Fighting the Good Guys

There always has to be at least one idiot in the crowd. The people who fight against the fight against zero tolerance and zero thought, and create more problems for victims — like the girl I told you about last week who was raped at school.

Carissa in New York claims she has “been a subscriber to ‘This is True’ for quite some time now,” and “have always found many of the news stories in your weekly issues quite amusing, witty, strange, and even unbelievable,” and has “never been disappointed in the weekly newsletters.” Yet “I am not amused” at the school rape story, even though she can “assure you that I have a very wide-ranged sense of humor.”

Wait, What?!

Really, hello? She’s a long-time reader and doesn’t understand the outrage I express at stories like this? She thinks that story and commentary was meant to be funny?

Sure enough: “Where the HELL do you find the facetiousness in a teenage girl being dragged into a school restroom and abused?!?!?! Be d*mned if whomever entered this title into your weekly issue isn’t fired or charged (or at the very least, slapped) for trying to use comedy at the expense of a poor 16-year-old girl who was sexually abused!”

And she says she did read the follow-up posted on my blog, where DOZENS of readers have joined me in condemning the absolute idiots in the school systems who compounded the crime by allowing evidence to be destroyed, and then psychologically tortured the victim.

And she still thought the idea was to be funny?!

Smack My Forehead

Incredible! I mean, what kind of brain-dead fool could even conceive that the story was meant to be funny? I replied to her, pointing out that she seems to have missed the entire point of the story and my commentary, suggesting maybe she should read what I actually wrote.

It would have had been more effective to argue with a brick — it’s less dense.

She replied to say she was unsubscribing, and “I assure you more people will be unsubscribing if you continue that sort of unthoughtfulness and ill-consideration. I do hope you are proud of yourself for being so insensitive.”

Apparently it’s “insensitive” to a crime victim to lead a mob carrying pitchforks and torches to the school administrators’ houses to demand their arrest and prosecution for emotionally raping the girl after she was physically raped.

I looked her up, and sure enough she had been a subscriber for four months.

Damn Right I’m Proud

First: I’m damned proud of sticking up for that girl, and letting her know the entire world is behind her. Well, except for one dimwit, at least.

The sad thing is, it’s unthinking obliviots like Carissa who enable these things to happen in the first place. You scream “A!” and they say “How dare you scream Z?!” and fight you with all their might, taking away energy and momentum from the actual problem.

Such people create confusion and distraction which helps incompetents like Superintendent King to get and keep jobs in authority over children, when they should be in prison and ordered away from any job dealing with kids for the rest of their lives once they’re released.

It’s far worse than remaining silent when you see outrage.

Important! A Course of Action

And that brings me to the real point of such stories in True. Sure, you’re mad at King and other school officials for doing what was done in this case. A number of people have, on the previous entry, posted comments listing the email addresses of the principal, King, and others, urging other readers to write to abuse them.

Those comments have been summarily deleted before they were ever shown. I’m not writing about outrageous abuse by unthinking bureaucrats to get unthinking readers to create more abuse. Think, damn it!

This story is just an example of what’s happening in our schools, not just that one school. No, not necessarily rape, but idiotic administrators who refuse to use their brains or education to make common-sense decisions that help students, rather than hurt them. It’s not “zero tolerance” but more “zero thought” — zero tolerance is just a symptom of the bigger problem.

The point, dear readers, is not that you should abuse Mr. King or other administrators, but rather that you must pay attention to what’s going on in the schools in your own community.

It’s not that there are felonies being committed in the halls that the school isn’t reporting (though that might happen), but there could be other, less serious examples of injustice, or lack of thought like zero tolerance, going on there.

What To Do

The kids that are victims of ZT and other unthinking in your community need your support. Their parents need your support. If a parent shows up at a school board meeting to complain, they’re easily shrugged off. But if a hundred concerned citizens show up and say “This isn’t right!” and “If these professionals aren’t making good decisions, why are we paying them professional wages?” Ah, then things will start to happen! Especially when you add “And you better fix it, or we’ll put people on this board who will!” That gets their attention too.

Yep: all we really have to do is tell bureaucrats, “Do your job! It’s what we pay you for!” — and make it clear that if they don’t, you (who pay their salaries!) won’t hesitate to replace them with someone who will actually earn their pay. (Obviously, as discussed in the comments, that has to be a credible threat!)

That’s when things will change. That’s when things will improve. “Think globally” (including the stories here), but “act locally.” Your schools need you. Things are already on track to change in Muncie, Indiana.

