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Student says T-shirt slogans got her a day's suspension
http://www.accessnorthga.com ^ | 5 24 05

Posted on 05/26/2005 10:22:33 AM PDT by freepatriot32

A teenager was back in class Friday after receiving a one-day suspension for wearing a T-shirt with slogans including "freedom of expression" and "don't drink and drive" that school administrators considered disruptive.

Hanna Smith, 18, a junior at Tift County High School, said principal Mike Duck told her that if she wore the shirt again she would be suspended for the remainder of the year.

The principal was arrested six years ago for DUI and running a stop sign, the Tifton Gazette said Friday in a story on Smith's suspension. Duck made a public apology for the DUI and was himself suspended for five days.

Smith's mother, Tracy Fletcher, said she would defend her daughter's right to express herself, even if it means hiring an attorney and taking the case to court.

"They want everyone to fit into a mold and there's no room for individuality. These kids are our future, I think they should be treated with a little more respect. Their opinions count. Their thoughts count," Fletcher said.

The principal confirmed that Smith was back in class Friday without the banned T-shirt, which also had a peace symbol on the front and "Veritas" (truth) written on the back.

On Friday, Smith wore a different T-shirt, this one reading "Don't Underestimate Individuality," her mother said. The first letters of those words spell "DUI." Her mother said the teen plans to wear the banned T-shirt again on Monday.

Duck said he could not comment on the suspension.

"We can't discuss children and their issue," he said. "It's a matter of privacy and protection of their rights."

The school system's dress code forbids disruptive clothing, grooming and symbols. Principals decide what's disruptive.

"I have an obligation to maintain an orderly environment," Duck said. "The courts give me the authority and the right to make those decisions and as long as I'm sitting in this chair that's what I'm going to do."

Smith said she learned about Constitutional rights, such as freedom of expression, in class and wishes school officials would honor them.

"I think it's silly that we can't practice the freedoms that they teach us here," Smith said. "You would think that school officials would have respect for the law and people's rights, or at least they should."


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; Front Page News; News/Current Events; Philosophy; US: Georgia
KEYWORDS: a; days; discipline; dresscode; firstamendment; got; govwatch; her; libertarians; publicschool; says; slogans; student; suspension; tshirt; zerotolerance
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To: Sam's Army
If you like awesome shirts...you have to check out this site....it has shirts for both sides... http://www.boffensive.com/offensive_tshirts/freedom.htm http://www.boffensive.com/offensive_tshirts/religion.htm I just ordered this one the other night...
101 posted on 05/26/2005 12:11:06 PM PDT by My Favorite Headache ( "I think she did too much coke, ahh you think so Doctor?")
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To: L98Fiero
"18-year-old junior = flunked somewhere along the line down here, possibly twice, depending on birthdate."

That is EXACTLY what I am thinking... There are LOTS of kids who turn 18 early in their senior year or even during the summer... But if you are 18 in your junior year...well...I'm thinking that you started REALLY late or were held back along the way (for whatever reason)...

102 posted on 05/26/2005 12:11:16 PM PDT by M0sby (((PROUD WIFE of MSgt Edwards USMC)))
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To: af_vet_1981

Neither you nor Clinton were in a high school where the court has ruled that the education mission overrides most everything else.


103 posted on 05/26/2005 12:12:57 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It!)
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To: mbraynard

If the kid was wearing an anti bush shirt, youd all be patting the guy back.


104 posted on 05/26/2005 12:13:06 PM PDT by beansox
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To: aQ_code_initiate
Now, why did you go make this political? Why do you assume that because I am on the side of authority and discipline that I'm a Clintonista?

Bill Clinton represented both authority and discipline when he told Juanita to put some ice on it.

The idea is actually oxymoronic. (BTW, per Miss Smith's example, I've just launched two coded insults at you.) Okay, since you want to splash around in the political pond, let's test your principles. What if Michael Scheuer started wearing a t-shirt around the CIA calling Tenet a political puppet?

If you are in leadership and have committed a crime that affects your ability to lead, you should step down.

