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Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?



 
 
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  #41  
Old April 26th, 2009, 4:41 pm
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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Originally Posted by PLIMPY View Post

I agree. The only time I have seen these sorts of things actually work is with adults. I had a professor in college who threatened to set a pop quiz if anyone's cell phone went off. And while I'm sure people in part feared their own grade on the pop quiz, nobody wanted to be the person who made everyone in class take a pop quiz. I feel like often in schools, it is also not just the one or two people did something wrong scenario, but that say the noise level in the room became too loud. For something like that, it is difficult for one child to control, they can only control their own voice, and they can try to shush people around them, but if you are allowed to speak some, ultimately "too loud" is a subjective thing. Kids can't avoid an exact point if they don't know what it is. And I don't feel like punishing them will make them realize what "too loud" or "too far" or "too much" means, when children can be controlled by giving them an exact boundary, a reminder to pay attention to it, and then punishing those few students who purposely ignore the warning. The only situations in which I feel punishing a whole class would be necessary would be in something where they all acting poorly, such as in a class food fight or similar.
I'd agree with that. I think with adults it's different because we are (in general) less selfish in that it would shame us for our entire group to be punished for our individual wrongdoing whereas kids are far more carefree and self-centred.


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  #42  
Old April 26th, 2009, 5:29 pm
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

Back in the dark ages when I was in school, there were very few incidents where a teacher/principal took dicipline too far.(in one cases it was the student who instigated the confrontation, by actually punching the teacher in the face) In those days, the 'rules' were ingrained into students in elementary school, and for the most part were enforced right up til graduation. We knew the rules, and abided by them. Of course there were the few bad apples, who were constantly in detention, and only a couple of suspensions that I can remember.For those who did get suspeded or expelled, that wasn't really a punishment, because they didn't really want to be in school anyways.
It seems to me that there was more parental involvement back then and that there were actual consequences and punishments if kids actions and behaviors where unacceptable. (at home as well as at school)
I feel that the school system lacks in dissipline and structure, in some ways.
As an example, we had to sit in our chairs, with both feet on the floor, and didn't get up (for any reason) without permission. Period. A few years ago I visited my daughters grade one class, and it was a free for all. The kids were all over the place. The teacher had no control at all. I was stunned.
This I feel, is where the problem starts. Children of that age need structure, and boundries, and if they they are not instilled when they are young, then rules and boundries have no real meaning as they get older, and their behaviors will become increasingly worse. Once they get to the highschool level, the damage has been done. Once its gotten to the point of having to search lockers, and pat down students, I'd say that reflects more on society, than the school system. It seems that the schools role at that level has become one of damage control, where the teachers and pricipals are left to pick up the pieces.
I am completely appauled by the other horrors mentioned in previous posts, and criminal charges should be filed. I don't really agree with the searching of lockers, or patting down students, and but at the end of the day, what are the alternatives??


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  #43  
Old April 26th, 2009, 7:47 pm
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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Originally Posted by PLIMPY View Post
I agree. The only time I have seen these sorts of things actually work is with adults. I had a professor in college who threatened to set a pop quiz if anyone's cell phone went off. And while I'm sure people in part feared their own grade on the pop quiz, nobody wanted to be the person who made everyone in class take a pop quiz.
Oh, that reminds me -- on one of the grad thesis films I worked on in college, they came up with a good way of disciplining this sort of problem: Anyone whose cell phone went off & disrupted a shot would have to go out and buy enough ice cream for the entire cast and crew, and it had to be the good stuff, not the cheap stuff.


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  #44  
Old April 26th, 2009, 8:25 pm
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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Originally Posted by Pox Voldius View Post
Or it just makes the kids in the class really bitter and cynical about the teachers' methods of discipline, because they know they could still be punished even if they do everything right. What's the point in trying to follow the rules if you're going to get punished regardless?
Have you ever heard the saying "Am I my brother's keeper?"

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Originally Posted by leah49 View Post
Do they really learn something from it? Is it really useful? They say it makes the other students upset with the student so they want to get in trouble anymore, but it doesn't. They're not mad at the rule-breaker, they're mad at the teacher, the one who punished them. Next time around they're still breaking rules.
As another poster happily pointed out, teachers are not supposed to be your best friend. They are there to teach, and not just reading, writing, and arithmatic, they are also there to teach you about life.

In my past I have had heavy handed (like the alliteration?) punishments handed down on the whole class for the antics of one student. In some cases we knew who the perp was, in others we did not. When we did know, then we would let them know, vee had vays of making zem talk!!! Muhahahahahaha!!!

