunities to make a call, and HELLO, can you
say time difference.

His Mom is deployed in a combat zone every phone could be her last.

I think we all owe it to this kid, to write letters to the superintendent
expressing our feelings, and demanding a public apology. :fire:

CannibalCrowley
May 6, 2005, 03:56 PM
Meh, I don't see the big deal. Kid gets caught disobeying school rules, refuses to correct the situation when asked, becomes disorderly, and is then punished accordingly. It doesn't matter where his mother was and it's not like he couldn't talk to her at a later time. True she might not be around the next day, but that could be said about anyone.

Even after they found out that he was telling the truth
the still imposed suspension. Thats just plain anti-american.Yes, because requiring everyone to abide by the same rules is "anti-american". :rolleyes:

mnrivrat
May 6, 2005, 03:56 PM
Once the teacher was told that he was talking to his mother in Iraq , the teacher should have backed off in my opinion. If there was anymore to be said or discussed it should have been later.

The way it was done shows a lack of respect for the student who may have been going through enough already with his mother serving oversea's.

Any part of what the student did that bothered the teacher and or the rules should have been delt with afterwards !

The direspectful way it seems to have been done would likely have sent me into a pissed off rage also.

My 2 cents worth !

svtruth
May 6, 2005, 04:16 PM
I think it is a little disgusting that schools seem to think that the First Amendment doesn't apply to students. Even profanity is protected. I've raised two children and taught lots more, and I have always found that quiet counselling, out of the heat to the moment is much more productive than over reacting.

gunsmith
May 6, 2005, 04:27 PM
A friend of mine died over there,another friend called me from there.
I was damm glad to hear from him,I never got the chance to say anything to my friend that died.
I am extremly angry that the school would interupt a call from this kids mom in a battle zone,it really may be the last time he talks to her.
whomever interupted this kid call after being informed of the circumstances of the phone call is too narrcisstic to be working with children.

they need to extract their cranium from their rectal orifice

Gunsnrovers
May 6, 2005, 04:33 PM
Good for the school.

You don't need a cell phone in school. School rules apparently prohibit the use of cell phones during school hours. The call was not an emergency. If you can't follow basic instructions in school, go somewhere else. I guess he'll have 10 days to take as many phone calls as he wants.

Can't abide by the rules, either work to change them or move on.

jefnvk
May 6, 2005, 04:58 PM
Yep, I do hate to say it, but I think the school was probably right.

For all of you saying that kids have a right to have and use cell phones in school, you probably didn't grow up with cell phones in school. They are a nuisance and annoyance. Yoiu know how disruptive it is when calls go off in class? And when people actually answer phones in class?

If I were the teacher, I probably would have backed off when he told me who he was talking to, simply because it was his lunch period, and it probably wasn't causing any problems. But I am not going to complain that rules are being applied to all.

Now, if the girl next to him was talking to her mom, who was off on an anti-war protest, and she wasn't told to hang up, I'd be mad.

mnrivrat
May 6, 2005, 05:08 PM
"Lost in Los Angeles"

:rolleyes: Ain't that the truth !

Gunsnrovers
May 6, 2005, 05:16 PM
Better then to be carried off by mosquitoes...

mnrivrat
May 6, 2005, 05:24 PM
Ah ! I see you edited your response .

I suppose I realy should also - I respectfully disagree with you ! :p

Gunsnrovers
May 6, 2005, 05:29 PM
Yeah. Trying to temper my flying fingers.

Sometimes it's way to easy to blast away on the internet when a conversation over a pint would be much more enjoyable. Heated perhaps, but more enjoyable.

rem
May 6, 2005, 06:18 PM
True she might not be around the next day, but that could be said about anyone.

Yeah, since we are all in a combat zone. :rolleyes:

The kid was on his lunch break. Just sounds like an over zealous teacher.

Andrew Rothman
May 6, 2005, 06:30 PM
This is just another example of our schools' decreasing ability to apply common sense, humanity and judgement, and increasing reliance on blind adherence to zero-tolerance, no-exception rules.

Powderman
May 6, 2005, 06:39 PM
I'm sorry....

I am in such complete disagreement with a lot of you folks about this incident. First, though, a question....

How many of you have a loved one deployed, RIGHT NOW?

How many of you have ever had a loved one off to war?

For those of you who don't--and those who are not old enough--you have NO idea how you spend each day when someone you love is in harm's way.

You can not know how many times each day your heart goes up in your throat and stays there; how it is indeed sane and rational behavior to break down in tears every now and then for no apparent reason.

How you tend to focus on little meaningless things because it helps to get your mind off of worrying.

How you almost go insane when you see a vehicle with .gov plates--ANY vehicle--in or near your neighborhood.

And, on the rare occasions when you do get a call--oh, glory! The way your heart leaps for joy when you hear the voice on the other end.

The miles and minutes melt away. You sit there and imagine your loved one being next to you. Sometimes, you sit and just imagine that you can touch them. And, if you close your eyes, sometimes, you can.

Where I work, the folks have been super supportive. Whatever I am doing--WHEREVER I am doing it--if necessary, someone will be sent to relieve me when I get a call like that.

Those people in that high school just don't get it. And, to the devil with political correctness.

If someone interrupted me like that while I was getting a call from my son, I pray that I would not be held responsible for my actions. Temporary insanity, call it what you will. With all due respect, you folks that have not been in that situation do not have a clue.

I've had to stop writing this three times so far--because this post is forcing me to think about a young man who is serving his country right now--who spent 7 months in and around Fallujah--whose gun tube fired the first shots in the battle to retake Fallujah;

Whose truck stopped less than 15 feet from an IED that failed to function; who saw a mortar round land almost right next to him that did NOT go off; who had to sit in a Humvee ALL NIGHT LONG while some idiot who wanted to kill Americans pegged AK and RPK fire off the side of the vehicle;

And, who by the Grace of God and the space of having to do a detail, missed a helicopter ride that crashed and killed over thirty of his fellow Marines.

This post is dedicated, therefore, to Lance Corporal EC Tovar III, who by the grace and mercy of Almighty God made it through all that--and who will be home in less than two weeks.

For those who have not been through it, you just don't have a clue. Sorry.

San
May 6, 2005, 06:46 PM
***?! If my mom was in Iraq, and there was a good chance I might not see her again, or not see her for a long time, I would sure as hell not hang up! I would have left the class, saying something like "fine, not during school hours on campus. Well, if im not on campus, you don't control me, bye." because as long as Im not on the campus they technically dont have jurisdiction over me. I would be really mad. I mean, the teacher should have told him to leave class if he was gonna talk on the phone. Its gotta be hard not seeing a parent for a while. It hurts. What the school did was wrong. They prolly didnt even bother to think of how much a kid just wants to be able to talk to his parents, and especially in a situation where the parent is in the military.

Powderman
May 6, 2005, 06:50 PM
Here is the text of a letter I just sent to the principal of that school. Come on, folks! If we can talk about different guns, powders and calibers, we can talk about this. Write these people! The link is in the first post. Keep it respectful; maybe we CAN make a difference.

