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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Dear Portland Public School bureaucrats

You are way dumber than the students. We'll remember how well you handle situations like this the next time you say you need another tax levy.

Comments (30)

A thousand dollars to remove some flowers?

I'll do it for $500.00

Why do I have the strong feeling the school's reaction would be OK if this whole incident involved a different, non-PC, graphic. Depending on where one sits, a peace sign is just as politically charged as anything else.


I think it's the refusal of the offer from parents to help clear up the display that really chafes. "No, no, we INSIST on spending a thousand dollars rather than let volunteers help us out for no cost at all." Because, you know, public school landscaping is such a high-profile, professional thing under normal circumstances. *cough*

The fact that it's a peace sign made of flowers is just icing on the cake at that point.

Defacing school property is defacing school property -- no matter what the message.

What's really pathetic is all the other seniors not coming forward and taking the blame with her.

Buncha cowards.

Boy is this a time for the those in charge to show how "in charge" they really are! Time to "Teach" some lessons!
#1 let's dump it all on a college bound, honest student.
#2 Let's alienate those parents that volunteer, because we no longer need them for fund raisers and to vote.

Defacing school property? Planting flowers? How about a memorial tree? Only if it's dedicated to a PC war??
lets get a grip here folks!

#2 Let's alienate those parents that volunteer, because we no longer need them for fund raisers and to vote.

Not to mention the Wilson parents are, generally speaking, fairly affluent. Next to Lincoln, I imagine the per capita income of Wilson parents is highest in the district. Brilliant move, alienating these folks.

Funny how the district is fine with paying massive golden parachutes to Ben Canada, Steve Goldschmidt, et al, but then absolutely freaks out when confronted with a $600 landscaping bill.

Oh, and, also, brilliant move to strike a contentious tone with a politically minded student body right before graduation. Can you say "mass walk out?" Yeah, exactly. Have fun at the ceremony, PPS officials!

I like singling out one kid when there's a video of a couple dozen doing the deed. Rat out your friends! We have ways of making you talk!

Heh, heh, heh. I have warped sense of humor.

First to Chris McMullen--

You are right. Amazing group of cowards, the entire Wilson Class of 2007. Not surprising for any one who knows Wilson studentds, teachers or parents.

I am reminded of the movie, "Sparticus", where after a battle the captured rebellious slaves are asked by the Roman general to identify Sparticus. To a man, each declares "I am Sparticus".

It was at best industrial strength stupid for this idiot child and her friends to do this after the classroom window sign dispute. Both The First Amendment to the US Contitution and Article I, Section 8 of the Oregon Constitution have to be content neutral. Allow the obvious anti Iraq war sign and symbol, and you must allow pro war signs and symbols.

Kid must have missed that teaching moment this year, or was too stupid to learn it, or too arrogant to believe that any Constituional provisions could appl to her oh so politically correct actions.

Dumb of the school admin folks to not have the parents dig it all out and replace it -- at the parents time, labor and expense, with a neutral display.

isn't quoting constitutional law and condemning teenagers as cowardly and denying them a once-in-a lifetime opportunity (a diploma) a bit much?

somehow, we've become (or are becoming) a society that runs around screaming for blood at the slightest provocation.

it's a group of teenagers who did a ritual with a decent, non-violent intent, for goodness' sake. make them clean it up. they already know it was wrong. i would hallucinate, based on my own early years, that all of us were stupid teenagers once.

let's get over ourselves and stop trying to mow the lawn with a sledgehammer, if you know what i mean.

Dumb of the school admin folks to not have the parents dig it all out and replace it...

Liability concerns.

The chance for another "display" on the part of those helpful parents. (I would suspect a high likelihood of this sort of thing)

Maybe union conflicts if maintenance/replacement labor is contracted.

#1 let's dump it all on a college bound, honest student.
#2 Let's alienate those parents that volunteer, because we no longer need them for fund raisers and to vote.

All the dumping and alienating was initiated by the students and their "volunteer" parents who knew, or should have known, the rules - don't obscure the real issue.

All the dumping and alienating was initiated by the students and their "volunteer" parents who knew, or should have known, the rules - don't obscure the real issue.

OMG! "The Rules!" "The Rules!" Please. They are kids, and kids do stupid/unwise things, and it is the responsibility of adults to keep things in perspective and not get out of hand.

Especially since the PPS says it doesn't have the money to cut its own grass, it's ironic that they're in such a hurry to "fix" this and punish the kids. The smart thing to do would be to leave it up until after graduation, telling the 10% of the population that's offended the same thing they tell everyone else about everything else: "There's no money to clean it up."

If you really think it would do any good to put the whole senior class in a room and tell them how stupid this was, you can't do this, if you get caught you go to jail, blah blah blah, o.k., then do that too.

But telling one kid she has to pay and can't graduate is the absolute height of stupidity.

While we're on the subject of keeping things in perspective...

I didn't capitalize, "quotate" (thanks, Arlo), or repeat the rules - that's you mischaracterizing my words in order to support your point - which, it appears, is that you think the school is overreacting. The test of that is whether there are policies in place or precedent for this sort of "issue".

Of course, then we fall into the whirlpool of...

If there are policies ("The Rules, The Rules"), should they be applied evenly or should they be "interpreted" according to the moment?

If there are no policies, should the school be able to discipline the stupid/unwise students (seniors, I believe, able to vote, now or soon) at all?

If the school is justified in disciplining the stupid/unwise students, who determines the level of disipline?

