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Drunken high school kids on campus. The finger-pointing has begun. That is the subject of the Talking Points Memo.
Last week we told you about Scarsdale High School, north of New York City, where 200 kids showed up drunk to a dance. According to the principal, John Klemme, who was on the scene, kids as young as 14 were vomiting in the school hallways, incoherent or unconscious.
And all of these children had been admitted to the dance by school authorities, if you can believe it. It took Klemme almost an hour to call the cops, and only 10 percent of the students have been suspended.
Klemme himself issued this incredible statement when some parents objected to the suspensions of their kids. Quote, "The students will have the full support of the school in presenting themselves in the best possible light, but they must take ownership of what happened, accept the suspension, and move on."
Now, whenever you hear this kind of PC-speak from anyone in a position of power, you know there's a big problem. Take ownership? Give me a break. Every kid that showed up intoxicated to that dance should have been suspended, not just a few of them, and Klemme should be fired immediately. It is clear he cannot control the school environment and that the students do not fear him.
While teaching, I chaperoned a number of dances. At the entrance, IDs were always checked for safety reasons. It is inconceivable that 200, 200 drunken kids would be admitted to a school function anywhere in the USA. Every teacher manning the entrance of that dance should be gone, followed closely by Klemme.
And then there are the Scarsdale cops. Instead of arresting the parents that allowed the booze parties in their own homes, Detective Richard Fatigy, the town youth officer, has sent them Dear Homeowner letters warning them that if they serve liquor to minors again, they might be prosecuted. Again? What is this? Laws were broken. Enforce the law.
The problem in Scarsdale and in many other American towns is the people in charge are weak, self-interested incompetents. Trust me. I'm the principal of Scarsdale High, that doesn't happen. I'm the youth officer, some affluent parents are in cuffs. And if the higher-ups don't back me up, I'm on The Factor pointing fingers.
For far too long, public school administrators have allowed barbaric conduct on the part of students. When I was teaching, I did have a few parents call and complain about their kids' grade or some discipline I took. I was polite, but the bottom line was, This is my environment and I will control it. The sad truth is that many American kids will get drunk or stoned, but that is not acceptable behavior and they must pay a price for doing it.
There must be a fear factor. It is quite apparent that 200 kids at Scarsdale High had no fear at all and were aided by some irresponsible parents. But the aftermath of the incident tells us all we need to know about the cops, the principal, and some Scarsdale parents. And you can take ownership of that.
And that's The Memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."
There is a stage show from Australia currently making the rounds of America. It is called "The Puppetry of the" -- well, "manhood" is a good word. Two Aussies... they take their "manhood" and form designs.
Why anyone would want to see this is beyond me. Evidently, KNTV in San Francisco did, and their audience got an eyeful. Hundreds of complaints and a few compliments poured in.
It's completely ridiculous, of course. My advice to the guys doing this: Keep your down under, down under, if you know what I mean. And I think you do.
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