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Dennis Coleman

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Are things out of hand in public schools?
by Dennis Coleman   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Saturday, May 03, 2008
Posted: Saturday, April 26, 2008

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Is it just me?

Is it just me, or are things a little wacky at Owen J. Roberts Schools?


The headline in the paper today said that the school swimming pool would have to be drained, because an errant soccer ball smashed a window, leaving glass in it. I have a suggestion. Fill the pool with dirt, and save the money. I cannot see how it is possibly worth the investment to keep a swimming pool maintained with the amount of time that it could be used, and to a much greater extent, for the few number of students that it serves. School is just not a place for a swimming pool, if I am paying for it, which I am. 


Of course, we do have the fancy electronic sign out in front of the school. Someone told me it cost more than fifty thousand bucks, but that can’t possibly be true , can it? I mean who needs a fancy sign like that to announce the school play.

I was told that it would also be used for emergency announcements, but I don’t guess that’s right either. Who in the world is going to drive down to the school to read a sign in an emergency?


Also, is there someone promising to stick around in an emergency to post a message?


Uh, excuse me ma’am, the schools on fire.”

“O.K. Let me just put it up on the fancy expensive electronic sign that the school is on fire.”

“No need ma’am, you can see it from the road.”

“Good point.”


If they want to make that sign really useful, they should post the daily breakfast special at the Ridge Restaurant. Now that would serve the community.


Nowadays, you can get away with any rule, or any expense, if you just say that it going to keep someone safe. That’s also how administrators get to brag about their zero-tolerance program. I recall being taught that intolerance is a weakness, and having examples cited such as old Joe Stalin. Regardless of the opinion of the school, or the state of the world, it is a timeless truth that children will require tolerance in growing up.

I fear the coming reaction of the children when they one day consider the entirety of their education.

Perhaps it will be them that consider all of the costs of giving up too much freedom to ensure safety. Perhaps the kid that got suspended because he had a penknife in the locked glove compartment of his locked car will lead the way to sense and reason.


The world has changed; there is no doubt about that. Has there ever been a time when that wasn’t true ? It is the reaction to the change that I find most disturbing. Here are a few examples of what the community has allowed to happen.


-Every kid rides on a bus where every move is videotaped.

-There are cameras in classrooms.

-There is a constant security presence in the school.

-The school decides what foods kids can eat, not parents.


Review those four things, and tell me if it doesn’t sound just a little bit like being incarcerated.


Of course, all you have to do is read on the school website that recently a whole bunch of people spent a whole lot of time creating a mission statement; so I am sure that sense and reason are just around the corner. Maybe it’s closer than I think, because apparently the school used to be “good,” but pretty soon it is going to be “great.”


Of course, there is nothing at all that we can do about the foolish spending, endless self-praise, and militant stature that the school seems to have endorsed, adopted, and approved. We are all just helpless to the whims of the school board and the superintendent. Right?




All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.


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