Facebook Wars: Parental Abdication, School Abuse of Power

Student Facebook pages were much in the news yesterday. One student was suspended from an Illinois school for posting a list of girls at his high school ranked by appearance and sexual proclivities, while another school, Uniondale High, contacted authorities in Nassau County who prevailed upon Facebook to take down a similar page posting provocative comments about high school girls in various area high schools. Uniondale says it has a “no tolerance” policy toward cyber-bullying.

When did schools suddenly acquire disciplinary control over what students do when they aren’t at school? There is no question that the websites involved were inappropriate, disrespectful, cruel and hurtful, just as the rumors and insults included in high school graffiti were, in those glorious days before the internet. Students so abused need to complain to parents, and parents need to talk to the parents of the offending students, and if they can’t or won’t address the problem, then the courts or law enforcement may need to become involved.

But the schools? By what theory is it their responsibility to police the personal lives of their students? Unless I am missing something, the theory is that the media and parents unjustly and lazily blame school administrators for not “seeing the signs” of cyber-bullying and other off-campus school grounds misconduct, and the schools, being terrified of conflict and liability by nature, capitulate by abusing their power.

A school has no more justification for suspending a student based on what he or she posts on a Facebook page than it has to punish a student for an insult he shouts at a fellow student in his back yard. Yet apparently no one sees anything wrong with this trend. Integrity question: where is the American Civil Liberties Union? Will it really just sit on the sidelines as government funded schools start shutting down Facebook sites and suspending students based on what they type in their own homes?

Does anyone hear alarms going off when a school decides to exercise “no tolerance” over “cyber-bullying”, whatever they are defining that as at the moment? When will a student who calls another student “a geek” on line be punished as a bully? Schools punish kids for drawing pictures of guns, based on “no-tolerance”; do we really trust them to decide what is acceptable discourse over the internet?

Schools have a role in teaching students the social skills and ethical values that will help them see what is wrong with slandering others on-line. But school administrators across the country show wretched judgment dealing with the problems in their own realm; I don’t want them meddling in mine, or the life of my child when he’s not in class. Do you?

Schools needs to know their place and function. When they take over the role of parents, no matter how serious the problem they are trying to address, they merely provide incentive for lazy, inept parents to duck their responsibilities, and make it more difficult for diligent, competent parents to perform theirs.. The Facebook pages are bad, but the long term consequences of allowing schools to have power over our children 24 hours a day will be worse. This is misplaced responsibility, wrongly assumed accountability, and an abuse of power and common sense.

Parents need to do their jobs. Schools need to try to do what they have always been responsible for—educate, a whole lot better. They have no business extending their power outside the school grounds when they have so much trouble using it properly where it truly belongs.

57 thoughts on “Facebook Wars: Parental Abdication, School Abuse of Power

  1. I hear what you are saying but I disagree. Schools must work with parents to ensure that all types of bullying in and out of school is curbed. You cannot be serious about bullying with such restrictive parameters.

  2. The ACLU has not been one much for protecting civil liberties for a while.

    School sphere of influence should only be on school property. Any area outside of that influence should be a place the school has no power, period. I believe schools have abused power long enough. Especially after ‘No Tolerance’ was enacted.

    No Tolerance is a terrible and poorly used ruling. Every single situation is different and no “rule of thumb” can decide perfectly for each situation. I bring forth a couple of examples. The high schooler with an accidentally placed paring knife in her lunch box had a very bad run in with school officials. A kindergartner was in trouble with his school officials after gluing toy soldiers, the 99 cent bag of plastic mold soldiers, to a hat for the Fourth of July and for his dad. What about the school that remotely activated school issued laptops at night in the students’ homes?

    I’m sure you can find even more examples. It gets more ridiculous every year with schools.

    I’d like to add in that I do not believe it is the school’s job to “raise” children. I believe it is the school’s job to educate. The minute the school is attempting to raise our children to think, act, and respond in certain ways in a purposeful manner is the minute parents lose their rights to raise their children as they see fit.

    I should stop before I ramble further. Thanks for being fair with your posts, Jack. I have recently started reading your posts and have enjoyed it thoroughly.

  3. Ah, we finally have a disagreement!

    I see your point of view and I agree to a certain extent. However, in the case of making a list based on the common enrollment of the females in your school, the perpetrator came into focus and under their rule. The list, compiled based on the fact that the girls went to the same school, tied the school’s name to the list. (Presumably.) If not, it was implied and an obvious characteristic that all of the girls shared.

