Who stole America, redux
It was by all accounts an experiment gone wrong, though not desperately so. It involved the mixing of household chemicals in a bottle. Which I’m not terribly interested in other than to expose how the school and school board reacted. “Zero Tolerance Watch: Teen Faces Felony Charges for Science Experiment“:
[...] No one was hurt. There’s no sign that Wilmot was up to something malevolent. The kid’s own principal thinks this wasn’t anything more than an experiment, and he says she didn’t try to cover up what she had done. What punishment do you think she received? A stern talking-to? A day or two of after-school detention? Maybe she’ll have to help clean up the lab for a week?
Nope. The budding chemist has been kicked out of school and charged with a couple of felonies:
Wilmot was arrested Monday morning and charged with possession/discharge of a weapon on school property and discharging a destructive device.
The teen was expelled and will now complete her education in an expulsion program.Miami New Times reports that Wilmot will be tried as an adult.
A statement from Polk County Schools says, “We urge our parents to join us in conveying the message that there are consequences to actions. We will not compromise the safety and security of our students and staff.” [...]
— This brought to you by those caring educators who provide condom demonstrations on fruit and are instructed to hide your daughter’s abortion plans from you, should it come to that.
Let’s just put this bluntly: the current progressive educational mindset that promotes a risk-averse, politically-correct esteem curricula –one geared more toward protecting teachers and their employment than toward creating independent thinkers — is an absolute pox on real intellectualism, curiosity, innovation, individualism, and experimentation.
— Unless, of course, one wishes to engage in bi-curiousness, in which case s/he’ll be applauded and, on a good day, get a Tweet from the First Lady.
We live in a culture in which actual intellectual pursuit is moribund; dogma is promoted and encouraged; and free speech and free thought have been bastardized to such a degree that they require cultural / government sanction, with “tolerance” having been refigured as “not giving offense.”
Not to beat yet again on how language and intentionalism plays into all this, but look at what’s at work here: the student and the principal — hell, all parties involved — agree that there was no malicious intent. No one was injured. The student was forthcoming and cooperated with school administrators. And she had been a model student. Forever.
And yet the school and the school board are all pretending that they are hopelessly constrained by rules, as if those rules can exist without a human agency behind them, or a human agency available to interpret and implement them — as if the rules merely appeared one day in the sand, produced by the accidental scratchings of egret feet, and a cult was built up around them demanding that they be followed to the letter, with no room to consider the intent behind them. Rendering all powerless forever more to defy the dictates of their found totem!
Were these rules produced and implemented to punish students who, with no malice, accidentally caused a disturbance — students who had never been in trouble and who were engaging in scientific experimentation — in a way that forces their expulsion? Was this the intent behind them?
If so, the rules are surreal and need to be scrapped and their authors punished — or, if they have passed on, dug up and bitch slapped. If not, then the school administrators’ decision to hide behind them to justify they’re overreaction and petty tyrannical impulses is merely disgusting and, of course, linguistically incoherent.
How you get there matters.
Maybe one day people will figure this all out, and I can finally take a fucking nap.
Until then, here we go again.