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(Rome News-Tribune)   High school junior suspended for the rest of the year for refusing to end a cell-phone call from his mother in Iraq   ( divider line
    More: Asinine  
•       •       •

24028 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 May 2005 at 6:52 PM (12 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

388 Comments     (+0 »)

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2005-05-06 08:37:38 PM  
If you treat teenagers like criminals before trying to understand their situation, this is the way they act.

/true across the board.
2005-05-06 08:38:18 PM  
Those of you that condone the actions of the school on this matter are certainly retarded based on the facts given. We do not know the role his mother is in... perhaps the first chance to call her son in a month.

Certainly economics may have played a part in why she is in Iraq, but we do not know the facts. But what you *can* be certain of is that she made a commitment, and is honoring that. Even if we have an asshat for a supreme leader, she is meeting her obligation, and if that includes protecting some of your *sorry* asses, she is meeting that obligation.

We don't know from the article if she' been in the "field" for the last 30 days, and this was her only chance to comm with her son. What we do know, is that she is risking her life for America and America's leader (even if most of us think his reasons are bogus for us being there). I have thought about this as I gave ten years of my life in that situation. My reason was a combination of economic, and love of my country.

If you can not understand that, you are as big an asshat as the principal that approved the suspension, and disserve to live in a 3rd world country for a limited period of time to understand the difference.

The reality is, we don't have enough facts to determine if the teenager acted inappropriately. But we do have enough facts to assume that the establishment (school) acted inappropriately. Once it went from teacher to principal to decide what to do with the situation, I would normally assume the principle (having common sence) would have told the teacher to have handled it differently.

Might has well have handcuffed him (assuming he was a 5 yr old and needing a lesson), and teach him why discipline is important.

I don't understand the educational system these days... why are we not teaching our kids respect, common sense, and the facts? Since family dynamics are now screwed-up (Momma's in Iraq) or for that matter working 6am ~ 8pm at the local insurance company)) where is the educational "step-up" to that task, or even an awareness? And I do not consider that all the educational Infrastructre's fault.

I cast a shame on you for the farkers that don't consider those things.

Yes, the kid was probably wrong in his re-action, but since we don't know the facts, shouldn't we also consider the likelihood the school over-reacted, and maybe the principal ought to look for another job as she is not competent for the position? It is up to the adults to make the right choices.

After all, it's possible that a simple "finish your call in the hallway" may have sufficed.
2005-05-06 08:39:46 PM  
Aww poor teacher can't take a little verbal abuse? Poor baby. A 10 day suspension is just a 10 day holiday in high school.
2005-05-06 08:43:33 PM  
Dear SgtBarthel,

Thanks for writing a severly uninformed letter. We deleted it and hundreds of others right away. Maybe if I didn't have to spend four hours reading emails from people that don't have a clue to what the facts or context of this situation are (aside from what they've read in the media), I would be able to spend time improving the education of the students at this school.

"The report states he was on his lunch break so imagine there was really no threat of any tests being compromised."

Please note the quote was the GENERAL reasoning for the policy. Also note that many schools have different lunch breaks for different students. ie. Just becuase one student was on lunch, there could have been others who were not. Also, we have students writing make up tests frequently during lunchtime and so it is not practical to notify students and staff of when they can and can not use cell phones.

"--This is the part where you or whoever confronted the student says, "Oh, Im sorry. Im sure you miss your mother who is 3000 miles away for a full year constantly in danger of being killed. Take all the time you need since she probably isnt afforded time to call home often. Oh, one more thing, may I speak to her real quick just to varify it is, in fact, your mother and to personally thank her for her sacrifices to serve our country."

This is the part where you re-read where the student did not mention who he was talking to, and responded with profanity. I imagine that your superiors would not respond well to you talking to them in a profane and crude manner, even if you were in the right. Instead they would expect you to explain to them your situation.

Thanks for your time,

Somebody reasonable.
2005-05-06 08:43:57 PM  
Whiny, whiny, whiny boys of soldiers
Whiplash boychild in the dark
Lynddie, your servant comes in bells, please don't forsake him
Strike, dear teacher, and cure his heart

[image from too old to be available]
"Hey, that wasn't half bad."
"No, it was all bad!"
2005-05-06 08:44:01 PM  
IamGod2u: Thanks... for your tax money.

Funny, I don't recall moving to the US.

At any rate I'm sure there's always reason to complain that 'those not entitled' are scamming 'those entitled' etc., etc. From what I understand, school board officials are elected where you're at (correct me if I'm wrong) and if you have a problem with how things are run, you're completely entitled to do something about it, within the rich tapestry you call democracy.

