29 February 2008

World Turned Upside Down

It's been a crazy week--a simply crazy week, and I fear this school year is about to spin out of control. I hope not.

We had a snow day this week (yes there was snow, too, which made it doubly good). We have had one snow day, tornado day or holiday for each of the past six weeks now! That means that I am fully engaged with the four-day-workweek trend at my high school.

Even more bizarre, my principal has really been going through it. The school came down hard on a boy earlier this week who tried to steal a meal from the cafeteria--a meal that would have cost an honest man 40 cents.

The kid's mom went to the media, claiming poverty, claiming injustice, claiming that her son had "never been in trouble before." (He's not in my class, so I can't assess how seriously he takes his education.)

Somehow the blogs get involved with the boy's defense. People from all around the country are calling to criticize the principal (who cannot publicly talk about the boy's discipline record). People are even mailing in 40 cents to give the kid--and others. I guess these kind people will stop every kid who steals a Twinkie and tell them, "It's OK," I'll cover it for you.

When I checked, almost $300 had been donated, and the kid had walked away yesterday with over $200 in gifts--given by my principal himself.

Public schools have a hard job, and it's never right. Too strict. Not strict enough. Teachers are too close to students (and sexually abuse them); they are too distant and remote and out of touch. If this kind of thing happened in a private school, no one would blink an eye (or it would be hushed up).

Oh well.

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