"I'm just sayin" is apparently no excuse for the administrators at a San Francisco charter school, reportsBusiness Insider.
17-year-old student Courtni Webb of Life Learning Academy wrote in her personal notebook that she "understands" the killings that took place in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, and that she "knows why he [Adam Lanza] pulled the trigger."
"Why are we oppressed by a dysfunctional community of haters and blamers?" she asked in a controversial poem, which prompted her teacher, who discovered it, to hand it over to the principal, who then suspended Webb until further notice. It's a move Webb and her mother say goes too far, and stifles free speech.
"I feel like I've really been made to look like a monster by my school and I don't appreciate that," Webb said. "I didn't say that I agree with it, I said I simply understand it."
But the school is so far standing its ground, stating in a letter to Webb's mother that her daughter's words violated the school's zero-tolerance policy:
"Life Learning Academy takes a zero-tolerance approach to violence or the threat of violence...Violation can result in dismissal from school."
First she is a teenager. Teenagers see a different world today than we older people. We know about gangs, they live among gangsters. We know about violence, they live within the rap culture of violence. I think this is a totally ridiculous response and will result in us forcing kids to resist talking to adults about what is on their mind. We want to talk about guns and mental health but we don't want to hear what is on their minds? this is a seriously flawed response by the school.
I know nothing about gangs or violence, what I do know is about drugs and how the drugs take your future and your dreams of plans of leaving hobunkville away. I will be the first to admit that talking to young adults is hard, what it takes is admitting your own mistakes and how in retrospect those choices damaged and destroyed the future you envisioned for yourself. Honesty at least start a conversation!
"Why are we oppressed by a dysfunctional community of haters and blamers?"
A penny for your thoughts....or suspension from school. The thoughtful girl was trying to figure out the rational the killer may have developed prior to committing the shootings. She arrived at a possible answer, wrote it in a poem in an act of creativity, and for her personal thoughts she gets suspended. Unbelievable. Yet, Joe Shmoe can go out tonight packing heat and is applauded for doing so. What a country!
I totally agree, this school is a joke, she could go to college to learn profile and aid the prevention of these mass shootings. By first seeking to understand, instead of trying judge, she is part of the solution.
Understanding violence is NOT threatening violence. DUH! Students don't have a choice about going to school. They should be treated better than this. Zero tolerance is BS! Students get suspended over taking an asthma inhaler into school. I say we allow students to unionize and then if the union calls a strike that's an exception to compulsory education laws.
From reading this I would take it that she can “emphasize” with him. That to me is a concern. I don’t think the suspension is the answer. She may “think” she feels like he did. She needs to talk with someone.
It is as simple as this. Teachers have to be smart enough to do their job. It is more than teaching a subject, but it is about leadership and mentoring. You also have to be somewhat of a detective and a psychologist. If you are not up to this job then get another. This union crap is ridiculous. You cant be holding a “Hell no we wont go” sign on TV and expect to earn the respect of students. Parents you should demand only he best for your children, else teach them yourself.
For the first time I haven't voted or considered how people vote. This one speaks to me... I have children, ranging from from 20, 18, 15, and 8. I have been an advocate for the illerate, people with AIDS and their caregivers, and also the Mentally ill and their care givers. How in the world do people who don't experience this as a fact of life deal with it...they empathize, which is one of the true signs of Intelligence! Some people are sooo smart that they can identify with things out of their realm of experience. This should be noted, it should be utilized for the invaluable worth it has, BUT it NEVER should be punished! I hope her Mother networkes to Not only see where her daughter needs to be appreciated but where her daughter can gain validation of her instincts. God this should be happening on the east coast Not the west..I thought you people were ENLIGHTENED!
Empathy is a lost quality in our culture. We are far from enlightened.
Empathy is different from sympathy, but I think our UN-enlightened society doesn't know the difference. I would never sympathize with someone who killed innocent children, but I can empathize because he almost certainly was mentally ill, struggling with demons he obviously couldn't control.
For this girl to be punished because of her thoughts should be a terrifying thought for all of us. If she cannot express her feelings, who's to say you or I won't be next?
"understand" is different then condone. That said, a good psych eval prior to returning to school seems more appropriate. It's difficult for a trained professional to " understand" the crazy that massacred those babies, let alone some snot nose know-it-all kid...
Courtni has the kind of insight we find lacking in society these days. I made a similar comment years ago regarding Tim McVeigh. I understand his logic but that in no way indicates my support/ disdain nor does Courtni's statement indicate her support/ disdain for what happened. People who can understand why this happened can be a much needed resource in preventing the same from happening again.
Zero tolerance requires no thinking on the part of teachers and administrators, which is the way they like it. It means they needn't bother reading what this student wrote, or listen to her explanation, and come to an intelligent decision. Just kneejerk and suspend her. If we are ever to gain an understanding of young men like Lanza and find ways to help them before it reaches that pitch, shouldn't we encourage teens to express what they think and feel? Shouldn't we listen to them? Can't hurt, might help. This was a brainless reaction.
A total over reaction by the school, that young girl seems very grounded, she was suspended because her teacher came across the poem by accident, it's not as if she was going around the school reading it out, freedom of speech, land of the free!! What a joke, Adam Lanza was obviously very mentally disturbed why was his condition not picked up on?
@Denizen_Kate As luck would have it, I retired a school Superintendent. But we handled things differently back then. It would amaze you what the rules on the wall, and strict discipline. Let me dumb that down i case you do not understand. That would be the Ten Commandments on the wall, and ass beatings for any that acted up.
I generally ignore your statements because they are too out there to be given credence, however, today I am going to recommend that you keep silent due to total ignorance of what you are speaking of. This girl has said something we need to hear, something we need to understand, a segment of the population we (you and I) don't understand but need desperately to understand. Who are you, what Understanding our of youth psyche do you have? You certainly haven't lay haven't demonstrated any to me, while I give you the respect given an older population, I will not silently let you take on a generation that by your dogmatism you don't deserve to ingage.
@kathyparsell disagree. This girl has said nothing I need to hear or understand. She is a kid. Not a peer. Not a friend. The only rights she has is what her mother tells her. School acted accordingly as did the school in Newtown, CT. How could anyone say or imply they understand or even try to justify what the Lanza moron did or did not do?
Glad the school took the appropriate steps to protect the other students.
There is a fear mentality in America today and that fear mentality is chipping away at our liberties. Before you know it we will wake up in a totalitarian state. That teacher who overreacted is helping to contribute to this mentality. She ought to ashamed of herself. She is unamerican.
I think by suspending a kid who may have had those thoughts in his head for writing them down, maybe in a cry for help, will just tell the next one dont say anything, until they all have to listen to you.
@Sonny I doubt it. The thoughts were there, and he wrote them down. I dont know what is up with the kids today. I have been saying for years it is the medication from birth most american males get to settle them down, since dad usually aint around in those situations. I think its time to dust off my ADHD and ritalin rant.
@CATTLEPROD I think we might be talking about 2 different things. I am responding to the situation of the young lady (in this particular story) and her plight...That was what the article was about...Who are you talking about?