Reading a bit more about the situation in California that broke yesterday with a girl being ordered to take off her NRA t-shirt by a public school official, it appears that there are consistent issues of late with this particular school and its officials.
The first piece of evidence is the NRA shirt case, where the district now admits that the shirt never violated any policies at all. However, these are the same people who specifically wrote the policy to state that if anything a student wears is declared “divisive or offensive to a staff member,” then it is banned. In other words, expressing an opinion contrary to any staff member in the school on your t-shirt is banned for being divisive. Needless to say, that’s not remotely constitutional since it gives staff the power to ban political expression they consider divisive or anything they don’t like for personal reasons.
The same school, apparently under a different principal, but largely the same staff, had to apologize last year and undergo more training on policies when they endorsed “Seniores” and “Señoritas” events that encouraged the overwhelmingly white school kids to dress up to fit ethnic stereotypes. Some kids apparently opted to dress as gang members and pregnant chicks. Gee, who couldn’t see that kind of poor decision-making coming from a mile away? But the school district promised that more training and more policies would keep the school out of trouble.
While the two incidents seem pretty different, there is one common theme to both of them. Perhaps it’s time to admit that policies aren’t the only problem here. Perhaps it is time to admit that the people incapable of making reasonable decisions, even after they’ve been given all of these policies and all of this training, are the problem. In fact, I would say that the fact the new principal, appointed after the “Seniores” and “Señoritas” snafu made headlines, is the one defending the unconstitutional t-shirt policy, it really just goes to show that no one in the school really learned anything in all of their “training.”
Sadly, even if the school district leaders did admit that no amount of training will fix the situation, there’s not really much they would do to change it.