Or what if a recruit at basic training decides his drill sergeant is an SOB and scrawls something to that effect on his shirt when he falls in for PT? How tolerant would you be of that? Or would you be part of the chorus proclaiming how richly they deserved what they got?

Public schools are not (yet) a government military environment but any DI who commits certain crimes should be disqualified from leadership.

105 posted on 05/26/2005 12:15:36 PM PDT by af_vet_1981
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To: xzins

Possibly, but this late in the school year, being 18 and a junior is not that rare.


106 posted on 05/26/2005 12:15:55 PM PDT by sharktrager (The masses will trade liberty for a more quiet life.)
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To: xzins

Rural Georgia courts aren't noted for their willingness to undermine authority, and the principal is correct when he says that there is a lot of precedent for his actions. I say Smith will lose.


107 posted on 05/26/2005 12:16:59 PM PDT by aQ_code_initiate
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To: Puddleglum

it can't help but be better than the version BBC did a number of years ago.
i almost slapped the couple sitting next to me when i saw the preview, i knew it right away but the grrl said something like "oooh! another harry potter movie" then after the title was shown her boyfriend said something to the extent of "oh, there's like 4 books in the series, its just a rip off of LotR"


108 posted on 05/26/2005 12:17:07 PM PDT by absolootezer0 ("My God, why have you forsaken us.. no wait, its the liberals that have forsaken you... my bad")
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To: xzins
Neither you nor Clinton were in a high school where the court has ruled that the education mission overrides most everything else.

Again, whether the principal committed assault, rape, or DUI and running a stop sign, he should resign or be removed from any leadership position. Yes, I know the Clinton Fans have a different standard for leaders ...

109 posted on 05/26/2005 12:17:25 PM PDT by af_vet_1981
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To: af_vet_1981
Drop Clinton and quit your commie-baiting. I didn't vote for him and think he's a slimeball.

Oh, so you're advocating that the principal lose his job. Okay, that I can understand, although I disagree with your opinion, because the DUI hasn't affected his ability to do his job - and military leadership isn't in his job description. Miss Smith is merely a gadfly.

110 posted on 05/26/2005 12:23:33 PM PDT by aQ_code_initiate
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To: freepatriot32

It seems to me that the principle running the school is a little angry at this student because she is only reminding the student body what a hypocrite he really is.

I guess he just can't take the heat. He should resign for the good of the school.


111 posted on 05/26/2005 12:24:52 PM PDT by puppypusher
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To: aQ_code_initiate
Drop Clinton and quit your commie-baiting. I didn't vote for him and think he's a slimeball.

Clinton and his fans made the case that his behavior did not affect his ability to do his job and you seem to imply that only military leadership might have made that premise invalid.

Oh, so you're advocating that the principal lose his job.

I wrote as much.

Okay, that I can understand, although I disagree with your opinion, because the DUI hasn't affected his ability to do his job - and military leadership isn't in his job description. Miss Smith is merely a gadfly.

Linda Tripp was such a gadfly ...

112 posted on 05/26/2005 12:27:17 PM PDT by af_vet_1981
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To: L98Fiero
Well put. There is no doubt in my mind the immature 18-year-old was taking a direct shot at the principal. The sad thing is that most posters here know that as well and won't admit it because they abhor authority and or public schools as much as this ignorant 18-year old junior does.

There's nothing wrong with defying authority when that authority is genuinely corrupt. In this case, the student was objecting to the immorality of having a criminal drunkard overseeing the education of several hundred children. I happen to agree with her position, and if the teachers unions and corrupt school boards managed to undermine basic morality and keep this dipsh*t in his job, then I'd say that a little civil disobedience is in order.

Our country wouldn't exist today if it weren't for citizens revolting against the tyrants and corrupt leaders imposed upon them.
113 posted on 05/26/2005 12:43:15 PM PDT by Arthalion
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To: Venerable Bede; JIM O

That's what I was wondering. I was 15 when I started my junior year.


114 posted on 05/26/2005 12:46:00 PM PDT by Xenalyte (It's a Zen thing, you know, like how many babies fit in a tire.)
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To: xzins
The coincidence of the 2nd shirt's acronym spelling DUI, though, was a bit too cute.