    But beyond that, when the list gets printed or downloaded to a mobile, and brought on campus and is the talk of the school and begins interfering with the efforts of the educators and creates a hostile learning environment or the embarrassment convinces one of the girls to stay at home and not learn, even if it’s not their responsibility, it’s their ethical duty. It’s moral luck that the list wasn’t specifically malicious and contrived to single out select girls and force them out of the school.

    • That’s a real stretch. IF the list is being created and posted whileon the school grounds, I’ll concede at least an argument, though I still don’t see that
      as school conduct. Can the school punish a student for the content of phone calls? For what he writes in his diary on school grounds? I have a hard time seeing its legitimate authority.

      • What he writes in his diary on school grounds should not be protected. Anything a child possesses at school is subject to reasonable search and seizure at any time. Including a diary.

        Now, should the school examine everyone’s diary for no reason? No. There’s a reasonable expectation to regular privacy. But when I as a student go to Professor Jack Marshall and tell him that I saw Billy writing a “Kill List” and a “List of Killing Supplies” in his diary, that diary now becomes part of an investigation.

      • A little late in reply here, but as a School teacher I will say this. If the action of a child, on or off school grounds, results in the disruption of the educational process, or threatens the life of any student or threatens harm, emotional or physical, of any student, the courts have given the right to the school to report (we’re required) and bar that student from school.

        The advent of social media has created a gray area, as students often bring their social disagreements to the school. In many instances, students use their cellphones at school to incite such instances. Again, since its at school it becomes our business.

        I know of a case where one girl had created a “hit-list” of people she hated on Facebook. It was printed and brought to our attention, and she was expelled for it. Because it targeted students at our school and others, it becomes an issue.

        In the case of what you pointed out here where she was “forced” to give up the password; that I believe is too far. No school can force you to do that unless you’re actively engaging in behavior AT school. You consent to search and seizure in South Carolina upon entering any public school, as is the case in most states. However, if no cause was given that is reasonable, then the girl should have refused and reported it to her parents.

        I hate to take the schools side, but the girl did not have to give the password, and could have taken the route of conferencing with the administration, coaches, and other persons on the necessity of such information; instead it has resulted in this issue.

        Its a gray area that will evolve over time, through lawsuits and legislation, but hopefully more than anything, common sense, good parenting and decision-making by students, and ethical practices by schools.

        • “If the action of a child, on or off school grounds, results in the disruption of the educational process, or threatens the life of any student or threatens harm, emotional or physical, of any student, the courts have given the right to the school to report (we’re required) and bar that student from school.”

          Way, way, WAY too broad, Steven. You can think of examples as easily as I can. I once had a teacher tell me that my son’s decision not to invite a student in a small class to his birthday party would “disrupt the educational process.” My answer “Butt out.” Don’t tell me who to invite to my parties.

          The fact that courts have allowed this in many cases cuts no ice with me; this is an ethics blog. It’s a gray area, yes, but not that gray. I don’t trust that camel’s nose, nor the camel driver. What a child does off the school grounds is a matter of law and parenting. Schools? Uh-uh. They can’t run their own operations intelligently, and they have no authority in my house.

          • I agree that this is ethics. I was stating merely the reality of the situation. I also take point on your assertion that schools cannot run their own operations intelligently.

            I will be the first to tell you that there are many different things that don’t make sense in education: I work there. Many of those things are not the direct fault of the school itself, but the policies of the district, state, or federal officials who regulate schools by the purse strings.

            From an ethical standpoint, I am all for schools not getting involved in ANY outside parenting decision (although I often wonder what parenting decisions, if any, are made), unless of course it were to get brought into the school, and then acting only up to the schools own interest, not further.

            What is your take on the laws that require teachers and schools to notify police and social services upon any hint of child abuse/neglect?

            In terms of Ethics, I always follow these points:
            1. Am I following understood, accepted rules?
            2. Am i comfortable defending and discussing my actions?
            3. Would I want someone else to do the same to me?
            4. Would I teach my children to act in this way?
            5. Are there alternatives on firmer ethical ground?

