Pupils punished after protesting

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Five Columbia Middle School pupils were disciplined this week, some with suspensions, after administrators said they disrupted classes by protesting the removal of a classmate.

Columbia Middle Principal Donna Anderson said the situation began after she discovered a Richmond County pupil had been attending the school. She told him he would have to return to that school system after the semester ended.

To protest his removal from Columbia Middle, 18 pupils huddled in groups Monday morning in the cafeteria wearing T-shirts with messages urging that the pupil be allowed to stay, Dr. Anderson said.

When asked, most of the pupils changed their shirts. However, Dr. Anderson said some were "belligerent and rude" to teachers and administrators.

On Tuesday, some of the students wore T-shirts declaring their right to free speech.

"But they were related to this previous incident and were inappropriate," Dr. Anderson said.

She said some pupils also disrupted classes by passing out a petition and writing messages on their skin in support of the pupil. The "disruptive" behavior carried over into Wednesday.

The five most disruptive pupils received either in-school or out-of-school suspension, Dr. Anderson said Friday. Most received one day of suspension, but none more than two, she said.

Reach Donnie Fetter at (706) 868-1222, ext. 115, or donnie.fetter@augustachronicle.com.

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Nammy
2
Points
Nammy 12/20/08 - 05:07 am
0
0
See what all the ruckus at

See what all the ruckus at CTX started? It's only the beginning... watch.

NEone
6
Points
NEone 12/20/08 - 05:28 am
0
0
Good for you, Dr. Anderson.

Good for you, Dr. Anderson. Why should kids from RC be in CC schools w/o paying our taxes?

GACopperhead
6
Points
GACopperhead 12/20/08 - 07:42 am
0
0
And why should our children

And why should our children be punished for peacefully protesting? One more incident proving that the Constitution of the United States will soon be worth nothing more than a piece of paper.....

SCGAL53
0
Points
SCGAL53 12/20/08 - 08:58 am
0
0
I wish North Augusta would

I wish North Augusta would give Georgia students the boot. I'm tired of paying taxes for out of state students.

redapples
540
Points
redapples 12/20/08 - 09:28 am
0
0
A middle school should be a

A middle school should be a place for learning not a place of protest. If you were to ask these students about freedom of speech, I'd be surprised if they would even know it is part of the Constitution. They just repeat what they hear without understanding. Everybody has rights, nobody wants to be offended, everybody is a winner, nobody is a loser, blah, blah, blah. I get tired of hearing it! As a society we are clearly on a downward spiral with no end in sight!

Highpriestess1
0
Points
Highpriestess1 12/20/08 - 09:31 am
0
0
It workds both ways SCGAL.

It workds both ways SCGAL. Plenty of SC tags dropping off children in Richmond County. As for GACopperhead's comment: Peacefully protesting usually requires permission from some authority, let's say the city or county government so that the protest can and will remain "peaceful". The protestors are given a safe place to protest and, if needed, protection. In this case, the students could have asked to protest before school began and perhaps in front of the school. Disrupting school in the class room, during school hours should not be tolerated for any reason. Doing so takes productive learning time away from other students. We can not exercise OUR "rights" by treading on others "rights".

Martinez
154
Points
Martinez 12/20/08 - 09:43 am
0
0
There are a lot of RC

There are a lot of RC students attending CC schools, especially those nearing the RC / CC borders. Morning drop off at one particular Elementary School is very interesting. I have often wondered what the count would be if someone sat there to log the car tags as they enter. I can tell you that I am rarely, if ever, behind a CC tag. I have read here the the reverse is true at some RC schools as well. I say enforce zones strictly in both counties. Let each county pay for it's own students.

thisreallysucks
0
Points
thisreallysucks 12/20/08 - 10:48 am
0
0
Well, it's school so let's

Well, it's school so let's question what lesson was learned. Did they get punished for speaking out or for the disruption? Did the punishment fit and did it teach any lesson in itself? What an opportunity to teach something valuable about our political system and republic. Did the school take that opportunity or did it instead command that everyone return to the "curriculum?"

tryingtogetoutofevans
0
Points
tryingtogetoutofevans 12/20/08 - 12:46 pm
0
0
Why do people in Martinez and

