Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/15/2018: The Last Of Hillary, More NCAA Enabling, And Hoping For The End Of “Pride” In Student Ignorance

Good Morning!

1 To be crystal clear about the student walk-outs:

a) The only reason schools are tolerating them is because a majority of teachers and administrators share the anti-gun agenda the protests represent. Ethics Foul. Educators’ political views should be irrelevant to how they do their job, which is to educate students, not encourage them to skip class.

b) The students who walk out should be disciplined, and the reason they walked out should be neither a mitigation nor an enhancer. If they want to engage in civil disobedience, fine: its a grand old tradition, for causes noble and dumb alike.

c) The news media hyping the protests is unconscionable, and just another example of journalists taking sides rather than reporting.

d) Anyone who says in public that they are “proud” of these children should be fitted with a dunce cap and have it super-glued to their heads. Proud of what? That they have allowed themselves to be used as puppets, pawns and human shields by cynical politicians and activists? That they have failed to make a single valid or persuasive argument in over a month, while polluting the discussion with statistical falsehoods, blame-shifting, name-calling and demonization? That they are reveling in and parading their lack of intellectual honesty and critical thinking skills?

e) The walk-outs and protests are not merely sort of like, but exactly the same, as the “screaming at the sky” demonstrations. Those was embarrassing, and so are the wlak-outs. In particular, educators should be embarrassed. This is the level of critical thinking they are training our young to master.

f) This idiotic sign, on display in my area yesterday, nicely sums up the level of seriousness, common sense and acumen the anti-gun students have displayed so far:

2.  I’m going to try to make this the last time I pay any attention to what Hillary Clinton says. I really am. During that infamous interview the India Today Conclave  over the weekend, the one where she again implied that anyone who voted for President Trump was a bigot or a moron, Clinton made another statement that raised metaphorical eyebrows She was asked why she thought most white women voted for Trump, and said,

“[Democrats] do not do well with white men, and we don’t do well with married, white women. And part of that is an identification with the Republican Party, and a sort of ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should.”

This is an anti-feminist comment. If a man said that women tend to vote as their husbands tell them to, that man would be condemned as a sexist. If Donald Trump said it, it would be roundly mocked as demonstrating an early 2oth Century  mindset, regarding women as compliant patsies.  It is also 100% garbage. Women got the vote by defying their husbands. What Hillary was really saying is that conservative women are weak-minded toadies, while enlightened, pro-feminist women can think for themselves. (This view does not take into consideration, for some reason, the fact that much of Hillary’s campaign consisted of trying to create gender peer pressure to “Vote for the Vagina,” or in the alternative to be, as Madeline Allbright warned, consigned to Hell. )

There are facts to consider here, not that Hillary’s post-election excuse tour acknowledges such things. (She lost because she was a horrible, horrible candidate, couldn’t stop lying, and should never have been nominated in the first place.) One fact is that people go into the voting booth alone. Another is that married couples often adopt each other’s political views, and the influence goes both ways: this is pure cognitive dissonance. The scale…here it is again!

…exercises its own influence. If you love your spouse—this may be a phenomenon with which Hillary has no experience, to be fair—he or she is at the top of the scale, and his or her political views become more attractive as a result.

Naturally, Hillary has knee-jerk defenders who will try to justify any nonsense she says, so the Washington Post’s Eugene Scott tries to ride to her rescue this time, saying that “Clinton may not be wrong”:

There are studies that show that how white women vote, especially those who are married, is highly influenced by the politics of their husbands.

Oregon State University assistant professor Kelsy Kretschmer co-wrote a study examining women’s voting patterns. “We know white men are more conservative, so when you’re married to a white man you get a lot more pressure to vote consistent with that ideology,” she told the Guardian last year.

In the study published in Political Research Quarterly, Kretschmer and her co-authors wrote:

“Women consistently earn less money and hold less power, which fosters women’s economic dependency on men. Thus, it is within married women’s interests to support policies and politicians who protect their husbands and improve their status.”

This and other studies also show that other factors influence why white women vote for conservative politicians. White women are much more likely to be married than women of other demographic groups. And married women are more likely to support traditional values, both culturally and economically.