"Principal Rutledge:

I have just read on a posted news article about how a student was suspended for talking to his mother, who was deployed to Iraq, on a cell phone.

With respect, I implore you to reconsider the suspension. While in other cases it might be appropriate, this student had only a brief moment to talk to the person who bore him, and brought him into the world.

The call itself more than likely provided a moment of peace and solace for a mother pulled away from a young man who she loves more than life itself.

I have a son who is now finishing a tour in Iraq. I live for his phone calls--hearing his voice is the most important thing in the world for me.

Please give this suggestion your most careful consideration. The rules can be flexed once in a while--and respectfully, may I suggest a bending of the rules to allow students to receive calls from parents who are deployed in a combat zone--and who may never have another chance to hear their children's voice.

I also note that your school is in Columbus, GA--which is very close to Fort Benning, GA, where I received Advanced Infantry Training in 1978.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Respectfully,

E. C. Tovar Jr.
Enumclaw, Washington.

another okie
May 6, 2005, 07:30 PM
If you know you're going to receive an important call, you can tell the office and have them come get you.

Cell phones are banned in school for a good reason. Make that for many good reasons.

How was the teacher supposed to know the kid was actually talking to his mother? Those of you that think the teacher should have backed off when the kid said so are obviously not around teenagers very much - they always have a story and do not consider it wrong to lie to get their way.

For that matter, how do those of you responding know whether or not the kid was actually talking to his mother? Maybe he was ordering pizza.

Cosmoline
May 6, 2005, 07:36 PM
Public schools have become training grounds for the next generation of sheep. Those who do not cower before the authority of the state are crushed. This is just one of a million examples.

spacemanspiff
May 6, 2005, 07:45 PM
how many millions of family members relied only upon letters sent home by their loved ones fighting battles overseas the last century?

was this the first time the child has talked to his mother since she went overseas? i doubt it.

just because we have the ability to communicate at any time anywhere, doesnt mean its really a benefit.


spacemanDESTROYALLCELLPHONESspiff

ceetee
May 6, 2005, 07:49 PM
+1 Powderman.

I have a son-in-law that did one tour in Iraq, and is going back soon. Even though I personally find him to be a cast-iron jackass who had no business ever marrying my daughter, he's still the father of two of my grandchildren. As such (if he ever starts to act like it), if anything happens to him over there, he would be missed. Eventually.

Please give your son my thanks.



On the meat of the story, we:

1. Don't know the kid's past history. Maybe he's "a troublemaker."
2. Don't know the exact circumstances, or what he told the teacher. The situation was probably a lot hotter than it would appear.
3. Don't know exactly what kinds of problems the school has had in the past from the cell phones. There may be a perfectly good reason for the "zero tolerance" policy.

It seems to me that everybody here played their proper roles. Mom called her son at whatever moment she could. As would you or I. Son took the call considering it to be more important that any picayune school rule. As would've you or I. School official enforced a rule (however petty or important it may have been) with enviable zeal. All in order, except for the silly-arsed way it was reported on. Aren't their more important things going on in the world?

rust collector
May 6, 2005, 07:53 PM
Who has personal knowledge of the identity of the person on the other end of the line? Who thinks they have all the relevant facts here? Who knows the student involved and his history?

When we jump on stuff like this we are being played by the media. I'm not making any calls based on one news story. The one thing I can guarantee is that there's a lot more to the story than we've been spoon fed.

charlesb_la
May 6, 2005, 07:54 PM
Is it just me or does the "It could be the last time he could talk to her" argument make you think of the "It's for the children" argument?

I don't have a dog in this fight but find it strange how some posters who hate the emotional side of gun control and other issues will use the emotional side when it supports their argument.

nico
May 6, 2005, 08:09 PM
The one thing I can guarantee is that there's a lot more to the story than we've been spoon fed.
EXACTLY!!!!

Noone here knows exactly what happened.
If the conversation was "Son, you need to hang up the phone" "F** off! I'm talking to my mom" then suspend the brat.

If it was "you need to hang up that phone right now if you don't want me to drag you down to the principal's office" "but, I'm talking to my mom who's stationed in Iraq" then the school was out of line.

I have a feeling that what actually happened was somewhere between those two scenarios. But, either way, noone here knows which situation or what combination of the two happened and trying to spout off like you do is ignorant.

It amazes me that so many people complain about insubordination in schools and then get so outraged that a teacher in a school told a kid to **GASP** hang up his cell phone.

scout26
May 6, 2005, 08:14 PM
I'm with you Spiff !!!we wouldnt be discussing this if i had my way and all cell phones were smashed to smithereens.

I refer to the one my employer requires me to have as "The Electronic Leash". Gets turned on when I walk into work and gets turned off when I walk out. Gets left home 2-3 days per week.

Boss standing in my office door: "I tried to call you on the Nextel, did you forget it again ??"

Me: "Nope."

Boss: "So you have it and forgot to turn it on ??"

Me: "Nope."

Boss: "I've been trying to get ahold you for 10 minutes."

Me: "I've been at my desk, I have a regular phone on my desk, Did you dial my extension ??"

Boss: "Uhhh, no"

Me: "Did you page me over the intercom, just incase I was in the warehouse ??"

Boss: "Ummm, no"

Me: "You just tried to use that Star Trek gizmo and then walked down here, when it didn't work ??"

Boss: "errr, yes "

Me: "What do you need ???"

Boss: "I was just checking to see if forgot your nextel today."

Me: "No, didn't forget it, left it plugged into the charger at home on purpose."

Boss: "Why ??"

Me: "I like it when you come down to my office for at little chat."

DJJ
May 6, 2005, 08:20 PM
So where are all the cop worshippers, with their "That's the law. Don't break the law, and you won't get pulled over. If you don't like the law, worked to get it changed." ?

That's the rule. Don't break the rules and you won't get suspended. If you don't like the rule, work to get it changed. No double standard. No sympathy from me.

Dmack_901
May 6, 2005, 08:29 PM
It's close. While the kid deserved to be suspended for using profanity and becomming disorderly, she should not have been brought to the office for using his cell phone durring lunch. Phones are of no disruption durring luch. I don't know if schools were as rhoudy(spll) when you all went, but now days you wouldn't hear a gunshot in our lunchroom. Still, I have to side with the school on this one. The kid knew the policy, and he would not have gotten in trouble had he respectfully explained his situation once brought to the office.

torpid
May 6, 2005, 08:43 PM
From what is in the article, the kid did the right thing by not hanging up on his mom, but he shouldn't have used profanity towards school authorities after the call on the way to the office...

...because he should have left that up to me! :cuss:



.

jefnvk
May 6, 2005, 08:57 PM
she should not have been brought to the office for using his cell phone durring lunch

I agree, but the policy said during school hours. Policy should read 'while in class', not 'during school hours'.

I am also suprised the number of people that will argue 'he was talking to his mom' as a good reason for the school to give him special privlidges, yet yell and scream that only 'privlidged people' can get a CCW in San Francisco (or whatever Cali city happens to be being discussed that day). Or that cops get off easy on shooting someone because they're cops. Or that it is unfair that cops can own weapons that normal people can't. Yet, will say that the kid is privlidged, because of who he was talking to.