Why do people in Martinez and Evans always say. That the ghetto areas and thugs in columbia county. Are in Harlem and Grovetown only. Have you seen cox alley and some of the apt complexes in Evans and Martinez.

tryingtogetoutofevans
0
Points
tryingtogetoutofevans 12/20/08 - 01:29 pm
0
0
I think the poster MARTINEZ

I think the poster MARTINEZ is talking about STEVENS CREEK ELEMENTARY probably. Martinez not a city only a bedroom community/suburb can be in West Augusta and Columbia county. So if you are talking about that elementary school. It belongs to richmond counties parents just as much as columbia counties parents. Martinez is in both counties.

tryingtogetoutofevans
0
Points
tryingtogetoutofevans 12/20/08 - 01:32 pm
0
0
But the same can be said for

But the same can be said for aiken and columbia counties parents trying to get their kid. In davidson, and AR johnson. Their are kids who are in Richmond Academy IB program from other counties. And kids who attend westside. Both schools in West Augusta.

LCC0256
618
Points
LCC0256 12/20/08 - 03:51 pm
0
0
Can anyone blame the parents

Can anyone blame the parents for at least TRYING to send their child to a school system where there is AT LEAST DOUBLE the chance that he will learn something PRODUCTIVE most likely graduate and not be around the "i am a victim/you are the reason" mentality that is PREDOMINANT in the RC school system? If this soon to be totally socialist government would allow market forces to dictate school development then there would not be such a HUGE DISPARITY in the qualities of education between these 2 NEIGHBORING counties... that is an absolute fact and no matter how any of these kool aid drinking marxist elitist try to spin these facts remain...history proves it Marva Collins proved it....

jmims76
0
Points
jmims76 12/20/08 - 05:14 pm
0
0
First Off...My child was one

First Off...My child was one of the children that was suspended for 2 days. Mrs. Anderson isn't telling the full truth. My daughter was not wearing any of the other shirts about the boy being sent back. She wore a shirt for the first time on Wednesday that only said "Freedom Of Speech" and was suspended for 2 days. How ridiculous is that! This shirt didn't break any rules what-so-ever. They told me they suspended her because it disrespected the Principle. How did a shirt with "Freedom Of Speech" disrespect her unless she doesn't believe in it?! The Vice Principle even stated my child shirt didn't break the dress code..We have him on tape. He stated also our children had no rights at all! Yet in their social studies book at their school, it teaches them their rights as Americans! So tell me how messed up Dr. Anderson and CCBOE Is?!

jmims76
0
Points
jmims76 12/20/08 - 05:21 pm
0
0
Sorry one more thing...Dr.

Sorry one more thing...Dr. Anderson also admitted she knew the boy that she kicked out of her school attended there for almost a year and a half before SHE done anything about it..Yet she wonders why the kids protested against her?! If she was so against this boy being there, why did she know and allow him to stay for over a year an a half? Maybe someone should look into that as well..She knowingly admits to her wrong doing (with knowing he was there all the time) and the children voice their opinion about it she suspends them. Did she honestly think they would keep her dirty little secret quiet?!

As It Is
2
Points
As It Is 12/20/08 - 05:47 pm
0
0
Dr. Anderson is an excellent

Dr. Anderson is an excellent administrator. Minimal punishment for not following the request of authority after numerous warnings. Although there are most likely other RC students in CC schools, as administrators, they must deal with what they know as she did. Students are in school to receive and education and learn that life has rules. Protest is acceptable within the rules and regulations of the authority issuing permits, etc. When you are in school, you don't have the right to disrupt the learning environment of others, refuse to follow request of teachers and you also must follow their dress code. Furthermore, they are protesting the fact that the principal is following the laws of the land so they shouild be prosteting the laws elsewhere, not those who are doing their job correctly. Check out the GPA of students at Columbia Middle vs. schools that don't enforce rules and require more from their students or where they allow their students to be disruptive and you will know why Dr. Anderson and the students in her care are so successful.

corgimom
26301
Points
corgimom 12/20/08 - 06:13 pm
0
0
jmims76- How is the

jmims76- How is the principal's decision any of your business, or your daughter's? Something precipitated the decision and the principal is not obligated to discuss it with you, your daughter, or the other children. Your daughter deliberately wore that shirt and she needs to learn that if she does things like that, she may have unpleasant consequences and she must be willing to accept them.

