Today another article was released showing how schools seem to be over stepping their boundaries. A high school student in the states drove to a party to be her friends Designated Driver. Erin Cox’s friend called her, saying she was drunk. Cox then drove to the party to find her friend to get her home safe. Unfortunately, the cops were called in and upon arrival arrested several under-age party goers, including Cox, who is 17 years old. However Cox was cleared by the cops as she was not in possession of alcohol and did not have any in her system. However this didn’t mean anything to North Andover High School, which suspended her from the volleyball team for 5 games due to their Zero Tolerance Drug and Alcohol policies. They even stripper her title as captain of the volley ball team. Full Story here (BostonHerad.com)
So let me get this straight… A girl does the right thing by trying to make sure her friend gets home safe. She was not drinking, or doing drugs, and was not on School Property… So how does the School have the right to suspend her? I would love to look at these policies the schools have where they seem to think that students who are not on school property or at a school function, are still the school responsibility.
Let me also note that this is NOT the first article I have seen this year where a school has either punished a student for doing the right thing, or has over stepped their boundaries. I thought Schools were about teaching life lessons and educating students on right and wrong… What kind of message are they sending if they punish students for doing what is right?
In September of this year, a student at a school football game realized he forgot to take his knife out of his pocket to leave it at home before the game. upon his realization, David Schaffner III went straight to security to turn the knife over. The principle had him removed from the game and suspended him for 10 days. So again, a student being honest and doing the right things gets punished. Full Story here (RYOT.org)
In March, 3 students were suspended for disarming a gunman on a school bus. The gunman, a Football player, held a loaded .22 revolver at another players head threatening to shoot. He was taken down by 3 students who wrestled the gun out of the shooters hand. All 3 sere suspended The reason? Because they were involved in an incident involving a deadly weapon. Full Story here (Reuters.com)
So what is this telling our students? That making sure an inebriated friend gets home safe is a bad thing to do? That turning in a weapon to the authorities because you forgot to leave it at home is a punishable offence? And that wrestling a gunman to the ground and disarming him is just as bad as holding the gun itself?… Could you imagine if our legal system held the same standard? How many people would be in jail for doing the right thing…
There are many more cases where the school has decided its their right to punish despite the fact it has nothing to do with the school. Case in point, in September 2 students were suspended for playing with pellet guns in their own front yard. They hadn’t even left their own property yet. They were not on the school bus, they were not on school property, they were on private property. Now do not get me wrong, playing with replica guns in public should definitely be punishable, but not by the school. The police were called in, and them, along with the parents, have the right to punish the kids. The school however should have no jurisdiction on the incident at all.
The schools need to review their policies and rights as to what they can and cannot do. They need to look at each case individually and understand what went down. In the first case, in regards to the designated driver; once the police cleared her, there should have been no issue at all. Second of all, as she was not in uniform (i,e. representing to school) and the party was not school related, the school should have had no say in the matter at all. In the case of bringing a knife to a football game; it was an honest mistake, and should have been treated as such. This was a school event and the school does have the right to enforce its rules, but it has to realize that zero tolerance is not always the best solution. In the case of the 3 little pigs taking down the big bad wolf, these kids should be honoured for putting their lives on the line to save a fellow school mate, not suspended because they were involved in an incident involving a deadly weapon… In the case of the kids playing in their front yard; yes firing the pellet guns at the public is wrong, yes they need to be punished, but no the school has no right to perform the punishment, the parents and the police do. Again, could you imagine our legal system taking in the same polices… The schools need to be regulated more strictly, not their students.