The Death of Common Sense-RIP

Today, I’m deviating from my usual nature/quote selection to climb on my soapbox and rant about the death of common sense and general stupidity among some people and organizations. Oh wait, I do have a left-over “universe” quote from yesterday….

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the the universe.
~Albert Einstein

A Florida high school senior is denied his asthma inhaler while having an asthma attack. Yes, it’s true. It seems that mom didn’t fill out the proper paperwork at the nurse’s office that would allow the school nurse to give the boy his inhaler because of zero-tolerance in bending the rules when it comes to prescription meds. An inhaler that’s in the nurse’s office and labeled with his name. Furthermore, the nurse refused to call 911 at mom’s request as she was racing to the school. Can you believe the felony stupidity of this? If my child’s life depended on an inhaler you can bet I’d have those permission forms in triplicate. But above all, I fault the nurse for total lack of common sense when a child is passing out from an asthma attack and she smiles and says sorry, but her hands are tied. And refusing to call 911 when the mom told her to do so? Seriously? Fire her ass.

A New York elementary public school requires students to learn Arabic. Learning this language ...”will help the school obtain a prestigious International Baccalaureate standing. …Arabic has been identified as a critical-need language,” Principal Nicky Kram Rosen said, citing students’ future “career trajectories. WTH? I would agree there’s a critical need for the military to know Arabic. People doing business in the Mideast should know it. It would be beneficial for foreign diplomats to know the language. But teaching it twice a week to elementary school children? Probably not a good use of the state’s taxpayer dollars. This is a case of school administration wanting to tout their prestigious standing. If they really wanted to help prepare children for future careers, teach them Chinese. After all, China owns most of our country anyway. And a significant number of people speak Spanish in the world, so how about requiring that language? How about picking one that’s used in international business, financial and technology fields since that’s where our future lies…and that’s not Arabic. I have no problem offering it as an extra-curricular class for those interested in learning it. But mandatory in a public school? That’s ludicrous. How about concentrating on teaching students to read and write English…proficiently? What a novel concept.

Twelve-year-old girl sues Minnewaska School District over Facebook. There’s stuff in this story that’s wrong on so many levels I just don’t know where to begin. In this day and age, social media is used for a lot of things. Venting one’s thoughts is one of them. “RS” was called on the carpet for comments she made on FB about a hall monitor. The principal forced her to give up Facebook and email passwords so they could review her accounts. The hoopla surrounds the child’s first and fourth amendment rights, and that the school violated those rights by demanding the passwords and disciplining her for those FB comments.

RS “hates” the hall monitor. So what? That’s normal behavior for a tween. I’m sure there’s lots of people she hates. The hall monitor was “mean.” Again, normal thoughts for a 12-year-old. Get over it. She could have just as easily written her thoughts down in a diary. But is venting on Facebook the same as writing in a diary? I think not. I’m sorry, but there’s no expectation of privacy on the Internet anymore. Nothing is completely private…and nothing is every deleted. The sooner we learn that, the better. Did she have the right to express her opinion? Yes. Did what she said cause irreparable emotional damage to the hall monitor? Probably not. Did the schools have a right to review all her “private” thoughts. No. With social media, we have the right to be mean and angry…and let the whole world know about it. But just because it’s perceived as a right, doesn’t make it the right thing to do. And therein lies the next question. Did the parents know what their daughter was writing on her FB page? If so, some discussion about what’s proper for a 12-year-old to say and not say might have been helpful. Expletives are seldom viewed as positive communication coming from children, regardless of the first amendment. Parental involvement in a child’s social media life at this age is necessary for everyone’s safety.

Just a few of the many examples of proof that common sense is dead. I believe ol’ Albert was spot on correct.

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9 thoughts on “The Death of Common Sense-RIP

  1. So sad. I just saw two articles that made me wonder the same thing. One the mom strapped a gas can into the car seat vs her toddler who sat unbelted next to it. The other a 6-year old boy wrote a note to send him home from school. He used a yellow MARKER and it was full of misspellings and the school secretary not only believed it, she sent him home to an empty house! (And the secretary still has her job!)

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  2. I had only heard about the second one which is a waste of federal tax dollars. It seems many schools have enough difficulty with their students excelling in their English classes.
    On the first one, yes, the mother should have filled out the paper work but we don’t know the circumstances behind it. I can’t believe the nurse wouldn’t administer the meds labeled with his names as he was in desperate need. Not calling 911 is absolutely ridiculous.
    The third one: I thought FB account holders have to be 14 years old. Whether the parents knew what she did is irrelevant (I’m hearing about lots of parents finding out their kids have FB accounts without their permission) as the school had no right to make her give up her password without consent of her parents. There’s a tremendous difference between a threat and a vent, and it sounds as if she was being a typical tween. So I agree with you, Lisa.

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  3. Preach it Sister!! You are absolutely correct. I am often reminded of the “The Emperor Who Wore No Clothes” – it seems like we are surrounded by people protecting themselves even if it means abandoning common sense and truth. Responsibility is being abdicated at an amazing rate starting with politicians and continuing right on down to parents etc. Following the rules to protect ourselves to the point of a child’s health being endangered, trying to placate those who have sworn our destruction and so many other nonsensical situations. My special needs granddaughter was just offered summer school on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00 to 12:30! The important thing is the school is covered for state requirements not whether or not Audrey will benefit from it or how her working parents will leave their jobs an hour away and get her there. After all, the school offered. It is aggravating that this country was founded by people thinking outside the box and willing to take risks for the right reasons and we have become a nation of victims waiting to be told what to do so we don’t get into trouble or God forbid anger anyone. OK – I’m done venting for now – thanks!

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  4. I actually really like the idea of an Arabic class in an elementary school. Any language would be great, but a profoundly non-European language such as Arabic, Mandarin or Japanese will really stretch the students and help them think in new and interesting ways.

    Honestly, I also wish they taught English better at the elementary level. But I’ll also say that my German classes helped me learn more basic grammar than all my English classes combined.

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  5. “Even though the nurse refused to give Rudi his inhaler, she could have called 911, but she didn’t, and now Rudi’s mother wants to press charges for child endangerment.” This is what it says in the video. Yes the boy could have died. I think the nurse lacked compassion. If you think that rules are more important than people or any other living creatures, you are acting like a robot. Rules are there to protect people, not to let them die.

    Learning Arabic at an elementary school? Nonsense! Do Arabs learn our languages in their schools, because there are a lot of Americans or Europeans in their countries? Japanese and Chinese students learn English, and they are very diligent students too..

    Face Book is often used as a diary by teen-agers, my granddaughter does it all the time. But the principal should be wiser, instead of forcing a child to give her passwords, he or she should ignore the whole matter, or ask the student to write down why she hates the monitor and then discuss the subject later in a debating group.

    Very interesting post, Lisa

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  6. Oh woe is me. Woe is our country, our world. We are becoming, or have become, a nation of people afraid to make decisions that might cause having to explain ourselves but might also make something better for someone (like save a life?), unable to accept responsibility, unaware of the value of being circumspect or considering the ramifications of all we say and do, unthinking, suffering from too much CYA and too little common sense and consideration. We are dumbing down to the point of becoming . . . nothing. Where oh where has what made us the country we are (were) gone? The respect for one another, the courage to take action, the standing on our beliefs, the accepting of responsibility for our actions? The humanity.

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