A big +1 on the 'tere is probably more behind the story'/'it was probably twisted to make the school look bad' theory.
Also, a big +1 on spiff and scout. Got a cell phone because it was cheaper than hooking up the long distance at college, and while driving throuhg hundreds of miles of wilderness, it is good to have an emergency phone. But I hate it when people expect me to have it all the time, so that tehy can call.

GigaBuist
May 6, 2005, 09:16 PM
The proper response would have been, IMHO, to make a quick exit while keeping the mother on the phone and ignoring the administration. Unfortunately that's not a mindset that schools promote; in fact they actively work to destroy the idea that you can just leave at any time. Schools insist that their artificial rules are what is right and should be followed no matter what. Should you be punished if you break them? Sure, that's fair.

What irks me is that the call was ended. I presume the admin/teacher entered into the student's space to make this happen. I sincerly doubt that the student presented the phone's termination button to the admin/teacher to end the call and it certainly doesn't sound like the student flipped the phone closed during the encounter.

Parents, please teach your children that they can just walk away from this nonsense if they feel the need.

Shootcraps
May 6, 2005, 09:50 PM
This is the wife....I have a lot to say on this. I realize there are rules, but there should always be exceptions to some things. Sometimes school administration and teachers carry it too far. Suspending a student for talking to his mother while she is in a combat area, how very understanding this school system is. I can understand if a student has been warned about using a cell phone while in school, and parents have received notification that the student is not following guidelines. I would ask this school system where is the support and encouragement to students who's parents are deployed. I would think that the teacher and administration would be glad that the parent has had the opportunity to call. This may be the only time this mother has been able to call her child, and don't forget the 6+ hour time difference. I get very annoyed when teachers don't listen to the student. It happens far more than parents realize. My 17 year old daughter has a cell phone and she knows that she is not allowed to have it on during school hours, however, there are times when she has it on vibrate, so that I can send her a message. If she should need to call me for an important reason (sickness, transportation issues after school) the school had better allow her the opportunity. Of course, she has approached the teacher in the past to let her know she needs to send a message to her parent. I trust my daughter's descretion on when the right time would be.

jefnvk
May 6, 2005, 10:16 PM
If she should need to call me for an important reason (sickness, transportation issues after school) the school had better allow her the opportunity.

My problem with this, is how did these things get done before cell phones? I managed all the way through school without my parents being able to contact me 24/7. There should be a phone at school free for student use, and if there is an emergency, the school is capable of delivering a message within minuets of recieving the call.

The other idea that I have is that the opposite of walking away mad from any situtation you disagree with is not the right thing to be taught to kids. You can't always get your way, people need to learn that. I think school is the appropriate place to do so.

gaston_45
May 6, 2005, 10:42 PM
To all those that ask how we made it through all those years without cell phones; we made it through hundreds of years of warfare using only black powder and flintlocks, should we do away with modern guns because they are too effective?

The technology is here, it is useful as is shown by this article, the kid talked to his mother rather than waiting weeks or months for a letter to arrive. Personally, this is the best use of a cell phone I have heard of in a long time and you are bashing the kid for it. The school is as wrong in this zero mentality defect as it is in the zero mentality defect that punishes kids for even drawing guns.

Don't like technology that allows instant communication? Why are you posting on a board like this then? Just thought I'd throw out some things for you to think about before you blindly follow the " the government knows best" line of reasoning. That, and a little more support for a kid that sounds like he did the right thing, not necessarily the pollitically correct thing.

GT
May 6, 2005, 11:10 PM
Certainly some whacky opinions here.

Facts:

Kid's father was killed when he was 5 and his mother is in Iraq. Kid lives with guardian.
Mother doesn't get much chance (about once a month) to call and she managed to hit his lunch break despite time difference.
Teacher grabbed the phone making it hang up when kid said he wouldn't stop talking to his mother.
Kid got angry and abusive when they would not let him answer the phone when his mother CALLED BACK to find out why he hung up. She left a message complaining about him hanging up.
They knew this was for real and not a kid's fake story but they (the school administration) have to be in charge of this and are "working with the relatives".

This boy has special circumstances. We are at war and his mother - his only parent - is serving our country abroad, but heaven forbid he should be allowed to speak to her during school hours without the school being in control.

The astonishing attitude of some here (do as you're told kid, we make the rules) I find quite offensive.

Yeah I know, back in our day we would walk 40 miles to school and eat gravel for breakfast and we turned out OK.
Yeah I know, kids these days are pampered wimps who don't know how good they got it.

I am just going to say this again...
The
kid
was
talking
to
his
Mother
deployed
in
Iraq.

Don't you get it?


G

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/nation/11583319.htm

http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/mld/ledgerenquirer/news/11575912.htm

jefnvk
May 6, 2005, 11:37 PM
I get the idea quite fine. I am against selective enforcement of rules. I have been on the recieveing end of selective enforcement of rules, and I was the one in trouble while others were not, simply because of who they were/who they knew. I am definitely against selective enforcement.

What if it is a kids grandma halfway across the world who wants to talk, but can't because of her schedule. Should we make an exception because of that?

What if some kids dad decides to call him before taking off on a flight? Should that be allowed?

What if the kid's mom (siting halfway across town) just wants to call and see how her kid did on a test? Should we allow that?

Unless you are going to allow all kids to use the cell phones during lunch, none can.

Furthermore, I'm guessing it was a planned call. If it were planned, why couldn't they plan it while the kid wern't in school. If my mom needed to call me at noon, I'd probably be home that day to take the call, if it is that important to me.

What I am trying to say, is that I hate selective enforcement.

EDIT: and on a more general scale, not many people (especially students) are important enough to be needed 24/7

chas_martel
May 6, 2005, 11:42 PM
I am almost speechless at those of you that side with the school and society
on this topic.

You try and twist things by saying that we, gun owners , should be siding with the school on this issue. Three cheers for zero tolerance, common
sense be damned.

You people are sheep like virtually all of todays Americans. And I use
the term "American" loosely.

God what I would give for us to be a nation of people that think for themselves.

And I am doubly, to the inth degree, glad I don't put my kids into the
public indoctination centers some of you call schools!

Joejojoba111
May 6, 2005, 11:59 PM
Those people that say the kid assaulted his teacher, I think you are reading the invisible ink between the lines. The kid didn't want to hang up, and THAT was the SOLE crime, not wanting to hang up. YEA put him in jail.

I'm just guessing, but if they let him finish his call he wouldn't be defiant and disorderly, now would he? If someone snatched the phone, or pushed the off button, then that would make someone defiant and disorderly.

BTW 'Defiant' means 'he didn't want to hang up'. Wow what a crime. C'mon get a grip of course he didn't want to hang up that moment.

And FYI 'Disorderly' means nothing, it's blanket terminology, if I had to guess I think it meant he used his Outside voice Inside. OH MY GOD CALL SWAT!

gaston_45
May 7, 2005, 12:14 AM
Jefnvk, was this grandmother getting shot at daily? Avoiding rocket propelled grenades? Was the dad in your scenario dodging Improvised explosive devices on his way to the terminal gate of his flight? Probably not huh?