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Sorry couldn't disagree more. It's school.. not the military. Punishing 30 kids for the wrong-doings of one is ridiculous and in my experience doesn't act as any deterrent. In high school I was a model student (99% of the time) and countless times I was kept late in class because some idiot decided to act out. He doesn't care about me or the other 28 of us. I think it's more likely to teach kids that even if you don't act out, you'll be punished so why bother being good? That's the effect I saw, anyway.
School should be just as much disciplinarians as the military. Think of the parts of school where military justice is employed, and how well it works? Football? Get out of line, and the coach tells you to take a lap. The team doesn't perform well at practice, the whole team gets extra practice, extra laps...etc...

As for how the one didn't care about the other 28 or 29 should have been dealt with by the other 28 or 29. Send him a message that his **** wouldn't be tolerated...that he would have to deal with more than just detention...that the student body would make his life miserable.


Quote:
Too often in schools (IMO) it is the innocents who suffer. They are the ones who are over-looked and in some cases punished for things they had no part in. I went to two very very good schools and both had these problems.
That is life. Some knucklehead drives like an idiot, gets in a wreck, and you are late to work because said knucklehead is blocking traffic half-a-mile up. You had nothing to do with it, but you are still just as late. Or....you can plan to leave home early just in case some knucklehead has a wreck. I learned in school that life is not fair. As a result, I learned to plan ahead for contingencies.

Concerning other students playing the fool, I came to have no qualms about turning in a troublemaker. No one should. There is no honor in taking the rap for others, even friends, if they make it a habit.


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  #45  
Old April 26th, 2009, 8:51 pm
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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Originally Posted by rigdoctorbri View Post
While it seems unfair, there is a lesson to be learned in this. Triumph as a team is great, but the team must share in the failures as well. The military knows this as well as any.
A high school class is not a team and definitely not (thank God) like the military. They are at best a loose coalition of cliques and factions which are unified primarily by arbitrary factors like age, location and ability.

And in my experience group punishment was always more lenient than individual so it was a reasonable risk to take.


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  #46  
Old April 27th, 2009, 12:03 am
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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Originally Posted by PLIMPY View Post
Honestly, even if this did work for kids, I'm not sure I like the idea of children being shamed into something. Childhood and making friends and relating to others is difficult enough without giving the kids another reason to dislike them. I mean, that's the premise of why it could work, right? That fear of being a social outcast will make children act in a certain way? And while it is true that life is not fair, children will learn that in so many other ways than being punished for things they don't do. We don't arrest adults who were in a store when it was robbed because they didn't stop it, and the other person in a car doesn't get a ticket because the driver is speeding, even if they were saying "go faster, go faster!" Children should not be put in the position to act as parents or teachers and threaten bodily harm in order to prevent a fight. If all of the children are engaged in bullying then that is a problem and it should be dealt with accordingly on a situation by situation basis. Punishing the children who were just there and didn't throw themsevles in front of someone's fist or who didn't stop a bully out of fear they would be next won't fix the problem anymore than will the zero tolerance policy of suspending all children involved in a fight, regardless of whether they were being beat up or the aggressor.
I definitely agree with this

Quote:
I agree. The only time I have seen these sorts of things actually work is with adults. I had a professor in college who threatened to set a pop quiz if anyone's cell phone went off. And while I'm sure people in part feared their own grade on the pop quiz, nobody wanted to be the person who made everyone in class take a pop quiz. I feel like often in schools, it is also not just the one or two people did something wrong scenario, but that say the noise level in the room became too loud. For something like that, it is difficult for one child to control, they can only control their own voice, and they can try to shush people around them, but if you are allowed to speak some, ultimately "too loud" is a subjective thing. Kids can't avoid an exact point if they don't know what it is. And I don't feel like punishing them will make them realize what "too loud" or "too far" or "too much" means, when children can be controlled by giving them an exact boundary, a reminder to pay attention to it, and then punishing those few students who purposely ignore the warning. The only situations in which I feel punishing a whole class would be necessary would be in something where they all acting poorly, such as in a class food fight or similar.
I do kind of wonder why it works more with adults than children. But about the noise thing, it reminds me of my fifth grade teacher . She had like this stoplight thingy at the front of the room. I forget if she did it manually or if the stoplight did it by detecting noise, but either way, once we got too loud, it would turn orange and red if we got REALLY loud. It was a pretty effective method actually because all the teacher really had to do was tell us to look at it

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Originally Posted by rigdoctorbri View Post

Concerning other students playing the fool, I came to have no qualms about turning in a troublemaker. No one should. There is no honor in taking the rap for others, even friends, if they make it a habit.
Unfortunately, that's not the case. I rmeember when i was in elementary school and i was the teacher's pet/goody two shoes. If someone did something bad, i would turn them in. And guess what? The person that got the class in trouble generally was not punished by the student body, but I was the one who had to suffer bullying and became an outcast. Being a tattle tale is supposedly worse than getting the whole class in trouble, don't ask me how. But either way, i learned very quickly to keep out of trouble and become inconspicuous until i figured out how to do it without making my life miserable


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  #47  
Old April 27th, 2009, 12:22 am
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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Originally Posted by Wab View Post
A high school class is not a team and definitely not (thank God) like the military. They are at best a loose coalition of cliques and factions which are unified primarily by arbitrary factors like age, location and ability.