Which likely wouldn't have happened if the principal didn't go completely overboard in response to the first T-shirt. "Don't drink and drive" is a perfectly positive message. It's crazy that such a message should not be permitted because the he once had a DUI six years ago. I wouldn't go so far as to say (as other posters have) that illegal actions should unconditionally disqualify a principal, but if his actions make him this sensitive to messages that should be heard, then he really needs to find himself another job.

115 posted on 05/26/2005 12:52:27 PM PDT by inquest (FTAA delenda est)
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To: motzman
Obviously, the chickee-poo and her mommy have some kind of problem with the principal.
The principal is a criminal drunkard. They have a legitimate argument against his holding that job.

These kids are our future
Scary thought.

You find it scary that this girl had the fortitude to object to an obviously tyrannical convicted criminal running a public school? You find it scary that she objected to the corruption that allowed this creep to keep his job in the first place? You object to the fact that this girl seems to think that school leaders should act as ROLE MODELS for their students, and refrain from engaging in criminal acts? Sorry, but I most certainly do NOT share your objections.

Most kids, because of poor parenting, don't realize "respect" is something you earn, and it's a two-way street.
The principal threw his respectability out the window when he was convicted of committing a crime that he hypocritically lectured his own students against committing themselves. The girl has earned MY respect simply because she had the audacity to speak up against corruption and inept leadership when she saw it. If I wanted to live in a nation full of mindless bleating sheep who do whatever they're told, I'd move to Europe.
116 posted on 05/26/2005 12:52:29 PM PDT by Arthalion
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To: beansox

No, we'd similarly disagree with the principal and send him nasty emails. I think I'd rather deal with an anti-Bush HS student than some dope head HS student.

HOWEVER, it's not even an overtly political t-shirt. It's a "Don't drink and Drive" t-shirt.


117 posted on 05/26/2005 12:52:54 PM PDT by mbraynard
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To: SandyInSeattle

That's what happens when you start Kindergarten at age 6 instead of 5. Not necessarily caused by having to repeat a grade somwhere along the line.


118 posted on 05/26/2005 12:53:50 PM PDT by HKMk23 (Ladies, "No" should not mean "No"; it should mean "Don't even THINK it or I'll for real KILL you!")
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To: adam_az

ABCD snikes?
LMNO snikes!
OSAR2
CMBDI's?
YIB!
MR2 snikes!


119 posted on 05/26/2005 12:56:49 PM PDT by HKMk23 (Ladies, "No" should not mean "No"; it should mean "Don't even THINK it or I'll for real KILL you!")
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To: freepatriot32
These kids are our future, I think they should be treated with a little more respect....

With all due respect to freedom of expression, your kids are not my future--I am my future. Your kid will get respect from me when he or she earns it.

120 posted on 05/26/2005 1:05:28 PM PDT by randog (What the....?!)
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To: HKMk23

I caught up. Ping to my #41.


121 posted on 05/26/2005 1:05:30 PM PDT by SandyInSeattle (Official RKBA Landscaper and Arborist, Pajama Duchess of Green Leafy Things)
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To: Arthalion
School is for learning. The principal was convicted of a DUI years ago, and paid his debt to society. Children in schools should be learning, not "expressing their opinions" or other such crapola.

Sorry, but I most certainly do NOT share your objections.

That's your problem---go inflict it on someone else.

The girl has earned MY respect simply because she had the audacity to speak up against corruption and inept leadership when she saw it.

Great...an 18-year old JUNIOR in high school has earned your respect. An 18 year old JUNIOR in high school has "exposed corruption and inept leadership". How wonderful.
122 posted on 05/26/2005 1:17:34 PM PDT by motzman (now whatda?)
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To: xzins

You are right, they probably DO have a history. He may in fact have a history with several of the girls in the school.

IT would not be at all unusual if she was just getting back at the guy for unwanted sexual advances, or sexual harrassment while he was on the job... and had a few too many. She may not have appreciated some other well known drunken behaviors by this dude. The message perhaps? "Back off letch!!!"

btw... the girl WILL win.
Take it to the bank.