I give this four Regan Heads…

…as pure, shameless spin. Of course white women tend to vote for candidates that have policies they feel will benefit their spouses, and their family.  That’s not what Hillary said. Hillary said that women vote Republican because their husband pressure them to do so. There is no evidence of that at all, in the study, or in anecdotal evidence.

3. Here’s one more sporting event ethical people shouldn’t support. The NCAA tournament  is another mass cultural American event in which everyone turns off their ethics alarms. College basketball is demonstrably corrupt. A federal investigation is underway to determine who is cheating, and the prime candidates are also the most likely colleges to make the Final Four. The tournament is a bonanza for professional gamblers. It makes millions for the big time sports programs of colleges who pay their coaches more than any ten professors, and who know that many of their basketball and football stars will not only never graduate, but leave the university unable to read above a 7th grade level.

Cheering these games is cheering fraud, exploitation, under-the-table bribes and pay-offs, and the failure of the American education system. Let the games begin!

The NCAA itself is a venal, phony administrative body.  The organization made $1.06 billion in revenue and  $105 million in profit in its 2017 fiscal year, according to its financial statement. Television rights accounted for more than $800 million of that: yes, the networks and cable are all part of the ethics train wreck.  The NCAA worked around the clock to “clear” players in record time when the pay-to-play investigation indicated that stars from Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky and Michigan State received financial and other benefits from alumni and corporations that probably violated the NCAA rules.

This is more ethics pollution in U.S. culture. We should not be encouraging it.

________________________

Facts (#3): New York Times

68 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Character, Childhood and children, Education, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Family, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Romance and Relationships, Sports

68 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/15/2018: The Last Of Hillary, More NCAA Enabling, And Hoping For The End Of “Pride” In Student Ignorance

  1. Sarah B

    Re #2.

    I convinced my husband, over the course of multiple years, to go from anti-gun to pro-Second Ammendment, despite that his family is extremely anti-gun. As you said, it goes both ways, for husband’s opinions to wife’s opinions and wife’s opinions to husbands opinions.

    • Thank you! This has been my impression since I watched my mother try to hector my father into voting for JFK over Nixon. Then, when Nixon ran in 1968 with a Greek VP, she decided to vote for Nixon even though she was a Democrat. I’ve talked about this with a lot of couples, and see no trend towards husband having any unusual success “pressuring” their wives.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        Usually it goes the other way, I’d think, with the wife threatening to withhold the husband’s monthly sex night unless he comes around to her way of thinking.

        • Isaac

          Women control the vast majority of all household finances and their decisions determine something like 80% of the market for goods and services. But I’m sure when they get to a voting booth they just freeze up and text “confused” emojis to their husbands.

          The things liberals say to feel better about themselves.

        • “Lysistrata was not an instruction manual.”
          “Lysistrata was not an instruction manual.”
          “Lysistrata was not an instruction manual.”

      • dragin_dragon

        Just an FYI, my recently-deceased wife spent a great deal of time trying to convince me to vote the way she did. Since we were both conservatives, that worked most of the time. Those times it didn’t were interesting.

  2. Who needs a legally enforced gun registry? Just casually ask the children at school if mommy or daddy have a gun or more at home.

    • I have indoctrinated my kids to not answer such questions, even from friends, from an early age.

      If they cannot ask me, they are not friends. The kids also know my answer, depending of circumstances, might be: “Guns in my home? Hell, I have one on me now!”

  3. 1.F.

    I have no words to describe the level of inanity that the protester’s poster reaches.

  4. adimagejim

    Is there a point when we stop looking at these statements, actions and positions as those of a political opponent and, instead, an outright enemy of the Constitution, Republic and our society?

    It is more than evident they are seeking to change all three beyond recognition.

    As for the sign, try to take a weapon onto the grounds of the White House and see how gun free it is. What is intellectually lower than a moron? Oh, I remember, an Alinskyite led, trained and indoctrinated student.

  5. Rusty Rebar

    It seems that we have lost the narrative as a nation somewhere along the way. I have no problem with students, organically deciding that they wan to walk out of school for any reason.