Your original post smacks of 'hard done by'-ness. It bugged me. I posted. You retorted. Life goes on.

(BTW for all I knew you were a janitor. I understand that more than just teachers work in school divisions. So hey, you're not a bitter janitor. My mistake.)
2005-05-06 08:46:21 PM  
IamGod2u: That's funny, that's how 3rdLostPassword's wife described sex with him last night on our date.

My wife is dead. So... that's an interesting post you made there. Apparently an attempt at humour?
2005-05-06 08:47:38 PM  

I agree with 3rd, that was a pretty low blow. Keep it civil.
2005-05-06 08:49:04 PM  
From the Yahoo article:

He said he told the teacher, "This is my mom in Iraq. I'm not about to hang up on my mom."

Seems a far cry from telling her to cram it up her ass or something. *

*if you believe him
2005-05-06 08:49:07 PM  
"The reality is, we don't have enough facts to determine if the teenager acted inappropriately. But we do have enough facts to assume that the establishment (school) acted inappropriately."

That's a strange post.
2005-05-06 08:49:23 PM  
".. why are we not teaching our kids respect, common sense, and the facts?"

Gold. They are teaching him respect. This is teh whole point, they're saying you were ok to have been talkign to your mom but you handled it poorly. If he had explained the situation from the start it would have been over and done with. Instead he went off and started swearing at them, and didn't tell them who he was talking to until after a degree of swearing. (I see no evidence this isn't true, I see some evidence that it is true, therefore I'm assuming its true).

The lesson, you treat other people, especially your elders, especially those people in positions of authority, with respect, and rationally and calmly explain your situation.
2005-05-06 08:49:46 PM  

From what I understand, school board officials are elected where you're at (correct me if I'm wrong) and if you have a problem with how things are run, you're completely entitled to do something about it, within the rich tapestry you call democracy.

I benefit from the system. I would not want to see it change. I get free health insurance and a genrous salary, which will continue at 75% after retirement for the rest of my life.

I was responding to the "poor downtrodden teacher working 60-hours a week for a Starbucks paycheck" scenario, not saying that I do not benefit from the system.

What I said was compare it to ehat you have and you might not feel so badly for the teacher.
2005-05-06 08:50:22 PM  
Look on the bright side

He'll have plenty of time to take mom's calls now.
2005-05-06 08:50:51 PM  
When this kid's mom gets back, she's going to smack the crap out of both of them -- the teacher *and* her kid!
2005-05-06 08:50:58 PM  

what's it matter if he was polite? The teacher said to get off the phone, he didn't get off the phone. End of story.

Let us know when you get that stick taken out of your ass.
2005-05-06 08:51:09 PM  
Kid is probably glad it happened, Mom is out of the country and you don't have to go to school for 10 days... can I get a P-A-R-T-Y.
2005-05-06 08:51:23 PM  
fark school
2005-05-06 08:51:51 PM  
3rdLostPassword: Apparently an attempt at humour?

Yup. My bad. 1000 pardons.
2005-05-06 08:52:31 PM  

Oh, just like that teacher that blew up at a student because he was sitting down? Seriously, I personally have had at least 10 teachers that would go absolutely bezeerk at the littlest things. Interestingly enough, those classes were the ones I learned little.
2005-05-06 08:54:22 PM  
This brings me to another question. Why didn't I get the hot teachers that wanted sex?
2005-05-06 08:55:51 PM  

This brings me to another question. Why didn't I get the hot teachers that wanted sex?

All my teachers looked like Peter Boyle.
And that was just the women....

Thank God they weren't horny.
2005-05-06 08:58:14 PM  
Is it just me, or are all these articles about teachers going overboard with students (having a 5 year old arrested, suspending a kid for talking to his mom in Iraq) coming from southern states?
2005-05-06 09:00:25 PM  

We're going to have to reverse those pardons as my wife is not dead. I have never been married. I just thought, you know, you should be aware that your comment could be construed as... well... insensitive at best, insensitive and infantile at least.

Of course, you could know I had a wife as much as I could know you were a teacher, so let's let that be, shall we? It's Friday for goodness sakes.


/at work
2005-05-06 09:00:28 PM  

the age of two? Shouldn't you be out curing cancer or something?
2005-05-06 09:03:29 PM  
I get a feeling from what the assistant principal said that it wasn't the phone call that got him suspended. It was the "fark you!" that he gave them when they asked him to hang up. Maybe if he said, "It's my Mom in Iraq!" to whoever asked then no problem?