And in my experience group punishment was always more lenient than individual so it was a reasonable risk to take.
Those may be what brings them together, but it is certainly not what they end up as upon departure from the educational institution. Part of school is learning how to coexist with others. Though there may not be school credits for it, or an official class it is certainly one of the lessons learned. Teachers should include that in their routines.

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Originally Posted by Voldemorts8thHorcrux View Post

Unfortunately, that's not the case. I rmeember when i was in elementary school and i was the teacher's pet/goody two shoes. If someone did something bad, i would turn them in. And guess what? The person that got the class in trouble generally was not punished by the student body, but I was the one who had to suffer bullying and became an outcast. Being a tattle tale is supposedly worse than getting the whole class in trouble, don't ask me how. But either way, i learned very quickly to keep out of trouble and become inconspicuous until i figured out how to do it without making my life miserable
I am not talking about turning in someone who just steps out of line. Rather, someone who keeps causing trouble, but making the rest pay for it should be turned in. Yes, I was an outcast, but righteousness is lonely company.


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  #48  
Old April 27th, 2009, 12:29 am
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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Those may be what brings them together, but it is certainly not what they end up as upon departure from the educational institution. Part of school is learning how to coexist with others. Though there may not be school credits for it, or an official class it is certainly one of the lessons learned. Teachers should include that in their routines.
Teachers are there for teaching not social engineering. People won't always get along and in a closed community like a school identity is most easily expressed by defining who you aren't.


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  #49  
Old April 27th, 2009, 12:49 am
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

But discipline must be maintained. It is essential to teaching.


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Old April 27th, 2009, 12:50 am
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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Originally Posted by rigdoctorbri View Post
Those may be what brings them together, but it is certainly not what they end up as upon departure from the educational institution. Part of school is learning how to coexist with others. Though there may not be school credits for it, or an official class it is certainly one of the lessons learned. Teachers should include that in their routines.
I disagree. Can school teach social skills? Yes, but as you point out, it is not an official function. And how can the teachers judge what it is best for all the students in this regard? Maybe some of the children do not want to be part of this "team." Is that wrong in itself? The U.S. military, at this point, is volunteer only. You join if you want to be a part of it. Children are required by law to receive an education, and public school is the only option for many. I think that all that should be required of them is to do their work and follow the rules. Teachers should encourage positive socialization, but how children interact with their peers should not be forced by the school administration.

This thread is making me extremely glad that I was homeschooled.


  #51  
Old April 27th, 2009, 12:57 am
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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But discipline must be maintained. It is essential to teaching.
The best teachers I had (certainly the ones from whom I learnt the most) weren't strict disciplinarians, but who occasionally allowed bouts of creative anarchy.

But then, I was always in advanced classes. Which didn't necessarily denote restraint.


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  #52  
Old April 27th, 2009, 1:34 am
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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I disagree. Can school teach social skills? Yes, but as you point out, it is not an official function. And how can the teachers judge what it is best for all the students in this regard? Maybe some of the children do not want to be part of this "team." Is that wrong in itself? The U.S. military, at this point, is volunteer only. You join if you want to be a part of it. Children are required by law to receive an education, and public school is the only option for many. I think that all that should be required of them is to do their work and follow the rules. Teachers should encourage positive socialization, but how children interact with their peers should not be forced by the school administration.

This thread is making me extremely glad that I was homeschooled.
Yes, a school can teach social skills, but what this current discussion is about is if it is fair to punish a whole class, when one individual gets out of line and doesn't own up to it.

Now, you say military is volunteer in the USA, and indeed it is, but that is irrelevant. We are talking about getting children ready to meet the world. In the absence of parents, which is what happens when kids are in school, the school must act in loco parente. Basicly, the school act as your parents until you get off that bus in the afternoon. A reasonable parent would insist that his or her son or daughter have discipline. They would insist on honesty and integrity. As a parent, if my child came home complaining that the whole class was kept in detention because some kid didn't own up to something he did, I would tell my child that "yes, it seems unfair, but so is your peer lying, and getting you in trouble."

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The best teachers I had (certainly the ones from whom I learnt the most) weren't strict disciplinarians, but who occasionally allowed bouts of creative anarchy.

