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Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Who Runs This Asylum?


A Lovington father is scheduled for four hours of school detention for keeping his high school age daughter home from school for one day due to extreme cold weather.

Yes, that's right...the FATHER got detention. Now when I first read this I was wondering just what universe you have to be in where the school can give a PARENT detention. But, I found out it wasn't nearly that bad, just worse...

You see, the principal (this one isn't your PAL) gave the daughter detention, and when the father protested that she shouldn't be punished due to a decision the father made, the smart-ass principal tells him, "Well, if you feel so strongly about it, maybe you'll serve the detention."

Now, I have to admire a father willing to take the heat for his kid. But, I also have to jump up and down, screaming at this guy: "YOU ARE THE CUSTOMER HERE!!!" If I had a daughter, and I decided she would stay home (for any reason whatsoever), and the school wanted to punish her for doing what I told her to do, my daughter would no longer be enrolled in that school. Period.

On the morning of Friday January 30, Hatton said he decided it was too cold for his children to go to school that day. But the Lovington High School Handbook does not list "parental concern for a child's safety" as one of six excused absences in their handbook.

So, you must now balance every parental decision against what the school handbook says, because now the school is in charge of raising your children? Ah, just who I want giving moral guidance to my children...a system where condoms are more appropriate than asprin, where "tolerance" isn't enough (you have to demonstrate "acceptance" as well, regardless of your moral beliefs), where you can use fowl language non-stop but you can't mention Jesus or God...a broken system where so many children are done a great disservice.

On the other hand, Lovington High School Principal Kevin Van Meter said the Hatton's 16 year old daughter's absence was unexcused, and punished her with five days detention. He based the punishment on a provision in the Lovington High School Handbook which states, “The student will be considered truant for all unexcused absences. The student will make up all time for unexcused absences unless the administrator deems the absence to be unavoidable.”

Mr. Hatton, draw a line in the sand. You made a choice for the child you are legally bound to care for. That choice did not endager the child, did not endanger any other person, did not harm the child physically, morally, or mentally, and that choice did not warrant the punishment this school system has administered. It is ridiculous. The school stands In Loco Parentis ONLY WHEN YOU GIVE THEM THAT PERMISSION. It isn't the default. We aren't in a Nanny State just yet.


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