Do you know what I hate? Cookie cutter rules that do not take into account actual conditions. Kind of like military rules saying no weapons other than those issued, how long does that last in a theater of operations? If there are rules then there are also good reasons to ignore those rules at times. Anyone that thinks all the rules will fit every situation is either extremely nieve or purposefully deluding themselves.

From all that has been reported the kid did right, which may be different than what the "rules" say. Rules are not always right.

El Rojo
May 7, 2005, 01:01 AM
I am so irate at some of you THR members right now. Let me just start off with my background. I currently teach at a continuation high school of 9th-12th graders. We have a no cell phones on campus policy, which loosely translates into don't have them out anywhere on campus.

For those of you arguing that schools are too hypercritical of teenagers and that the administration is wrong, you are ignorant of modern day teaching with today's youth. You know what I would give to have an administration that backs up their teachers and enforces the rules of the institution consistently and fairly? You people don't even know what a waste half of the students are at my school. I caught a kid shooting dice with a wad of cash in his hand the other day right in front of me. I called him over and asked him his name. He responded, "Chris." I said lets go to the office. Halfway there he says, "I am going to get suspended, so I am just going to run." I told him that wasn't a good idea. I take him to the office, as soon as I turn my back, he bolts. Runs off campus. Come to find out, his name isn't Chris after all. HE LIED!!! Well thanks to having a small school, it didn't take long to find out who he was because his friends ratted him out. Guess how long he was suspended for? THREE DAYS! THREE STINKING DAYS! A student who is willing to lie to a teacher, run away from school, all in the name of gambling gets three days suspension. Why wasn't he expelled?

Anyone here who doesn't currently work in a high school has no clue what these youth are capable of. They will lie to you every chance they get. They will pit you against your other teachers if you let them. They will tell their parents one story and try and turn the parents against the staff. And the most sickening part is these moron parents believe their little angels. :barf: America is being conned and it is by our own children. PARENTS WAKE THE F UP!!! YOUR CHILDREN WILL LIE, CHEAT, and STEAL THEIR WAY OUT OF TROUBLE. I wasn't much different in some aspects, but my dad was smart enough not to believe my bullcrap. We lost common sense parents who knew their kids are more than capable of lying to them. WAKE UP!

So to everyone who has gone off on the bandwagon on this, come walk a few days in my shoes. Come see really what youth are up to. Come watch their pitiful performance in school. See how apathetic they are and how they think the best things in life are video games, marijuana, alcohol, sex, and their cell phone. Try and teach a student who sees no value in education whatsoever. Come learn that modern day teaching is more about being a disciplinarian than about really teaching. Then have some people have the nerve to blame me for their spoiled brats horrible behavior and failing performance in school and use standardized tests that have no bearing on a students grade be the basis for my teaching evaluation.

I think one of the things that makes me a better teacher than most is I spent three years working in a federal prison. You learn in prison never to trust inmates and to always back up your fellow staff members. The same goes for modern high school students. I could imagine any number of my students pulling this same stunt. "I am talking to my mom in Iraq." Right, just like the other day when I caught you talking to your friend on the phone or like the time you lied to me about your name when I caught you gambling.

Sure maybe I would have used a little discretion in this case, especially during lunch time. Or maybe not. Either way, this kid broke a school rule and a good school rule at that. CELL PHONES HAVE NO POSITIVE VALUE ON CAMPUS AND THEY DO NOT FACILITATE BETTER TEACHING. If the school in order to maintain consistency wants to ban them all day, then that is what needs to be done.

Would I respect this kid for politely saying, "Mr. El Rojo I am on the phone with my mother who is deployed in Iraq. I am willing for you to write me a referral as I see that as a worthy sacrifice for being able to talk to my mother?" Heck yes, as I write him a referral. And would the administrator probably suspend him for ten days for that? They would probably give him a detention and I wouldn't mind that at all. Did this student respond in a polite manner?

Yet you people don't get it. Youth today aren't used to being respectful and courteous, they like to cuss and go off the handle and act like the world owes them something. You can try and treat these students like adults, but they just crap all over you for it. And they try and get their parents to back them up as they do it.

All I have to say is wake up America. Many of your youth are failing you. They are not respectful and nice citizens who just "wanted to use the cell phone." They are disrespectful, apathetic, victims who think the world owes them something and will do whatever immoral action it takes to get it.

Yeah, I know, I work at a continuation high school so I work with the worst of the bunch. It is true. However, go talk to any current, non-continuation high school and the same thing is happening there too. Those of you who don't teach don't get it. You can get on here and scream about student rights all you want, just realize you are leading us all right to doom. You don't even have a clue.

As long as students continue to run our schools all with the backing of their irresponsible "friends" called parents, do you wonder why anyone worth a damn wants to keep teaching? Why do you think I have to deal with colleagues who can't handle teaching and are more content giving out worksheets and keeping the class quiet then trying to teach something? Why do you think there are bad teachers out there who yell and scream at students and encourage zero tolerance with no discretion? Why is our education system lacking in so many ways?

And by the way, I have only been teaching for 5 months at my school and I am 28. So if you think I am a crabby old fart who wishes we could go back to the old days, you are wrong. Hell I am pretty much in the same video game generation. I was an enthusiastic, hard working teacher who wanted to make a difference. Oh how quickly reality will hit you in the face. We are losing our young people ladies and gentleman. And after seeing some of the comments people have made on this thread, I guess now I understand why.

[/rant]

For those of you who raise good kids that are motivated and accept responsiblity for their actions and for those lucky enough to teach them, keep up the good work. I envy you.

ClarkEMyers
May 7, 2005, 01:36 AM
School administration asserts that serving the Fort Benning community as they do - see above - they have accomodations for such calls with proper behavior.

The assistant principal said many students at Spencer have parents serving overseas. "We are the school that serves Fort Benning," Turner said. "We're well aware of students with parents overseas. Some will just call the school if they want to talk to their sons or daughters. We'll gladly get the kid out of class."

Reports are the punishment was first increased for aggravated behavior - not for using the phone - and then remitted to time served with the student back in class Monday. There are some discrepancies in the stories about prior behavior by the student as well - Francois said he has been in trouble at school before, but not over anything serious.

My own initial reaction was Kim Du Toit's RCOB but I'll try to remember to go with Paul Harvey's The Rest of the Story next time.

nico
May 7, 2005, 01:41 AM
Yet you people don't get it. Youth today aren't used to being respectful and courteous, they like to cuss and go off the handle and act like the world owes them something. You can try and treat these students like adults, but they just crap all over you for it. And they try and get their parents to back them up as they do it.

All I have to say is wake up America. Many of your youth are failing you. They are not respectful and nice citizens who just "wanted to use the cell phone." They are disrespectful, apathetic, victims who think the world owes them something and will do whatever immoral action it takes to get it.

100% true. I'm 21, so I remember what high school was like. Ask Norton if there were kids who would have said what this kid said (and would be lying) at my high school. The family could have avoided this problem completely by having the mother call the school if the only time she could call was during school hours. The vast majority of school administrators are good people who are understanding of situations like this and I would be the administration at my high school would have allowed the kid to go to the office to talk to his mom.