- - -

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29 thoughts on “Fighting the Good Guys

  1. (all we really have to do is tell bureaucrats, “Do your job! It’s what we pay you for!” — and make it clear that if they don’t, you (who pay their salaries!) won’t hesitate to replace them with someone who will actually earn their pay.)

    Why doesn’t this work with the !@#$!^ politicians in Washington?

    Because they’ve figured out that the voters don’t really mean it. -rc

  2. I’ve read all the comments on the “Opposite” blog, and even though I have to admit you’re right not to include contact information for the real perpetrators, it still soothes the soul some to envision suitable punishments.

    How Clarissa could so completely miss the point is beyond me, but I hear tell you should never argue with a fool, because they’ll drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

    Sometimes rage is a good thing. I believe you have accomplished (again) your goal of making us THINK!

    Thank you!

  3. I get it; I really, really get it. Sometimes I may have to go back and reread an item to be sure I understand your point, but not in this case. Carissa obviously felt that she didn’t need to read it carefully the first time, and like the school personnel, applied zero thought. She hadn’t been around long enough to have been exposed to the zero tolerance cases presented previously. Maybe she is just young and foolish!!

    She noted she’s 23 years old, so your diagnosis is correct: young and foolish! -rc

  4. After four months, she should have realized that not all stories are funny. This is not the funny pages, but thought provoking news.

  5. It seems to me she wanted to be mad about something and picked stupidly. Pointing out how stupidly she chose just made her madder. It was more important for her to act out that to act rationally. This is the “zen” path of the intellectually paralyzed. Not to think, not to listen, not to reason. Unfortunately, she still writes and (presumably) speaks.

  6. I just had to make a comment that I tried your approach to a local (county) employee. I was trying to obtain a simple construction permit to add a porch to my house and they were throwing all kinds of red tape at me. Out of frustration I made a comment that ‘it’s my tax dollars that go towards paying your salary.” Their response was “your contribution to my salary is almost nothing…” with the implication that their help in resolving my issues was about to shrink to the same level.

    We home schooled our children, so our experiences with the school administrators was minimal. The reason we chose to home school our children was because of the mentality that is being described in your articles. Even in Canada we do not escape stupid policies put in place by bureaucrats who act simply to justify their jobs.

    The “I pay your salary!” bit has never worked. That’s not what I’m suggesting. (The best reply to “I pay your salary with my taxes!” is “Yeah, so do I.”) What I do suggest is reminding the people who pay them — their bosses, who have the ability to fire them, not the taxpayers — that the person isn’t doing the job they’re being paid to do. School administrators get six-figure salaries to act like professionals, and shrugging and saying “Those are the rules” is an abdication of responsibility. You tell the school board that you expect them to replace the non-performer with someone who will make the professional, informed decisions that they’re paid to make. And if they don’t, well, there’s an election coming up…. -rc

  7. “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

    That’s one of the reasons I continue to subscribe to your Premium edition because you are willing to do something.
    Thanks for publicising idiocy when it veers towards evil (especially when done in the name of following legislation), but also for responding rationally and in proportion (by deleting the email addresses of the perpetrators, since receiving torrents of personal abuse would only turn them into victims too).

  8. You write: “Carissa in New York claims she has “been a subscriber to ‘This is True’ for quite some time now,” and “have always found many of the news stories in your weekly issues quite amusing, witty, strange, and even unbelievable,” ”

    This story is one of the “strange and unbelievable” ones. Obviously not one of the “quite amusing and witty” ones.

    Duh!

  9. I agree entirely. My only concern is that talk of leading a mob carrying pitchforks and torches to the school administrators’ houses is going to encourage those who want to abuse the culprits to miss your actual (very important) point.

  10. To Carissa, I offer this:

    “The secret source of humor is not joy but sorrow; there is no humor in Heaven.” ~Mark Twain

    None of the stories in True are meant to be funny; most of us readers tend to attribute some form of humor to the sadness of the human condition. And not all of us, nor even all of the time. So direct your anger to the readers who find all of these stories outrageous in varying degrees and reactions, rather than the messenger who brings them to us.

    Well, some of the stories here are meant to be funny! But most are meant to illustrate various aspects of the human condition. Even the funny ones. -rc

  11. If I was a betting man, I’d bet that this young woman has a past episode that causes her to react horrifically to any discussion of a rape scenario. Or perhaps, she believes in the widely held opinion of fifty years ago that you simply don’t talk about type of thing in public. Either way, she’s just wrong.