    First, I don’t think they are really learning that much in school (as education is at best a third level priority at school), and a civics lesson about free speech is sorely needed. That being said, the whole point of a walkout is counter-productive if you ask permission to do it. In fact, it is sending precisely the message we need to nip in the bud. If your principles tell you that you need to protest, then take the consequences of that protest, and get on with it, don’t go asking for permission to protest, that is idiotic.

    Secondly, what exactly is being protested that everyone does not already agree with? Stooping school shootings? Gun violence? Who is in favor of these things? There is no one that is out there encouraging more school shootings (unless we want to count corporate media in some tangential way). If on the other hand the protest is against gun ownership, then why is it being painted as something else. Protesting school shootings? Well while we are at it, lets go protest cancer, Ebola, and the way that peanut butter sticks to the roof of your mouth.

    • Uh, I’m guessing none…

      • Ooops… this reply meant for Humble Talent regarding the OSU incident.

        I did want to say that I am a school teacher and teach a class where I do address many of the civics lessons to which you refer.

        • Totally agree with Rusty and will add that I’m guessing these schools are skipping the whole “This is what happened when guns were confiscated or banned from Jews, blacks, Native Americans, and most victims of Marxist influenced regimes.”

          Mr. Andrew Mayette: In your experience is this aspect of history taught to students at an age appropriate level in schools lately?

          • Mrs. Q:

            So ironic that you would ask this question.
            A colleague of mine, who teaches AP World History, brought this exact point up yesterday. She shared several examples with from history when limiting guns had horrible results.

            So, no, I don’t think this is necessarily taught at any level in school, To be fair, however, I don’t teach history.

            • I appreciate your comment in spite of not being a history teacher.

              • It is incumbent for educators to raise these questions, particularly during times when issues are politicized. Unfortunately, I don’t think this happens (enough? at all?) in schools. Colleagues praised students for walking out because it was the “right” thing to do without critically, fully (at all?), impartially, examining the issues. By “right” they implied that those who chose not to “walk” out were “wrong.” Unconscionable…

  6. The news media hyping the protests is unconscionable, and just another example of journalists taking sides rather than reporting.

    I am old enough to remember vigils against gang violence in inner cities.

    For some reason, these never got national media attention. I wonder why.

  7. Chris Marschner

    On point one. Has anyone asked these kids if they would support a law requiring social media firms to make their account passwords available to law enforcement and their parents so that authorities could review their posts to find potentially violent people?

    Everyone of the school shooters had extensive facebook and other social media posts that suggested they might commit an atrocity. Having the ability to see what some kids are planning could prevent school shootings. Are they cool with that?

    When confronted with such a loss of privacy I wonder if any of them would see the implications of eliminating the 2nd amendment.

    On 1 f. Ask her to scale the fence and run toward the White House. She will soon see how free of guns the area actually is.

    • For point one this is already happening w/out needing passwords. Facebook’s biggest contractors are the DOJ, and like minded agencies. All data put on the site by users is already continuously scanned and sorted for what ultimately is a future crimes system. Of course this is the case with every google search, tweet, comment (ahem) and text message/email.

      “Basically where we go, what we do, what we talk about, who we talk to, and who we see – everything is recorded and, at some point, leveraged for value.” Yasha Levine from the book Surveillance Valley. https://surveillancevalley.com/

      • Chris Marschner

        I’ll see if I can get a copy. However, the question is how will kids react if they are told that what they think is private or shared only with friends can be viewed at will by local police or parents.

        I would bet they would put up such a hissy fit that their heads would explode. I would also bet that this information would go viral faster than a youtube video of a kid shooting bottle rockets from his butt.

        All kids think what they post will never be seen by anyone other than those they allow to see their pages.

        Want to see social media stocks fall 80% overnight just tell kids and adults everything they post is available to everyone.

        • I honestly am not sure how many will care. This is a generation who grew up wearing ‘Obey’ tee shirts and having their parents post kids pics of them online without understanding what a breach of privacy it was.

          Some may care but even the adults I talk to lately have a “oh well” attitude to this stuff. I asked a friend this week how he felt about the DOJ etc. being able to hack into our phones anytime to listen live to conversations (and btw turning your phone off ain’t enough, remove that battery) and he said “I don’t like it but oh well.”

