Friday, October 14, 2011

One More High School Kid Victimized by Administrators

I was looking at The Stranger (Dan Savage's home ground) for something else, and found this. Another school administrator went looking for trouble, and seems to have found it.

A male cheerleader said he was kicked off the squad and suspended after he was caught kissing another male student on campus. The young man spent countless hours practicing every day for years to make the varsity cheer squad, and he had it all taken away from him in an instant.

[P.S. I'm bothered by that "countless hours practicing every day ... all taken away from him in an instant." It's an all-purpose piece of rhetoric that I've seen applied not just to kids like this cheerleader, but to ministers caught molesting children, or jocks who raped their girlfriend or who killed a fag with a tire iron. Or even to someone who was rendered quadriplegic in an auto accident. These things happen; they're terrible. But how many hours this boy spent practicing to be a cheerleader isn't all that relevant. He shouldn't have been suspended for kissing another boy, even if he were a scruffy pothead who got straight C's.]

Perhaps most surprising, is the way the student was caught. Not in person by a teacher, but by surveillance camera, leading the young man to believe he was being watched and targeted by school officials simply because of his sexual orientation. "They never check cameras for anything unless something is stolen," the young man said, asking not [to] be identified. "We would be the ones getting caught because I'm sure we were the only ones, sexual orientation wise, being caught like that."

The boy said public displays of affection are a relatively common occurrence at Alice HS, and he believes that the principal would not have targeted him had he been caught kissing a female student. "In this school [kissing] is everywhere, if that were the case, suspending everyone for that, half the school would be suspended," he said.

The district superintendent told 6 News he couldn't comment about the matter because of privacy issues.

Dan Savage hooted about the "privacy issues" thing, but of course what the district superintendent was talking about was the administration's privacy. (I wish I could find the video clip I saw where Barack Obama explained to an activist who'd somehow managed to speak to him face-to-face that he understood what Wikileaks was trying to do, but he just couldn't do his job with everybody watching and breathing down his neck. This was at the time when the torture of Bradley Manning by solitary confinement was getting some attention. I sympathize, and he might even have a point, if you overlook his own statements and promises about transparency. But Obama doesn't believe that ordinary citizens should feel the same way about uncontrolled and unaccountable government surveillance. The government and its agents are not private citizens, and are not entitled to the rights of privacy that private citizens are supposed to enjoy. But I digress. If anyone knows the whereabouts of that clip, please e-mail the link to me!)

The administration isn't responding to e-mail and doesn't want to talk to national media. Too bad. They'll lie and try to make like they're the victims. Let them sweat. Maybe some heads need to roll. Figuratively of course.

Oh, and speaking of which, and speaking of irresponsible adults in positions of authority -- including this, linked by a commenter to that story.