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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

FWCS Board Member Comments on "Free Fraser"

"...a classic case of school administration being devoid of common sense." - Jon Olinger, Fort Wayne Community Schools Board Member

The original post on Indiana Parley about the expulsion of Jeff Fraser resulted in a striking comment posted by a school board member. Jon Olinger, a member of the Fort Wayne Community Schools Board, commented on the decision in the Jeff Fraser case. He also went on to give examples from FWCS, as well.

Olinger wrote:
This appears to be a classic case of school administration being devoid of common sense. I don't know what the cause of this [affliction] is, but NWAC schools does not have a monopoly on it. Ocasionally a decision is taken by school administration, such as this, that makes me wonder...what were you thinking...

A few instances of this in FWCS recently..

School administrator taking a switch blade away from a student....then allowing him to retrieve it at the end of the day.

School administrator catching high school male students mooning a camera in a shower room..... Then developing the film to be used later in expulsion hearings.

Believe it or not bad decisions like this is the exception, not the rule... Keep in mind most educators have the kids' interest in mind, we just don't see the good decisions in the press.
UPDATE: Leo Morris at his weblog Opening Argument has a new post with some new thoughts in several parts. One part is a reply brief to Tracy Warner.

He also provides a useful link to a November 2005 Wall Street Journal story on the topic of student weblogs.

Leo says he has now read the Fraser tome. (He doesn't say how he came across the work bearing a copyright.) He states that he believes that the Carroll adminstrators overreacted but he is still wrestling with many of the issues surrounding the book. He cites Indiana Parley in his discussion of those issues.

He is preparing an editorial for tomorrow's print News-Sentinel and freely admits he is not sure where he will end up on all of this. He is inviting readers to help him sort through these issues for that print editorial.
I'll be working on an editorial on this subject today for tomorrow's Evening Forum. I'm not sure what form it will take, although my posting here suggests several directions. As I said, the school probably overreacted, but it's more complicated than that. If you'd like to offer comments you think would make the editorial better informed, post them before 11 a.m.
Update: Blogger Steve Erbach cites this Indiana Parley post at his The Town Crank weblog.

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