          So yeah I think it won’t matter to them. Even on EA the ethics of the surveillance state is rarely discussed. I suspect also by the time some folks/teens figure it out they’ll feel too trapped to care. And unfortunately it ain’t called the web for nothing.

          • Jeff

            I think Chris’ point is that even if kids are numb to the prospect of some hypothetical, faraway government agent reading their texts, if you proposed that their parents (the horror!) and local cops who are real, actual people they see in their day-to-day lives would be privy to their “private” communications, the reaction would be very different. The former is too big and abstract to get a handle on, but your mom reading your texts and private chats? Unacceptable!

          • Uhhhh… I have RANTED about it here… and only here.

  8. Isaac

    Conservative white people are more likely to, you know, WANT to get married. On account of being conservative and all. Whereas the demographic of single blue-haired 40-year-olds who refer to their 27 cats as their kids are just about 100% liberal.

    But I’m sure THAT doesn’t explain why Trump won married white women. Nope, I’m sure it’s just that they all can’t think for themselves. The things liberals say to feel better about themselves…

  9. One of my students has been working on an op-ed piece that communicates this exact point. I will ask him to share as soon as he finishes polishing it.

    My school district openly supported the “Walkout,” believing that the 17 minutes were “instructional.”

    We were instructed to allow students to leave without consequence.

    The news media was all over it.

    Emotion carried the day….

  10. Paul W. Schlecht

    2- I’m not so sure this isn’t an intended extension of the democrat “War on Whitey.”

    I’d venture a guess that there may be a similar percentage of, for lack of a better term, “traditional” Black & Hispanic couples.

    My sense is (and anyone please correct me if they think I’m wrong) that “traditional” Black and Hispanic couples tend toward the man’s the head of the household, and being people both of faith and Pro-Life.

    HRC would never mutually include them in her diatribes, despite a seeming predisposition to the anathema of “The Lefty Way.”

    And until the New Lefty Guard sets her & hubby on an ice floe and pushes them out to sea, or they pass on, they’ll keep showing up desperately seeking relevance.

    • Other Bill

      Anyone want to volunteer to tell my wife she votes the way she does because of pressure I exert on her? I don’t.

      • Paul W. Schlecht

        ”Anyone want to volunteer to tell my wife she votes the way she does because of pressure I exert on her?”

        Um…not I.

        My lovely and long-suffering wife, former next door (through our connected backyards) neighbor & the only gal I ever asked, is a career Lefty.

        Both would openly guffaw at the mere thought, am I right?

        That’s just you-n-me!

        Honestly; you think HRC cares, or has any earthly idea, how many women & their households (in addition to your’s & mine), she insulted?

        I don’t either.

  11. DaveL

    Regarding the expressions of pride in protesting students, I think we ought at least to attempt a fair inventory of the civic virtues supposedly on display. Benjamin Franklin spoke rightly when he said “only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.” A craven citizen can be cowed, a venal one bribed, a prideful one flattered, a wrathful one stirred to anger, but the only way to keep the support of a virtuous citizen is to act rightly. Therefore, let’s take a look at these protests with respect to courage, integrity, humility, and patience.

    On the subject of courage, it’s a mixed bag. Those who protested for a cause they believed to be right, knowing there would likely be adverse consequences, did demonstrate courage. So did those who refused to participate in the face of pressure from peers and officials. Those who knew they would face no consequences, and that their actions were condoned by authorities, receive no laurels on this one.

    On the subject of integrity, I find little to say about the students, except that it’s likely inevitable that a significant number of students participated just to get out of class. Only they will ever know who they are, but shame on them. Certain public officials, on the other hand, have much more to answer for, including the Baltimore Public School system, which spent taxpayer money to push their own preferred politics by providing buses to DC protests, and the governor of Washington who showed up at one high school for his photo op – surrounded by his cadre of armed bodyguards.

    Humility was pretty much missing in action. Students obviously didn’t bother to study up on the issue, as can be seen from the signs. They were all too happy to pretend that holding their position on the issue must mean they’re the good guys who care about kids’ well-being, and those disagreeing must be bad guys who want children to die. The media obligingly fed their egos with the empty calories of approbation without education.

