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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.

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26 comments:

singedwingangel said...

You have got to be kidding me.. grr that infuriates me. The parents might as well say oh well yeah we think the rules are fair until they apply tomy kid . then she should get a free pass. NOT... had that been ME my parents would have allowed the school to do the suspension, wore my tail out and then grounded me longer then the suspension..

Kristina P. said...

I work with at-risk teenagers in a counseling/crisis center, many of whom come to us for substance abuse counseling. You would not believe some of these parents. It's really no wonder these kids grow up with the entitlement they have.

Unknown Mami said...

I feel like having a beer, but I am well over the drinking age, haven't signed any contracts, and do not plan on posting a picture on FB.

I'm appalled at the parents.

Mary at Deep South Dish said...

I'm with you on this one too. What the *#!! has happened with parents these days for pete's sake??? I could see my mama and daddy doing that back in the day ... NOT! I hope these parents are laughed out of the courtroom.

Tgoette said...

I'm in complete agreement with you on this. More and more parents are defending their children's poor decisions by saying that the rules are wrong and their kids should be exempted from being held accountable for following them.

My feeling is that if parents are screwed up enough to believe their children are so special and entitled that they are exempt from the rules, then they should voluntarily do some jail time in lieu of their kids being punished.

We'll see who's special then.

Brian Miller said...

i think if they are not careful their daughte will turn out just like them. smiles.

DJan said...

It's strange that a kid would do something against the rules and then advertise it on FB. But that just shows how little they (meaning the girl and her parents) respect the school OR the rules. I too hope they are laughed out of court. Brian said it well. :-)

glnroz said...

RULESSSSSS????.. but, but,, butt

R.J. said...

As a retired educator, I turned in my soap box along with my keys. You know what I think. The legal drinking age is 21 so that is the trump card. Responsibilities come before their rights. If that is their attitude about school or society's laws, maybe they consider red lights just a suggestion.Silly FB pages are one thing, but the rest of us share the roads with those attitudes.

Steven Anthony said...

I think sometimes those who make the rules forget that they were once kids too....

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

I agree with you completely!

Speaking from experience, underage kids may drink sometimes whether we parents agree with it or not; when they're away from home, there's a lot that is out of our control. However, that does not mean that we condone the illegal behavior nor should we lower the boundaries we put in place. My kids have often misbehaved. But they've known the rules beforehand; and because of that, I've then allowed them to suffer the consequences of their actions. It's not always nice, for them or for me. But it's called tough love, people!! And it's part of teaching them how to take care of themselves when they're out there alone in the big bad world!

Canadian Blend said...

Kids have got to get smarter when it comes to doing things they aren't supposed to be doing.

Didn't they learn anything from Michael Phelps?

Debbie said...

I totally AGREE with you Eva!! What the hell are these numb skull parents teaching their children??? These are the kids that will grow up unaccountable for anything in life...thinking that life itself owes them everything. Yay Yarmouth for doing the right thing. You know I graduated from Yarmouth high right? Well yah!

Alli said...

That is absolutely ridiculous! The parent shouldn't reinforce this behavior... :( My school just had a big fiasco this weekend with alcohol and I say good riddance to the whole thing.

Respectfully Yours said...

Ok as I was reading your post at first I was wondering how I was going to tell you tactfully that I agree with the school. I was so glad when I realized your comments were sarcastic. What a joke. That is all I can say. The schools try, they really do. Parents get in the way.

Margaret said...

I have to agree with you and I am glad that the school did what it said it was going to do if they students were caught doing something that they shouldn't be doing.

Jen said...

Three cheers for the school officials! I hope the court does not bend to the parents. It is not any wonder we have so many school kids that are alcoholics!!!!

Eva Gallant said...

Glen: Yeah, who ever heard of those??? Obviously not these parents and this girl.

Steven: I think when you know what the consequences of your behavior will be and you choose to engage in that behavior anyway, you gotta' pay the piper. : )

Djan: I agree.

Canadian: Apparently not.

Debbie: I did not know you graduated from Yarmouth! Glad you agree.

Respectfully: Glad you continued reading; when Hubby red this, he was afraid people would start to read and then dismiss me as a nutcase and leave!

Jen: I hope the school prevails, too!

gayle said...

I agree I agree!! I am so sick of parents that sue when things don't go their way!! What in the world are these people teaching their kids!! Speed, do drugs, kill .........we will just get you a lawyer!!!

The Lucy and Dick Show said...

No! She'd be reading the label before using it to rinse her hair! That's not against the law is it?

Anything Fits a Naked Man said...

I just couldn't agree with you more, Eva! And what a horrible message these parents are sending to their daughter: "You can break the rules and still fight the system and try to get away with it!" Grrrrr!!!

ethelmaepotter! said...

Why, the nerve of that school! Imagine suspending that poor child for merely drinking a beer! And after she had signed an agreement which she probably never even read...whose fault is that? Surely not hers or her parents...probably the school officials.

Okay, I'm being sarcastic, too. Good grief, what are parents coming to these days? Thank goodness there are still those of us who realize that our children learn from US...and set a good example for them, not the irresponsible and reprehensible example these parents are setting for their child. Shame on them.

Marla said...

It's all about the parents. We feared the nuns at school only a drop less than what we would get at home. Parents and teachers were in cahoots and we knew it. Ah, for the good old days.

Louise | Italy said...

I absolutely and totally agree with you. At age 16, young people need to be aware that if they make a commitment it is important that they follow through. If her parents prevail in court, the child will learn not only to disrespect the people who are set over her to educate her, but also that standing by an agreement isn't important. Better to learn at age 16 than at age 36!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I feel the same way you do Eva -- remember when we taught our kids that there are CONSEQUENCES to poor decisioins?

Just wish I could write about things that bug me with your sense of humor! When I try, it just comes off all preachy and stuff. You're actually likely to get people to pay attention!

bettyl said...

I agree wholeheartedly with your opinion. If the kids didn't want to uphold the code, then they shouldn't have signed up for sports.

Kudos on the school!! It's time for people to be responsible for their own actions, even if you are only 16.