Zero Tolerance for…Skittles?

Husband sent me an e-mail just now, and here’s what it said:

Maybe you or Deb (my sister) can find out exactly what school this was and get me an e-mail address so I can tell them what I really think of them.

I feel a real dickish moment coming on.

At the very least – maybe you can write about the absurdity of this whole thing.

Personally – I would like to ask them why they didn’t just shoot the kid onthe spot and then execute his whole family.

After reading the article, I wholeheartedly agree.

Michael Sheridan, a student at New Haven’s Sheridan Middle School, was suspended from school for one day, barred from attending an honors student dinner and stripped of his title as class vice president. His transgression?

He bought a bag of candy from another student.

The horror!

As part of it’s wellness policy, the New Haven school system banned candy sales as fundraisers in 2003. There is no candy allowed in the schools. Okay, a bit stringent, but I can support that.

The student who sold the candy also was suspended.

Nothing like killing an ant with an uzi, New Haven.

It makes a great deal of sense to obliterate a child’s sense of accomplishment for having worked hard to attain honors because of a relatively minor transgression. And why on earth wouldn’t we want to spit on children who have the character and gall to wade through the rampant apathy and self-absorption of the middle school biosphere, get involved in their community and learn about the democratic process by taking on the office of Student Government Vice President?

Why indeed.

It certainly wouldn’t have made sense to give him detention, or to have him, in his role as Vice-President, make a presentation to the student body about nutrition.

No, it’s much more important to teach them how to rebel against unfair and overdone punishment, to seethe with injustice.

And why did the nefarious candy dealer get less punishment than the user-addict? Perhaps he’s supplying the school board….?

(By the way honey, the name of the school was right in the article, babe. But I’m sure your ire made your eyes skip over that part. Love ya!)

Update March 15, 2008

Both students’ suspensions have been expunged and the buyer has been reinstated to the Student Council. Apparently the school administration failed to notify the parents of this rule in writing.

I don’t think the school needed to undo all of the punishment. I just thought the punishment should fit the crime.


3 Responses to “Zero Tolerance for…Skittles?”

  1. Funny about Money Says:

    Hmmm…. Do I smell something odd in Denmark? Can this possibly be true? Or could it be that we’re seeing a bit of journalistic misreporting? (Nooo, say it ain’t so, Joe!)

    Whereas it surely is true that our public schools are given to moments of wackiness (just a few years ago a teacher in southern Arizona was fired because people decided she was a witch…not as in Wicca but as in Salem). But this tale smacks of “not the whole story.”

  2. BeThisWay Says:

    FAM, it does seem wacky, indeed. The story has also been picked up by the AP and Newsday without any difference in the facts…

    I’m sure there’s lots of misreporting out there, but this seems to be accurate…

  3. Funny about Money Says:

    Even AP and Newsday get it wrong, especially when it sells newspapers. That scandalous tale about the “frivolous” lawsuit against McDonald’s over the hot coffee spill is a case in point. It takes some real digging to find out what that was really about.

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