Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Watery Eyes Cause Suspension

A 16 year old walks into school in Trophy Club Texas and gets served with a suspension for having bloodshot and watery eyes. Was it because of A: allergies? B: grieving the loss of his murdered father? C: smoking marijuana? If you're an administrator at the Byron Nelson High School, you answered C, and held him from returning to class for two hours until test results showed he was not high. No, in fact, the correct answer was B, that Kyler Robertson's father had been stabbed to his death that Sunday and the young man was obviously grieving.

It's more popular to think of teenagers as potheads than it is to concede that they are actually grieving dead relatives, partly because culture has made all young people out to be out of control potheads and young people themselves have beat the "dead relative" excuse into the ground for decades. At first glance, it would seem to just be an honest mistake that should have been quickly fixed. The teen was coming in late with bloodshot eyes, we can understand a little bit of suspicion, at least enough to warrant a quick observation. Chances are, if his eyes were bloodshot and watery and he had been smoking pot, he would have smelled of the stuff. There are no indications that any odor was detected.

Rational people would have shirked this off as a "typical teen" not getting enough sleep (with no odor present), or perhaps allergies, or something else. Even more rational people would have just asked him what was wrong with his eyes. Instead, they held him for two hours so that his mom could run him out to get tested, return with negative results, and still suspended him for three days.

District spokeswoman Lesley Weaver would not discuss the case with FOX 4...

They only never discuss cases with the media when they know they've made a mistake. And it is their mistake, that as far as I know, they haven't removed from his permanent school record. He has one now, not because of something he did, but for something they "thought" he was doing. His mother has to go through an appeals process in order to clear his name.

And for the district spokesperson to make this more about the school's lack of ability to test rather than it's obvious lack judgment really adds insult to injury. Does she really want the school to be able to test every student coming in with bloodshot eyes? That still doesn't seem it would have been enough to keep them from slapping a suspension on his record.

This is what happens when you turn a school into a prison. They make up their own law, execute and enforce their own law, all without due process, yet they have no authority to enforce law. Unless it is cleared, this blot on the record won't help him get into college, that's for sure.