            You could analyze your case on any one of these.
            1. The school did not have clear rules on this, therefore it was unethical (you could argue no laws on this either)
            2. the school has no choice now, but probably is not comfortable
            3. I doubt the school would want to give up its passwords to private memos and emails
            4. We teach our children to respect the privacy and actions of others: not vilify them
            5. Were there alternatives? yes, not asking: they had no basis for doing so unless that student imminently threatened the school, which I doubt she did.

            • I think there is an ethical duty for anyone to take notice of possible child abuse and to act to protect the child, and that school personnel should do this with or without a legal mandate. If it takes a law to get them to do it, fine. Sad, but OK.

    • What if the common denominator in the list was “girls I know,” or “girls that live on my block?” Most likely they would all go to the same school, but the school wouldn’t be the defining common denominator. What if Jack was the one that made the list. Does the school have any jurisdiction over that?

      The logic just doesn’t work. Sure, the school could ban the list in school, but they can’t and shouldn’t try to protect the kids out of school from events that occur out of school.

      • Professor Marshall? He’s a school employee, of course it falls in their jurisdiction.

        Jack Marshall Ethicist? Well, that would make him a bully (and demonstrate some pedophile traits.) Would the school have an interest in stopping Jack’s list? Only if they were made aware of it and it became a problem on campus. I guarantee you they’d probably black list him as a speaker and maybe even get a restraining order to prevent him from actively marketing the list to their student population.

        …but they can’t and shouldn’t try to protect the kids out of school from events that occur out of school.

        Well, I wish I had known that the 1st grade “Stranger Danger” assembly was unethical. I totally would have boycotted.

        • …but they can’t and shouldn’t try to protect the kids out of school from events that occur out of school.

          Well, I wish I had known that the 1st grade “Stranger Danger” assembly was unethical. I totally would have boycotted.

          “Stranger Danger” is a horrible example. Those programs teach kids to fear adults. If a kid gets lost, they SHOULD approach an adult for help, just not the other way around. “D.A.R.E” isn’t much better.

          That aside, teaching kids how to protect themselves is different than the point I was making about actively protecting them. They are not comparable.

            • The case is horribly decided.
              The Commonwealth Court first noted the principle that school boards have broad discretion to adopt and enforce rules regarding student conduct, which includes the authority to expel students under Section 1318 of the School Code in circumstances where the Board determines expulsion is appropriate.

              I’m writing a rule where I have the power to kill you in situations where I deem killing you is appropriate. That’s essentially the textbook example of unconstitutionally vague. Defending that decision is defending tyranny. I don’t think I’m the first person to say that.

  4. Here in Houston we had an incident take place a couple of years (give or take) ago. Some parents took off on a weekend trip, leaving their son, a high school senior to look after things at home. He, instead, threw a party. Word spread and a lot of students from his school showed up. Then still more showed up and things began to get out of hand. Neighbors were upset and, in due course the police were notified. The police raided the house, detaining everyone present and charging them all with underage drinking. At arraignment, however, a judge determined that the police had cast too wide a net since, while many present had been drinking, numerous others had not, and it was impossible, after the fact, to determine who had been and who had not. Exit the students, stage right. Enter stage left (the sinister side) the school authorities and, you guessed it, suspended a great many of them (all the students involved were closely questioned, and if one of them said they or someone else had been drinking, gotcha!) Others were suspended after the school determined that they had been “leaders.” Reading the story in the newspaper, my reaction was the same as yours to the instances you mentioned. Namely, what the blankety-blank is going on here? The incident in question had occured well off school property and well outside of school hours, so what business was it of theirs? What seems to have happened is that many parents in the school district were upset that the students involved looked to be getting off with no official consequences and lacked faith that the students’ parents might take care of it. So the school did the dirty work for them. So, my answer to your question about the school’s meddling in private matters is no, they are incompetent to begin with, and shouldn’t even if they were otherwise competent.

  5. Why the schools? ‘Cause then we don’t have to worry with little niceties such as due process and proof. The authorities can just punish the perceived bad guys (everybody knows they are bad guys) and we don’t have to get our hands dirty. Isn’t this how totalitarian states get started?

    • For Karl’s example above, you’re exactly right. But it’s still an educator’s responsibility to provide a safe / harassment free environment where all students can learn. These lists compromised the educational environment.

      We get all mad when an educator can’t interfere on the behalf of a student’s physical safety, but when their mental and emotional safety is at risk, we tell them they’ve overstepped their bounds.

      Which is it?