123 posted on 05/26/2005 1:17:37 PM PDT by Robert_Paulson2 (Please don't squeeze the Koran. I gotta go to the bathroom.)
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To: af_vet_1981

My guess is the girls in the school don't like the guy because there may in fact be some FUI or SHUI behaviors going on, without consequence for the guy.

Flirting
Under the
Influence

or

Sexual
Harassment
Under the
Influence

I doubt it's just the tshirt thing.


124 posted on 05/26/2005 1:21:21 PM PDT by Robert_Paulson2 (Please don't squeeze the Koran. I gotta go to the bathroom.)
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To: af_vet_1981
Just like people had problems with the corrupt Clintons and the corrupt Clintons had lots of fans ...

DUI years ago vs. a lifetime of political and financial corruption. Yeah, it's the same thing....




Sheesh!
125 posted on 05/26/2005 1:21:28 PM PDT by motzman (now whatda?)
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To: freebilly

You literally made me snort coffee out my nose. LOL


126 posted on 05/26/2005 1:21:29 PM PDT by B Knotts (Viva il Papa!)
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To: motzman

Children are in school to learn citizenship as much as math, and good citizenship means objecting to inept leadership. The girl did exactly what she should have done.

As for him paying his debt to society, I suppose you'd also advocate letting released child molestors run daycare centers or convicted murderers teach. Just because you've paid your debt to society doesn't mean your slate is clean and you can do whatever you want. The guy is a bad influence, a horrible role model, and a tyrant. As a general rule, I object to ANY criminal in ANY leadership position in the public schools, and this entire situation clearly demonstrates the wisdom of that position.


127 posted on 05/26/2005 1:25:17 PM PDT by Arthalion
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To: freepatriot32
Minors don't have that freedom and they don't have in school. The school has a a right to regulate dress. I think "No t-shirts with slogans or logos" is a good start.
Personally, I kinda like the idea of school uniforms.
128 posted on 05/26/2005 1:25:22 PM PDT by Little Ray (I'm a reactionary, hirsute, gun-owning, knuckle dragging, Christian Neanderthal and proud of it!)
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To: motzman

DUI and running Stop Signs is a big neal in High School. Kids die every year from this activity. Having a school principal who committed the same crime not so long ago and resumed his duties with 5 days of suspension is a very low standard indeed ...


129 posted on 05/26/2005 1:30:35 PM PDT by af_vet_1981
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To: motzman

DUI and running Stop Signs is a big deal in High School. Kids die every year from this activity. Having a school principal who committed the same crime not so long ago and resumed his duties with 5 days of suspension is a very low standard indeed ...


130 posted on 05/26/2005 1:30:45 PM PDT by af_vet_1981
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To: Robert_Paulson2
Flirting Under the Influence or Sexual Harassment Under the Influence

Oh

I understand.

You see her as a Clinton woman just asking for it ...

131 posted on 05/26/2005 1:32:08 PM PDT by af_vet_1981
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To: Robert_Paulson2; aQ_code_initiate
I think you need to reread the first paragraph. T-shirt with slogans including "freedom of expression" and "don't drink and drive" that school administrators considered disruptive.

In other words, there are other slogans on it (them?) that aren't mentioned. We know the media's well-established penchant for creating honest impressions of all that's going on. We know that the DUI was six years ago. We know that the girl intentionally brought it up with t-shirt #2 with a DUI theme.

We know that "administratorS" (note the "S") consider the t-shirts and slogans to be disruptive. We know that a suspension was upheld, and if I know a superintendent and his lawyer well, I'll bet they checked with the administratorS (other than principal) on this. You can bet that if this was a big RED FLAG that they would have pulled this principal up to a screeching halt by his short hairs.

You also know that this is rural GEORGIA where school discipline is still dear to the hearts of many judges as is so ably point out by AQ. And judges in N. Ga. might not smile favorably is this 18 year old JUNIOR has a problem child record.

I'm betting that the girl loses, but the problem is.....how will be ever know unless someone posts it when it gets announced in Georgia. Got any North Georgians around here? :>)

132 posted on 05/26/2005 1:33:32 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It!)
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To: Rebelbase

I agree.