    The protest was likewise a complete disaster in terms of patience, or forbearance if you prefer. Students were whipped into a frenzy of self-righteousness. It didn’t matter to them how objectively safe they actually are in school. They had been stirred to anger, and instilled with a certainty of the correctness of their cause. The desired policy proposals were already on the table, there was no time to check whether any of them actually had anything to do with what they were protesting. Something had to be done, they had ideas (which they had been fed by adults), there was no time and no room to analyze them.

    On the whole, I do find there were some hopeful glimmers of civic virtue in the protest, but they were largely outweighed by its glaring deficiencies.

  12. “1. b) The students who walk out should be disciplined, and the reason they walked out should be neither a mitigation nor an enhancer. If they want to engage in civil disobedience, fine: its a grand old tradition, for causes noble and dumb alike.”

    I think the reason these protests get traction among the kids isn’t necessarily that the students feel strongly about what they’re doing, but that the adults around them enable and encourage them to do so. I mean… There aren’t going to be consequences for these kids, the teachers will treat this as a professional development day, it won’t effect their grades, it won’t appear on records, hell, it might not even tarnish their perfect attendance records. Could you imagine how different the situation would be if the students actually had to face consequences? Had to make eyes-wide-open decisions to break the rules and suffer the consequences of their choices? There was a protest at the University of Ohio, where a group of #BLM activists rushed the university administration building and “occupied” the waiting room. I remember video of a very calm administrator telling them in a very no-bullshit tone that if they weren’t gone by the time the staff got in in the morning, that he would give them the opportunity to be arrested for their ideals. Screw it, I’m going to find it, it was perfect.

  13. Re: #2 Good luck on ignoring Hillary. I am afraid I am betting against you on that one. An ethicist trying to ignore Hillary is a little like Michael Douglas trying to ignore Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction

  14. 1a) I don’t know about where you are, but most administrators don’t encourage the walkouts . They are understanding that the kids want to do so, that it’s a relatively harmless way for them to express themselves, and that it will cause more problems to try and stop it then let it occur. They do stipulate that they must be peaceful, and that they cannot leave the school grounds.
    b) What discipline do you suggest? It’s a 20-minute walkout period, maybe half a class session. In some schools it’s just about the entire student body doing the walkouts. Are you saying discipline the whole school? Besides being an awful look for the administration (having 1000s a discipline issues on their record as a red flag that they can’t control students in their school), it would have to be some sort of discipline to match the crime. In this case it’s missing maybe .05% of one class in one school year.
    c) The news media sadly hypes these kinds of things. Not just these, but any types of protests or any news event that will get them greater viewers. They should just report it, and on to the next story.
    d) I think some of my disagreement here goes to something else we disagree on, which is you consider anyone under 18 as incapable of having any ingenuity, own thought processes and ideas, or being able to make their own decisions. I don’t think they’re being used as pawns to themselves, as much as some groups are taking advantage of what they’re choosing to do just to boost their own ideals. The kids (certainly around here) have an opinion on this, have ideas on it, and are going to do this anyway. It’s more some groups (particularly left oriented) using it to further their own aims at the same time through them. Plus I think they have made some valid arguments. There is a problem with mass shootings, to some extent at least. They’ve come up with ideas on what they think should be done, and (many of them properly) have them turned down or ignored. But no one else is coming up with ideas. Even on here, there have been no real persuasive good arguments on what should be done outside of throwing hands in the air and saying “Oh well it happens”, or solutions which are arguably even worse than the status quo (like arming a bunch of teachers). They’re not satisfied with that anymore.
    e) Wouldn’t that be any protest than? Or at least to any a person who doesn’t agree with the purpose for the protest.
    f) The sign is agreeably dumb. Of course with many thousands of people protesting there are going to be some really stupid ones in there.

    2) It’s interesting seeing Hillary seeming to get more desperate in coming up with ways that she didn’t win (in her own mind) I wonder if she’s trying to just toss out more and more excuses hoping that people will pick up on one as being something that could be valid and spring to the rescue of her shattered ego and proclaim to her in unison that it was not her fault.

    • Chris

      I could not agree more, Steve Langton.

