A Lesson From Georgia: Schools Too Stupid To Be Ethical Are Also Too Stupid To Be Trusted To Teach

Handy Tip: Don't trust this man to educate your children.

Rick Jones, proprietor of Curmudgeon Central,  launched his Curmie Award last year, “honoring” educational professionals who embarrass their profession. Rick discovered a  Curmie-worthy story that he blogs on here, from the Beaver Ridge Elementary School in Norcross, GA. A teacher gave her third-grade class a Monty Pythonesque math test in which all the questions revolved around slavery:

  • “Each tree had 56 oranges. If eight slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?”
  • “If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in one week?”
  •  “Frederick had 6 baskets full of cotton. If each basket held 5 pounds, how many pounds did he have all together?”


Naturally the school got an earful from parents, and naturally the school, which had no possible justification for such wretched judgement on its teacher’s part, apologized and backtracked. It’s not enough. Why are such incompetent idiots hired to teach anything more sentient than a poodle? How can a parent trust a school that allows teachers like this in the front door? If your child is taught by a moron—and technical definitions aside, that is not an unfair or uncivil description of a teacher who thinks it’s reasonable to give the question, “If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in one week?” to a third-grader, your child’s likelihood of growing up moronic is vastly increased.

And yet, as Richard Dreyfus’s character says to Quint the shark-hunter as they compare scars in “Jaws,” “I got that beat.”In fact, Rick, I got that beat in Georgia.

Here is a tale of school administrator rigidity and stupidity so blatant that it may never be exceeded. For the Lanier Middle School in Gwinnett County has suspended one of its students for doing the right thing according to its own policies, while acknowledging that the student had also not engaged in any conduct worthy of punishment. Yet thirteen-year-old Jack Persyn now has to serve a four day, in-school suspension.

You see, Jack was given a military-style knapsack by his aunt at Christmas. She bought it at a yard sale, and apparently didn’t check it too carefully. In one of the pockest was a small knife with a one and 1/2 inch blade, and Jack discovered it after he had brought the knapsack to school. He immediately turned the knife in to school authorities as school policy required. The school policy, however, also requires that possessing a weapon of any kind be punished, even if the possession was accidental, even if it is self-reported. “We can’t ignore the fact that there is a weapon on campus somewhere that someone can use,” said system spokesperson Jore Quintana. “This is obviously to keep the safety of our students in our schools.”

Ah! Allow me to retort. You, and your employers, Mr. Quintana, are idiots. There was no safety issue. The weapon was turned in as soon as it was discovered. There was neither an intent nor an opportunity to harm. You have a student who did exactly as he was required to do under the rules, behaved responsibly in the interest of the safety of his fellow students, and who trusted the school to respond reasonably and fairly to his impeccable conduct, and you still claim that punishing him is the proper course! It cannot possibly be the proper course. Punishment will discourage other students from obeying the school’s policy, since obedience leads to punishment. Punishing a student for taking the only compliant course open to him once he discovered a knife that he did not know existed is neither fair, nor just, nor logical. It is just arbitrary and cruel, and can only lead the victim of such punishment to lose respect for authority, have contempt for rules, and to regard his own school as a kingdom ruled by fools.

Which indeed it is.

Laughably, the Gwinnett County school authorities claim that theirs is not a no-tolerance policy, a statement that is in clear contradiction of the facts. So they are liars too.

It is as simple as this. Idiots cannot and must not be entrusted with the education of our children. When an administrator, or a teacher or an entire system demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt such a deficit in basic logic, competence, judgments and common sense that there can be no other diagnosis than “Moron!”, that administrator, teacher or system no longer can be trusted with the instruction of our children and the molding of young minds. This is a place for no-tolerance. They have to go. We must not tolerate base stupidity in the schools. Stupid is beyond fixing; stupid begets incompetence, and incompetence is unethical. To the extent that unions, the school systems or governments protect the incompetent, they need to be condemned, opposed, and reformed.

Incompetent schools, run by stupid teachers like Beaver Ridge’s third-grade slavery fan, and idiotic administrators like those who admit to punishing innocent students at the Gwinnett school and yet defend their actions anyway, cannot be trusted to teach.

We have to stop tolerating them.

12 thoughts on “A Lesson From Georgia: Schools Too Stupid To Be Ethical Are Also Too Stupid To Be Trusted To Teach

  1. I once knew a man who thought spanking a child in the morning was a good idea because the child was surely going to do something during the course of the day to deserve it.
    If I had it to do over,I would try to educate my kids at home. There is just too much idiocy in education. I could tell you a few tales from my own experience like the PE teacher who hit kids but wouldn’t be fired but that’s another story.

  2. Thirteen year old Jack’s parents need to switch his school before he learns that it is best to stay silent. Had he taken the knife home and handed it to his parents, he would have avoided the suspension and likely got the praise he deserved for handing it in immediatey rather than using it to play some unfortunate playground game. This is a really bad message to be sending him…. not to mention all his classmates who are watching what happened to him when he followed the rules. Unlike the slavery fan teacher, Jack can still be helped.

  3. It certainly makes you wonder about people. Unfortunately, Georgia is a state full of examples like this. The Atlanta Public School System is another example of adult behavior being so over the top stupid that it renders them ineligible to work in education. For once Jack, we’re in full agreement….

  4. Political correctness still runs rampant in all levels of academia. I seem to recall, in regard to the first story, that slavery has been over in this country for one and a half centuries, If that teacher wants “reparations” so badly, I suggest she solicit someone else. Those kids are already deep enough in public debt!

    As for the knife incident… that was a pen knife! When I was a cub scout, I routinely carried a BSA issue jackknife dangling from my belt. EVERY boy carried one in those days. It’s an all purpose tool. By what twisted mentality has it now become regarded as a deadly weapon in the hands of a little boy?

  5. Dunning’s law proven yet again (Unskilled and Unaware of it: How difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assesments; Justin Kruger and David Dunning, Cornell University). I suppose that there is nothing common (frequent or ubiquitous) about “common sense”. I agree with OldMayfly’s comment and would add that I tell my children to keep their wits about them at all times, but especially around fools.

  6. Another “amen” here, in agreement with OldMayfly. My wife and I did some homeschooling. (Well, my wife did it – I was ever the nutty professor, guest lecturer, and sometimes-too-into-play-myself-to-be-effective playground authority – think Phil on Modern Family – the in-house “exemplary fool” to fulfill the practical teaching endorsed by OldMayfly).

    I wonder: do the GA schools even teach their students Ray Charles’ state song? ‘Tis a pity, if they don’t. Heck, all it took was for me to read this thread once this morning, and now I can’t get that song (and the sentiments and “vibes” it draws out) off my mind!

  7. Easy…you have idiots teaching in Georgia schools because nobody wants to teach in Georgia….so you just get the leftovers and rejects. Georgia is known for having bad conditions for teachers, and your salaries are terrible. Are you really surprised that you can’t attract top quality teachers? Would you want to teach in Georgia? I think it’s funny that you even wonder. You have an anti-school culture, and an anti-teacher culture. You treat your teachers like trash, and act like you don’t have to pay teachers like professionals. Don’t be surprised about your teacher recruitment problems. It makes your state look even more ignorant than it already is known to be.

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