Please. Zero Tolerance policies are for people with zero brains. The suspension is ludicrous, and claims of "disorderly conduct" are bullshiat made up to justify the school staffs inability to think clearly.

2005-05-06 09:05:41 PM  
I read another article on this. The student DID tell the teacher it was his mother on the phone who was IN IRAQ. The teacher persisted in trying to force the student to turn off the phone.

Bottom line, teacher is an asshole and the school admins are bigger assholes for suspending him and doing nothing to the teacher.
2005-05-06 09:06:05 PM  
CNN has a way better article.


The kid was being a total asshat to the teacher and the principal and that's what got him 10 days.
2005-05-06 09:06:06 PM  

[image from too old to be available]
2005-05-06 09:07:22 PM  
Another sterling example of why we should ban the NEA and so many of their ardent members from ever getting near a public school. Douche bags.
2005-05-06 09:08:26 PM  
it doesn't freakin matter where the kid's mom was! IT DOES NOT MATTER. What matters is he broke a rule, and what matters even more is the fact that rules don't mean crap anymore.

/Go faster Darwin
2005-05-06 09:09:41 PM  
CalvinMorallis: the age of two? Shouldn't you be out curing cancer or something?

Nah. It happens more than you think. I do have a Ph.D. though. I did think about being a pediatric neurologist for a brief time, but a short internship with one "cured" me of that.

What sucked was that I was about 5-7 reading levels ahead of everyone in my grade, but I was basically retarded in math until college.

School sucked. Still does for most kids.
2005-05-06 09:10:22 PM  

You people need to get your heads out of the ground. What are the facts?
-Kids aren't allowed to use cellphones at the school (if there is an "unless your mom is in Iraq" clause, I missed that one)
-Kid used the cell phone at school.
-Teacher told him to get off the phone.
-Instead of begging the teacher to let him continue the call, good ole' Francois basically told the guy to go fark himself.

Suspended? Hell, I'd catapult the kid from the 50 yard line of the football field.

Thanks for falling into line with the rest of the robots. We'll be sure to call when Big Brother needs a few extra jackboots.

"50 yard line" What a farking clown.

2005-05-06 09:11:47 PM  
Really, it's all teh Bush fault.

If we weren't in Iraq.. none of this would have happened..

In reality though.. we all know what happened.

The teacher, busting about 4-5 kids a day with cellphones (who all have a most urgent call to take) have developed ZERO tolerance. So.. the teacher was likely VERY short with the student.

The student, with a legitimate call on the line got pissed.

I'm sure the transaction was something like:

Teacher: "Son, you're gonna have to hang up that phone and come inside."

Student: "Dude, it's my mom, she's in Iraq!"

Teacher: "Doesn't matter.. (getting a bit hot - possibly having dealt with this already two times earlier in the day) school policy says you have to hang up the phone immediatly or face suspension."

Student: "Lookit, I haven't talked to her.."

Teacher: (Interrupting) "I haven't got time to argue with you.. you either hang it up - or we go to the office and write up a suspension.."

... and on and on downhill.

It's just a bad situation.. in the end I think a 10 day suspension is not a good idea, since it's likely most people either agree with the phone policy or hang up when asked to.

Was the phonecall to his mother verified anyway? I mean, are we just assuming he's telling the truth about the call from mom... or was it verified somehow?
2005-05-06 09:12:11 PM  
Why is learning to read at age 2 so unbelievable? I started reading on my own when I was 4.
2005-05-06 09:13:36 PM  
1. We used to lie all the time ih high school to teachers and school administrators about everything. It was a competition, as well as an art form, to see what you could get away with and how you did it. Saying I was talking to my mom in Iraq when I was actually scoring drugs is exactly the kind of thing I would have tried if I were in high school now. Smart teachers and admins knew it, too. Sometimes mistakes were made. That's the way it goes.

2. So his mom's in Iraq. Can't he call her at other times? And what else does he get a free pass for?

"I'm cutting school today, and maybe the whole week." "Why?" "My mom's in Iraq. You got a problem with that?"

"Johnny, please stop beating up your classmates." "My mom's in Iraq. I'm in emotional turmoil because of it. And I'm beating on you next."

"Johnny, please stop trying to set fire to the school . . . "

Students don't get to run high schools, just like lunatics don't get to run asylums. The kid broke the rules, he got punished. Next time he'll figure out how to set up the call to his mom at another time, if he really wants to. (High-schoolers are amazingly resourceful when they want to be; see #1 above.)

