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The Snow Day Incident
Old 01-25-2008, 10:44 AM   #1
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The Snow Day Incident

I don't know why I'm so bothered by the incident in Northern Virginia where a high school student called up the school system's superintendent at home and then the superintendent's wife left a nasty message on the kid's phone....which the kid later posted on line and it got picked up by all the news media:

http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/printedition/2008/01/25/harassed0125.html

I guess it's just because it seems to me to be so illustrative of what's wrong with society today: the lack of civilized behavior and the refusal to admit that anyone has done something wrong. I do believe in free speech. I think kids should question authority in some cases. But this was just a kid who was disappointed that he had to go to school. Calling the superintendent at home to protest seems so inappropriate to me. Of course it was crazy that the superintendent's number was listed, but the kid should not have been harassing him at home. And then to post the superintendent's wife call on line was also obnoxious---but the kid defends it as free speech and says that his generation has different ideas about privacy.

And the superintendent's wife is also a piece of work. I understand that it is disturbing to get phone calls from irate students (supposedly some were made in the middle of the night asking if there would be a snow day), but her message on his voice-mail was way over teh top.

So---are these isolated incidents or is this pretty typical of people today---not respecting privacy, not admitting any wrongdoing, being incredibly rude?
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Old 01-25-2008, 10:58 AM   #2
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I dont think the kid is in the wrong at all. Funny thing is...if his MOM had called the super's home, there would be no issue at all...especially since the number was posted.

If this was such an invasion of her privacy, maybe they should reconsider the policy on calling the kids' homes for various reasons (absences,tardiness, disciplinary action etc). Unfortunately in school settings the door doesnt swing both ways...but it should!!

And the wife has NO common sense in leaving a msg like that on a VOICE MAIL. Come on!
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Old 01-25-2008, 11:30 AM   #3
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I think the student shouldn't have called the super's home to ask a questions that the radios were probably broadcasting anyway. His bad...but he's a teen, and he's still climbing the learning curve. I cannot immagine the woman leaving such a message on the teen's voicemail. There all kinds of other solutions...don't answer the phone, leave it off the hook, change the outgoing message on the answering maching to "if you are calling about a potential snow day, please tune in XXX station on the radio for the latest update.

Personally, I bet that she's embarrassed enough (not to mention her hubby), that she won't do that in the future. OTOH, some people never learn.
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Old 01-25-2008, 11:49 AM   #4
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I think the student shouldn't have called the super's home to ask a questions that the radios were probably broadcasting anyway. His bad...but he's a teen, and he's still climbing the learning curve.
Teens with a cell phone in one hand and an iPod in the other aren't going to turn on the radio. (There's nothing on the radio that they want to listen to anyway.) They're going to start dialing.

This facilitation of instant gratification is why we have our answering machine turned on and our ringers turned off. Especially because some of our teen's alleged "friends" will auto-redial five or six times, unable to believe that she's not picking up. Other teens, sitting across the cul-de-sac from our front door and in my visual range, will dial instead of hauling their butts all the way to our front doorbell.

I wonder if the supe's spouse is happy with his latest career choice?
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Old 01-25-2008, 02:25 PM   #5
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I dont think the kid is in the wrong at all. Funny thing is...if his MOM had called the super's home, there would be no issue at all...especially since the number was posted.

If this was such an invasion of her privacy, maybe they should reconsider the policy on calling the kids' homes for various reasons (absences,tardiness, disciplinary action etc). Unfortunately in school settings the door doesnt swing both ways...but it should!!

And the wife has NO common sense in leaving a msg like that on a VOICE MAIL. Come on!
Total agreement with this. Public schools are Nazi institutions so over the top and brazen that any defiance on the part of the peons is on the side of good.

Ha
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Old 01-25-2008, 02:32 PM   #6
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Total agreement with this. Public schools are Nazi institutions so over the top and brazen that any defiance on the part of the peons is on the side of good.

Ha
What? Are you trying to kill this thread?
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Old 01-25-2008, 02:50 PM   #7
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Three mistakes by the superintendent and his DW:

Having their phone number listed. With my DW having spent decades as a special ed teacher, we've been paying the fee for an unlisted number forever. Her school and fellow teachers were always absolutely diligent in not sharing each others home phone numbers with anyone, ever.

Letting sup's DW have her temper get away and calling to leave the message. I imagine the tone used by the student was provoking, but that's to be expected and part of the price you pay to be in education, or to be married to someone in education. You don't fight back, you just correct your mistake (get a new, unlisted phone number) and go on.

Thinking for even a moment they would be free from harrassment, pranks, vandalism, destructive behavior, etc., and not having the proper safeguards set up.
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Old 01-25-2008, 02:51 PM   #8
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The teen was WRONG....

The wife was also wrong, but not as much as the teen...

Then the teen was WRONG AGAIN posting it with the phone number....
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Old 01-25-2008, 03:34 PM   #9
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The wife was not an employee of the school district as far as I know and was called at home on their listed #. She has the right to say just about anything she wants to say (see Amendment #1 to US Constitution) to any person who dials the #.
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:27 PM   #10
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The wife was not an employee of the school district as far as I know and was called at home on their listed #. She has the right to say just about anything she wants to say (see Amendment #1 to US Constitution) to any person who dials the #.
Of course she has the right to say what she wants. But she and superintendent hubby were dumb for having a listed number and for responding to the call in a manner which caused them embarrassment.

I have the right to call some 250# gangbanger-thug an ugly moron. But, I'm too smart for that since I don't like to get beat up. Sup and DW are dealing with an equivalent situation by being associated with a public school district. So, they should be smart, unlist their phone and lay low away from work. There's lots of trouble lurking for them that they should (at least I would ) avoid.

Youngsters like the one that called them are pretty common. The fact this youngster was wrong is a given and similar incidents are guaranteed to occur from time to time. Best to avoid them when possible and respond intelligently when you can't.
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:00 PM   #11
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The wife was not an employee of the school district as far as I know and was called at home on their listed #. She has the right to say just about anything she wants to say (see Amendment #1 to US Constitution) to any person who dials the #.
The First Amendment only guarantees that the government can't make laws restricting your freedom of speech. It does not guarantee that there will be absolutely no consequences from such speech -- i.e. public embarassment or, in youbet's example, a thrashing from an offended party.
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Old 01-26-2008, 05:24 AM   #12
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Whats the number? I want to see if its snowing there now.
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