Some of you sound like the typical, awful "my child can do no wrong" "parents." One of the purposes of school is to teach children discipline. Part of discipline is being able to handle situations like this like an adult. To those of you who think a teacher never has a right to touch a child (or dare to turn off their cell phone), remember that the next time you see a video of a 5 year old whose behavior problem caused an entire classroom to have to be cleared out :rolleyes:.

ClarkEMyers, in my experiences, the kids who were, at any time, getting an F in a course weren't just education problems. They were always behavior problems too, so a past history of unacceptable behavior (which would make it even more likely that he would lie about who he was talking to) from the kid wouldn't surprise me.

Joejojoba111
May 7, 2005, 06:35 AM
"will do whatever immoral action it takes to get it."
Amoral, we're PoMo now dude, right=success wrong=failure moral=something in the bible immoral=something fun in the bible

Also, no-one lost the common-sense parents, they were scared away. When a man's house was his castle your had +s and -s, abuses were unreported and so on, but also all that common-sense stuff was allowed. When households became regulated common sense was un-necessary, actually counter-productive. Now what you talk about are the children of the children who grew up in the government-designed fashion. Works of art, no? All they're good for is producing and consuming, producing and consuming, it's all they're designed for. I think you would be enlightened to stop expecting more than that, then if you do find more occasionally it's a pleasant surprise.

chas_martel
May 7, 2005, 06:35 AM
El Rojo,

Your post just reminds me of why I would not have my kids in a public school.

nico,

My kids can do wrong and I am all for corporal punishment. But they will
not be put into an environment where they are punished by some
pea brain sized administrativecrate zero tolerance following "teacher".

I am not saying nico fits that profile. But that is what I have seen as the norm in public schools of late.

I also think society has ASKED for things to be as El Rojo describes.

Nothin the two of you posted have anything whatsoever to do with
the topic at hand. Your post are merely diatribes about how bad things have gotten becuase of the way the adults have chosen to run society. And these things have led to a system that would put a boy in the position he was put into.

Our kids are a reflection of what "we" have allowed to happen. It is not the other way around.

GT
May 7, 2005, 07:49 AM
Assistant principal Alfred Parham says Francois could have been arrested for being defiant. He adds that students are not permitted to use cell phones "for conversating back and forth during school because if they were allowed to do that, they could be text messaging each other for test questions."

I don't blame folks for keeping their kids out of a school where the principal uses the word "conversating".

Trouble is this mother doesn't have that luxury because her husband is dead and she is stuck on the other side of the world in service to her country.

If you can't understand the difference between a mother on a dillettante European vacation and a mother deployed in the military then I am sorry for you.

To use this instance as an excuse for a "Kids are bad mmmkay" rant is even more pitiful.

G

Gunsnrovers
May 7, 2005, 08:59 AM
After all, it's for the children.

Double Naught Spy
May 7, 2005, 09:15 AM
First of all, the thread title and the article title are both sensationalized and wrong. The student did not get suspended for the phone call and was not suspended for not hanging up on his mom in Iraq.

He was suspended for his conduct after refusing to follow a teacher's instructions after first using a phone that he was not supposed to be using in school.

Whether or not the call came from his mom in Iraq does not play into the suspension. More over, the only knowledge we have that the call was from his mom in Iraq is apparently from the student himself. In other words, we don't know if it was his mom or his drug dealer, girlfriend, or boyfriend.

I find it amusing that many of you have discussed violence and other reactions had you been the student. It is funny because you have taken it as truth that he was talking to his mom. No doubt that if I had a mom in Iraq and I wanted to use my phone during school, I would proclaim that I was talking to my mom if I got caught with the phone. In short, many of you are buying into the mom story over that of the school, thinking the school must be wrong, and y'all don't even know the facts.

El Rojo
May 7, 2005, 10:02 AM
Our kids are a reflection of what "we" have allowed to happen. It is not the other way around.You are correct there. It comes down to the parents. What do they allow? The parents vote for the school board. The parents enable their children to either be good or to be bad. I won't argue with that.

If you can't understand the difference between a mother on a dillettante European vacation and a mother deployed in the military then I am sorry for you.If your kid can't understand the difference between respectfully disregarding a school rule and accepting responsiblity for his/her actions and becoming rude and direspectful, I am sorry to. Again, you guys assume this is an angel who was simply talking to his mom on the cell phone. And as has been pointed out, he wasn't suspended for talking on the cell phone. He was suspended for his attitude and profanity.

Amoral, we're PoMo now dude, right=success wrong=failure moral=something in the bible immoral=something fun in the bibleThank you for sharing your idea of moral vs. immoral. I just look at is as right vs. wrong. Moral doesn't equal the bible. Moral just means what we in society find as good traits and behaviors that we would all like to see everyone display. I am sorry if that is your hang up. I was just talking about integrity, honesty, consideration for others, and responsibility vs. selfishness, deciet, theft, violence. If you want to do the fun things in the Bible, go for it. Everyone has free will, I can't control you.

I think you would be enlightened to stop expecting more than that, then if you do find more occasionally it's a pleasant surprise.Spoken just like a veteran teacher. Sorry, but that is so depressing to me. That is why I am having trouble with looking at our future in our kids. I don't want to just collect my paycheck and watch as the zombies take over our education system and all of the kids with potential get swept away because we are too busy trying to keep the bad kids under control and have no time spend trying to enjoy the good kids.

Well if this thread serves as a way for you to see that the public education is screwed and you want to keep your kids out of it, then I feel I have done my job. At least people will see this thing for what it is and realize our schools are going down hill. Keep your kids out if you love them and want them to succeed in life. Send them to me if you want them to experience all of the glory the rest of the unparented zombies display.

And congratulations to the newspaper who managed to sensationalize this story and increase their publicity. The masses bought it hook, line, and sinker. No wonder the anti's have such an easy job convincing people with the emotional plea.

gc70
May 7, 2005, 10:08 AM
For everyone who contends that it is impossible to tell whether the kid was really talking to his mother, try looking at the 'calls received' list on any cellphone.

I can understand the school enforcing policies consistently and I do not have a major problem with the kid being punished for whatever rules he broke.

OTOH, I was absolutely incensed by the quote "Now being that his mother is in Iraq, we're not trying to cause her any undue hardship; he was suspended for 10 days." from the assistant principal. Gee, what a favor he did for the mother. That moron showed a total lack of human compassion, absolute failure to exercise judgement, and infinite capacity for condescending hypocrisy.

nico
May 7, 2005, 10:34 AM
My kids can do wrong and I am all for corporal punishment. But they will
not be put into an environment where they are punished by some
pea brain sized administrativecrate zero tolerance following "teacher".
So your kid should be able to talk on his/her cell phone in school whenever you think it's ok? Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but I don't think an exception to the rule that says you can't flip out and cuss at teachers is appropriate in this situation, from what I've read about it. My whole point was that noone here knows exactly what happened. Yet, a lot of people act as if the kid was perfectly reasonable and handled the situation correctly while the teachers were completely out of line, which doesn't seem to be true. The fact is, there are plenty of kids in high school who would have no qualms about lying to a teacher to get their way.

btw, I'm not in favor of corporal punishment in schools. I was just replying to the ridiculous statement that one poster made about how if a teacher ever touched them they'd put them in the hospital (or something along those lines).

