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Shame, shame

September 2, 2012
Bruce Gustafson Marquette , The Mining Journal

To the Journal editor:

The axiom "stupid is as stupid does" has reared its ugly head once again. I'll refer to two recent events that support this theory.

At a school in Oklahoma City, a five-year-old boy was told by his teacher in front of his classmates that he must turn inside out the shirt that he was wearing because it violated the school's dress code.

The shirt had a University of Michigan logo on it. According to this school's officials, the only shirts with logos that the students can wear are those bearing an Oklahoma affiliation. Apparently this five-year-old boy wasn't aware of the politics of the school's apparel requirements.

It's also apparent that this school isn't familiar with this child's right to freedom of expression. Perhaps if they focused their attention on teaching rather than on an irresponsible and nonsensical dress code, they might do their students a favor. But, it's quite clear to me that they'd rather follow that old axiom.

Now, let me focus on yet another school in Oklahoma that has thrown common sense and the right to freedom of speech out the window. The school's valedictorian has had her diploma held until she agrees to apologize to the school administration.

And what offense did she commit to deserve that? While in the process of giving the graduation speech, she inserted the word "hell" into a sentence. The school didn't approve of her terminology so they've elected to use her diploma as a bargaining chip to get their way.

Apparently her exemplary accomplishments go unrecognized. Does using the term "hell" during a speech truly require the use of extortion by this high school? I hardly think so.

This student has elected to stand her ground on the principles that she believes in, and for that I am very pleased. The officials at this school should be ashamed of their behavior, and by all means should reverse their irresponsible position.

These two events surely beg the question regarding what is happening to people's ability to make rational and intelligent decisions. Although they are small in scope, they still send a message.

We are rapidly becoming the unthinking robots of man-made restrictions that are taking away our ability to be humans. It's time we took a step back and rethink the direction in which we're heading.



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