In Mustang, Oklahoma, a ninth-grader used his cell phone to snap a photo of his substitute teacher who was sleeping on the job, in class. Guess what happened?
The student was suspended for violating a school policy prohibiting the use of electronic communication devices during school hours.
This combines the irresponsible unfairness of “no-tolerance” policies with old-fashioned retaliation against whistle-blowers. The student did the only thing he could do to record a breach of duty by the snoozing teacher, who was cheating students out of their education, cheating the school out of work it had contracted for, and cheating Mustang tax-payers out of their hard-earned cash. Using a cell phone for this purpose was not only ethical but essential to solving the problem. In a business, an employee who used a camera to record on-the-job misfeasance or malfeasance would be protected from adverse job action no matter what policies he broke, because he would be a whistle-blower. The 9th grader was also a whistle-blower. An ethical and responsible school would have thanked him, and held him up as a good citizen of the school.
What does that make a school, then, that uses a strict interpretation of a policy to justify retaliation against the student, and by so doing sends a clear message to other students that the administrators and educators will protect their own, even when they are in the wrong?
It makes that school corrupt and corrupting. It means that the school chooses to teach students the lesson that one should look the other way when wrong-doing occurs, rather than take remedial action.
Just who does Mustang Mid-High School think it is?