Nothin the two of you posted have anything whatsoever to do with
the topic at hand. Your post are merely diatribes about how bad things have gotten becuase of the way the adults have chosen to run society. And these things have led to a system that would put a boy in the position he was put into.
No, my post was pointing out that so many people complain about kids in schools being out of control, but then complain when the rules are enforced and a discipline problem is dealt with. In one of the articles posted, the principal was quoted as saying that any parent in the military can call the office and they'll pull the kid out of class to talk to them. Again, a lot of people are acting like the school is totally out of line and the kid was totally right. Sorry, but a 17 year old needs to be able to handle situations like this like an adult. And I say this with a clear memory of what it was like to be 17.

jefnvk
May 7, 2005, 11:51 AM
+1 om El Rojo, nico, and DNS. You said what I was trying to convey in a much better way.

Joejojoba111
May 7, 2005, 03:57 PM
GT good call, conversating lol.

"I don't think an exception to the rule that says you can't flip out and cuss at teachers is appropriate in this situation, from what I've read about it. My whole point was that noone here knows exactly what happened. Yet, a lot of people act as if the kid was perfectly reasonable and handled the situation"

Actually it's the opposite, you and most others assume the kid 'flipped out and cussed'. I tried to illustrate earlier that the 2 crimes, Defiance and Disorderly are miniscule.

Defiance
"Hang up the phone!" ---"No, it's my mom in Iraq."
Bam, committed defiance.

Disorderly
"Hand up the phone NOW!" ----- "NO!"
Bingo, disorderly.


Eh Rojo those aren't the real definitions of moral and stuff, sort of tongue in cheek. Good luck with that, but you go expecting unlikely things you will be disappointed many times, and become that bitter guy. I'm not the teacher, but both parents were! And yea, they weren't too happy with things before they retired.

gunsmith
May 7, 2005, 04:00 PM
who is in a WAR ZONE

his mom may not COME HOME


you know,you folks who are siding with the school principle have been "conversating" with yourself to much.

[good german accent] yah, we must load the Jews on to the trains,those are theRULES[good german accent] :cuss: :banghead:

El Rojo
May 7, 2005, 04:37 PM
Good luck with that, but you go expecting unlikely things you will be disappointed many times, and become that bitter guy.I know. However, the question is, how much should we expect out of our students? If I don't expect anything and I don't get anything, then can I really blame the students for not wanting to do anything? I am more laid back than some teachers and I know the totalitarian type that you are all critical of and I agree, they like authority for authority's sake. However, are we never to expect anything from our youth because I will be disappointed? That doesn't sound right either.

Jeff White
May 7, 2005, 05:00 PM
Once again, the membership is in an uproar over what was published in a newspaper article. The article doesn't really detail what was said between the teacher and the student.

You know we used to have a saying in the Army that every regulation could be waived at least once. Perhaps if the young man had asked permission, he might have received it.

I think we should withhold judgement of the schools actions pending the details of the confrontation between the boy and the teacher.

Columbus GA is just outside the main gate at Ft. Benning. I rather doubt that this young man is the only student in the school who has a parent who is deployed.

Perhaps the simple courtesy of going to the assistant prinicpal's office and saying, mom is going to try to call today at lunch time, may I use my cell phone then, would have gone a long way to keep this from happening. If the lad had done that, and the school had refused him, we would have reason to be outraged. And if the school is suspending him because he used his cell phone as part of a zero tolerance policy that insists all circumstances are the same, then we can be outraged. But we don't know that and probably won't know the details because of the laws prohibiting the schools from discussing these things. So we're going to hear one side of the story and everyone is going to get outraged. That's the kind of things that sells a lot of newspapers.

I say we shouldn't rush to judgement. It seems like the only time we don't rush to judgement around here anymore is when a CCW holder is indicted or charged after a defensive shooting. Everyone else is guilty by the virtue of the media reports. :confused:

Jeff

jefnvk
May 7, 2005, 06:42 PM
Jefnvk, was this grandmother getting shot at daily? Avoiding rocket propelled grenades? Was the dad in your scenario dodging Improvised explosive devices on his way to the terminal gate of his flight? Probably not huh?

Sorry, but that doesn't fly with me. My grandmother is as important to me as that kid's mother is to him. Telling me that the kid's mother is a more valid call than my grandmother's is not helping the situtation any, just creating a special class of people. Glad sheis serving, but that doesn't mean the kid can expect special exceptions to the rules.

Just out of curiosity, what if the grandmother in my scenario lived in Israel, and was dodging car bombs every day. Or lived in Africa, where any day the military might come in and wipe out their village. Does that make the call more acceptable?

bg
May 7, 2005, 08:26 PM
Update on the matter..
http://www.yahoo.com/_ylh=X3oDMTEwdnZjMjFhBF9TAzI3MTYxNDkEdGVzdAMwBHRtcGwDaW5kZXgtY3Nz/s/239306

DarkKnight01
May 7, 2005, 08:32 PM
And Francois added: "I'm not a golden child and I've been wrong, but I was right this time."

Amen.

River Wraith
May 7, 2005, 09:34 PM
I'm a teacher. In my opinion, you find out the kid's on the phone with his mom in Iraq, you make sure he has a quiet, private place to talk.

jefnvk
May 7, 2005, 09:48 PM
Parham said, however, that Francois' behavior at school has been "a chronic problem."

Sounds like there had been other incidents previously, that may have led to the seriousness of this.

gaston_45
May 7, 2005, 10:49 PM
Jeff White, we have a saying in the Marine Corps too. It is better to ask forgiveness than to beg permission. In other words, do what you have to do to get the job done, then worry about the paper work.

To those who say the teacher had no way of knowing it was his mom on the phone.... is the teacher incapable of saying "may I please speak to her for a second?". She is, afterall, ON THE PHONE THE TEACHER IS ARGUING OVER!

As far as his past behavior goes, what bearing does that have on him talking to his mother?? Everything you do these days is a felony and your rights are taken, I guess we are now extending this mentality to the schools, great way to raise the next generation. He isn't a perfect angel? Well gee, his dad died and his mom got sent to war, I am sure that would make everyone into perfectly chearful little angels wouldn't it?

I must say thank you to all those involved in the public school system who posted here, you have made my decision to start home schooling that much easier.

jefnvk
May 8, 2005, 12:15 AM
As far as his past behavior goes, what bearing does that have on him talking to his mother??
Believe it or not, there are some habitual problem children in schools. Something they may do someday might not get an otherwise non-problematic child in too much trouble, but when they do it, just is compounded because of their past behavior.

And I think many problems in the public school system would be solved if parents were parents, and when their child misbehaved in school, supported the school's punishment and not their 'perfect little angel'

El Rojo
May 8, 2005, 12:45 AM
The teacher says the confrontation happened in a hallway, not outside, and that Francois never said the call was with his mother.Wow, imagine that. He never said he was on the phone with mom in Iraq. I guess that sort of screws the "what kind of teacher would do such a thing?" crowd.

