scouts-l Mail Archive for May of 2000: School rules
Roman J. Smith (Roman.J.Smith.13@ND.EDU
Tue May 30 2000 - 10:03:50 CDT
I may very well be wrong in what I am reading into the posts on the Eagle
suspended for carrying a knife and ax in his car. Somewhere I seem to feel
that some believe that the school rule (as stupid as it is) should not
apply to students who are properly trained to use the "tools". Do you
people really feel that Eagle Scouts should be exempt from the rules just
because they are Eagle Scouts?
Lets see. They have the Communications merit badge so they should know how
to find out what the rules are. They have Citizenship in the Community
merit badge so they should know the merits of setting the example in
obeying the laws of the community.
I have read books with stupid laws in them. Some of the laws "look stupid"
but are not. I saw one New Orleans law that forbade the kicking of garbage
cans. In 1980 I walked down the streets of the French Quarter at 2:00 AM.
There were hundreds of garbage can lining the street. Imaging someone
walking down the street kicking them over.
Now imagine if every student had an ax in the trunk of his car. That
sounds really unlikely to happen. But much of what goes on now days also
seems unlikely. Prohibition against weapons is aimed to some degree at
potential gang violence. This is even more of a threat then the random
shootings that happen a few times a year across the country.
Yes we have stupid rules. Yes we have some great young men out there who
are not a threat to others. But yes, they are required to follow the same
rules. Before we try to run out and change rules, stop and think (or call
and ask) why the rules exist in the first place. Do we want that dufus
with the D- average who sells drugs carrying a cell phone or ax in his car
to school? Rules are rules, and some of them were put in place for a good
reason. I may take issue with the pocket knife and/or the cell phone, but
an ax in the car...seem inappropiate to me. But no matter what, the scout
should know the rules.
I think what the schools really need is a "safe zone" where things can be
turned in as students discover that they have an innapporpiate item. Items
can be truned in and then reclaimed by parents without penalty. For an ax
in the trunk, all that the student should need to do is report it and the
school official can go get it (or permit the student to drive home, deposit
the item, then return). Maybe safe zones are what we should be working for.
Roman J. Smith, SM Troop 505 / CM, Ship 505
-I used to be an Owl