As It Is
2
Points
As It Is 12/20/08 - 07:04 pm
0
0
Jmims76, you and parents like

Jmims76, you and parents like you are the real problems of school systems trying to properly educate our youth. Not only do you back you child no matter what, you go in full steam ahead with pocket recorders, etc. to confront authority. ANYTHING that disrupts the public school learning environment may be immediatley curtailed by the building administrators, at their sole discretion for the betterment of all students. You have now even gone so far as to verbally attack the school administrators and change the subject to other areas in an effort to show they are not perfect. As for "Rights" which is a very loosley used word thrown around without even knowing what they are most of the time, with rights comes responsilility. Furthermore, ALL students have the RIGHT to a proper education free from distraction. As for how long the principal knew someone was out of zone, you can not possibly know that information or why it was not acted on until know. What you do know though is that the student is attending a CC school without paying CC taxes and therefore is attending illegally and has now been removed as they should be. You really wish to berate the principal for this?

Just My Opinion
5203
Points
Just My Opinion 12/20/08 - 07:11 pm
0
0
jmims76?? Let me get this

jmims76?? Let me get this straight, after learning that your daughter was suspended from school, you went there to discuss the problem with Dr. Anderson, and you went there with the INTENTION of taping the conversation?? Did Dr. Anderson KNOW that she was being taped?? I bet you $100 that she did not, otherwise she wouldn't have told you anything but the facts, not her opinions. I see that YOU are the one who had an agenda, not Dr. Anderson. Admit it...you went up there trying to get some dirt on her so you could get her in trouble...maybe swing a deal so she'd get your daughter off of suspension??? No wonder your daughter is becoming a "rabble-rouser"! She learned it from her mother! One word of warning, jmims, you keep encouraging your daughter to do these sort of things, your going to be seeing it first-hand when she starts challenging YOU and your authority! You won't have anyone to blame but yourself. Hopefully you'll "tape" this comment to your refridgerator to remind you later.

Just the Facts Please
0
Points
Just the Facts Please 12/20/08 - 07:51 pm
0
0
Student out of zone? Isn't

Student out of zone? Isn't Richmond County state supported as is Columbia County? Do all schools receive federal funds? First Amendment trampled upon. The right to petition, redress, speak all disruptive? Too many questions with only one answer. The law is reason free from prejudice. Or was Aristotle wrong as were our founding fathers? Peace is the answer and freedom is the question.

jmims76
0
Points
jmims76 12/21/08 - 12:24 am
0
0
First off I didn't record

First off I didn't record anyone...I said we (as in parents) that are standing behind our children 100% have the tape, and never said it was Dr. Anderson on the tape, shows how much you read..It was the vice principle and he was FULLY aware of the taping. Dr. Anderson admitted to me on the phone that the boy had attended there for over a year and a half and she knew about it. It parent's like you who don't listen to your child when they have an opinion..Is why they go into schools shooting them up because they can't speak to anyone because parents like you don't allow them to speak to them or have their own voice. My daughter simply wore a shirt with the words "Freedom Of Speech" that shirt didn't violate nothing..I can see if it had tobacco or drugs, etc on it. Last time I checked Freedom applied to everyone...Including children..The only people that can take the rights away from them is their parents..Not a principle who is trying to keep it quiet about what she has done!

sneakypete
0
Points
sneakypete 12/21/08 - 12:38 am
0
0
I am with you

I am with you jmims76..something is not right here.

Martinez
154
Points
Martinez 12/21/08 - 01:29 am
0
0
jmims76 - tell me what day

jmims76 - tell me what day you purchased that "Freedom of Speech" shirt for your child and maybe then I will believe it was not worn intentionally for the direct purpose of defying the principal's prior day request for students to not wear clothing that protested her decision to remove the other child.