      At the middle school I teach at, the official position was that the walkouts would be allowed, but not encouraged. It was suggested that we not even mention the walkout to the students beforehand–they knew about it from word of mouth from other students and social media. They have a 10-minute break during the time the walkout starts, so they didn’t actually have to “walk out” of any class, which definitely helped make the transitions easy.

      It was decided that to punish the students would cause more of a disruption than simply allowing the walkout. This seems obvious to me.

      The majority of students participated; I only had about six out of the thirty students in my middle class show up on time. We had to clean the classroom for Open House that day anyway, so I had them do that while we waited for the others to come back. The walkout ended at 10:17; every single student in my class was in their seat by 10:20 and we started reading our novel immediately. Of the few students who asked me about the march, my only response was “I hope those of you who participated learned something from the experience.” I made sure no one felt judged based on either their participation or lack thereof.

      I’m not sure what Jack is using as his basis to say that the only reason this was tolerated was because the majority of teachers and administrators agree with the protests. To make that judgement we’d need to see a similarly large protest of students for a cause that most teachers and administration oppose, and see that protest shut down. I can’t think of an example of that happening.

    • Chris

      (And yes, “This one kid had a dumb sign” is perhaps the worst argument against any protest ever, and people on both sides should stop making it, as there has never been a protest in human history that didn’t include at least a couple dumb signs)

      • Was this an argument against the protest?

        • Chris

          It was used to tar the whole movement as incompetent, which, again, could be used against any protest movement ever in human history.

          • I don’t think Jack asserts “the whole movement is incompetent because of this sign”, I think Jack asserts “the whole movement is incompetent and this sign is a great example of that”.

            • Chris

              If one thinks a movement is incompetent one is going to cherry-pick the worst protest signs from that movement and claim they are good examples of the movement as a whole. In my young days I did this with Tea Party signs, pro-life signs, pro-gun signs. It’s a bad tactic.

              • This is often true. But since this entire “movement” is based on ignorance, bluster and emotion, that sign is fair representation.

              • DaveL

                Much better to take a contemporary Op-Ed from a sitting US Senator in a major national newspaper, wherein the author opines that the rounds fired from an AR-15 are more powerful than those used in hunting rifles.

                • The amazing thing is that Feinstein has been called on her gun ignorance for years and still refuses to get her facts right. What does this tell us? The anti-gun left doesn’t want to deal on facts. They can only win on emotion.

              • Looking at photos of protests, I couldn’t find a single sign advocating improved mental health, improved school security (just the opposite, in fact), or for law enforcement to do their jobs. The vast bulk are either anti-NRA/anti-firearm slogans (a number of the signs obviously professionally produced and provided to the kids) or meaningless catchphrases. I heard a soundbite from a local (Atlanta area) protest where the (child) speaker hyperbolically compared the students’ “plight” to that of the young men who had to go to war in WWII and Vietnam.

                So, yeah, Jack’s sign seems a clear example of the overall lack of reason, and one-sided political agenda, evident in the protests and their signage.

  15. Re: #1 Some schools are , thankfully,pushing back on the walkout nonsense. Texas-schools-send-anti-gun-students-controversial-message . Heard on the radio about a school in NJ that was doing something similar. I imagine there are many more, but they won’t be getting much coverage (unless it’s to “shame” them, nor will the pro-NRA/gun rights students.

    • Chris

      “Life is all about choices and every choice has a consequence whether it be positive or negative. We will discipline no matter if it is one, fifty, or five hundred students involved,” Rhodes said. “All will be suspended for 3 days and parent notes will not alleviate the discipline.

      So they’d rather have 500 students miss school for three days than for 17 minutes. Brilliant.

      What were the results of this? Did a walkout happen? Did the school follow through on its authoritarian threats?

      • The point is, you don’t let the inmates run the asylum…especially when they’re the useful idiots, cat’s paws, dupes…whatever you wish to call them, being cynically used for a political agenda.

      • “So they’d rather have 500 students miss school for three days than for 17 minutes. Brilliant.”

        1) I don’t think that’s the right math for optimization. Of course 500 is a hyperbolic estimate. The real gamble is more like: will the threat of suspension deter thousands of children from a major disruption of class (and it would be much more than a 17 minute disruption) while following through on the threat might require suspending for 3 days the 50 or so diehards who still walk out or will it not deter the kids.

