Saturday, May 04, 2002

Are students people?
I know they aren't adults, and they don't have all of the responsibilities and rights of adults. I understand that. But how can we expect them to respect the rights of others if they have none themselves?

Several months ago, I objected to the principal who wanted to institute strip searches. I objected to the principal who ripped the rivets out of a girl's corduroy pants because they were "too jeans-like". I objected to the principal who wanted to require all of his students to learn the school song.

And I'm objecting now to the assistant principal who took it upon herself to do an underwear check at the Rancho Bernardo High "Morp" dance -- without announcing the policy, without separating girls from boys, without regard to any semblance of privacy. Last year, apparently, a girl flashed the crowd, and administrators were eager to prevent a repeat. So they inspected underwear on the way in, just to be sure everyone was wearing some. (Just in case that link fails, there are plenty more. This story leapt over blogopolis and made the "real" media in record time.)

In what way was this better than the behavior it was intended to prohibit?

"What was she thinking?", Den Beste asks, and I think I can answer that:

Students are not people. They are a mob, a herd, and inspecting their underwear on the way into a dance is just one of those things you have to do. You can't count on their parents to make sure they left the house with underwear on, and you can't count on the kids to keep it on after they've left the house. ...Besides, what are they gonna do, take their business elsewhere? Go to another school? We're stuck with them, and they're stuck with us. We've got to maintain order however we can.

The minute a student violates school policy, yank 'em out of the dance and send 'em home. If you don't think you can do that, don't have dances. A panty patrol at the front door is so far beyond "inappropriate" that we shouldn't even be discussing this.

LATER: I see Michelle Malkin is in the "the schools have to do it because the parents won't" camp.

LATER STILL: She says her "career is over", but she's still on paid leave.

Wilson said that her actions that night had been mischaracterized in the press and wanted the parents who were calling for her to be fired to know that she was a "good person" who was trying to protect their children.

I wonder if Cardinal Edward Egan and Cardinal Bernard Law say the same thing.

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