Sunday, March 29, 2009

Don't Touch Me There - Don't Touch me Anywhere

I really enjoy being a US citizen. For the most part I find Americans to be a decent bunch. But sometimes I just have to chuckle at the stupidity we are capable of displaying on a regular basis. We are living in a country that many people contend has the most Freedom of any country in the World. I wonder though sometimes when I read about what well meaning custodians of that Freedom do to insist their idea of Freedom is ours also.

East Shore Middle School in Milford, Connecticut is the site of this latest example of expressing their idea of what Freedom means. Apparently one kid kicked another kid in the crotch. Okay, not good. But hey kids kick each other all the time. After the kid with the swollen nads headed to the hospital, the principal took the time to come up with a school wide policy that would avoid such confrontations in the future. I am guessing Principal Catherine Williams took at least a minute of intense deliberation and decided after 10 seconds of anguish that the solution was "No Touching" at all. No hugs between the gals or guys. No high fives. No hip fist hits. No playing tag on the playground. And I assume no kicks in the crotch either. No physical contact period. Her stated goal - to provide a safe educational environment.

I'll let this notion sink in a minute........................ for both of us...........

Obviously Ms Williams is in a job beyond her capabilities to handle. A new poster child to re-confirm the Peter Principle. She has just made her own job 1000% harder if she actually plans on enforcing this new rule. I would guess there were already rules about violence which would cover the groin kick. I am sure there are already rules regarding unwanted sexual touching. Why in Hell would she think prohibiting all touching would make those negative examples go away? I have come to the conclusion the woman is an idiot.

What bothers me the most though is this woman has risen to the top of her profession. She is a principal. How could someone this clueless land in the job she has? I would say Milford, Connecticut needs to re-evaluate their hiring criteria for the education department. An overreaching policy such as this does nothing to enhance the educational atmosphere. We have enough trouble keeping kids engaged in learning without taking away their right of inter personal contact. Instead of protecting the educational environment, this "No Touching" policy inhibits it.

The first learning experiences children have are through their senses. Sight, sound, taste, smell, and yes touch. To educate them and socialize them, allowing them to utilize these senses is part of the educational process. Of course we need to monitor and restrict their use in some cases in order to keep them safe. But to deny them any contact runs counter to what a society should be doing in order to build good citizens. Teaching them the difference between accepted physical contact and inappropriate contact can only be done on a case by case basis. Cutting off all contact gives them no logical base of where good physical contact ends and negative contact begins. The woman is a moron. That's the plain simple truth of this. She has no business being in education.

Stay Loose.............

(557 / 12,427)


Kulkuri said...

I am willing to bet it is only some of us old farts that know "The Peter Principle" isn't some dirty sex act.

I agree this has got to be the dumbest most unenforcable idea to come down the pike in a long time. The thing to do is deal with each incident on a case by case basis.

Gary ("Old Dude") said...

Bet she belongs to the teachers union as well----which of course explains how she got to where she is----and your right she is a perfect example of the result of the Peter Principle.

Randal Graves said...

At least she didn't use her family name and contacts in lieu of skills in anything whatsoever save boozing or coking up to get that high. Only pretzeldents do that.

Demanding that kids don't touch for an entire school day is like demanding someone not eat when they're hungry. Guess gym class is now nothing but laps.

Demeur said...

Well you must remember there was a time when all differences were settled behind the gym after school. Now there're settled in a court with the school districts paying out millions.
And no Gary if she's principle she's an administrator (management) not union.

Utah Savage said...

The Peter Principle is the guiding principle here, no doubt. And Unions are not the problem, dumbness is. Bullying is a problem in schools, and should be taken on as an issue to discuss and watch for, but not touching at all is moronic.

Mauigirl said...

Just found you here from your comments elsewhere! I totally agree, this was a completely idiotic solution to the problem.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

And no Gary if she's principle she's an administrator (management) not union.

Not necessarily. There are several jurisdictions in Canada where principals are, unbelievably, part of the teachers' union. It is possible that there may be a few in the USA as well. Might be worth digging a little deeper to find out.

Unionized or not, the world is full of examples of stupid people reaching positions of high responsibility, and promoting other stupid people once they get there. This seems to be a trend in fields like education.

MRMacrum said...

Kulkiri - After I wrote it, I wondered about whether I should define "Peter Principle". And I figured no.

Exactly, case by case. A simple reaffirmation and enforcement of the rules already in place I think would be enough.

Old Dude - I made no assumption of her being a union member, nor should have you. Your conclusion that Union = Peter Principle wouldn't work anyway without including all bureaucracies into the equation.

Randal - Maybe she would have created a more beneficial environment if she did outlaw eating instead.

Demeur - Yes. The fear of litigation does seem to drive quite a bit of the policy in schools today. But this one is just over reaction in my opinion.

Utah - Bullying has always been a problem. And nipping it in the bud should be front and center. But as you and I seem to agree, this is not the way to do it.

Mauigirl - Thanks for stopping in. Given the comments here, I wonder why Ms Williams thought this was going to be acceptable to the parents in her district. The response I have read is overwhelmingly against it.

El Cerdo Ignatius - I think the trend in most bureaucracies is in this direction. Private or public. It is easier to hide and deny in the private sector though. Performance is not always the defining measure in Business.