In Cincinnati, Ohio, a first-grader at Our Lady of Lourdes school, just six-years old, was pretending to be a Power Ranger during recess, and “shot” another student with an imaginary bow and arrow. Principal Joe Crachiolo suspended the 6-year-old student for three days.
Denying the parents’ pleas to reconsider, Crachiolo sent a letter home to parents stating in part:
“I have no tolerance for any real, pretend, or imitated violence. The punishment is an out of school suspension.”
No wonder, if they encounter this kind of doctrinaire extremism, cruelty and stupidity from adult authority figures beginning so early in life, college students are quick to treat college administrators as disposable and useless. No wonder, if they witness this kind of “no-tolerance” excess as a remedy for real violence, they grow up to believe that anything they fear or oppose is best handled with blunt and crude remedies, and respect for others be damned. No wonder they want to punish other students for making them feel “unsafe” with mere words.
“I think he’s a good principal. I just think a bad decision was made,” Matthew Miele, the child’s father, said.
No, sir, he is NOT a “good principal.” Good principals don’t abuse their power, and abuse children in the process. Good principals don’t punish children for harmless make-believe, and good parents don’t let them warp and brutalize their child by doing so. It is flaccid, timid, passive parents like the Miele’s that make abusive principals like Joe Crachiolo possible.
I’ve wearied of posting about these incidents.There is nothing new to say, and it seems like the societal reaction is to just roll eyes and let these incompetent educators just go their merry, destructive way, hurting kids while pumping up their egos by bullying children for being children.
Parents have to stop this. That’s their duty. They need to show no tolerance. If this happened to my son, I would be calling every single parent, bombarding the local papers with letters, and filibustering the school and the Church that oversees it. I may not be able to get the idiot principal dismissed, but I would sure make his life hell for a while, and I would also make sure that as many parents of potential students heard the tale about the child punished for having an imagination. I’m a pretty persuasive guy; I think I would recruit some allies. Adults are better at protests than kids, most of the time. For one thing, they tend to be smarter. I think I could arrange a public forum, and I am certain that I could make someone like Joe Crachiolo look like the utter ass that he is.
When it was all over, I’d change schools and school districts, win or lose. I could not trust a system that allowed such a dim-bulb fanatic to oversee the education of any children, not just mine.
[ Full disclosure: my wife and I sent our son to a Catholic school for the 8th Grade. We pulled him out after Christmas.]