Monday, September 08, 2014

APS Board to consider banning sagging

This is not about sagging, wikilink.
It is about the permission of prohibited behavior.

The first rule must be; you have to follow the rules.
Else, there is no point in the second and third and fourth ...

According to their agenda, link, Policy Committee Chair David Peercy intends to discuss his latest rev. to School Board Policy.  It references a Procedural Directive, link, which reads in significant part;

Prohibited clothing and accessories include… "Sagging", or the wearing of pants below the waist and/or in a manner that allows underwear or bare skin to show, and "bagging", or the wearing of excessively baggy pants with low hanging crotches.
The problem is that the leadership of the APS has no intention to stop students from sagging.  Some administrators will try to foist the enforcement problem off onto teachers, but most will simply ignore the misconduct in so much as enforcing rules is more trouble than it is worth.

It is far worse to permit a prohibited behavior than to simply deal with the "mis"conduct in another way.  "Discouraging" a behavior does not carry with it, the enforcement obligations as "prohibiting" a behavior.

There is a problem with permitting prohibited conduct.
It gives kids the idea that they don't have to do what their teachers and other adults tell them to do.

Administrators who allow students to routinely engage in prohibited behavior strip teachers of the authority they need to maintain order in their classrooms.

The lesson to rule writers;
don't "prohibit" something if you don't intend to enforce the prohibition.  It has to be a hill worth dying on or don't bother.  If you aren't willing to do whatever it takes to extinguish misconduct, you will endure it until you are.

Who is in charge in APS schools really, the adults who make the rules or the students who ignore them?

The truth about who is in charge at APS schools is manifest in the number of students at that school who as a matter of course, ignore school rules and school board policy.   Drive by a school.  If kids are sagging (or smoking or whatever else they've been told to not do), those kids are in charge at that school.

The truth about student discipline and chronically disruptive students in the APS is important.  Interest and stakeholders need to know what's going on.  The truth about discipline in public schools is disappointingly hard to find.  It cannot be found on APS' award winning website.

Not only is it not on their website, they won't give it to you if you ask for it.  Where is the PowerPoint presentation on student discipline, link; historically, currently and future?

David Peercy is a coward, link.

He does not allow, much less
encourage, public participation
in his committee meetings.

There is no public forum ever.

It's "legal" for Peercy to disrespect interest and stakeholders, but it isn't ethical; in particular on issues as controversial as student (and staff) dress codes.

The standards of conduct the Peercy and the board establish and enforce upon students every year are called the Pillars of Character Counts! link.  They amount to a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct.

Whether they should be APS' student standards of conduct is moot; simply because they are, and will continue to be, until the board formally abandons them.

Peercy and rest of the leadership of the APS tell students every year in their Student Behavior Handbook, an extension of School Board Policy;
students are expected to model and promote honest accountability to higher standards of conduct than the law.  
Failure to do so; failing to expect from themselves more than the law requires and less than the law allows, comes at the forfeit of their good character.

We are about to hire a new superintendent.

Is s/he going to be actually and honestly accountable as a role model of student standards of conduct?  Or is s/he going to join the stonewall.  Is s/he going to ignore the elephant in the room?
There are two standards of conduct in the APS;
higher standards for students, and lower standards of
conduct for school board members and senior administrators.
The situation is as manifestly hypocritical as it is categorically unacceptable.

If we really want our children to grow into adults who embrace character and courage and honor, someone has to show them what they look like.

Thank the credentialed media, the establishment's press; Kent Walz and Journal, the news directors at KRQE, KOAT and KOB TV.

Thank them for their complicity in or complacency regarding the ethics, standards and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.

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