Boobies and Bronies

So Grayson Bruce can take his My Little Pony backpack to school. All hail tolerance.

Matt Walsh and Sean Williams (neither of whom I’ve ever read before) have covered most of one aspect of this insanity—namely, there’s something wrong with a 9 year old boy taking 4-year-old girl paraphernalia to school, and parents have a responsibility to help their kids recognize reality. (I’m not entirely convinced that there isn’t something wrong with naming a 9 year old Grayson Bruce, but let’s leave that aside.)

But since reasonable people can disagree, surely public schools or their districts should be able to decide what approach they want to take. They might, for example, realize that nine-year-old kids are developmentally prone to demand peer pressure, so set behavior guidelines that keep the circle pretty small. So when a boy with a little girl’s backpack faces derision and taunting, the school might see both the taunting and the backpack as problems. But no, the mother takes the story public, and a wide range of idiots go out of their way to denounce the school for not letting a 9 year old boy have a my little pony backpack.

Or, at a time when kids are still figuring out the difference between boys and girls, a district might prefer to gently restrict a gender-confused kid to the bathroom of his or her biological birth. But no, state cobbles together a law that allows kids to choose what gender they are and use the gendered bathroom of their choice.

Or suppose a district has clear policies for handling online bullying on Twitter or Facebook between studens. Meanwhile, two sophomores from School A go to an unsupervised party in an entirely different district. While at that party, they make snarky remarks about a student who attends School B. Other kids from School A join in. Pretty soon, they start to tweet these remarks, and put a few of them on facebook. Other School B kids mention this to the student, who becomes upset. The parents come in with a lawyer to talk to School B’s principal, demanding that this stop because schools are responsible for cyber-bullying. School B’s principal is now held responsible for behavior that didn’t occur on campus, wasn’t committed by his students at a party that wasn’t even in his district.

Or, districts or schools might decide to eliminate the scenario of 15 year old boys snickering about their boobie bracelets, shrieking “I HEART BOOBIES!” as the girls with the actual boobies giggle and ask if they heart ALL boobies? Like these ones here? So the district says no bracelets in school. Meanwhile, a couple of middle school girls—yeah, girls. Because girls wearing the bracelets are the problem—decide to sue. The federal court sides with the ACLU and says kids wearing the bracelets “want to remove the stigma of breasts”—and then the Supreme Court, with all those conservatives, sides with the ACLU. So now, teachers have to tolerate freshman boys leering and saying they ‘heart boobies’ and do so in the knowledge that the state and federal courts valued their ability to do that more than the ability of districts to maintain reasonable decorum.

It is sometimes hard not to conclude that the public is the greatest enemy of public education. But at this point, I’ve still got courts in the first slot, the feds in the second, and state legislatures in third.

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20 responses to “Boobies and Bronies

  • Seguine

    “So when a boy with a little girl’s backpack faces derision and taunting, the school might see both the taunting and the backpack as problems.”

    Problems with what? Maintaining order? Ensuring conformity?

    Perhaps kids who are not taunted for their divergence or immaturity grow out of it more easily than those who become defensive and despondent.

    “nine-year-old kids are developmentally prone to demand peer pressure”

    Yours is an odd position to take for one who has correctly noted that teachers tend to be a moralistic lot. You would not laud the value of peer pressure where it enforced conformity to norms you disapprove of (presumably, heroin use; certainly, cheating or “gaming” of educations systems).

    Evidently it’s not so important that teenage boys are developmentally prone to advertise their interest in boobies, or that teenage girls are developmentally prone to flaunt them.

    • Mike

      You would not laud the value of peer pressure where it enforced conformity to norms you disapprove of (presumably, heroin use; certainly, cheating or “gaming” of educations systems).

      Deciding which norms with which to encourage conformance; that’s the whole trick isn’t it?

  • retired

    The schools are a reflection of the surrounding culture. In the bay area that culture leads to increased teen suicides due to the pressure. In the sticks it’s parental tolerance of alcohol and marijuana use among teens. Then, like sheep we let the educrats institute Common Core. On top of that it’s $750,000 to implement it in TWO high schools in the bay area. (Mountain View-Los Altos)
    The govt and the courts are ultimately a reflection of the voters. Remember CA Supreme Justice Rose Bird who was removed from office by the voters who disagreed with her on the death penalty? Gray Davis? It can be done. However, to paraphrase Milton Himmelfarb It’s the voters who “earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans.” We drink the progressive cool-aid and wonder why we are so sick.

