No class in the classroom

Robert Roe

As politically incorrect as it may sound, sometimes the lunatics metaphorically seem to run the asylum. Case in point: a school in Saint Lucie, Fla.

A teacher in said berg claims she was fired because she didn’t reward students who did not turn in their homework.

Apparently, the Land of the Eternal Tan has a rule that dictates regardless how well (or poorly) a student does in class, they get at least a fifty percent grade. Yep, it’s in the school handbook in red lettering, just like a blood oath: “NO ZEROES – LOWEST POSSIBLE GRADE IS 50 percent.”

As is usual with activist administrations, when asked about the issue, the school declined requests for comment. There you have it. Hey, students! Go to school, kill a few hours, do not produce, absolutely do not learn, and still get at least fifty percent on your report card.

Did you know there are a billion web sites now available where you can be ordained to perform weddings? No divinity school nor official capacity required. Personally, I have two such ordinations (I’d LOVE to perform your wedding – just give me a call!).

Point being, I received the legal authority to perform weddings without having to do any of the work usually required for such a qualification. Some educational systems, by not demanding a modicum of work to earn a grade are undermining the underpinnings of our nation’s basic tenets. We have schools (not all, but some) where education is not the goal.

It’s like athletic programs where everyone gets a trophy. The upside of this philosophy is also its downside. When everyone wins, there is no incentive to excel. The concept of working to earn a win is diminished.

One of the worst films ever made was “Star Trek V-The Final Frontier.” It made Ed Wood’s “Plan 9 From Outer Space” look like “Citizen Kane” by comparison. The plot revolved around Vulcan First Officer Spock’s brother Sybok, who could relieve people of their emotional pain. When offered the chance for emotional peace, Captain Kirk angrily refused, telling Sybok he needed his pain, because that is part of what made him an effective starship Captain.

There, in the middle of a mediocre film, came a spark of social sanity. We, as human beings, need our pain. We need our joy. We need our sorrow. It is the amalgamation of life’s experiences that create the walking, talking miracle who are us. When you remove an ingredient, the person becomes less.

Which brings us back, full circle, to a teacher in Florida who was fired for trying to teach. As a parent, who would you prefer educated your children: an instructor who grades kids based on merit, or an educator who lets every child slide by for fear of offending an edgy parent, or an administration over-eager to please?

The teacher was not allowed to say goodbye to her students, so she left a note. She wrote, “Bye kids, Mrs. Tirado loves you and wishes you the best in life!”

If only the school administrators felt the same way.

Robert Roe