      • Which is it? You present a false dichotomy. The choice isn’t between physical safety and psychological safety, it’s between authority on campus and off campus. Bullying typically has a strong psychological component, and it sometimes doesn’t involve physical contact at all, yes? I see no disagreement. No one’s arguing that educators overstep their bounds when showing concern for students’ mental well being.

        Consider an example of physical bullying outside school bounds. Say two students run into each other near the end of their summer vacation. One pummels the other, the other tries to defend himself. Upon returning from vacation, the school learns of the encounter, investigates, and elects to suspend both students. Did the school overstep its authority?

        • They may or may not have overstepped their authority. Why did the school learn of the pummeling? Did the victim seek the assistance from the administrators because threats and harassment continued on campus? Or did the school see a bruise and investigate fully to rule out parental abuse? (Which of course, they have a legal duty to report.)

          The school never oversteps its authority to investigate anything. Upon learning the facts and the current situation, if they determine certain action must be taken to remedy the situation, that’s then their call.

          • “The school never oversteps its authority to investigate* anything**.”

            *Investigate means, finding out more information

            **Anything being allegations raised to their attention or apparent harm done to a student’s welfare and they find they have a sufficient interest in knowing more.

            What I would have a concern with is when they choose to take action on their investigation and what action they decide to take. That portion has boundaries.

            But investigate? Really? You don’t seriously have a problem with questions do you?

            A student with a good track record, suddenly withdraws and fails assignments. A good teacher learns more.

            A student has bruises. A liable teacher learns more.

            • Bruises, absolutely. Evidence of substance abuse, sure. Sexual molestation or incest? Yes. Should a school investigate what parents are teaching their children—Obama’s a failure, evolution’s a crock, global warming is nonsense, some races are inferior, illegal immigrants should be deported, sex before marriage is a sin? Nope–none of their business. Is the family eating “too much” meat or “not enough” veggies, or feeding the kids too much, or letting them play violent videogames? The school doesn’t have a right to know, ask, or, no, even investigate.

              • Should a school investigate what parents are teaching their children—Obama’s a failure, evolution’s a crock, global warming is nonsense, some races are inferior, illegal immigrants should be deported, sex before marriage is a sin? Nope–none of their business. Is the family eating “too much” meat or “not enough” veggies, or feeding the kids too much, or letting them play violent videogames? The school doesn’t have a right to know, ask, or, no, even investigate.

                Every one of these would be acceptable and within the rules of conduct even on campus, thus does not require investigation. Pursuits into these areas would be inquiries and have no investigative authority. Investigations occur when misconduct is suspected.

                Learning an alternative lifestyle or belief system is not misconduct. If a teacher wanted to know more about what the child is learning at home, they are within their bounds to inquire in an unofficial capacity. What they learn has the potential to be a better teacher and not infringe on the parent’s learning objectives. Additionally, inquiries don’t lead to disciplinary action.

  6. So, you think that a rule that says “we can expel you for anything we think is appropriate to expel you for” is a perfectly fine rule?

    I use Business and you use Government to supplant School in our hypothetical situations. The reality is that School is somewhere in between. I’d say closer to business and you’d say closer to government.

    Regardless, as an institution, a school does have increased exposure to liability for the conduct of its employees and its students. Even Government as an Employer has that exposure. It’s the reason businesses create Codes of Conduct. It’s the reason Schools now have Codes of Conduct. A school has a direct interest in directing the conduct of their students to ensure the continued operation of the school.

    How about the equivalent law “We can put in you prison for 5 years for anything we think it is appropriate to incarcerate you for”?

    Well, we already have those laws in certain places. It’s not a mandated 5 years, but law enforcement can put you in holding for 48 hours without charging you, right? Just because they deemed it appropriate? Airport officials / TSA can detain you and make you miss your flight if they deem it appropriate?

    Expulsion from an institution that you have brought a threat against is almost as American as apple pie. Go yell “BOMB!” in an airport and see what I mean. Better yet, create a website that lists your target as an airport, (put some effort in to it so it’s believable, circulate it to the general airport employee population), then go to that airport.

    My sincerest apologies for being all over the place. I can’t help it, my brain just hops from one thing to the next.

  7. I use Business and you use Government to supplant School in our hypothetical situations. The reality is that School is somewhere in between. I’d say closer to business and you’d say closer to government.How is a school a business? Is the MVA a business? The IRS? Hasn’t the supreme court said over and over that school’s are government organizations? I’m not sure how you can back up your position.