    You can’t solve a problem unless you’re willing to talk about it. -rc

  12. The problem is not enough people are aware of these idiots to get them out of our schools. The latest with the teacher not allowing pens or pencils is typical of these mindless morons.

  13. David, Texas: “I’d bet that this young woman has a past episode that causes her to react horrifically to any discussion of a rape scenario.”

    Agreed – I once dated a girl who had had several {BAD} experiences with former boy “friend”s. She (with good reason) went totally insane whenever she heard or saw any reference to rape. I never was able to get past the wall she built. The last I heard of her, she was getting professional help. I hope that she achieved peace; I deeply loved her, but I could not help her solve her problems.

    There are some things that are “knee jerk reactions”; in this case, I would not judge Carissa since I do not know her history. I can only wish that she finds peace.

  14. I have been a long time reader of This Is True. I am in agreement with you on the sorry state of zero-tolerance and people who just flat out refuse to think for themselves. But I have to say (as a Canadian looking in from the outside) that I think part of the problem is your totally bug-(expletive deleted) litigious legal system. I think that your administrators are so totally freaking scared of legal action that they make extraordinarily stupid decisions to avoid even the appearance of fault. After all, if one student stabs another with a pencil who are the lawyers going to go after? Certainly not the parents of the assailant. They will go after the deep pockets – the school. By strictly enforcing arbitrary zero-tolerance regulations the administration can pass the buck. “We were only following orders”. Better to err on the side of stupidity.

    To illustrate the differences here, let me give you an example that I recall from a few years ago. My father was in charge of maintenance at three shopping centres. This included (among other things) arranging for snow removal during the winter months. One day, a woman was walking across a remote part of the parking lot when she slipped and fell on some ice. She decided to sue the owners of the shopping centre. The judge’s ruling can be summed up as “it’s winter, it’s Winnipeg, there’s going to be icy patches, get used to it. Watch your step and get out of my courtroom”. Common sense prevailed. Lest you think our system is in all ways superior to yours, we let murderers walk after less than two years (our courts decide that it is cheaper to accept a plea-bargain of manslaughter than to prosecute a slam-dunk for murder). A man who beat another man to death with a billiard ball in a sock walked in 16 months. So while I shake my head in amazement at the stories posted in This Is True, rest assured that there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the Great White North as well.

    Don’t give up the fight.

  15. I just want to say that you rock and are made of 100% awesomesauce. I wish there were more Randy’s in the world, we’d be a better place if there were 🙂

  16. I am so P.O.ed at the lack of understanding of SUPPOSEDLY EDUCATED PEOPLE THAT OBVIOUSLY HAVE NEVER BEEN abused or known what it is to be abused by someone stronger than they are. This is only the tip of the iceberg. My husband was abused for years while he went off to a catholic school & to over religious parents & 2 older siblings that 1 of which was the abuser. I got permission to write this letter to all who teach, don’t listen to children and ignorant people that do not live with someone who struggles daily with the repercussions.

  17. In regards to the last half of the “Important! A Course of Action”: Bravo, and Amen! I can’t tell people enough that if you’re fed up with the way things are going, do something *tangible*! The best way I recommend? Run yourself! This past year I ran for school trustee here. I didn’t win, but I got to talk to a lot of like-minded parents, and got an eyeful of just how many were like me that were mad at the system (and for my policies), I lived for years thinking I was the only one! Even one of the eventual winners (there were 2 seats available, I came in 5th out of 6) that I exchanged ideas with liked my way of thinking, and I got the impression would carry on my fight from the winner’s advantage.

    (I plan on running again the next time trustee elections come up, that is if my next election doesn’t work out. My campaign also got the attention of one of the provincial political parties, who was impressed with some of my stances and, since education policies are really controlled provincially than at the school board level, I’m itching to actually make some change, through whatever means necessary.)

    Moral of the story: be the change you want. If you don’t get it, try, try again. *Someone* who matters will eventually hear you.

  18. I have read the comments on this story and some of you have got off track when it comes to the funny story bit, i have read rc for a while now, and the stories are not meant to be funny nor thought provoking or any of these concepts (most of which hold true randy dont panic they are funny and thought provoking at times) i feel the title of your newsletter hints at what its all about, dare i say it . . THIS IS TRUE!!! Got the point . . good.