        The balance being: will suspending 50 kids for 3 days be better than allowing thousands to disrupt a substantial portion of class time while simultaneously encouraging future consequence-free disruptions.

        2) The other challenge is: disobedience cannot go unanswered. If it’s 5 minutes of disobedience, 17 minutes, a whole day or a week…it cannot go unanswered.

        3 days of punishment for disobedience has a much different ethical value than 17 minutes of disobedience.

        • Chris

          1) I don’t think that’s the right math for optimization. Of course 500 is a hyperbolic estimate. The real gamble is more like: will the threat of suspension deter thousands of children from a major disruption of class (and it would be much more than a 17 minute disruption)

          Why do you assume that last part? Especially after I just posted my own experience, which made it clear that it was not more than 17 minutes of disruption (nor was it a significant disruption at all)?

          Of course, I’m describing my experience with a school that tolerated and prepared for the walkout. It’s likely that schools which said “Participate in the nationwide walkout and we punish you” did have more than 17 minutes of disruption, as kids would feel more of an urge to defy such authority, or to avoid it entirely by just not showing up for school at all.

          • Your anecdote is an after-the-fact assessment, which may or may not be typical. My experience with planning any event is that “the” event occupies the brief time of actual action. But before hand there is mental preparation time, there is anticipation, there is planning and coordinating. There is no way that 17 minutes accurately captures how much time the student’s school-focused efforts were disrupted. Authority figures had no such luxuries of an after-the-fact assessment.

            Your last sentence is stretching.

            My point #1 was the slightly weaker argument, but still strong enough for authority figures to establish consequences for civil disobedience. Point #2 was the stronger argument.

            • Chris

              The point is the event was managed to create the least disruption possible. Threatening and punishing the students would have caused a greater disruption. Sometimes we have to tolerate small disruptions instead of escalating them. That’s basic management, and something teachers and administrators have to learn how to do very early on.

              • One of the key goals of education is Citizenship and Civics…I can see arguments that this goal is actually MORE important than the Facts and Knowledge that Education is supposed to distill. Part of this goal is understand there are consequences. These aren’t sheep to be herded, these are young minds to be brought into adulthood. Adults know consequences exist for actions, even actions taken based on deeply held convictions. The students have now been taught there are no consequences and received vicarious approval of this disobedience.

                Nope. This isn’t “managing” the people. This is teaching the young.

                • Chris

                  One of the key goals of education is Citizenship and Civics…

                  And you think they can’t learn that from attending a protest? You’re joking.

                  Part of this goal is understand there are consequences.

                  What would a rational consequence be for participation in such an event, in your opinion?

                  Hopefully not this:

                  • “And you think they can’t learn that from attending a protest? You’re joking.”

                    This is an intentional and obvious distortion of my point.

                    Kindly do not do this again.

                    They are learning that disobedience comes without consequences.

                    “What would a rational consequence be for participation in such an event, in your opinion?”

                    My opinion on what specific response would constitution “rational” consequences is an irrelevant diversion.

                    I have demonstrated that there should be consequences, you have argued there shouldn’t. Unless you are conceding that consequences are necessary for disobedience, discussing specifics is wasteful.

                    • Chris

                      I don’t agree. It is incumbent on someone recommending consequences to articulate what those consequences should be.

                    • I don’t think so.

                      To me that establishes the kind of conditions to argue against a false dichotomy.

                      Let’s say there is a situation where consequences are appropriate, but the anti-consequences guy demands the pro-consequences guy come up with some sort of consequences and the pro guy says “lop off their hands”.

                      WHAT? Your options are no consequences and lopping off their hands??? See? No consequences is the right answer.

                      To me, we must establish the ethical need FOR consequences before whittling down from 10,000,000 possible consequences to what is a reasonable one. But I’m not wasting time doing that when one side of this doesn’t even see a need for consequences in the face of disobedience and disruption.

  16. Isaac

    If you aren’t going to punish kids for “protesting,” than just choose an appropriate title: 1. Gun Control Field Trip 2. Gun Control Late Start 3. Gun Control Holiday 4. Gun Control Party 5. Gun Control Teacher Workday

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