But Francois was suspended for cursing and being defiant, said Parham. That was extended to 10 because "he did not want to accept the three-day suspension and to agree that he would not use the cell phone openly or curse."What? You mean he was suspended for cursing and being defiant, not for merely talking on the phone? I thought he was just an innocent kid who claimed to be talking to mother.

Parham said, however, that Francois' behavior at school has been "a chronic problem."That isn't possible. This kid pisses red, white, and blue and is the next candidate to be teen USA. I would have never guessed he had been in trouble before.

And Francois added: "I'm not a golden child and I've been wrong, but I was right this time."You see, it is ok to cuss out your teachers and administrators and generally throw a fit and demand your way. Everyone is doing it, why should this kid be wrong for it?

Following hundreds of angry phone calls and e-mails, school officials in this Army base city have reduced a suspension imposed on a student who wouldn't give up his cell phone while talking to his mom — a sergeant on duty in IraqI have one word for you, "ENABLERS!" Thank you America for teaching our students that if enough people butt their noses into someone else's business when they clearly don't understand what is going on, you can get away with whatever you want. That is right, the rules are only made for you if you can't convince everyone else you are a victim by cussing and being defiant.

Shame on everyone who took this student's side. He didn't even mention he was on the phone with his mother in Iraq and you all assumed it was a given fact. The liberals are not the only ones that can use knee-jerk reactions to their benefit. :barf:

Joejojoba111
May 8, 2005, 03:36 AM
1 party in a 2 party dispute says the kid didn't tell him it was his mother, that's different from the kid not saying it's his mother.

"But Francois was suspended for cursing and being defiant, said Parham. That was extended to 10 because "he did not want to accept the three-day suspension and to agree that he would not use the cell phone openly or curse."

The middle of an emotional confrontation just might not be the best place to expect calm measured and polite discussion of appropriate punishment with and of the party which is to be punished for the offence he is emotionally enraged about being punished for.


As for expectations and teaching, it may be worthwhile some weekend to sit down with a bottle of good scotch and write out a, I hate buzz words, but a mission statement. For instance one long-time economics teacher I had told us at the beginning of the semester that his main goal was to teach us to think. Of course by 2nd or 3rd year college that's not likely to succeed amongst brutal loads of information to transmit, but I think it's a good goal for earlier learning. I found that the farther I went in education the more jaded the professors were, the more convinced they were that there had been a 'dumbing down' of the populace, and the conviction was held by people across all demographic categories. Independent thought may just be the most noble ability to teach people, if nothing else.

c_yeager
May 8, 2005, 03:43 AM
rule #1 NO CELL PHONES IN SCHOOLS, PERIOD.

rule #2 DO NOT CUSS AT YOUR ELDERS

Parham said the teen's suspension was based on his reaction to the teacher's request. He said the teen used profanity when taken to the office.

Yes, his mother is in Iraq. Yes, that sucks and i am sympathetic to him and greatfull for the contribution of his mother. And NO that does not absolve him of any responsibility for his behavior. How can you possibly complain about the state of our schools and then say that we should NOT enforce basic behavioral/disciplinary rules on children? Half of the problems we have in this country are rooted in the fact that kids can get away with dang near anything they want. And you want to continue that?

The kid was a jerk, so he got suspended. This is news? And if the school was actually being politically correct, they would have let the call continue so that the media would have printed a bunch of glurge about how this school 'supports the troops'. Instead they took their responsibility as educators and actually enforced a rule that is entirely based on common sense, good for them.

gc70
May 8, 2005, 06:57 AM
Wow. Half of you want to wrap the kid in a flag and give him a halo while the other half want to paint him as a little monster.

I do not know, nor will I know, the full facts of this case. Therefore, I continue to believe that the school was probably justified in taking some type of disciplinary action against the kid. However, I CAN read the statements the school administrators made to the press and the additional news coverage only makes the school administration's actions smell worse.

In the first news article, the assistant principal was smug about "only" giving the kid a 10-day suspension rather than having him arrested and carted off to jail. In later articles, the assistant principal said he was forced to escalate to a 10-day suspension because the kid wouldn't take a 3-day suspension and promise to be good in the future.

I still contend that the assistant principal acted like a moron in his dealings with the press. His first statement of 'we could have been tougher but look how nice we were' just doesn't fit with the later statement of 'we tried to go easy on the kid but he forced our hand.'

jefnvk
May 8, 2005, 11:12 AM
Following hundreds of angry phone calls and e-mails, school officials in this Army base city have reduced a suspension imposed on a student who wouldn't give up his cell phone while talking to his mom — a sergeant on duty in Iraq

Reducing a suspension due to public pressure is not the right thing to do.

Quintin Likely
May 8, 2005, 10:19 PM
I always thought it'd be cool to have my high school in the paper or on the news, but damn. I think both sides have some blame in this; it's not like the kid got the call during class, but on the same token, he didn't really need to get belligerent with faculty just trying to do their jobs. I always thought the teachers sucked, until I made it out of high school and see from the outside what they really have to deal with on a daily basis. Bad form on both sides of the fence in this one, IMO. And if I recall correctly, with the curriculum set up the way it was when I was there, 10 days out is a crushing blow for the semester when only 3 or 5 sick days per semester are permitted for students.

Quintin Likely
Spencer High School, Class of 2000.

Double Naught Spy
May 8, 2005, 10:45 PM
For everyone who contends that it is impossible to tell whether the kid was really talking to his mother, try looking at the 'calls received' list on any cellphone.

Really? What is mom's number in Iraq? My guess that if there is a number that comes up on the caller ID that it is a number in the US from whatever service is providing the coms from Iraq to the US. I would guess that mom, if actually calling, wasn't calling from a gas station pay phone. Sorry, but the number on the phone concept probably doesn't hold true here and even if it did, none of us have confirmation that the kid was talking to his mother.

I am still amazed at the number of you who believe the disorderly kid was talking to him mom in Iraq simply because he claims it to be true. Given that the kid breaks the rules and was breaking the rules before actually receiving the call, why would you believe he is telling the truth? Don't you think if it really happened that way that some media savvy person would call one of the affiliates in Iraq and search out the mother soldier for comment? What does she have to say about her son cussing out his teacher while on the phone with her? Does she think his behavior was appropriate?

Sorry guys, but until somebody actually confirms that he was actually talking to his mother, sources other than the boy (such as the mom), then my guess is that most of you are falling victim to false patriotic crap and mother's day sentiment.

The kid is telling a story to get out of being in trouble, nothing more.

Mk VII
May 9, 2005, 04:23 PM
moms shouldn't be in the combat zone in the first place.