3. Finally, because everyone thinks his suspension is asinine, there's no real repercussions for him. He gets to stay home for ten days and play "America's Army" on his computer.
2005-05-06 09:17:25 PM  
Francois said he told the teacher, ``This is my mom in Iraq. I'm not about to hang up on my mom.''
That doesnt sound all that disorderly to me. Defiant yes, but the kid probably doesnt get to talk to his Mom much. It was his lunch break, so there was no danger of the cheating on tests thing the principle mentioned. The teacher, hearing that it was his mom, who is far away and obviously wouldnt have the chance to call often (its night there when its day here remember, and long distance calls cost a small fortune besides) Should have said "Oh, ok, but you have to wrap it up quick and get back inside" The teacher was an A-hole for pressing the issue, and I think the kid had every right to be mad and "defient". I wont say he was right to swear at the teacher, but it is certainly understandable.
2005-05-06 09:18:52 PM  

don't waste your breath. Wisdom of the thread seems to be:

---Kids can do no wrong,
---all/most school teachers are evil dictators who prowl the alleyways, looking for an innocent cherub to oppress,
---"but his mom was in Iraq! In IRAQ! Holy crap, did you hear me?? She's friggin' in IRAQ!!!"

(you're exactly right, though)
2005-05-06 09:20:20 PM  
I don't know if the kid was just an asshole, or if the teacher was a prick...

...but being in Iraq, I do know that everyone works twelve hour days, and to call someone back home you need one of three things:

Free MWR phone (Max ten minutes and a patch off from a CONUS base)

Commercial calling card and phone trailer (Usually a ten minutes max on the phone time)

Or a hook with DSN access (again you need a CONUS path off)

So let's say she waited till she could get a free phone during a time when she and her son where both awake to make her ten minute call. Now it is coming up on Mothers Day, and she is away from her son for along time in a place that is less than friendly. Would you drop that call?
2005-05-06 09:20:43 PM  
I don't understand suspension at all, I think they need to have a supervised intensive study instead... sorta like hard-time in prisons.

I just never understood how sending a student home was "punishment."

"Yeah... you just think about that while you play some Vice City.."
2005-05-06 09:21:59 PM  
I knew how to read when I came out of the womb, biatches!

Back to the point, teachers in public schools are freaking stressed out because of the administrators. I don't blame teachers, I blame administrators. To them, it is all black or white, no grey. A student was arrested in my school for picking up a jacket that was left during lunch. He wore it, so inherently he mugged the original person. If you're a butcher, tough luck you go to jail for having a butcher knife in the backseat of your car. (Humble ISD by the way). Traces of gun powder inside your truck, you must be planning to attack the school! (Went hunting over the weekend, ISD police brought bomb/drug dogs and went car to car). If you don't have a 1st period class in the morning (senior) and you park late in the morning then you must be truant! It all really gets out of hand.

Get this, my band director made us go to the bathrooms in threesomes. If we cheered for our team, there went our time to get drinks. When we were in Galveston playing Ball HS we were told to travel in groups because of black people. He was a Southern Baptist Racist.
2005-05-06 09:22:52 PM  
Paragraphs are your friends, use them.
2005-05-06 09:23:21 PM  

Better article. Nice to clarify that the kid, was in fact, being an asshat.

And what's all this talk of "He was in lunch! He can't cheat on tests!" Did everyone here go to really small high schools or something? Because all of the ones I've been too all have several lunches, so the entire school isn't trying to stampede for food at once. So while you're in lunch, other kids are still in class. Other kids who can try calling or texting you for answers to tests.
2005-05-06 09:25:34 PM  
My mother, whether she be in Iraq or not, would not approve of me using profanity with an authority figure (teacher, in this case). Sorry, but I believe the suspension is justified. Had he handled things a bit differently (perhaps handed the phone to the teacher and allowed said teacher to talk with his mother for a moment), things would almost certainly have turned out differently.

/Honey, not vinegar.....................
2005-05-06 09:28:28 PM  
yak yak yak.

i'll bet that every day there are more than enough children in every school who, when caught using their phone when they shouldn't, spin a line that it is their mom, their gran, that their gran is ill, that their mom is in iraq, that they really, really, really have to use the phone for just one minute more, and then just one minute more. or it's their dad, they don't see their dad, he doesn't get on with their mom, yak, yak, yak

is the teacher every time going to speak to the person on the other end of the phone? i'll bet that the first time the teacher checks who is on a student's phone, not only will people say it is an abuse of the pupil's rights, but that in many classes at least three or four other students will suddenly have a call that the teacher needs to check (and who then turns out to be ivor biggun, or whatever). any tool a student can use to undermine a teacher will be used, and if you're saying "here's a free tool kids", have fun: then you're being silly

