Split decision

Protesters right on janitor case, wrong on transportation

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We don’t blame activists for protesting Richmond County public schools for the case of the touchy-feely janitor.

Reports indicate recently-fired janitor Reginald L. Price has been accused of inappropriate touching of students at two different Augusta schools – first Murphey Middle School last year, and more recently at C.T. Walker Traditional Magnet School. Before that there were similar allegations at Aiken Middle School in 2011.

The Aiken case was never prosecuted, but the mother in the Murphey case says the Richmond County school district dropped that ball.

It’s probably inevitable that colleges and universities and large school districts will have their own security forces. But they should never be graveyards for crimes that are never prosecuted.

Historically, there have been concerns nationwide that such security forces aren’t aggressive enough in prosecuting and publicizing crimes on their campuses. We’re not saying that’s the case here – but school security departments ought to bend over backward to avoid the perception that crimes might be downplayed, sometimes in an attempt to protect a school’s or district’s image.

There’s also the apparent problem of a lack of communication. An allegation of impropriety in one district should raise red flags in another.

Or from one school to another.

In fairness to the colleges and school districts, many cases are a he-said-she-said situation in which there isn’t enough evidence. That may be the case here, as well.

Yet when there’s a pattern, we can’t blame parents and PTAs for expressing outrage. About 20 of them did just that on Tuesday, at a protest outside the district office on Broad Street.

Where we part ways with the protesters is when they complain, on another issue, that the district doesn’t provide expelled students with free transportation to the alternative school.

As comedian Phil Hartman once said, impersonating the assertive Frank Sinatra: “Boo hoo! You had me and then you lost me!”

What? Your little babies get expelled from their “zoned” school – the little darlings have to go way out of their way to do that these days – and then you expect taxpayers to pick up the tab for the ride to the alternative school? Just so baby can keep on target for graduation?

Boo hoo. Get him there yourself or look into the GED. Society is already feeding kids breakfast and lunch, for free in many cases, and is otherwise wiping little noses all day long. Now you’re upset there’s no free ride for expelled students?

You had us, then you lost us.

OK, so that’s easy for us to say. We’re not running a school district, nor are we a single mother with a hard-to-handle, know-it-all expelled kid. And it is in society’s best interests to try something to get kids back on track.

What do other districts do with expelled students? Not just other districts, but the best ones? What are the industry’s best practices when it comes to this sort of thing?

The district ought to do its best to help, within reason.

But at the end of the day, we’ve got to stop behaving as if the world owes us a living. At some point, responsibility has got to come home – literally – to roost.

Comments (11) Add comment
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Riverman1
94366
Points
Riverman1 09/21/13 - 04:53 am
7
0
Alternative Schools

Not only is providing transportation for these students wrong, but the whole concept of alternative schools run at taxpayers' expense is suspect. If a student commits an infraction the punishment should be as handed down. If it means being kicked out of school for the rest of the year, there is no obligation for the school system to provide alternative education. Where has our common sense gone?

seenitB4
98703
Points
seenitB4 09/21/13 - 05:04 am
6
1
I say keep alternative schools

Keep them & make the parents find the transportation....there is something to learn when a parent has to furnish the transport....a lesson for all inother words.

Riverman1
94366
Points
Riverman1 09/21/13 - 06:13 am
6
0
Majority Decision

If they actually want to learn, let them use the Georgia online school thing. No need for the county to fund alternative schools for kids who have broken serious rules. You don't get kicked out these days unless you do something that deserves a tough punishment. Just changing schools is not a punishment. Actions have consequences.

Bulldog
1333
Points
Bulldog 09/21/13 - 07:18 am
6
0
No simple answers here

Alternative school? Heck, we need "alternative communities", to which these miscreants are banished until they can act like normal civil human beings.

deestafford
32271
Points
deestafford 09/21/13 - 07:40 am
3
0
How long have we had these alternative schools?

They didn't exists when I was in school in the fifties and sixties. If you were kicked out of school, you were kicked out of school and suffered the consequences of YOUR action.

