If they indeed have video evidence that supports their disciplinary decision, school officials should share it at the very least with the suspended students and their families. Those accused and punished for a violation have a right to see and hear the evidence against them. And officials should share more information with the public to help citizens understand why the punishment was necessary.This is the latest in the cat-and-mouse game between school districts and the public when it comes to not explaining actions. It motivated the Star Tribune to editorialize about it today. More apologies: This one really has the journo community up in arms. In North Carolina, a small town newspaper asked the local sheriff for gun permit data. The community backlash prompted an amazing apology from the paper's publisher. (Romenesko)
The discipline in this case may or may not be justified. But a poor lesson is taught by a climate of secrecy in such matters.
Absent that evidence and a thorough investigation, it is understandable that some parents and students are upset about even the reduced suspension. It's not enough for school officials to simply say "take our word for it" without providing more proof.
Second hour: Is there a future for electric cars?
Yes, but probably not the future some has envisioned. They will continue to be a "niche market" product for some time. The batteries will get better, the range longer. I think we will continue to see more and more hybrid electric-gasoline and electric-diesel engines in the future. True electric cars will continue to be made and sold (albiet slowly), as many major automakers have made serious investments into EV technology.
No, they are not for everyone, and every purpose. But the electric car does have a future.
@#1 - Would there be outrage if this was just students, not hockey player students?
The Harlem Shake story concerns me less about the details of the incident than about media obsession with knowing every detail of student or staff discipline.
As an educator, I live in fear that a student's parent will go to the media with a false story about me. I've seen colleagues falsely accused publicly, then told by all kinds of lawyers that they can't respond with the facts.
One friend was accused of assaulting a student in the press, though there was clear video evidence that the student had in fact assaulted him (which the parent saw before going to the paper). Neither he nor the district felt they could tell their side of the story and their silence was characterized as guilt. He retired early, his reputation unfairly destroyed.
Part of me wants to say we need a law that releases educators from student privacy rules if publicly accused by a student or their family. But another part of me, the better part, knows that our students are less equipped to handle media glare. If a mom over reacts and calls a TV station, should her kid be publicly humiliated for normal adolescent misbehavior?
How do media view their role here? I know when it comes to crime, most won't published the accused's name unless they are charged. What are the ground rules for stories about educators accused of not handling a situation well? Or kids who make a mistake? Frankly, I worry there aren't any and that the media is unaware of the devastating effects of their publicity.
I believe it was Blake, not Blaine.
As a Westonka parent, I am embarrassed at the over-reactions of these parents and the situation their children have put them in over their conduct in school. It's really simple. You want to play hockey in the biggest game of your life... then don't screw up! Don't jump on the school cafeteria table and mess around thinking that's ok. There are consequences for making mistakes... whether they are fair or not.
And the suggestion to fire an administrator over a matter like this is over the top.
Mound Westonka schools are a great place for kids. Both Elementary schools have won National Blue ribbons in the last few years, our test schools are amongst the best in the state, and we have dedicated, hard working teachers giving kids like mine great education.
Re #1b - Gun permits and public records request
Maybe the sheriff in North Carolina could give educators a few tips on how to use media and public opinion to your own advantage. He was able to stir up enough emotion that he was able to violate public records law with popular support. In contrast educators try to keep everything secret, giving the appearance of a cover up and earning public wrath.
// I know when it comes to crime, most won't published the accused's name unless they are charged.
If you're a regular reader, you know this is an old rant for me. There is no REAL policy at most media that is ironclad. There is mostly a contention that there is a policy. But on stories that rise to the "media gives a darn" level, the name is almost always reported.
As for teachers, I share your concern BUT there's an overriding sense that schools are only to happy to cite the privacy laws.
In Woodbury a couple of years ago, a superintendent was fired and we weren't told why. There was a huge buyout in a southern suburb of a school official and we weren't told why.
As long as people fund the system, they certainly have a right, it seems to me, to know why.
Clearly, it seems to me, there was some wrongdoing that led to the big buyout and perhaps the person who got it deserves privacy. But it also prevents accountability on the part of the people who hired her to explain how she got the job in the first place.
I tend to remember these things when it comes to school levy voting time.
Q: How many school administrators and/or school district communication staff does it take to change a light bulb?
A: District policy prohibits us from disclosing any additional information.
How does the activities director suspend students without consent of Principal? If someone gave permission, to film video, why didn't they get in the middle of the 'fray' or supervise its production?
"I tend to remember these things when it comes to school levy voting time."
So do you vote against the levies then?
I don't get it, why did the students get in trouble for the video? Isn't it just a dance?
// So do you vote against the levies then?
It depends on what the levy is for. SWashCo hasn't had one since they bought out the superintendent.
Was in New Mexico over Christmas. Frac sand is so common down there nobody bats an eye. In fact, we took a walk down a trail by one of the rail lines so my mom could bottle up a bunch of it for her science students. They haul it in covered rail cars and, we found out, it can sometimes be considered proprietary materials so they will color it certain colors and you're really not supposed to go around taking it.
If you give permission to students to make a Harlem Shake video (in school, using school property) you have already messed up. (Some Harlem Shake videos are safe and boring, but the good ones are a little riskier.)
If you punish the students for making the video you gave them permission to make, you have messed up again.