03 March 2010

Indiana Middle School Madness - Just Saying No Is Not Good Enough

Remember the mindlessly petty authoritarianism of middle school and how it shaped your attitude towards those in power for the rest of your life?

If so, you will have sympathy for little Rachel Greer, a charmingly clean cut seventh grader at River Valley Middle School in Jeffersonville, Indiana. No I am not making it up, there really is such a place. And right now, Rachel, if she knew about such things, must be thinking she's in a Gulag rather than school. Well, that's not exactly correct, since she's been suspended for a week and is not in school where she belongs.

You see, Rachel violated the school's zero tolerance drug policy by looking at, touching and handing back another kid's prescription medication, according to news reports from WHAS-TV.

In short, when the other kid handed the drug to her, Rachel did what she had been taught; she said no and handed it back! And that, according to school administrator, Marty Bell, in a draconian interpretation of the school's drug policy, constituted "possession" and just good enough.

"Someone hands them a pill or a drug or something like that and they say well I said no I didn't participate. Well the act of saying no is not to be there, not to be involved in the handling the you know they didn't have to put their hand out," says Marty Bell of Greater Clark County Schools.

Bell says students and parents have to sign off on their policy so they know the rules.

Greer's mother, responded that her daughter's punishment isn't good policy. "We're teaching our kids if you say no to drugs you're going to get punished, it's not right."

Mrs Greer, we agree it is not right. And we think it is part of the reason why a whole generation of people with high school and college educations do not know the difference between there and their, your and you're, or how to properly make change or how to write in cursive.

We think Mr. Bell is a prat better suited to administering a prison rather than "teaching' our kids!

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