    Regardless, as an institution, a school does have increased exposure to liability for the conduct of its employees and its students. The liability they have from students outside school is literally zero.

    Even Government as an Employer has that exposure. It’s the reason businesses create Codes of Conduct. It’s the reason Schools now have Codes of Conduct. A school has a direct interest in directing the conduct of their students to ensure the continued operation of the school.

    Yes, employees expose businesses, and governments, to liability. Yes, they have rules to limit these liabilities, and schools have codes of conduct that are valid in their domain. If I was going to accept the business metaphor (which I’m not), students would still not be employees, they’d be clients of a monopoly. Microsoft limits what I can do with their software, but they don’t care what I do the rest of my time.

    Well, we already have those laws in certain places. It’s not a mandated 5 years, but law enforcement can put you in holding for 48 hours without charging you, right? Just because they deemed it appropriate? ?

    You cannot be jailed for 48 hours without a reason. They need at least reasonable suspicion or probably cause, I forget which. Do you know the reasoning behind how that exception was created? The police almost never have enough information for formal charges at the time illegal acts occur. They need to investigate the scene, talk to witnesses, etc. Without that rule, a police officer wouldn’t be able to arrest someone they saw commit an apparent crime. It is an exception to our liberty that falls under the necessary and proper clause. The relatively minor inconvenience is necessary for law enforcement to perform basic functions that are necessary for our country.

    There are also still challenges to the 48 hour detention. When the police use it improperly, people with means fight back.

    The 5 year detention (or expulsion) do not fit these critera.

    Airport officials / TSA can detain you and make you miss your flight if they deem it appropriate?

    Nope. TSA officials have specific reasons they are allowed to detain. When they detain outside those reasons, they get sued. That analogy fails immediately and spectacularly.

    Expulsion from an institution that you have brought a threat against is almost as American as apple pie. Go yell “BOMB!” in an airport and see what I mean. Better yet, create a website that lists your target as an airport, (put some effort in to it so it’s believable, circulate it to the general airport employee population), then go to that airport.

    I’m confused. How is making a list of hot girls a threat against an institution?

  8. “I’m confused. How is making a list of hot girls a threat against an institution?”

    In this case, we were no longer talking about the hot girls list, but the ability to expel a student who created a kill list that made her peers afraid to be in school and the parents afraid to send their kids to school and those parents then called the school and flooded their administration with calls to get answers and demand an investigation and when you have a potential threat, not necessarily a credible threat, you must investigate whether the threat is real and if the students under your charge on your campus are safe from that threat.

    Knowing that creating a kill list (on campus or off) will have this effect on school operations, why is an expulsion not appropriate?

    • I was never talking about a kill list specifically. I was talking about the original post and about the horrible decision you linked to. The behavior that generated the case behind the decision doesn’t change that the decision was based on an unconstitutionally vague rule.

      As for the kill list itself, that’s not a matter for the school. It’s a matter for the police to decide if it’s a credible threat. If so, they are the ones who should perform any punishment. So long as the “kill list” is not in any authorized school domain, the school should have no rights to punish based on it.

      The parents should be referred to the police, just like if they were calling the school asking about a student who was suspected of drug dealing at home. This isn’t really rocket science.

      By not replying to rest of my post, do you agree that the rule is horrible and the case should have been thrown out on the vagueness of the rule?

      • No, I don’t. I just don’t think there’s any coming together on this.

        Run me through how Columbine would have been properly handled if a “Kill List” had been revealed on Dylan Klebold’s Facebook page a week prior.

        Take me on a journey from start to finish.

        • I call shananigans on your challenge. Any horrific man-caused tragedy could be averted by taking away all people’s rights before the fact. If the government could read all our email and had cameras in everybody’s homes, do you know how many murders would be averted?

          You are going strictly be individual outcomes. I say that individual outcomes should not determine rules. I believe in things like liberty. I believe in the constitution. You, clearly, think those get in the way of government.

          Going back, the rule at issues allows the authority to severely punish if the authority deems it necessary. You don’t think this is necessarily Bad. You just said that. Once we allow rules like that from the government, there are no freedoms. What’s the point in the 4th amendement? or 1st? or 5th? or 21st? or 19th? or any of them? We are left with Tyranny, right?

