May 06, 2005

Zero Tolerance Horror

In Columbus, GA a teenaged boy named Kevin Francois answered his cellphone during his lunch period at Spencer High School. On answering it, he discovers it is his mother, Sgt 1st Class Monique Bates, a member of the 203rd Forward Support Battalion, currently deployed in Iraq. Sgt. Bates has been deployed to Iraq since January.

Sounds like the beginning of a wonderful story, doesn't it? Well, it isn't.

Spencer High School has a cellphone policy which prohibits all calls during school hours, even though students are permitted to carry one anywhere on campus. When Kevin received this call from his mother 8 time zones away and in a war zone, he was told to disconnect the call. He told the teacher doing lunchroom duty at the time "This is my mom in Iraq. I'm not about to hang up on my mom."

Does this teacher show some compassion to a kid with a mother in harm's way? Did the teacher take into account that this kid's mother may have been using the only opportunity to place a call that she will have for days? Did this teacher allow him to complete his call, perhaps taking him into the hallway to finish it with a little more privacy than lunch room provided?

No. This teacher insisted he end the call, pushed him to the point of profanity, pronounced him "defiant and disorderly" then had him removed to the office for all due punishment.

Punishment meted? A 10 day suspension. It could have been worse. Spencer High School assistant principal Alfred Parham stated it this way:

"Kevin got defiant and disorderly. When a kid becomes out of control like that they can either be arrested or suspended for 10 days. Now being that his mother is in Iraq, we're not trying to cause her any undue hardship; he was suspended for 10 days."

I'm going to be really honest with you on this. I'm a big fan of discipline in the schools. My own daughter went through the third grade at a Catholic school, and I made it abundantly clear to her that corporal punishment was an option if she acted out. But I also believe that there is no such thing as "One Size Fits All" when it comes to dealing with kids.

Zero Tolerance on a phone call? And a 10 day suspension for letting the Cellphone Gestapo Enforcer Anal Retentive Patrol push his buttons and set him off?

Posted by Mamamontezz at May 6, 2005 05:02 PM

If it had been a female talking to her abortionist doctor, or celebrating "V" day it probably would have been condoned. It is just another example of an "I'm in charge out of my way knave liberal". Support parents rights and take back the schools.

Posted by: Jack at May 6, 2005 08:07 PM

I hope the mom in Iraq heard the whole thing over the phone and lets those idiots have a good reaming. I believe in discipline too but that's just bleeding ridiculous.

Posted by: Aquila at May 7, 2005 12:28 AM

Leaving aside the obvious idiocy involved in not applying a little discretion in a case like this, what sort of absurd rule is "you can carry a cellphone, it just can't get any calls"? It seems to me that if the school wants to allow cellphones at all, it needs to also allow calls outside class time.

Posted by: Sam at May 9, 2005 07:40 AM


Posted by: Asher Abrams at May 9, 2005 04:47 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?