An Absurdity

TSWalker

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
"A schoolboy was excluded for breaching health and safety rules by wearing a regular rather than a clip-on tie.

Max Richmond, 13, said the clip-on ones were uncomfortable and childish. He prefered to wear a traditional tie of exactly the same design, given to him by a neighbour. He was put into educational isolation for a day, for wearing the proper tie at Colne Community School in Brightlingsea, Essex."

God willing, my son will be just as rebellious someday. :icon_smile_big:

Full article here.
 

Canadian

Super Member
I can accept that one should not wear a proper tie in woodshop. I always tucked mine in near the collar.

I was only chastised once for wearing a tie, and that was as an Army Cadet, when the rest of the platoon didn't have them. My solution was to buy a tie for every member of he platoon (available at the surplus shop for a dollar each, minus my Cdt. discount.).

Tom
 

Chouan

Honors Member
Classic whingeing parent's response. I think you'll find that he was put in isolation for deliberately breaking school rules, exactly that. But, it sounds so much better to say that it was for wearing the proper tie. Where I work the kids wear a clip on tie, for the same reason that policemen wear clip on ties (are they uncomfortable and childish?) to prevent injury from other students grabbing them by the tie. Also, to prevent other students doing a "peanut", where the tie is tightened by other students, such that they can't undo them. And finally, so that the tie is correctly tied, and not worn deliberately wrongly.
 

Mike Petrik

Honors Member
If the rule is grounded in safety concerns (seriously?), I can only say that I'm glad my kids went to Catholic school in Atlanta where this was not -- and still is not -- a concern. How sad for Colne Community School.

If the rule is grounded in dress code enforcement (more understandable), then the dean should have simply explained to the young man that "[O]ur school regrets having to resort to this unfortunate rule, but because not all boys are as mature as you are, we require and appreciate your cooperation."

In either case, it seems rather silly to punish this upon first offence, but punishment is appropriate if insubordination becomes obstinate.

Parents should not encourage rebelliousness against proper authority, even if such authority is inevitably excercised imperfectly -- unless conscience demands. Wearing a stupid clip-on tie may be a violation of good taste, and it might even be embarrassing, but it is not a matter of conscience for a well-adjusted person.
 
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CuffDaddy

Connoisseur
Great, another stupid rule enforced with rigid stupidity.

Reminds me of the incident several years ago when a little girl was suspended for multiple days for bringing a keychain (decorated with the Warner Brothers Tweety-Bird character) to school. The school administrators deemed it a "weapon." No, this is not an urban myth: https://www.aclu.org/racial-justice...al-security/aclu-georgia-represents-student-s

Sometimes I think these "educators" were cheering for Dolores Umbridge.
 

Shaver

Suspended
If I have never mentioned it before, I despise the health & safety fascists. People who are too stupid to make it through life without accidentally killing themselves with everyday objects in everyday situations are probably better off out of the gene pool. :rolleyes2:
 

Chouan

Honors Member
If the rule is grounded in safety concerns (seriously?), I can only say that I'm glad my kids went to Catholic school in Atlanta where this was not -- and still is not -- a concern. How sad for Colne Community School.

If the rule is grounded in dress code enforcement (more understandable), then the dean should have simply explained to the young man that "[O]ur school regrets having to resort to this unfortunate rule, but because not all boys are as mature as you are, we require and appreciate your cooperation."

In either case, it seems rather silly to punish this upon first offence, but punishment is appropriate if insubordination becomes obstinate.

Parents should not encourage rebelliousness against proper authority, even if such authority is inevitably excercised imperfectly -- unless conscience demands. Wearing a stupid clip-on tie may be a violation of good taste, and it might even be embarrassing, but it is not a matter of conscience for a well-adjusted person.