As It Is
2
Points
As It Is 12/21/08 - 04:12 am
0
0
Jmims76, of course it is fine

Jmims76, of course it is fine to support your children and you should always follow up when you feel something is wrong. However, you allowed your child (or your child of her own free will) decided after 2 days of problems within the school to wear a specific shirt relating free speach to the incident at hand along with other students. Although I am assuming, I doubt she had the shirt prior to that time and I doubt the others did as well. If however, this is something she or others normally wear and it had nothing to do with the incident then I stand corrected. However, schools are there to educate so that so that students will learn the difference between a principal making a decision and the principle of the matter. If in fact she wore this shirt after the school had made it clear it was causing a disruption to the learning environment, then the suspension was very fair and just and both you and your daughter knew of potential consequences for your actions. You have the right to free speach, you have the right to protest and you also have the right to consequences for your actions. The length of time the student illegally attended the school is irrelevant.

palomino9
0
Points
palomino9 12/21/08 - 04:18 am
0
0
since when do underage thugs

since when do underage thugs get a say so in school policy.?? hello!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

shaleah73
5
Points
shaleah73 12/21/08 - 06:46 am
0
0
I'm sitting here in Iraq,

I'm sitting here in Iraq, laughing at all of this.... Gotta catch the humor when you can. Nonetheless, I'm trying to figure out if the student was just wearing the shirt, and not actually protesting? If this was the case, then in my opinion, she should not have been suspended. She was merely exercising her rights. In addition, the purchase date of the shirt is somewhat irrelevant !!! Did you go out and buy your McCain T-shirt and pins four years ago? I doubt it... You waited for the relevance of the cause.. I applaud you JMIMS76; and you're right, at least your daughter felt that she could come and converse with you about her issues....

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 12/21/08 - 08:44 am
0
0
They should have the

They should have the constitutional right to protest. But they are minors so it is a lot like abortion where the fetus is a human being but not a legal person. Perhaps tear gas and stun guns would break up this disruptive crowd. Hey it has happened to me for legally protesting.

bone
23
Points
bone 12/21/08 - 09:07 am
0
0
the right to protest seems to

the right to protest seems to be an issue, but the bigger one is freedom to assemble and school control of environment. if students were gathering together in protest and did not follow proper procedures, then they hadn't done what is required by law to receive constitutional protection. further, if the students were being disruptive (as indicated in the article), school officials must act to ensure student safety is maintained. i misread the article the first time and sided with jmims; after having a few things pointed out to me (the words "disruptive" and "gathered"), i realized that the students were behaving in a manner detrimental to the good order necessary to maintain a safe and secure public school. sorry, folks, jmims daughter acted like a thug and received punishment (see justin elmore for further reading about thugs and their eventual fate). you still have a chance to be a good parent, jmims, and realize that not everything your precious angel does is correct just because she is your precious angel. students do have rights, but their rights don't trump the public school's rules.

Just My Opinion
5203
Points
Just My Opinion 12/21/08 - 09:37 am
0
0
jmims, it doesn't really

jmims, it doesn't really matter who you had on tape, the point is that you..or someone in your group...went with the intention of "catching" the speaker in something. That was a premeditated act. You don't get it, so I'm not going to worry about trying to explain it to a parent like you. My family has been involved in education for years, so I know exactly what type of parent you are. You really do love your child and you want the best for her, but your child can't be allowed to just go off and do her own protesting...even if this was a very non-aggessive form...and expect to not have reprecussions. There are rules in place. If you don't like the rules, then YOU should run for the school board and do something about it. Don't let your child do the protesting for you. And, as I said before, be careful what you are teaching your child, because a few years from now, it will come back to haunt you.

dale88fan
0
Points
dale88fan 12/21/08 - 10:24 am
0
0
my child has the right to

my child has the right to voice her opinion only when she is asked for it. She is the child and i am the parent. If she defies what i tell her as a parent she will get that [filtered word] cut quicker than she can say Oh Sh#$ ! She has the right to do what i tell her or what another authority figure tells her. She is not allowed to disrespect anyone for any reason. Period!!

ITDoc
1
Points
ITDoc 12/21/08 - 10:27 am
0
0
The bill of rights does not

The bill of rights does not apply to minor children. Parent your children to excel and not disrupt. You shall reap what you have sown. Remove the problem entirely: get a better lifestyle and send your kids to private schools. If you cannot do that, don't b***ch for it's YOU who have failed your child.

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