Monday, June 12, 2006

Here We Go Again

It's amusing to me that I've been getting most of my news about questionable decisions by school administrators from a humor site--Dave Barry's Blog--but that's been my source recently. Here are two more gems:
  • Some schools are allowing students to earn extra credit by storing up unused restroom passes:
    Even though Daniel Thornton occasionally needed to go to the bathroom during his AP history course last year, he also needed a B on the midterm to maintain his grade. So he did what lots of students at Forest Park Senior High School in Woodbridge do in their Darwinian pursuit of academic success: Thornton endured a full bladder and instead hoarded his two restroom passes, which, unused, were worth six points of extra credit.

    It was enough to bump the 18-year-old's midterm grade from a C-plus to a B.

    "Occasionally it made days unpleasant, but I was just very careful. I would try to go in the five minutes beforehand or afterwards, between classes," said Thornton, who will graduate this month. "Some of my classmates definitely had a lot of trouble. People around me would fidget, especially girls."
    Wow. Sure, plenty of students will abuse their restroom breaks (I hate to say "privileges"--is it really a privilege to answer nature's call?), but "holding it" on repeated occasions to bring up a grade? That's bizarre to me. Thankfully, others agree:
    Although advocates say the passes -- which can be used for numerous destinations -- maximize classroom time, critics say it is unfair to give anyone an academic advantage based on something as unacademic as bathroom habits.

    "What's the correlation between holding your urine and succeeding on a history test?" asked Kevin Barr, principal of Georgetown Day School, a private school in the District. "My basic assumption is always that kids need to be comfortable and safe to excel in the classroom."
    Agreed. Needless to say, Dave Barry's commenters have fun with the subject.

  • The other one's more serious: A student in San Antonio (whose graduation had been in doubt, thanks to multiple failures of the TAKS test) was removed from her graduation ceremony for the "offense" of waving to the crowd and pumping her fist into the air when her name was called:
    A Warren High School senior was not allowed to walk across the stage to receive her high school diploma recently because she violated Northside Independent School District policy when she waved and pumped her fists in the air at the crowd.

    "I was just walking and I looked up and I (waved)," she said. "And I just felt a tap on my shoulder."

    The tap was Medina's cue to leave Saturday's ceremony at the Alamodome.

    "I'll never forget her face," said Michelle Medina, Samantha's mother, about her daughter's reaction to being asked to leave. "It hurts that she didn't get to walk that stage. They took that away from us."

    [...] According to Northside ISD policy, students must keep their hands by their side at all times and not bring them above waist level until they receive their diploma.

    The school district handbook also states that "students who raise their hands above their waists for any reasons other than receiving the diplomas or shaking hands may be removed from the graduation ceremony."

    "She was twirling in the line," said Northside ISD spokesman Pascual Gonzalez. "She was waving. She was not acting like she was instructed to." Gonzalez said that Samantha will eventually receive her diploma.
    Twirling? Oh no, please, anything but twirling...

    As you can imagine, Barry's commenters are all over this one as well...and while several people point out that the student should have followed the rules (and plenty of others hope that this will not result in a lawsuit), the question is raised many times as to why such a silly rule was instituted in the first place. Oh, and lots of commenters from Texas get to goof on the TAKS test, which of course deserves all the ridicule it can possibly get.
I have a feeling this won't be the end of these stories...

One school decision with which all sane people can agree: A pair of teachers at a Tampa middle school have resigned after students saw them having sex in the classroom. (And no, I'm pretty sure it wasn't a classroom demonstration like in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.)

Blowing out the candles: Happy 65th birthday to a jazz legend, Chick Corea. At least somewhat in honor of this occasion (and because I liked the music), I bought his latest CD yesterday.

3 comments:

Jazzy G said...

I have a stupid school thing for you. It involves my alma mater. This year 3 seniors started a food fight in the cafeteria 1 day before the end of the school year. Instead of making the pranksters clean up the entire school, the administration didn't allow them to participate in the graduation ceremonies.

How dumb is that! Besides, graduation ceremony is more for the parents than students.

Jazzy G said...

I have a stupid school thing for you. It involves my alma mater. This year 3 seniors started a food fight in the cafeteria 1 day before the end of the school year. Instead of making the pranksters clean up the entire school, the administration didn't allow them to participate in the graduation ceremonies.

How dumb is that! Besides, graduation ceremony is more for the parents than students.

Anonymous said...

would i still be able to earn extra credit if i just peed on the floor of the class room? because technically i didn't use a bathroom pass...

-Colin