I am going to weigh in on something that has been happening in my local school district. I am NOT going to tell you whether I agree or disagree in this situation because I don’t want it to take away from the message that I want to get across. But I did need to weigh in on something about the situation that has been bothering me.
A young lady, a junior in our school district, forgot that she had a pocketknife in her purse and on a school search it was found. The young lady was suspended for a month, literally the rest of the school year because the school has a zero tolerance policy. The parents and many local residents are upset because this girl has never been in trouble and has been an A student. According to her and her family it was a mistake, she had been working on her boyfriends farm cutting bales and had thrown it in her purse and forgot about it.
Because many feel that the consequences were too harsh the family and friends have taken it to the media, picketed the school in her support and have started a facebook page for her support. There is talk of a lawsuit. That is the good part of our society in that when people feel something is not right they can voice their opinion.
This is my problem with some of the things that are happening right now. Whether I agree or disagree with the school boards decision, some of the things I am reading on this Facebook page and by comments in support of this young woman in the media scare me. Many of this young woman’s supporters advocate that the school board are bullies. I have seen threats encouraging people to follow the school board and possibly do them harm. I have seen the comments that call the school board names and call the school board bullies. If there is someone that seems to disagree with the people supporting this young woman, on the comments on the Facebook page and in the newspaper, they are bullied, they are called names and they are attacked. Many of the people that make the comments in support of the school board decision are attacked verbally.
This is my point to those that support this young woman. If you want to win the people that make the decisions and others that make a decision over to your side, don’t call them names, don’t bully them. Use rational facts and rational conversation. I don’t know how colleges choose their students but I would have to say if I was looking at the comments that I am seeing from many of the supporters I would definitely take a look at that when I was making my decision. Many of the friends comments are very disrespectful to anyone that does not agree with them and has an opinion supporting the school board. Bashing is not the way to get the decision changed. If I were a member of the school board and I saw and felt the bullying that is happening right now toward the board I definitely would not reverse my decision.
People have a right to have an opinion about the Zero Tolerance policy, one way or another. This is America and yes we have freedom of speech but what you can say and how you say it can stop the conversation in an instant. I would listen to someone that is respectful. We learn from others opinions that are different from ours. We may change our opinions from something they say but I stop listening once the bashing starts.
Again, I am not giving my endorsement in this post either way. I want it to be about rational commenting. Those that manage the Facebook page for this young woman should put a stop to it right away. I did see when I was reading this page that one person that made a rational comment about her view was told she was the only negative comment on this page. I thought her rational statement was the only positive comment I saw in a long line of bashing.
And now I imagine I will hear some bashing too. I hope not. I only want people to stop and think before they write so that if they want someone to take their point of view seriously that they make the comment in a respectful way that does not bash those that are making the decisions. It might actually change the minds of those that are in power.
I didn’t post this girls name but I will provide a link to read the story.