  19. It’s too bad that school administrators don’t have to take an IQ test or perhaps some version of the SAT exam to get their jobs. They certainly spend a great deal of their time spouting off, and doing CYA work. They count on idiots like Carissa to enable them. The scary thing is: She’s probably a parent!

  20. Just to let you know, I am sometimes offended, upset, outraged, puzzled, saddened, by what you write and sometimes by the way you write it.

    That makes me a human with views, emotions, attitudes, hang-ups, passions, and sometimes blind spots.

    And it makes you one too.

    The main difference is that you take the time and trouble to survey the world, and use your writing skills to summarise it. While I consume what you write without contributing much back.

    If you are happy with that, the so am I; let’s not fallout over the small things we disagree with.

    So, to summarise: I am not about to cancel my free subscription and then flounce off as if that somehow won me the moral high ground.

    And even if I wanted to, I know the moral high ground can be a very lonely place.

    Look forward to reading next week’s.

  21. As you and your readers already know, if it wasn’t for ‘brain-dead morons’, there would be no This Is True! For they are not only the perpetrators, but those who allow bad things to happen through inaction, enabling, misdirection, etc. A great quote for MLK says:

    “Perhaps the greatest sin of our time is not the few who have destroyed, but the vast majority who stood idly by.”

    Obliviots like Carissa are even worse; screaming and yelling, all puffed up with righteous indignation while ill informed and completely missing the point! THEIR emotions are all that’s important in these cases, while they misuse a cause for their own agenda – or worse, to cover their own deficiencies.

    I’m not a betting man, but I’d bet my house that I know what political party she belongs to, since they’re the only ones who don’t see how OBVIOUS they are! (I am an independent, btw)

    And, as much as I agree with your statement about bloated bureaucracies in education with too many ineffectual, overpaid supervisors (I used to be married to a teacher), the story just before this one spotlighted a teacher going over the line being stopped by an administrator. I just wanted to point out that your article contains parity…

    (not PARODY, Carissa!)

  22. I would like to think this nuttiness is confined to the good old USA. The rest of the World has a saying, “Only in America.” But of course it is not. You would think the job of schools is teach knowledge, but instead, increasingly they are purveyors of all sorts of ‘values’ and social agendas. Their Employers – us – need to tell them to stick to their knitting.

  23. Lindsay, schools should indeed be teaching ‘values’ and social agendas. That’s part of preparing young people for society. The problem is the society that’s created if those values are warped.

  24. I’ve interrupted sharpening my pitchfork to advise you that you would stop annoying people like Carissa in New York if you would refrain from whistling those dirty songs.

    Meanwhile, keep up the good work.

  25. Lindsay, it’s nice to hear that the rest of the world says “Only In America”. For a long time, it’s been “Only in California; the home of fruits and nuts” here, and now my own state is the target; “Only in Flori-DUH”.

  26. Neil, “values and social agendas” are principally the domain of the family. All I want from educators is to not undermine those values, it’s MY job to teach them. Educators who think that their job includes indoctrination are a problem. In this case though, it wasn’t teaching values that was the main problem, it was applying them.

  27. Doug, of course they are, but principally is not the same as exclusively. By choosing not to home-school their children, parents are delegating part of that task to the school.

    As a school governor, I hear accounts of parents abdicating their responsibilities. A parent asking a teacher “My child’s table manners are terrible; what do you plan to do about that?” was the worst example, which would be laughable were it not shocking… but in that role, I would be failing in my duty if I didn’t try to ensure that the school maintains the same ethos and instills the same values as when the parents chose to send their children there.

    Then again, if you didn’t think that schools should have values, you presumably wouldn’t complain that they weren’t being applied.

  28. Neil from UK, you’re quite astute. Although I also believe that many parents abdicate their responsibility to teach values to their children, it seems that many parents see it differently. As a martial arts instructor for hundreds of children, I found it necessary to balance physical training with mental discipline to avoid abuse of the skill. Parents enthusiastically latched onto that, and insisted that I continue to instill those values in their children. I could have rebutted that it was THEIR responsibility, but I would have alienated my customer base, plus they saw it as a Professional validation of what they wanted but were reticent to take on themselves. Essentially, I was being PAID to teach their children the values of which the parents approved, but I enforced. I suspect it’s the same with schools, purportedly professionals teaching values that parents are incapable of doing. In fact, more than once, I was told by a never-married, childless principal that she knew much more about raising my children than I, because she was Professionally trained, and that I was “only” a parent.

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