  • retired

    Forget to mention: The parents file the lawsuits. The courts hand down the idiotic rulings. The ACLU is a public charity.

  • Roger Sweeny

    “So when a boy with a little girl’s backpack faces derision and taunting, the school might see both the taunting and the backpack as problems.”

    No doubt. The question is how to resolve the two problems, knowing that whatever decision you make is going to give power to one kid or group of kids over another.

    Speaking of courts, ed, how did you feel about the February 27 Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that a high school in Morgan Hill, CA could prohibit students from wearing American flag tee shirts on Cinco de Mayo because there had been threats of violence from Mexican-American students?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/02/27/not-safe-to-display-american-flag-in-american-high-school/

    • educationrealist

      I find it inexplicable, given the court’s clear preference for student rights. Much as I hate the court decision, I would support the district decision using the parameters I outlined here.

    • educationrealist

      Incidentally, this is a great case I should have thought of. Thanks for the mind food!

    • DensityDuck

      What I think is funniest about that is the school’s reasoning that, apparently, Mexican students are so violent and impulse-driven that we should avoid doing anything provocative because they just can’t control themselves.

      On the other hand, we’re talking about high-school students here, and you could make the case that NONE of them can control themselves, no matter the racial background. And it’s not like there was some established pattern where the flag-shirt students always dressed like that. It’s pretty clear that they wanted to make a statement.

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  • DensityDuck

    RE: Bathrooms. What needs to happen is that they should just replace all the multi-user facilities with individual cubicles. That way there’s no possibility of two persons using a restroom at the same time, so there’s no need to worry about gender.

    • Bob Swift

      Does nothing to address the icky problem of standers (splashers) vs. sitters (eww – it’s all wet!). An easy thing to wish away real anatomical and behavioral differences; much tougher to engineer “equality.”

  • Aaron

    Liberals are dead serious about this gendering stuff. Like it’s going to be one big new crusades of the future. As in it’s oppressive for parents to decide a child’s gender, a child should decide its own gender as it develops. I wish any of this were a joke or an exaggeration.

    On the lighter side, those boobie bracelets are like something out of an episode of Beavis and Butthead.

  • b0ridi

    How about a post on your thoughts regarding changes to the SAT?

  • PhillipMarlowe

    Boobies, Bronies and Baldies:
    GRAND JUNCTION —

    The phone on the front desk at Caprock Academy rang incessantly Tuesday as a flustered receptionist admitted she had given up trying to answer it. The charter school’s website was jammed. So was its Facebook page.

    The K-12 school was in the midst of a bald crisis precipitated by a dress code gone wrong.

    Caprock third-grader Kamryn Renfro had shaved her head over the weekend to show support for good friend 11-year-old Delaney Clements, who is not a student at Caprock. Clements has been fighting the childhood cancer neuroblastoma since she was 7 and is bald from chemotherapy. Caprock administrators told Renfro’s parents their daughter couldn’t return to classes Monday because her bald head violated the school’s dress code.

    On Tuesday, school administrators relented and allowed Renfro back but not before her upset mother had posted a message about her daughter’s suspension on Facebook. Clements’ mother also posted Facebook comments about the incident. A social-media firestorm erupted. While thousands of “likes” and messages popped up supporting the girls, Caprock Academy became the scourge de jour of the digital world.

    Read more: Girl’s shaved head draws national furor at Grand Junction school – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_25418689/girls-shaved-head-draws-national-furor-at-grand#ixzz2xmccoi4Y
    Read The Denver Post’s Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse
    Follow us: @Denverpost on Twitter | Denverpost on Facebook

  • PhillipMarlowe

    AEI Director of Education Policy Studies Rick Hess and wife Joleen Okun welcomed the tiniest edu-mover and shaker into the world on Wednesday. Baby boy Grayson Berenger Hess, clocking in at 7 lbs, 4 oz: http://bit.ly/1eeEoVv.

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