If there are rules, are there rules about who must obey them, or when?

Rules (...mowing the lawn with a sledgehammer...) - can't live with them - can't live without them.

The stupid/unwise "kids" chose to do this thing and now they, their parents, and others don't like the school's reaction - WTF is new there?

when "rules" entirely replace "judgement" and "wisdom", i think we're screwed.

Maggie Collins is learning more about her world right now than all her years in high school or college combined.

Maybe as a result of this valuable experience she'll even grow up to be a defensive, punative bureaucrat. Go Maggie!

I didn't capitalize, "quotate" (thanks, Arlo), or repeat the rules - that's you mischaracterizing my words in order to support your point - which, it appears, is that you think the school is overreacting.

Yeah, the school is overreacting. I'm not saying that their decision has no rational basis, just that it fails the common sense test. The kids played a fairly innocent prank that resulted in fairly superficial "damage" to school property. In response they are picking on the one student who identified herself as playing a role, and are threatening her like a common street thug until she gives up her friends. It's very unseemly, that's all.

when "rules" entirely replace "judgement" and "wisdom", i think we're screwed.

That would be succinct if it represented a rebuttal to anything anyone has advocated here. As it is, it just represents mowing the lawn with a sledgehammer, hehehehe.

But I'll bite - I'd hazard a guess that the reason there are rules is that "judgement" and "wisdom" are subjective and transient. Rules probably originated from a group or groups that were "screwed" by somebody's "judgement" and "wisdom".

By your argument, we should all just defer to GWB's "wisdom" and "judgement" and ignore the rules.

I don't know, Yogi...

The administrator that refused to accept the offer of free removal could/should cover the bill personally. It only takes ten signatures from property owners in the district for a petition to the Tax Supervising and Conservation Commission. Seriously.

At least it is not a big rock, as a canvas too I suppose, like that near Main Street in Gresham, 1977. (It did break some old wood on the old flat bed that delivered it.)

Here's a chance for Super Vicki to do something. Especially since she's one foot out the door, she could actually do the right thing here. Is she too busy counting her money?

If you want to wonder about the PPS and its prioritys try this one.
There was a story at the last Lincoln High site council meeting that the district is going to hire "business managers" for schools now that they have some extra funds. How nice! another layer of bureaucracy rather than reducing class size or improving arts programs
Perhaps they should consider a full time drug/Alcohol counsellor - and I don't mean just for Lincoln!!!

It doesn't make a bit of difference what the reason for the vandalism was or what the message was. The ends do not justify the means. Heavy punishments all around, lest we encourage Wilson High teachers to continue their efforts to raise another generation of eco-terrorists.


You have spoken the unspeakable.


Hilarious. Planting flowers now leads to terrorism? Someone will have to enlighten me on that reasoning.

Comments can be so educational sometimes - the peace sign, for example. I did not realize it was branded solely for anti-war use. I seem to recall first encountering it in Sunday school -- something about blessing peacemakers and calling them sons of god?

So if planting flowers = vandalism (and = terrorism... but I'm still waiting on explanation for that), then why aren't we hearing about other acts of "vandalism" by high school seniors? I seem to recall my class doing something "creative" on our graduation. If the flowers were in the shape of "2007" would that be OK? Would she get fined and have her diploma revoked for that?

It's easy for the punk vice principal types to go after Wilson kids who leave peace signs around. God forbid they should look into what the gangsta emulators in the east side schools are carrying around in those backpacks that they've got sewn onto their backs. That would take some guts.

We'll remember how well you handle situations like this the next time you say you need another tax levy

Please remember also that Portland Public Schools helped raise these seniors to stand up for what they believe in, and to continue to challenge authority despite being smacked down once for the peace signs in windows. The seniors may not have thought it through all the way - they are still teenagers, after all - but Portland Public Schools have taught them many things besides how to get into college. Maybe the students and the teachers who have guided them for 13 years just proved they deserve your tax levy vote, Jack.

P.S. A solution has been reached, and volunteers will be renovating the desecrated grass this Saturday at 11 a.m. Maggie Collins persuaded Portland Nursery to donate supplies. Everyone is welcome to visit and/or help.

Maybe the students and the teachers who have guided them for 13 years just proved they deserve your tax levy vote, Jack.

At the risk of sounding like Rob Kremer, I suspect that most of the money that would come from a new levy would get wasted on salaries and benefits for middle managers like the ones who are presently screwing up in the Wilson case. Precious few dollars would trickle down to the teachers who instilled the right values in these students. Indeed, if such teachers are identified in this case, they'll probably be called on the carpet for it.

That's the real problem with the Portland bureaucracy. They're as leftie as they wanna be when it suits their hidden agenda, but if you try to play leftie with them, they slap you down. You just shut up and do as you're told, and above all, don't ask questions.

somehow, we've become (or are becoming) a society that runs around screaming for blood at the slightest provocation. . . it's a group of teenagers who did a ritual with a decent, non-violent intent, for goodness' sake. make them clean it up. they already know it was wrong.

Ecohuman got it exactly right. I graduated from Wilson, and every senior class did a few stupid pranks -- most cases never got "solved". The inability of PPS to use common sense and recognize the difference between this and a "crime" is the problem here. For god's sake just tell the girl who confessed that she's responsible for organizing a group to clean it up. Problem solved, lesson learned.

Marigolds are annuals and therefore by definition not sustainable. They must go.

Rather, proper selection of perennials or evergreens would have caused actual cognitive dissonance during tomorrow's removal activities.


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