Ethics Dunces: Administrators at Mustang (Oklahoma) Mid-High School

"No whistles allowed in class, kid. You're suspended!"

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?

Penn State?

6 thoughts on “Ethics Dunces: Administrators at Mustang (Oklahoma) Mid-High School

  1. For what it is worth, teachers are not even allowed to film students who disrupt their classes as I learned after using a video camera to record misbehavior by a chronically lying, disruptive kid. I don’t know where common sense has gone. 10 years later I was filming students for the purpose of giving them some feedback on their projects. Some of them misbehaved on camera…and then their parents filed a complaint against me as some claimed I was trying to film their chests. They even went to the police, and it ended my career.

  2. This is the first I’ve heard of this story, so the only particulars I am aware of are what you have written. That said … if they haven’t done so already, I hope this student’s parents have hired an attorney to have their child’s record expunged and are considering further action as well. This is an outrage on too many levels! Let’s hope the whole community stands up and shouts ENOUGH!!! PS – BRAVO to the student for doing the right thing. I’m sure his/her parents are proud – as they well should be!

  3. America is awash in this idiocy now. Last night I read where a CA elementary principal disciplined a youngster for possibly touching another boy’s thigh or groin. This “sexual assault” was to stay on his record.

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