Saturday, January 16, 2016

233.7 - Clown of the Year 2015, Basic Stupid Category: administration of Kermit Elementary School, Kermit, TX

Clown of the Year 2015, Basic Stupid Category: administration of Kermit Elementary School, Kermit, TX

And now, as you might have guessed, it's time to give out the award for Clown of the Year 2015.

The thing is, however, is that there are two ways to think of a clown: It can be something or someone doing something just silly or nonsensical or it can be some institution or person who is being a real jerk.

Put another way, sometimes it's something just dumb, with little if any effect beyond those immediately concerned. Or it can be something from someone more powerful, whose position means their words and actions do have broader implications. So for Clown of the Year, we have two categories: Basic Stupid for those that are just that, and Total Jackassery, reserved for those bozos of greater influence.

So, let's look at Clown on the Year 2015, Basic Stupid category.

We had some powerful stupid. We had, for example, George Zimmerman whining about how badly he's been treated and comparing himself to Anne Frank.

We had a city counselor in Springfield, Massachusetts declaring that "Jesus is the reason for the season" - at a ceremony lighting a menorah to mark the start of Hanukkah. (I'm cheating a bit on that one because the incident took place in December 2014 but I heard about it and posted about it in January and it was too delicious not to include here.)

We had a commissioner of Blount County, Tennessee, introducing a resolution calling on God to not smite the county over the state's issuance of same-sex marriage licenses. That commissioner got double points because the resolution only applied to that county, apparently leaving the deity free to lay waste to the entire rest of the state.

But the award for Clown of the Year 2015, Basic Stupid category, goes to the administration of Kermit Elementary School in Kermit, Texas.

A 9-year-old boy, Aiden Steward, had recently seen the movie "The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies."* He came to school with a large blue ring which he said was "the one true ring" forged in Mount Doom. He told a classmate that he could make that classmate turn invisible if he put the ring on their head.

The school called that "a terroristic threat" and suspended him.

The principal, one Roxanne Greer, said threats, real or imagined, to another child’s safety would not be tolerated. So now even imaginary "threats" are "terroristic" even when they aren't threats - because remember, putting on the ring turns you invisible, but all you have to do to be visible again is take it off. Hey, Greer, the invisibility is a feature, not a bug.

Greer refused to comment on the suspension, citing confidentiality policies. Right. The suspension isn't confidential, the claim that Aiden Steward made a "terroristic threat" to another child's safety is not confidential, but the logical reasoning for the suspension, oh yeah, that's confidential.

The administration of Kermit Elementary School in Kermit, Texas: Clown of the Year 2015, Basic Stupid category.

*I have seen the new trilogy and I have to say the original Lord of the Rings trilogy was waaaaay better.

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