Quintin Likely
May 9, 2005, 07:24 PM
FWIW, I heard on the radio this morning on the way to work that the kid's suspension has been lifted, he went back to school today.

nico
May 9, 2005, 07:47 PM
His suspension wasn't lifted, it was reduced to 3 days. Today would have been the 4th day.

gc70
May 9, 2005, 08:15 PM
Quote:
For everyone who contends that it is impossible to tell whether the kid was really talking to his mother, try looking at the 'calls received' list on any cellphone.
Really? What is mom's number in Iraq? My guess that if there is a number that comes up on the caller ID that it is a number in the US from whatever service is providing the coms from Iraq to the US. I would guess that mom, if actually calling, wasn't calling from a gas station pay phone. Sorry, but the number on the phone concept probably doesn't hold true here and even if it did, none of us have confirmation that the kid was talking to his mother..You are correct that I did not think that the phone's call list would show a number with a 964 prefix. But the call list would show a specific number, which would be a concrete point from which to start a factual investigation rather than getting involved in a he_said/she_said debate.
The kid is telling a story to get out of being in trouble, nothing more.We don't know all of the facts in this situation and most probably never will.

Derby FALs
May 9, 2005, 10:21 PM
It's pretty obvious the kid was violating school policy by having a cellphone conversation during school hours. The fact that it was lunch doesn't change anything. When I was in school they wouldn't have called the cops but he would be sitting on pillows for a week for lipping off to a teacher.

feedthehogs
May 10, 2005, 07:36 AM
Zero policy thinking will never amount to anything and will only result in the rebellion of its captors.

Compassion and understanding has been forgotten.

I used to think teachers were the unsung heros of the world. I was suspended a half dozen times in my school career and if not for the teachers, I would have never graduated.
After getting married and raising kids thru the public school system and having to deal with academia on an adult level, my view has changed in dealing with our peticular school system here.

Apathy, incompetence, no imagination, abound in this school system.
The only thing on teachers minds is getting paid more.

Students are suspended for minor infractions of stupid rules that the tax payers do not even get to vote on. They are instituted by people that have long academic careers with no practical experience in dealing with the public and afraid of their own shadows.
Teachers used to be free thinkers and pushed to expand your mind. Not anymore.

Anyone with any sense knows a 17 year old boy who had his mother taken away from him, is traumatic to say the least. We do not know what this boy thinks about the war, we don't know what his situation at home is, we can only imagine that he is waiting for a phone call to tell him his mother has been killed.
Now he gets a call from his mother and some person wants to take that away from him and he responds with vulgarity? What a surprise.

Yes the person may not have known who he was talking too, but the way to handle the situation would have been to let him finish the call and discuss the problem then.

The problem with that was, by God someone broke the rules and they must adhere and pay the consequences.

As an employer with many employees, jumping in somebodys face when there is a problem don't work.
Discussing the situation and working it out, yes takes time, yes is a pain in the butt, but it leads to a better work environment for everyone.

Those who take advantage are let go, but are individuals and are treated as such.

Jeff White
May 13, 2005, 11:25 AM
Note how one exception to a rule dooms it to death by a thousand cuts....And I thought the boys was suspended....the writer seems to think he was arrested...I guess they don't have fact checkers any more... :scrutiny:
http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/editorialcommentary/story/04695978C2A12B5B8625700000320AC4?OpenDocument
SCHOOL POLICY: Calls for concern?
By CHRIS J. KRISINGER

05/13/2005

From the instant the cell phone rang in the hallway of Spencer High School in Columbus, Ga., last week, officials seemed to be in an awkward position. A 17-year-old junior, Kevin Francois, was violating established policy banning cell phone use on campus during school time, but - here's the twist - it was his mother on the line, a soldier from nearby Fort Benning calling from Iraq.

When a teacher told him to hang up, Francois refused. A heated exchange followed, and he was escorted to the principal's office, where assistant principals tried to calm him down. School officials subsequently suspended Francois for 10 days, not for cell phone use, but for his "defiant and disorderly" behavior during the emotionally charged, profanity-laced confrontation with school administrators.

After the incident hit the news wires, hundreds of angry e-mails and phone calls to the school followed. At one point, the situation got so bad that the school reportedly took its phones off the hook. Following a meeting involving the boy, his guardian and school officials, the school district reduced the suspension to three days. He's now back in school.

So far, coverage of and commentary about the incident have portrayed school officials as the "bad guys." School administrators appeared insensitive and heavy-handed for not making an exception to established policy because it was his mom, Sgt. 1st Class Monique Bates, calling from Iraq. The teenager has been quoted as saying, "I was right by not hanging up my phone," and the public's reaction has appeared sympathetic and forgiving of his unruly behavior.

Hold the phone. This episode of "U.S. Modernity 2005" is worth a few rollover minutes of further discussion. It's more complex than "For God's sake, it's 'Mom' calling from Iraq," and the school's position deserves more attention, if for no other reason than that, one way or another, this cell phone call is coming to a school near you.

Cell phones are a major issue on high school and college campuses. Policies adopted by many schools, including the one in Columbus, allow students to have cell phones on campus, but they must be turned off during school hours.

The rule applies basic common sense to the challenges of preserving instructional time, avoiding distraction and maintaining classroom decorum. It's applied with the same "zero tolerance" approach taken with drugs and weapons. Making one exception risks "death by a thousand paper cuts."

Kevin Francois is not the first teenager forced to cope with a military parent's overseas deployment to a combat zone - post 9/11 or otherwise - but he may be among a very few nearly arrested because of it.

Consider that more than 3,700 other students from military families are enrolled in the Muscogee school district serving Fort Benning, an Army post that has been sending troops to Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001. Under its well-understood policy, Spencer High School students are to take personal calls from overseas military parents in school offices, not classrooms or halls.

Is Francois' mother's tour in Iraq so out-of-the-ordinary that an exception should have been made for her cell phone call? What about another family member in Iraq; a cousin, say, or an uncle? Do they all merit exceptions, too?

All of which leads to a final point: What about Kevin Francois' behavior? What about the profanity and defiance he directed at school personnel? Is he not accountable for his actions? (Remember, his suspension was not for using the cell phone.)

Each of us, at various points in our life, will encounter crises - bad news, a disappointment, a decision that doesn't go our way - in school, business, career or health. Our responses reveal our character.

What's really the best way for schools to handle cell phone calls like Francois'? How should students, families, school officials and even the public react next time? Because there will be a next time, whether it involves a parent in Iraq or something else.

It might be worth a call to talk it over with someone.

E-mail: krisinger1@cox.net.

Air Force Col. Chris J. Krisinger is the father of two teenage boys. A Midwesterner who transferred from Scott Air Force base earlier this year, he currently is stationed at the Pentagon. The views expressed here are his alone and do not represent government policy.

jefnvk
May 13, 2005, 01:38 PM
Under its well-understood policy, Spencer High School students are to take personal calls from overseas military parents in school offices, not classrooms or halls.

I think that right there shows that the kid was in the wrong.

Still mad that they lightened his suspension due to public pressure, though.

bakert
May 13, 2005, 02:16 PM
Like some I think there was more to his and the hyped up media story. Didn't he call the medias himself? Personally think he's a very intelligent but smartassed and spoiled kid used to having his own way and playing the "My Mommy's in Iraq" to the hilt. Why did this call have to be made at this particular time? There are a few bad teachers but there are more instances of kids and their parents that make a good teacher's job much more difficult, the parents thinking their little darlings can do no wrong. And grab or hit a teacher? A good way to wind up in a detention center or at least Juvenile court. Funny how most kids never get involved in things like this aint it??

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