They are going to be in hot water allowing an individual to decide what's disruptive in terms of the content on shirts. They need to ban all expressive shirts, with the stated exception of school, college, and shirts with manufacturer's logos. Or, they need to go to uniforms. I support the school enforcing their rules, but come on, "don't drink and drive" is disruptive? I thought they showed videos saying the same thing.


133 posted on 05/26/2005 1:37:02 PM PDT by 1L
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To: af_vet_1981
Having a school principal who committed the same crime not so long ago and resumed his duties with 5 days of suspension is a very low standard indeed ...

No it's not. The legal system adjudicated the issue properly. The school board handed out its' punishment, which was just in their judgment. Your opinion on the situation does not matter at all.

Here's a dopey girl and her enabler mommy causing all kinds of problems to get attention.

That this issue is even being discussed on an Internet board proves that the girls actions were a distraction, and the principal was correct in his actions to resolve the matter.

You've already compared the guy to Clinton...why not try Hitler next?
134 posted on 05/26/2005 1:39:25 PM PDT by motzman (now whatda?)
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To: inquest

see #132


135 posted on 05/26/2005 1:39:35 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It!)
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To: Arthalion
Children are in school to learn citizenship as much as math, and good citizenship means objecting to inept leadership.

Children by definition do not have the capacity to "object to inept leadership". You want children to be defining "inept leadership"?

As for him paying his debt to society, I suppose you'd also advocate letting released child molestors run daycare centers or convicted murderers teach.

Sure. Nice try, DUmmie.

As a general rule, I object to ANY criminal in ANY leadership position in the public schools, and this entire situation clearly demonstrates the wisdom of that position.

"You" and "wisdom" have parted company a long, long, long, time ago.
136 posted on 05/26/2005 1:43:38 PM PDT by motzman (now whatda?)
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To: motzman
No it's not. The legal system adjudicated the issue properly. The school board handed out its' punishment, which was just in their judgment. Your opinion on the situation does not matter at all.

The Clinton Fans made the same claims for Bill and Hillary Clinton. They were either exonerated by the legal system or the issues were adjudicated. The House and Senate handed down their punishment and our opinion on the situation did not matter at all ...

They were as angry as you are that we even brought it up ...

Here's a dopey girl and her enabler mommy causing all kinds of problems to get attention.

Linda Tripp causing all kinds of problems to get attention ...

That this issue is even being discussed on an Internet board proves that the girls actions were a distraction, and the principal was correct in his actions to resolve the matter.

It proves that the principal should resign or be forced from his position of authority and leadership and that there are always fans who will back him up if he does not ...

You've already compared the guy to Clinton...why not try Hitler next?

You violated Godwin's Law.

You lose this debate.

137 posted on 05/26/2005 1:46:37 PM PDT by af_vet_1981
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To: motzman
You want children to be defining "inept leadership"?

I would hope that, by her junior year of HS and 18 years of age, she would know the difference between skilled and inept leadership. Heck, I knew the difference a LOT earlier than that.

As to the rest of what you wrote, I'm not even going to dignify that with a reply. If you can't see the wisdom in maintaining certain moral and ethical standards for those who oversee our children, then there's no point in arguing with you.
138 posted on 05/26/2005 1:57:16 PM PDT by Arthalion
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To: af_vet_1981

NO I agree with you.
I was suggesting that HE may be one of those guys, flirting or making advances with the girls at the high school, while under the influence.

not the girl. Got it? He's the drunk, not her. She's pointing something out for some reason.

He is perhaps, in the habit of doing things he shouldn't while tanked. And perhaps, the girl was just 'responding'.


139 posted on 05/26/2005 1:58:37 PM PDT by Robert_Paulson2 (Please don't squeeze the Koran. I gotta go to the bathroom.)
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To: freepatriot32

School uniforms.


140 posted on 05/26/2005 2:00:55 PM PDT by Alouette (The only thing learned from history is that nobody ever learns from history.)
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To: af_vet_1981
A) Nothing to do with Clinton
(distraction device-have no real arguement)
B) Nothing to do with Linda Tripp
(distraction device, have no real arguement)

C) The school board makes firing decisions in situations like this, not us


YOU compared the teacher to Clinton---because your arguement stinks on ice. I just saved you the trouble of comparing him to Hitler, since you were going to anyway. And if you weren't why did you compare the guy to Clinton, anyway? I know, because (as I said before) your arguement stinks on ice.


