I have this sinking feeling that we have not yet seen the worst.
In Woody Allen’s oddball satiric masterpiece “What’s Up, Tiger Lily?”, the hero, a dim-bulb Japanese version of James Bond named “Phil Moskowitz,” is being briefed on his quary, a Chinese super-villain named Wing Fat. Pointing to a map, the secret agent’s boss tel’s him, “This is the home of Wing Fat!” “You mean he lives in that little piece of paper?”the agent exclaims.
I always wondered what happened to Phil, considering his, ah, handicap. I should have guessed. He became a school administrator in Tan Valley, Arizona,.
Daniel McClaine, Jr., a freshman at Poston Butte High School there, made a web photo of an AK 47 against an American flag backdrop as the desktop background on his school-issued computer and was suspended as a result.
NO, Phil, the piece of paper isn’t the real gun! Won’t you ever learn?
There’s not much more to be said about this, except that it continues a sad trend, and also, “ARRRRRGH!!!!” This story followed the familiar pattern: McClaine’s father contacted the press, people started wondering why Phil Moskowitz was running a public school, and Florence Unified School District officials suddenly lifted the suspension. The District’s policy forbids students from sending or displaying “offensive messages or pictures,” or producing, retrieving, sending or forwarding images that are considered “harassing, threatening or illegal” on school-issued laptops. Offensive today can mean exactly anything, including a photo of a Washington Redskins player, Rush Limbaugh, or “My Little Pony.” McClaine claims he read the guidelines but did not think that a picture of a gun could threaten or offend anyone. He needs to read more newspapers and Ethics Alarms. Still, his punishment was irresponsible and unfair, and like all such incidents, help teach students to disrespect authority and to regard their elders as not worth listening to, since they are, shall we say, like Phil Moskowitz.
Glenn Reynolds at “Instapundit” comments that he’s “beginning to think putting your kids in a public school is parental malpractice.” What took him so long? “Remember, these are the people who claim that they teach critical thinking,” he writes. What they do, in fact, is practice attitude re-adjustment, political orthodoxy and mind-control. Suspended or not, McClaine and his fellow students have been sent the clear message that the idea of legal firearms is inherently wrong, and by extension, gun ownership, supporters of gun ownership, the Second Amendment, the NRA and the political party whose members ally with all of them.
Which is it, Phil?
Totalitarian methodology, or just good old American school administrator idiocy?