The Shame of America's Public Schools

In Westchester County, New York, three John Jay High School junior girls promised Principal Richard Leprine they would not quote explicit lines from the play "Vagina Monologues" at the school's open mike night.

The principle made the request because younger children would be in the audience. Despite their promises, the girls said the offending lines and were probably suspended for a day.

For their trouble, the three girls wound up on "The Today Show," where they giggled their way through the controversy. And last night, their suspension was overturned.

Now the villain here is Superintendent Robert Lichtenfeld, who folded under pressure from the Civil Liberties Union and some foolish parents. Lichtenfeld humiliated Principal Leprine and sent a message to all the students in the district, hey, it's OK to be deceitful. That's fine.

This Lichtenfeld is quite a guy.

Now far more serious is the Indiana situation, where two sixth graders -- sixth graders -- had sexual intercourse in a classroom while other children and a teacher were present. There are charges that Indianapolis school authorities tried to cover up the episode. And emotions ran high at a meeting last night:


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The media forced you into addressing this with the Warren residents, parents. And I say shame on you for trying to hide it. Shame on you for trying to cover it up. And you know, and Dr. Hinckley, I really have to be totally honest, if I could do it, you'd be submitting your resignation. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you want to know, and you feel you have the right to know, what is going on in your child's school, for God's sake, get involved. Get involved.


Get involved? What are parents opposed to do, sit there in the classrooms with the kids?

The absurdity continues when "Factor" producer Jesse Watters confronted Warren Township Superintendent Peggy Hinckley.


JESSE WATTERS, FOX NEWS PRODUCER: Was the teacher punished at all?

PEGGY HINCKLEY, WARREN TOWNSHIP SUPERINTENDENT: No, because we didn't determine the teacher had any misconduct.

WATTERS: But it happened on the teacher's watch.

HINCKLEY: It did. And when there's a fight that occurs on the teacher's watch, we don't punish the teacher because two students engaged in a fight. We -- again, through the interviews and the hearing examiner, we determined the teacher was not guilty of any misconduct.

WATTERS: Was the sex protected sex or unprotected sex?

HINCKLEY: I wasn't there, sir. So I don't know the answer to that. I don't know the details of that. I don't know that even we would be asking those kind of questions in the investigation to know that.

WATTERS: Don't you think you should be concerned, though, if it was unprotected sex?

HINCKLEY: I think the families need to be concerned about that.


Now this incident happened in December and Dr. Hinckley still doesn't know all the details. I guess she has better things to do.

According to the Indianapolis Star, which has done good work on the story, the two students who did have sex have been expelled. And I really feel sorry for those children. Can you imagine what kind of upbringing they have?

And by the way, the national media has largely ignored the story because it reflects poorly on the secular progressive atmosphere that has taken over many school districts.

But clear-thinking Americans know that things are out of control in many schools and not just the poor ones. The Westchester School District is affluent. The Indianapolis one, middle class.

The end game here is this: The superintendents in both cases should be removed immediately. The teacher in the sex case, fired. And the three deceitful girls suspended for two days, period.

And that's The Memo.

Most Ridiculous Item

The liberal press making a big deal out of the eight U.S. attorneys fired by the Bush administration.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says mistakes were made. President Bush says he's angry about it.

Now, we have no idea what happened, because the records are sealed. But if Gonzales did fire people for political reasons, he has to resign.

It is amusing, however, to look back on former attorney general, Janet Reno, who served under President Clinton. She fired every U.S. attorney in the country for political reasons back in '93, except one. Funny how the New York Times wasn't outraged.

Anyway, the only U.S. Attorney to survive the Reno purge was Michael Chertoff the present director of Homeland Security. Democratic Senator Bill Bradley in New Jersey saved Chertoff's job. And we think it might have been political.

We also think the double standard here is ridiculous.