He probably did have the rule explained to him; the day's internal exclusion would have been for defiance, for refusal to follow instructions, not for the incorrect tie. But that wouldn't make a good news story, would it? "Student excluded for defiance" isn't as good a line as "Student excluded for wearing proper tie".
Britain's right wing press absolutely hates state schools and teachers, and will always publish articles that show either in a bad light. If kids aren't behaving properly it is the schools' fault. If kids have rules strictly enforced upon them it is "an absurdity".
 

Langham

Honors Member
He probably did have the rule explained to him; the day's internal exclusion would have been for defiance, for refusal to follow instructions, not for the incorrect tie. But that wouldn't make a good news story, would it? "Student excluded for defiance" isn't as good a line as "Student excluded for wearing proper tie".
Britain's right wing press absolutely hates state schools and teachers, and will always publish articles that show either in a bad light. If kids aren't behaving properly it is the schools' fault. If kids have rules strictly enforced upon them it is "an absurdity".

I would say the school's principal is still at fault for adopting such a bizarre measure of 'defiance'. As you say, the press are always swift to report such stories, and here the school has managed to deploy some of the essential prerequisites for a good story: 1. hasn't the head got more pressing matters to attend to?, 2. perverse punishment of an apparently blameless - or, depending on one's point of view, even commendable - victim for a non-crime, together with 3. ludicrous resort to 'health and safety' issues.
 

Chouan

Honors Member
DEfiant pupil supported by parents who have signed a school/parent agreement which includes a promise to support the school's dress code. But it is still the school's fault because the student, and parents, decide that the school rules don't apply to them. Fair enough.
As I indicated above, having a clip on tie ensures uniformity, stops kids from being grabbed by their tie, and having "peanuts" done to them. Parents sign an agreement on dress code, but because their darling doesn't like it they support his defiance. What do you suggest, a rule for the neds and a rule for the "nice kids"? A rule for compliant parents and a relaxation of the rules for pushy parents? Or a set of rules for all kids?
 
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CuffDaddy

Connoisseur
If you adopt sufficiently ridiculous and onerous rules, almost anyone can be rendered "defiant."

There are good rules and bad rules. They are all rules, but that doesn't make them good. And enforcement of bad rules may be necessary in some sense, but an instance of that is not a good thing.
 

Langham

Honors Member
DEfiant pupil supported by parents who have signed a school/parent agreement which includes a promise to support the school's dress code. But it is still the school's fault because the student, and parents, decide that the school rules don't apply to them. Fair enough.
As I indicated above, having a clip on tie ensures uniformity, stops kids from being grabbed by their tie, and having "peanuts" done to them. Parents sign an agreement on dress code, but because their darling doesn't like it they support his defiance. What do you suggest, a rule for the neds and a rule for the "nice kids"? A rule for compliant parents and a relaxation of the rules for pushy parents? Or a set of rules for all kids?

I'm not arguing in favour of defiance per se, but a rule that in effect punishes the wearing of an ordinary tie seems more than a little perverse. That was the main point I was trying to make.
 

Chouan

Honors Member
If you adopt sufficiently ridiculous and onerous rules, almost anyone can be rendered "defiant."

There are good rules and bad rules. They are all rules, but that doesn't make them good. And enforcement of bad rules may be necessary in some sense, but an instance of that is not a good thing.

It was quite a good rule. KIds, from personal experience of schools without clip on ties do grab other kids ties. THey're kids. Kids get hurt by having their ties grabbed. Kids get hurt by having their ties pulled excessively tight by other kids. Kids wear their ties in a silly way to show their "individuality", thus rendering the concept of school uniform redundant, then you get newspapers complaining that kids are being allowed to wear their uniform in a scruffy way. As I've pointed out repeatedly, clip on ties obviate these things. Parents have to agree, in writing, to abide by the uniform code. If they don't like it they can go to another school. Colne in Essex has other schools. You don't sign up to the rules you agree with but not to the others, the rules are for all students. If a student refuses to follow the rule, that is their choice and they take the consequences. Of course, having parents who then go to the newspapers with half a story gets them a moment of fame. They might even get on a local television news show. Does nothing for the education of the child, in any sense, apart from teaching the child "if you break the rules that we don't like that's ok".
 