          • A school is a government institution and not a government.

            The reason you call shenanigans on my challenge is because using your point of view, the cops are called into investigate Klebold and Harris, there’s not enough to charge them, they might get disarmed, but maybe not, and they are right back in the school with the kids they want to kill. You call shenanigans because School Administrators have the authority to expel based on laws AND rules while law enforcement can’t expel students.

            Rules are a burden above and beyond the law. Schools are permitted to have rules. They have rules about not running in the hall. No cursing your teacher. You just believe that a threat is only a threat if it’s done on campus on school time. I argue that a threat is still a threat no matter where that threat takes place. I argue that if your off campus activities have negative results to the on campus environment, the school’s rules apply.

            And you know why they apply? Because that’s what you agree to when you enroll. If you don’t like the rules, you can appeal them and ask that they be changed, and if they aren’t changed, then they are still the rules. If you can’t live with the rules and the authority of the administrators to determine what type of risk is acceptable to have on campus, then you can go to another school if one is available. However, they are likely to have the same rules. If you pick a “prep” school (school for the troubled youth) I guarantee you that the rules will be more strict and you’ll yearn for your former school.

            • I told you why your challenge was shennanigans. You ignored my response and created a strawman. Bad, bad, arguing technique.

              Government institutions, as has been said over and over by the supreme court, are the government. They have the same rights and responsibilities as the government. You’re attempts to improperly differentiate and dissemble are not working on me.

              You then go into a treatise about rules. I don’t deny the need for rules anywhere. I simply deny the authority to punish conduct outside their jurisdiction. I also state that rules need to be well defined. Of course, the school can do more good things with expanded powers. They can also do more bad things. There’s a balance that needs to be maintained. You keep advocating for no limits, but don’t seriously support your position. How can you mitigate the risk of vague rules and the inherent power trap problems? How do you draw the boundary lines of power? Do (government) schools have power over everything their students do outside of school? You have not done anything but restate debunked points, without responding to my obliterations, and bring in non sequitors (prep schools? They ARE businesses, of course they can make up their own rules).

              Unless you’re going to actually respond to my points, arguing with you is kind of pointless. It’s like fencing, except if you refused to acknowledge that when my epee goes through your right lung, I may have touched you.

        • I’ll bite.
          Authorities are notified. The list is taken as a threat to specific individuals. The individuals can seek a restraining order prohibiting contact. Because the threat suggests action in the school, the school can take prudent action for its own protection, including banning the student from class as a legitimate threat until he proves to their satisfaction that he isn’t. What the school has no right to do is to suspend or expel him just because he wrote the list, which is not a school activity and could be a joke, fiction, or a satirical exercise.

          • Don’t forget the possibility it’s a list of people he secretly is attracted to, but needs to appear to hate to keep up appearances. Remembering the kindergarten theory of relationships (If she kicks you, she likes you) has proven to be useful in my life.

          • Correct: The school serves as the vehicle for disseminating information, not the judge and jury. Most reasonable school districts would not punish children in this case; but I did use the word reasonable.

  9. You misunderstand my use of prep. Here where I’m from, it means remedial.

    Your reason for shenanigans was bull. Your reason was that you thought I was asking for hindsight. I was really asking for how your system works in a designed situation. Since the facts of Columbine are relatively well known, I used that to learn how your system would work. Given that, my response did not create a strawman.

    We will always be at ends when you say that they cannot punish conduct outside their jurisdiction. That’s just wrong. Can they punish MOST conduct that happens out of school? No. Can they punish SOME conduct? Yes. That’s a fact because we’ve seen it happen and it’s been held up and supported. Your insinuations that it’s evil and big brother’s gonna get you are paranoid.

    Where did I advocate “no limits”? I may have said, and clarified that a school can investigate any misconduct that affects the integrity and safety of its students and property. I also said that the punishment of that misconduct has restrictions. So how is that “No Limits”?

    Your points are wide and varied and have never touched student safety and a safe learning environment. Which is the point at hand. Which is the topic I keep drumming.

    Since you didn’t respond to my thoughts on Klebold and Harris, I can only assume that your right lung has a hole in it.

    • Look, I’ve enjoyed our discussion, but it has to come to an end. I’ll leave the last words for you. Feel free to post again and I’ll read it, but I won’t respond so that we can move on to the next topic. Perhaps there will be another scenario in the future where we can go a few more rounds.