Once again, "they" have made decisions based on "compassion" for "the children". Have we tracked the success/failure rate of the students who attended alternative schools as far as what happened to them in their futures?

Truth Matters
8097
Points
Truth Matters 09/21/13 - 08:11 am
4
1
Transportation

Were it my child he/she would have to earn public bus fare, cab fare, or gas money-fare for the family car.

How? Get a job racking leaves, wash the neighbor's muddy truck, sell your iPod, iPhone (if you have one) and other valuables.

Parents need to learn to think creatively about these matters and put some responsibility on the student.

jimmymac
48076
Points
jimmymac 09/21/13 - 09:04 am
0
0
RESPONSIBILITY
Unpublished

We have created a culture that allows bad behavior with no consequences. No one is accountable for their actions and it's the taxpayers job to right what's wrong. It starts in the home because good parenting is nearly extinct. It's the parents job to prepare their little darlings to make it in the big bad world. It's not the taxpayers job to support you and the bad behavior of your spawn.

Bodhisattva
7345
Points
Bodhisattva 09/21/13 - 10:20 am
2
2
Back in the 1950's and

Back in the 1950's and 1960's, when I was in school, a. Lot of the behavior that gets these kids sent to alternative school wasn't evev frowned upon so parents having to worry about us having another way to school was a moot point. Other than high school, where we had a jackass for a principal, I don' t recall anyone ever even being suspended for a day. We only had a problem in high school because we refused to cave on Herr Führer's dress code, which no school had until he came along. It wasn't the school board's either, tt was his and his alone. Pretty cool when a lot of parents call him an unprintable word and think it's cool to hang around the house a few days because your haircut doesn't meet the Impereuous Leader's specs. We had fights, sure. The jr. high princial either let you fight it out or brought you in and you talked it out. If someone took something that belonged to someone else, they were made to give it back and apologize. With the zero tolerance nonsense they have now, pretty much all of us, boys and giirls alike, would have been toast simply for what we called in the old days, "Kids being kids.".

Darby
29545
Points
Darby 09/21/13 - 10:29 am
2
1
"If they actually want to learn, let them use

the Georgia online school thing."

.
Riverman... I'm curious, do I just Google

"the Georgia online school thing"?

Little Lamb
49260
Points
Little Lamb 09/21/13 - 11:18 am
2
0
Small Systems

All the big school systems have these "alternative schools." I guess it's trendy. I'm wondering about small school systems who cannot afford to operate an alternative school because the number of truants would not be enough to justify the light bill, let alone the salaries. Do they expel students in small systems who have no alternative school?

Little Lamb
49260
Points
Little Lamb 09/21/13 - 11:39 am
1
0
Busing

I attended a very small school system. It was operated by the town school board. The town was maybe six or eight miles across and surrounded by a large number of farms, some huge, some small. There was busing, and the rules were simple. If you lived inside the city limits you could not ride the bus. If you lived outside the city limits, busing was available for you.

I rode my bicycle to school. When you became twelve years old, you could legally ride small motorcraft. Several boys rode motorcraft to Junior High (seventh and eighth grades) and high school (9th through 12th). A few had mopeds, a few had Vespas, but the overwhelming favorite was the Cushman scooter. I remember in the middle of the eighth-grade school year when my friend Bill rode up to school on the first Honda Fifty anyone had ever seen. That 50 cc engine purred like a kitten, making that clunky Cushman engine sound terrible in comparison.

It didn't take long for Honda motorcycles of various sizes to be seen all over town and by the late sixties Hondas were dominant. A very popular model was the Honda 150. That was really something back then.

Riverman1
94366
Points
Riverman1 09/21/13 - 05:00 pm
3
0
KSL
144844
Points
KSL 09/22/13 - 12:06 am
0
1
Decades ago people did want

Decades ago people did nnot want to be kicked out of school. Their parents would be feocucios and they had no where to go. Thet had to straighten up. No more. They have their young single moms or grandmothers screaming for justice. I surely wish those grandmoms I knew who were probably my mom's age were still around and influential.

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