CuffDaddy

Connoisseur
Sometimes breaking a silly rule* is the only way that the rule gets bought to light and reconsidered. In fact, in America, it is not uncommon for a law that may be unconstitutional to be deliberately and publicly violated in order to generate a court case on that rule.

* Maybe it's not silly here, but I haven't heard anything that makes me think so yet. But based on another long-running thread, you and I have very different instincts when it comes to controlling behavior directly versus by proxy through instrumentalities.
 

Chouan

Honors Member
Well, as I've said, if the parents don't like the rule there are other schools. Why should a school change it's rules to suit one set of parents? The rest of the parents don't seem to mind.
 

CuffDaddy

Connoisseur
Maybe they do mind, but have grudgingly followed the rules. Maybe they didn't previously mind because they never thought about it, or never fully understood the rule and its enforcement.

Sometimes people disagree with rules. That's usually the start of rules getting changed. If this rule really is as wise and reasonable as you seem inclined to think, then this will all blow over and the rule will remain unchanged. If the rule is a dumb as it seems to me, then maybe the rule will get changed. None of that will make a very interesting news story, though, so we probably won't ever know.
 

Langham

Honors Member
Well, as I've said, if the parents don't like the rule there are other schools. Why should a school change it's rules to suit one set of parents? The rest of the parents don't seem to mind.
In its petty-fogging insistence on a trifling rule concerning choice of tie the school would be causing a monumental inconvenience to the pupil and the pupil's parents. If it is a state-funded school, its primary duty is to fulfil the educational requirements of the taxpaying public, rather than to bamboozle pupils with unnecessary rules.
 

Mike Petrik

Honors Member
It was quite a good rule. KIds, from personal experience of schools without clip on ties do grab other kids ties. THey're kids. Kids get hurt by having their ties grabbed. Kids get hurt by having their ties pulled excessively tight by other kids. Kids wear their ties in a silly way to show their "individuality", thus rendering the concept of school uniform redundant, then you get newspapers complaining that kids are being allowed to wear their uniform in a scruffy way. As I've pointed out repeatedly, clip on ties obviate these things. Parents have to agree, in writing, to abide by the uniform code. If they don't like it they can go to another school. Colne in Essex has other schools. You don't sign up to the rules you agree with but not to the others, the rules are for all students. If a student refuses to follow the rule, that is their choice and they take the consequences. Of course, having parents who then go to the newspapers with half a story gets them a moment of fame. They might even get on a local television news show. Does nothing for the education of the child, in any sense, apart from teaching the child "if you break the rules that we don't like that's ok".

I agree that defiance against rules made by lawful authority is not justifable, subject to the exception for rules that are immoral, which should be defied. A contrary understanding would mean that everyone should feel free to disobey all laws and rules with which they disagree. A simple reflection on such an understanding should make any thoughtful person shudder. This particular rule is stupid, not immoral. The safety argument is ridiculous. I suppose the school should make them wear helmets all day too.
 
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Shaver

Suspended
This thread is interesting simply for the way that it illustrates different people's level of deference to authority.

Indeed. One only needs to examine the results of the Milgram experiment to realise that some people will quite literally do anything that authority figures ask of them. Conversely there are others who are obliged to obey no law but their own judgement. Down with the former and up with the latter. :icon_smile:

"Nothing is true, everything is permitted" - Hassan-i Sabbah (attributed)

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Mike Petrik

Honors Member
Indeed. One only needs to examine the results of the Milgram experiment to realise that some people will quite literally do anything that authority figures ask of them. Conversely there are others who are obliged to obey no law but their own judgement. Down with the former and up with the latter. :icon_smile:

"Nothing is true, everything is permitted" - Hassan-i Sabbah (attributed)

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Yes, but the lesson to be learned from the Milgram experiment is primacy of conscience; not primacy of judgement. If I think a particular stop sign in my neighborhood is stupid, that does not give me license to disregard it.
 
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