Thursday, October 15, 2009
We need a 10-day waiting period for sporks
That’s it. It’s over. Stick a fork in us. We’re done.
This country, the country I grew up in, the country I defended as a soldier, has ceased to exist. The United States of America has lost its collective fucking mind. I may as well pack my shit and go live in a hut somewhere, just to escape the wanton stupidity that our society has degenerated into.
Our kids go to school more hours per year than any other kids in the known universe, and yet millions of undereducated dolts “graduate” every year unable to read a job application but able to recite the Obama Mmmm Mmmm Mmmmm song. People love to bitch about the notion our kids should go to school year round, even though they already spend more time in school, ostensibly, than kids in other countries; meanwhile, Miss Teen South Carolina’s babblefest about not being able to find anything on a map shows us how effective our educational system is.
Our kids can’t play outside at recess because they might get hurt and the parents will sue. Our kids don’t get any gym classes because they might get hurt and the parents will sue, or if they do get to do some sport-like event they all get a participation trophy because everyone has to be a winner. Meanwhile gubmint-provided skool lunch now consists of sugar-frosted Ritalin, Mountain Dew, and ice cream sandwiches.
And of course, our schools are filled with underpaid, overworked teachers doing what they can with what little they are given, and I applaud their efforts, but the administrators who run these institutions are so enamored of red tape and bureaucratic bullshit and political-correctitude namby pamby nice-nice pattycake fear of getting sued that you get shit like 6-year olds getting 45-day reform-school suspensions for bringing their Cub Scout eating utensil to school because it’s construed as a weapon. This same school district in Newark, Delaware tried to expel a fifth grader for bringing a serrated knife to school with a birthday cake.
Assholes, the lot of them.
And now we have a 17-year old Eagle Scout in Troy, New York who has been forced out of school for at least 20 days for having a 2-inch pocket knife locked in his car. Matt Whalen, a senior at Lansingburgh High School, isn’t just an Eagle Scout, either. He’s also a soldier in the United States Army who recently completed his initial 10 weeks of basic training and is trying to get into West Point.
Whalen follows the Boy Scout motto and is always prepared, stocking his car with a sleeping bag, water, a ready-to-eat meal, and the pocket knife, which was given to him by his grandfather, a police chief in a nearby town no less. Hard to imagine a cop giving his grandson an illegal knife, no?
But Lansingburgh High has a zero-tolerance policy and bureaucrats can’t ever see mitigating circumstances to any rules unless it suits their agenda, so when school officials discovered that Whalen kept his knife locked in his car, he says, they suspended him for five days, and then tacked on an additional 15 days arbitrarily after a “hearing”.
In an interview with Foxnews.com, Whalen recalled the incident that led to his suspension.
He said his school's assistant principal, Frank Macri, approached him on September 21 and asked him if he was carrying a knife.
"I was taken down to the office, and they told me that a student told them that I was carrying a knife," Whalen said.
He said he told them "they could search me and everything, and they said, 'There's no need for that.'"
Whalen said he doesn't know who might have said he was carrying a knife, but he was open with school officials.
"And they said, 'Do you own a knife?' I said, 'Yes, I'm a soldier and an Eagle Scout — I own a knife.'
"And they were like, 'Well, is it in your car or anything?' And I told them, 'Yeah, it's in my car right now.'
"And they asked me to show it to them. I didn't realize it was going to be a problem. I knew it wasn't illegal — my police chief grandfather gave the knife to me."
Whalen said he took school administrators to his car because he thought their fears would be allayed when they saw it was just a 2-inch knife.
"They thought I had a dagger in my car or something like that, so I thought yeah, I'd show it to them," Whalen said.
"I showed it to them, and they told me I had a knife on school property and had to be suspended."
But things didn't end there, Whalen said.
"They brought a cop in, who told them 'he's not breaking any laws, so I can't charge him with anything.'"
Nice. The school wanted to make an example out of the war-mongering soldier within their Liberal midst, so they call the cops to arrest the deviant malcontent? Must have truly pissed them off that the kid did nothing illegal & couldn’t be charged, so they tack on an extra 15 days of bullshit.