But then, I was always in advanced classes. Which didn't necessarily denote restraint.
Yes, I am in favor of constructive anarchy. I am in favor of students not simply accepting what a teacher says just because that teacher is in charge. So long as it is respectful.


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  #53  
Old April 27th, 2009, 1:38 am
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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Originally Posted by rigdoctorbri View Post
I am not talking about turning in someone who just steps out of line. Rather, someone who keeps causing trouble, but making the rest pay for it should be turned in. Yes, I was an outcast, but righteousness is lonely company.
I don't mean that kinda thing, I was too lazy to bother with that kind of thing. But i mean like if someone was like bullying someone and i told the teacher, apparently i'm the bully


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  #54  
Old April 27th, 2009, 1:43 am
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

That's out of line too. If you are reporting a problem, the school has an obligation to investigate it.


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Old April 27th, 2009, 1:49 am
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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I disagree. Can school teach social skills? Yes, but as you point out, it is not an official function. And how can the teachers judge what it is best for all the students in this regard? Maybe some of the children do not want to be part of this "team." Is that wrong in itself? The U.S. military, at this point, is volunteer only. You join if you want to be a part of it. Children are required by law to receive an education, and public school is the only option for many. I think that all that should be required of them is to do their work and follow the rules. Teachers should encourage positive socialization, but how children interact with their peers should not be forced by the school administration.

This thread is making me extremely glad that I was homeschooled.
Problem is that by middle school, kids are under the impression that teachers are the "bad guy" so any positive encouragement teachers give are either ignored or you do the exact opposite

For example: I spent the first half of my school career, well, longer than that really, being lectured about how we need to avoid drugs, alcohol, smoking, unprotected sex, etc. And I know at least 10 kids my age or slihtly older that smoke cigarettes or marijuana, my friend actually threw a party that had alcohol there.

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That's out of line too. If you are reporting a problem, the school has an obligation to investigate it.
well, they do, but there's still social pressure that teachers can do little about


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  #56  
Old April 30th, 2009, 2:09 am
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

Let's keep this topic moving...Put this scenario to discussion:

Several years ago a movie called LEAN ON ME was made about Crazy Joe Clark, a radical school principal who carried a baseball bat, put chains on the doors to keep the drug dealers, and gangbangers out, and completely turned an inner-city school around from the brink of implosion. Amonst his other controversial moves was to summarily expel roughly 100 troublemakers upon taking the reigns.

What do you all think of his actions 20 years ago, and how do you feel they compare to today's Zero Tolerance policies?


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  #57  
Old April 30th, 2009, 3:41 am
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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Yes, I am in favor of constructive anarchy. I am in favor of students not simply accepting what a teacher says just because that teacher is in charge.
And there, you make the argument that school isn't like the military where ther is no room for dissent.


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  #58  
Old April 30th, 2009, 4:29 am
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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rigdoctorbri
School should be just as much disciplinarians as the military. Think of the parts of school where military justice is employed, and how well it works? Football? Get out of line, and the coach tells you to take a lap. The team doesn't perform well at practice, the whole team gets extra practice, extra laps...etc...
Bolded by me. That's completely different. In that scenerio the whole team is to blame so they are all being punished. We were talking about a group being punished for the wrongdoings of an individual. In the example you provided above, I agree.

Quote:
rigdoctorbri
As for how the one didn't care about the other 28 or 29 should have been dealt with by the other 28 or 29. Send him a message that his **** wouldn't be tolerated...that he would have to deal with more than just detention...that the student body would make his life miserable.
I really don't mean to sound disrespectful but that's not how school is anymore. The ones who are acting out in class are the 'cool kids' who will suffer no retaliation from the school body, regardless. I remember a time in year 8 maths when a boy in my class wouldn't stop talking and so we got kept in for 10 minutes in lunch. He was no friend of mine, but being with the clique he was there was no way I was going to say anything about it or have a go at him. It just doesn't work that way anymore.

Quote:
rigdoctorbri
What do you all think of his actions 20 years ago, and how do you feel they compare to today's Zero Tolerance policies?
Zero tolerance is fine until it starts infringing on rights and borderlines illegal activity. For example, chains on doors = fire hazard.


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  #59  
Old April 30th, 2009, 6:04 pm
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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Originally Posted by Wab View Post
And there, you make the argument that school isn't like the military where ther is no room for dissent.
Yes it seems a contradiction, but it really isn't. You see, I endorse constructive dissent for educational purposes, and an appeals process for discipline, but not outright anarchy within the confines of a class. It is an important part of educational growth to question a lesson if the information is either wrong, or falls in a grey area. Discipline is a whole other animal.


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Old April 30th, 2009, 6:07 pm
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

Still doesn't jibe with your contention that school and military are analogous.


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