Friday, April 22, 2005

Where's the Ruler?

I just saw on the news that a little girl in Florida was put into handcuffs when she was, "out of control in the Assistant Principal's office." Now it was all on tape. She did hit the AP, and she was asked to stop. When she didn't, the AP asked for the cops to intervene. The mother of the little girl thinks (of course) that this was excessive and wants to sue. It could be that this was excessive, but here's the problem: If the AP had grabbed the girl, she could have been sued. Her only recourse was to ask the police for help.
We live in a society where teachers can be sued for breaking up a fight between two students. It used to be (yeah, I know. A "when I was your age" speech) that if two students were beating on each other, teachers could grab the students and separate them. Now educators have to be very careful about being sued for sexual harrassment. Sure it's not the "right" kind of situation, but it can be done for "inappropiate touching" and such. As I mentioned before, if the AP had grabbed the little girl, the mom could sue the AP for hurting her daughter. The justice system has been twisted in such a way that anyone can be sued for any reason at any time. We, especially in America, are looking for a quick buck without having to work for it. Look at the woman in California who put a finger in her chilli to attmept to sue Wendy's. Of course, it's possible that she really did find a finger, and it belonged to a Wendy's worker, and the chain is trying to save money. However, this woman has been known to sue other chains for other problems. There was another woman here in Minnesota who attempted to sue Walmart, because she was trampled at a store sale. Thing is this was the fourth time this had happened to her, and this was her fourth lawsuit against Walmart. Now, Walmart is no saint, but that's still excessive.
So what's my point? Well, the Assistant Principal did the only thing she could do. Remember how people always talked about nuns and their rulers? Educators can't do that in the public schools, because they would be in serious trouble. It would be called abuse. I agree that there has be a line. If a student talks back to a teacher, the teacher should not be allowed to smack the student. However, if a student takes a swing at a teacher, the teacher should be allowed to defend him- or herself and not worry about being sued for it. I also agree that handcuffs may have been excessive for that little girl. Still, she was being overly violent and there was no other choice that wouldn't end with the AP being sued. It is still my opinion that alot of parents think that teachers and administrators should let kids walk all over them.
Maybe one day educators will be allowed to take care of these problems themselves and not have to worry if a lawyer is on retainer.

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