And, I've CRUSHED your "arguements", so you've won nothing. No lovely parting gifts, no door prize. Now, stop embarrasing yourself and quit while you're WAY behind.
141 posted on 05/26/2005 2:01:50 PM PDT by motzman (now whatda?)
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To: Robert_Paulson2
NO I agree with you. I was suggesting that HE may be one of those guys, flirting or making advances with the girls at the high school, while under the influence. not the girl. Got it?

Understood

142 posted on 05/26/2005 2:04:13 PM PDT by af_vet_1981
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To: Arthalion
Heck, I knew the difference a LOT earlier than that.

Sure ya did!

If you can't see the wisdom in maintaining certain moral and ethical standards for those who oversee our children, then there's no point in arguing with you.

I'm not "arguing" with you, I'm SMACKING YOU AROUND LIKE A PING-PONG BALL.

Schools have rules and a chain of command. Said student VIOLATED those rules, repeatedly and willfully. The rules were enforced.

If you disagree with the rules, move to the district and run for the school board and change them. If not, mind your own business.

Period.

End of Story
143 posted on 05/26/2005 2:07:33 PM PDT by motzman (now whatda?)
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To: 1L; Constitution Day
"They need to ban all expressive shirts, with the stated exception of school, college, and shirts with manufacturer's logos"

NC Tarheel shirts offend me.

144 posted on 05/26/2005 2:16:46 PM PDT by Rebelbase (Seven disloyal senators sold the chance to crush the democrats for tv face time.)
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To: freepatriot32


How long before pictures of her engaging in some underage drinking surface? LOL~


145 posted on 05/26/2005 2:28:58 PM PDT by beansox
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To: xzins

Using your logic all programs in school that advocate "Don't Drink and Drive" should be banned becaus someone might relate it to the Principal and make the Principal feel embarrassed.

The truth is that the Principal should have been standing next to that girl in the hallways between classes pointing to the shirt and saying "She's right! Look at all the trouble I got into making that kind of mistake!"

The problem is that it sounds like the Principal is more concerned about his reputation than he is about the truth and sending a good message.

The truth should never be stepped on just because it disrupts things a little.


146 posted on 05/26/2005 2:42:54 PM PDT by gtwizard
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To: gtwizard

Actually, we have no idea what that principal did 6 YEARS AGO when the violation occurred. I suspect that it's brought up again just because the girl, an 18 year old JUNIOR, wants to be difficult. Please see #132


147 posted on 05/26/2005 2:51:48 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It!)
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To: xzins
We know that "administratorS" (note the "S") consider the t-shirts and slogans to be disruptive. We know that a suspension was upheld, and if I know a superintendent and his lawyer well, I'll bet they checked with the administratorS (other than principal) on this. You can bet that if this was a big RED FLAG that they would have pulled this principal up to a screeching halt by his short hairs.

From the article: "The school system's dress code forbids disruptive clothing, grooming and symbols. Principals decide what's disruptive." So the principal made the initial call (I think we agree on that part). After that, I think the instinct of administrators is generally to uphold the principal's decision, for fear of undermining his authority.

Unlike others on this thread, I'm not doubting that the principal's action was "legal", and it may very well be upheld by the courts. It was still highly inappropriate and unprofessional, by all indications.

148 posted on 05/26/2005 3:23:52 PM PDT by inquest (FTAA delenda est)
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To: motzman
If not, mind your own business.

Nice. We have a "Do as I say, not as I do" liberal on this thread.

149 posted on 05/26/2005 3:26:28 PM PDT by inquest (FTAA delenda est)
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To: inquest
Nice. We have a "Do as I say, not as I do" liberal on this thread.

If you don't like the rules of the school, move to the district, get elected, and change them.

Commie.
150 posted on 05/26/2005 3:32:53 PM PDT by motzman (now whatda?)
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