Friday, May 06, 2005

Unthinking teacher hangs up phone on mother calling from Iraq

Student is suspended for using cell phone at school to talk to mother in Iraq. This has been on my mind since I first heard the report on the radio today. The school says this is policy - no using cell phones. But policy is not handed down from on-high. Those responsible should have some leaway to make judgements.

So this teacher forces a student to hang up on a phone call from his mother. His mother is a soldier serving in Iraq. As such, there are two things going on that the policy should deal with. The first is that mother and son have probably not spoken to each other for some time. The second is the very real possibility that they may never speak again.

Why is the policy on cell-phones sacrosanct in this instance? Why is there no room for human judgement? Why do the teachers believe that blind obedience to the policy is best. And after all of the details have come to light, is there no way to say "I'm sorry" to this kid? Why suspend him for wanting to talk to his mother, who is so far away?

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