This is even worse.
The post about the scandalous swig of beer was less than a month ago, but in comparison to the events of the last couple weeks, the Covina, California story doesn’t seem anywhere near as nuts as as it did at the time. Then, Ethics Alarms was concerned with privacy and officious inter-meddlers dictating how citizens get to behave in their own homes. I even called the incident a “freakout”! Now we know what a real freakout looks like.
The poll on whether poor Brian Akers, the ex-president of the Charter Oak Unified School Board who impulsively guzzled a beer while on camera during a remote board meeting was unfairly maligned was pretty decisive:
I won’t bother to poll today’s Zoom ethics story. If I did, my question might be, “How could you justify continuing to let your child go to a school with employees like this?”
In Baltimore County Maryland, a 5th grade teacher at the Seneca School saw a BB gun hanging on the wall in an 11-year-old student’s bedroom. The Horror. She notified the principal, who alerted the school safety officer, who then called the police, who made an unannounced visit to the student’s home.
The child’s mother, Courtney Lancaster, a military veteran, has extensive knowledge of guns, how to use them and how to store them, and she is ticked-off.
Her 11-year-old son is a Boy Scout in the fifth grade at the school. In his pursuit of becoming an Eagle Scout, Ms. Lancaster says, he has learned how to shoot BB and Airsoft guns. He’s also mastering archery, and stores his bow and guns on a wall in his bedroom. Yet on June 1, police pulled up outside her house with no warning like the kid was a domestic terrorist.
“The officer explained to me that he was here to search for weapons, in my home,” Lancaster said. The teacher had even taken a screenshot of the child’s room, and the school’s resource officer had deemed this sufficiently incriminating to turn it over to law enforcement. The school’s principal even argued that the child having a BB gun in his room was like bringing a real gun to school. Right. That makes a lot of sense. And if anyone could see the family dog via Zoom, that would be like bringing the dog to school.
Teachers and administrators this bad at reasoning must not be allowed to teach.
“This is despicable,” Lancaster said, in an understatement. “I had no idea what in the world [the police visit] could be over? BB guns never even once entered my mind. How many 11-year-old boys have BB guns?”
As for the teacher taking a screenshot of her son’s bedroom, she said, “It’s absolutely scary to think about. Who are on these calls? Who do we have viewing your children and subsequently taking these screenshots that can be sent anywhere or used for any purpose? So, what are the parameters? Where are the lines drawn? If my son is sitting at the kitchen island next to a butcher block, does that constitute a weapon? It’s not allowed at school, right? So, would my home then be searched because he’s sitting next to a butcher block?”
Good questions all, with what should have easy answers. Unfortunately, school administrators at the Seneca School lack the wit and consciences to instantly express regret over the whole episode and agree to wear paper bags over their heads in penance.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the district said in part, “In general terms, the safety of students and staff is our chief concern, whether we are meeting in classrooms or via continuity of learning.” Oh! Safety! The kid was a threat to use his BB gun to attack the other students and the teacher right through the computer!
Here’s something I could poll: which word has more completely lost any semblance of meaning in the deceitful rhetoric of progressives, “racism” or “safe”?
Or maybe I should ask if Baltimore County would have sicced the cops on this completely and obviously innocent child after recent events in Minnesota convinced deep blue Maryland that the police are spawn of the Devil…or if this incident would have happened then or now if Lancaster’s son were black.
One of the dangers when everything spins out of control, like it is now thanks to the George Floyd Freakout, is that Rationalization #22, The Comparative Virtue Excuse: “There are worse things,” makes it tempting to shrug off unethical and destructive conduct that suddenly seems trivial compared to the chaos. After all, what’s an incompetent, gun-phobic teacher treating a child like a dangerous criminal because he has a completely legal toy gun in his bedroom, when Seattle is letting a mob of anarchists take over parts of the city?
“I feel like parents need to be made aware of what the implications are, what the expectations are,” Lancaster told reporters. No, parents need to tell schools, administrators and teachers, what parents will tolerate, and the public education system needs a thorough upgrade and overhaul.