Monday, April 12, 2010
Local School Attempts to Educate
You're not going to believe the absolute nerve of the Yarmouth, Maine, school officials. They actually want to enforce the school's extracurricular honor code. They have suspended a 16-year-old girls lacrosse player from sports for 3 weeks because the poor dear had the misfortune of having her picture taken with beer in hand and the photo appeared on Facebook. (I'm sure she was just getting ready to read the label to see whether the ingredients were organic-- as I assume the other 5 students pictured holding Coors Light were also doing. Research of this type is common among teenagers.)
I have read the Yarmouth High School Honor Code. There is no question in my mind that it is unfair. Students who wish to participate in exta-curricular activities must sign an agreement stating they will refrain from using or having possession of alcohol, drugs, or tobacco in any form "in school, on school grounds, during practice, events, or at any other time while a student in Yarmouth schools."*
<p >This is obviously unfair, as what sixteen-year-old could possibly be expected to do without their booze or smack during the entire season of a sport ? I mean, we're not talking kids here; this is a sixteen-year-old. A way-out-of-diapers, within just a few years of self-sufficiency, young adult! The school district is being totally unrealistic!
To make matters worse, the code has consequences for violations! The audacity! "The first violation of this rule will result in suspension from participation in all extra-curricular activities for three weeks and, in the case of athletics, at least two countable games. If the first violation is a parent or student self referral, it will result in a two week suspension from participation in all extra curricular activities and, in the case of athletics, at least one countable game. "**
Whoops, if I read that correctly, the parents are involved; OMG! Are they really expecting parents to be involved and aware of their offsprings' behaviour? That's downright cheeky!
If you have detected a sarcastic tone to this post, you are right on. I read the Portland Sunday Telegram article and was apalled: apalled to read that the parents have hired a lawyer in pursuit of a restraining order to block the suspension from taking place while the case is being heard. You see, the team has a few games coming up and a team trip, from which their child would be excluded. The parents are suing because they say the honor code did not allow for due process and is in violation of their daughter's rights.
Excuse me? Which rights would those be? Her right to play lacrosse? Didn't know that was one of our "inalienable rights" guaranteed under the Consitution. Her right to drink beer? Hello? The legal drinking age in Maine is 21. Her right to violate the Conduct Code that both she and her mother signed? Hmm....Let's see; It would seem to me that she gave up that right when she signed the Code.
I say, kudos to the School Officials for having the fortitude to require that students who take part in activities where they represent their school and their community present positive role models to the rest of the student body and their younger peers by abiding by a code of conduct.
Kudos to the School Officials for enforcing the consequences of violation of that code.
Further, I say shame on the parents for the message they are giving their daughter and the community by suing the district as a result of their daughter's misconduct! I thought the time spent in school was for education, and if learning that there are consequences to misconduct isn't education, I don't know what is. Perhaps if this girl misses a couple of games and the team trip, she and her peers will think twice about their behavior in the future. Or, if the parents prevail, she will have learned to "beat the system;'
if you can afford a lawyer, you can get away with anything!
I'll step down from my soap box now. How do you feel about this?
*Quote directly from Yarmouth High School Code of conduct.
**Second quote from Yarmouth High School Code of conduct.