i don't know what it is with some of you. i really don't. do you think children don't lie? that they don't play power games with the teachers? really? it seems all rationale goes out the window for a swathe of texas and similar, the moment the word *whispers* w. a. r. is mentioned

the kid's a farking whiner. his mother is farking whiner. these people just have no control, no sense to play the game with subtlety, or maybe no need to, given the fact the right-wing will lap this shiat up

and sgt lost-it up there, i don't think that letter's going to work dude. i think they're going to stick it straight in the trash. get a grip soldier. you're going have to go down that there school and teach those god damned liberals some respect with your gun soldier. get angry man. the pen is mightier than the sword, but the gun is mightier than them both. go on soldier, let that anger out man. these damned liberals are hostile targets now
2005-05-06 09:28:45 PM  
That press release says it all. The kid didn't mention his mom was in Iraq until after getting to the office. By that time, he'd already reacted in a knee-jerk idiotic manner, much like many of the people are reacting here. Was it an emotional response probably brought about by factors that include the fact that mom's in Iraq? I don't doubt it. I don't go telling everyone to fark off when I get distraught over dying/dead relatives because it's not farking polite. If he hasn't learned that yet, then guess what...he's at school, where, in general, the rules are made to teach you how to act responsibly in society.

/Sick of knee-jerk reactionary bullshiat
//Thinks all of you fools calling/emailing the school should fark off
///My aunt's in her death bed, so I can say that without fear of retribution, right? Right???
2005-05-06 09:31:22 PM  


When the Spencer teacher approached the young man about using a cell phone on campus, contrary to Board of Education policy which is designed to preserve instructional time and decorum in our schools, the young man did not tell the teacher he was speaking to his mother in Iraq. He indicated he would not comply with a request to turn over his cell phone and used profanity. The teacher escorted the young man to the office, where assistant principals tried to get him to calm himself and to cease the use of profanity. It was only at this point that administrators learned he was talking to his mother in Iraq.

The Guidance Department at Spencer High School has arranged for a number of students to receive calls from parents who are deployed. They would have been happy to do this for this young man. The issue here was not so much the use of the cell phone as it was the choices the young man made in handling the situation. We are empathetic to all students whose parents serve in the armed forces; we do have behavior standards which we uphold.
2005-05-06 09:32:54 PM  
And that sums it up. You cannot have any emotions in high school, it is forbidden!

Just like when a teacher would yell at me and I would answer something they didn't want to hear, I was RAISING MY voice or being insubordinate.
2005-05-06 09:36:14 PM  
``Kevin got defiant and disorderly,'' Parham said. ``When a kid becomes out of control like that they can either be arrested or suspended for 10 days.

It REALLY bothers me that schools are actually willing to have a child arrested for simply becoming defiant.

Jeez louise. This is what comes of turning our schools into bueracracies.
2005-05-06 09:38:56 PM  
Farkdog - You are an example of what I consider a "retard" from this discussion thread... If we expect the same standards from our youths as we do from adults, "why send them to school"?

I have read a bunch of other posts you've made that I actually agreed with, but without walking a mile in some people's shoes, and not having the experience, you should be quiet and spend more time listening. Once you've considered what it is to be "in" there shoes, then make a response.

Yes, as with all media events, the details are lacking and usually written to make the writers point of view seem to be more valid to gain more exposure, and gain readership (so in reality we are all screwed in that respect. who hears all the *facts*?). That is the way of the business, and I take their spew with a grain of salt.

However, if my mom had called me while I was receiving communion, getting married, taking the ACTs, receiving my diploma, etc., and her role was such a state as she may be dead tomorrow or haven't talked to her in a year, I doubt I would listen to the teacher's direction either as a teenager. I certainly would not accept a teacher telling me to hang up in that kind of situation. And as a teenager, may have not been very PC (remember it may be an emotional moment for this teenager) in telling the teacher "NO".

Again, more details (factual) are needed... And given the examples we have had lately of teachers/schools making really bad decisions for the individuals, and holding up a standard as their justification is just plain wrong.. Read the definition of "educator", and ask yourself if they are holding up to their end of the obligation lately from what we've read in the media.

Not shiating on you personally... Just think the school system and administrators have not been doing even an acceptable job (in some cases, and this is one of them) aggravated the situation.

Thanks to the email address provided earlier, I did give the incompetent principle my thoughts on the matter.
2005-05-06 09:39:59 PM  
If people would just take the energy they put forth into researching contact information for the school district and the school administrators and put it towards finding out more information about the situation, as well as towards thinking about the situation logically, this thread wouldn't be so long.

/logic is to flamewars as water is to fire?
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