      • I asked you to respond to my points, or it’s not worth arguing. You said you’re not going to bother arguing anymore no matter what. That’s a loss

    • You misunderstand my use of prep. Here where I’m from, it means remedial.

      You have remedial schools that you pick that are not private? Where do you live? It doesn’t sound like anywhere in the U.S. I’m familiar with.

      Your reason for shenanigans was bull. Your reason was that you thought I was asking for hindsight. I was really asking for how your system works in a designed situation. Since the facts of Columbine are relatively well known, I used that to learn how your system would work. Given that, my response did not create a strawman.

      Ah, see that makes sense. Unfortunately, you used an extremely loaded situation. With the situation you suggested, the inference I made does not seem out of line. Let’s try this again:

      Somehow, a school finds out about a kill list a student wrote outside of school. The school passes that on to law enforcement. Law enforcement looks into if it’s a credible threat or not. The school may tell their teachers and staff to be alert, but does not punish the supposed writer.

      If you want to take the columbine situation, chances are the one set of parents tells the cops to fuck off, while the other set allows for a search. Plans and weapons are found there. The kids are detained while a warranted search occurs of the other house. Crisis averted.

      Say the second set of parents doesn’t consent to a search. The parents might do their own. In the columbine situation, the parents that rebuffed the police would have searched, found weapons, and likely would have taken some kind of action. Say that doesn’t occur, the police can still investigate, talk to friends and former friends of the principles. There were enough former friends and kinda friends of the kids in columbine that one mention of the common pipe bombs they used to make would be enough for a warrant. This is all assuming that the kill list itself wouldn’t get a warrant.

      We will always be at ends when you say that they cannot punish conduct outside their jurisdiction. That’s just wrong. Can they punish MOST conduct that happens out of school? No. Can they punish SOME conduct? Yes. That’s a fact because we’ve seen it happen and it’s been held up and supported. Your insinuations that it’s evil and big brother’s gonna get you are paranoid.

      I have asked what authority grants them the ability to punish conduct outside of school. You have repeatedly restated that they have the power. No citation given. That’s not going to work in an argument.

      Where did I advocate “no limits”? I may have said, and clarified that a school can investigate any misconduct that affects the integrity and safety of its students and property. I also said that the punishment of that misconduct has restrictions. So how is that “No Limits”?

      You have argued that the rule that allows them to do whatever they want is proper. Where, in there, is a limit? If that’s a proper rule, you’re arguing for no limits, while also arguing for limits.

      Your points are wide and varied and have never touched student safety and a safe learning environment. Which is the point at hand. Which is the topic I keep drumming.

      My points are not wide. My points are on the bounds of what schools can and can’t do, same as yours. Clearly, as part of the government, The school can’t have authority to do whatever it wants. I give them the power I know they have and no more. You give them more power without backing it up. Yes, we want safe schools. We also want safe public areas and homes, but we limit the power of government in general (and specific agencies moreso) in what they can do to provide that.

      Since you didn’t respond to my thoughts on Klebold and Harris, I can only assume that your right lung has a hole in it.

      I gave reasons for my refusal. I said that it was a loaded question and laid out the reasons why I was refusing. That’s completely different from simply not responding to a point. I didn’t leave any of your points unresponded to, did I? When I lose a point, I willingly note so, instead of ignoring it and hoping the other party and anyone else reading it doesn’t notice.

      Again for that situation, I can’t really know what the police would have done. Maybe they would have investigated like I suggested, or maybe they would have said the threat wasn’t credible. Maybe the school would have decided the same. In the case you linked to, the school decided it was credible and took action. I say they didn’t have jurisdiction; the police were the only ones who could take action. That doesn’t mean the school can’t investigate what occurs in their realm. They just can’t punish extraterritorial behavior.

      • The MVA wants to keep their office safe. They have the power to expel people from their branch if they are disruptive. If they hear about a specific individual making a threat to cause harm to other individuals in the branch, they don’t have the power to bar that individual from coming in. They can tell the police, attempt to get a restraining order, and follow all legal remedies with the appropriate authorities. I don’t see how a school should have extra powers, when similar appropriate remedies exist.

        Are students more dangerous than random people? No. Are parents more scared of other people’s kids? Yes. Does that grant powers that are not written down anywhere? No.

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