School Administrators Need a Course in the Politics of Education

Wed, Sep 23, 2015

Distance Learning, Uncategorized

by Dr. Charles W. Bindig

Ever since 9-11, school administrators entered the political arena with regard to how one responds to terrorist threats in the schools. After this date, a plethora of zero tolerance policies were instituted regarding terroristic threats, which also included bullying in the schools. Apparently, the school principal now could not be trusted to use common sense when dealing with these issues, and the political structure started to demand mandatory reporting of all incidents of alleged terror. As a result we saw Kindergarten children suspended from school for making a fake gun with their hand, or by using the dreaded phrase that uses some variant of “kill”. Now we have the incident of a student in Texas, who brought a mechanical clock to school, that looked to the uninitiated eye very much like a homemade bomb. Unfortunately, the student was Muslim and the school district deigned to suspend the student, only to be upstaged by the President of the United States inviting the student to the White House for his unfair treatment by the school district. Back in the days of common sense rule, this would not have been the outcome.
The problem with this incident is that the schools have long been relieved of the ability to make judgment calls on these issues for fear of not being correct and then guilty of harboring a juvenile terrorist. Prior to 9-11 school administrators had the flexibility to investigate these incidents without fear of being directed to make mandatory reporting. School administrators have not been trained to operate in a political environment where these types of incidents must be handled with expert care and political correctness. As a result of this incident the parents of the student in Texas have removed him from the public schools. This is indeed an unfortunate outcome for all concerned, and the educational bureaucracy needs to respond with better training and possibly start offering course work in political education.

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