Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Pushing Vicki

It is always nice to hear Vicki praising civil liberties and the teaching thereof, but I can't quite square that with the fact that she seems ok with her school searching her students without probable cause.

You can't have it both ways.

5 comments:

Vicki A. Davis said...

Uhm, Tom. Mandatory drug testing is a requirement in business. It is something that WILL happen. Everyone is tested, no one is singled out. It is random. It gives kids an excuse to say no.

I do not see any disconnect between what I'm talking about in the classroom and random drug screening. The real world does it. We want to make sure our school is drug free and safe and everyone signs an agreement when they come here giving their permission.

I have a right to know the school is a safe place for my kids.

So, if you have a problem w/ random drug testing, fine, however, freedom of speech is an entirely different subject altogether. This is done with consent by both the minor and the parent and we are not a public school. We also have a strict haircode not allowing it to go beyond the collar or over the ears. Is that restrictive... yes, and the students tell me daily. However, businesses also have certain norms for dress code.

So, are you advocating that kids have a right to use illegal drugs? I'm not sure I'm following you. Nor am I sure how random drug testing in the work place is different from doing it in a private school.

It would be nice to see you say something nice about me once in a while... but I won't hold my breath! ;-)

Tom Hoffman said...

Vicki,

What I'm saying is what you say above. You don't really see school as primarily about creating citizens, you see it as creating employees.

Downes said...

> Mandatory drug testing is a requirement in business.

Not in this country. Nor is it likely ever to become so.

Gnuosphere said...

"So, are you advocating that kids have a right to use illegal drugs?"

Indeed. That's how I interpreted Tom's post as well. Tom is clearly advocating that teachers keep some top-shelf Bolivian marching powder in their desk drawer for student use...

To make school a safe place, of course.

Bill Fitzgerald said...

The role of school is not to prepare students to work in an environment where they are not trusted.

Mandatory drug testing is intrusive, and disrespectful. Vicki -- do you work with a population facing substance issues? Or is mandatory random drug testing just part of going to school.

RE: "We also have a strict haircode not allowing it to go beyond the collar or over the ears." -- that is cool! How has your admissions office set up a time capsule back to 1953 as part of the admissions process?

RE: "I have a right to know the school is a safe place for my kids."

Drug testing and hairstyle enforcement (I don't even know what to call it!) are no guarantees of safety -- ask anyone who has ever been beat up by a sober skinhead.

All kidding aside, the focus on appearance, and on external tests of honesty and character issues, sets up a pardigm where students will obey only as much as they need to not to get caught. It's an awful moral lesson.

There is a conflict between freedom of expression and the policies as you describe them. The dialogue is great for defining irony, however, so I hope it continues.

Cheers,

Bill