Whalen said he asked Macri why a 2-inch pocketknife would be considered more dangerous than other everyday items around the school.
"I said to him, 'What about a person who has a bat, on a baseball team? That could be a weapon.' And he said, 'Well, it's not the same thing.'" Of course not, Macri. A pocket knife locked in the car of a trained professional? Holy shit, you should have called the FBI and reported him as a terrorist.
"They gave me the five-day suspension, because that is all a principal can suspend a student for," he said. "And from there, they had a superintendent hearing to see if the superintendent wanted to suspend me for longer.
"But the superintendent wasn't even at the hearing. It was the principal and the athletic director. The vice principal who originally suspended me wasn't even there, and neither was the superintendent. They basically asked me, 'Did you have the knife in your car?' And I said 'Yes, I did.' The meeting was recorded and they told me they were going to play the tape to the superintendent.
"They asked me if I wanted to say anything, and I told them all my accomplishments and what I've done, and the principal even admitted that I had no intent to use the knife, that I had no accessibility to the knife."
But school officials decided to suspend Whalen for an extra 15 days anyway, he said. And unless the decision is changed, he will not be allowed on school grounds until Oct. 21. And the fucksticks in charge aren’t about to let that happen, despite this upstanding young man missing a ninth of his school year over what amounts to bullshittery.
Whalen said he does not know why the 15 days were added, but he said a school district employee told him it was because the school wanted to apply its policies consistently.
"I've been told by someone who works for the district that they had to do it, because if someone else had a knife and they saw that I didn't get a suspension, that it would look bad for the school."
Yes, of course. We mustn’t look bad. Who cares if it’s right, so long as it looks good.
But the Lansingburgh School District ain’t budging. A person reached at the home of a school board member ducked, shucked & jived , and referred all calls to the superintendent, who told a local newspaper he thinks the punishment was "appropriate and fair," (despite not even being there for the hearing) and that it was necessary for the district to enforce its zero-tolerance policy evenly.
"Sometimes young people do things they may not see as serious," Superintendent George Goodwin told the Albany Times-Union. "We look at any possession of any type of knife as serious." Even when the “possession” is locked away in a car out in the parking lot and the alleged criminal mastermind is an Eagle Scout and a trained soldier.
Yet the knife is not considered a weapon by the New York State Education Department; definitions and punishments are left up to local school boards to decide. That’s doublespeak for “we pass the buck and the blame”.
Um, ya’ll do realize, of course, that this young man spent the summer toting around an M-16, tossing hand grenades, and learning about “the spirit of the bayonet”? And that the aforementioned bayonet is just a bit bigger than a keychain pocketknife locked in a car?
A baseball bat is a weapon, therefore you should ban baseball. What about the utensils in the school cafeteria? By God, you could take out an eye with a spork. Ban silverware and make the kids eat with their hands. You could get stabbed with a pencil, so ban pencils & make the kids write on slate easels with chalk.
You morons aren’t preparing these kids to be adults; you’re cowing them into being good little automaton Sheeple. This young man has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he’s a mature and responsible citizen, and he has aspirations of leadership as an officer in the service of his nation, and you people are dicking with his future.
On Wednesday, West Point's director of admissions told Foxnews.com that Whalen's suspension alone wouldn't be a "show-stopper" and "didn't appear to be a big issue" for the youth, though it will appear on his record as the military academy considers his moral and ethical fiber.
"My concern would be, how does this impact on his academics?" said Colonel Deborah McDonald, the academy's head of admissions. "Because 20 (school) days is a long time to be suspended."
Agreed, Colonel. However, this young man’s morals & ethics should be plainly clear through the hard word and dedication shown by attaining the level of Eagle Scout and by having already become a soldier before even starting 12th grade.
I’m pleased to say that Matt is receiving a lot of support and positive feedback from cadets at the Academy through his Facebook account. Even I sent him an email.
Stay the course and fight the fight, troop. America is behind you.