In Which ‘Puter Writes To His Local School District Superintendent*
For our new Meet a Minion series, ‘Puter recorded a podcast episode featuring Meaux (of @molratty fame) last night, and it probably didn’t suck. It will definitely suck less once GorT gets time to edit it. Anyhoo, one of the questions ‘Puter asked Meaux was what, aside from collectively dying in a fire, we could do to improve our product. Meaux quickly answered, “Post more.”
So, in response to Meaux’s thoughtful criticism, here’s a post for today. ‘Puter will try to post more frequently in the coming weeks and months, maybe even doing a travelogue from his upcoming trip to Scotland, the ancestral home of Scott tissues and toilet paper, which, to be quite honest, are no match for Brawny paper towel’s absorptive properties.
You may have heard about the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida. If you haven’t, you must be deaf, so you’re probably reading this in Braille or some other fake language.
Because current high school attendees are spawn of America’s Worst Generation, of course the larval hippies are staging a walkout because dumbass kid power totally rules! ‘Puter’s local school district is no different, packed to the gills with spawn of liberal Boomer hippies who don’t understand guns much less existing gun control laws. FYI, larval hippies, New York has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country. But dumbass kids gonna dumbass kid.
In response to the stated intent of these benighted, smug, asshat teens threatening to walk out of class disrupting Tablet’s education and Mrs. ‘Puter’s job, ‘Puter drafted the following letter to the district’s superintendent, edited to remove identifying information.
Dear Superintendent [X],
I received your email regarding the upcoming student protests to take place in [District]. You note that the students will “protest and support the control of the sale of firearms.” As you surely know, gun control v. gun rights is a hot-button, partisan, political issue. The issue divides Democrats and Republicans, gun owners and non-gun owners. Elections nationwide turn on politicians’ positions on firearms. With the possible exception of abortion rights, it is difficult to think of a more partisan, political, divisive issue.
The District does not yet appear to know what the student protesters plan to do, nor has the District determined whether it will allow the student protests or offer programs or instruction on the issue of gun control. As the situation remains in flux, I reserve judgment.
Before the District moves forward and understanding the District has made no determination as of yet, I have the following questions and concerns.
Your email seems to imply the student protest advocating for gun control is curricular in nature. You identify the Parkland shootings and their aftermath as a “teachable moment.” While this is true, it does not affect the nature of the proposed walkout student protests. It does not seem political protests held during school hours advocating only one side of a politically fraught issue would be curricular in nature. If you believe such protests would be curriculum based, would you please explain why you believe so?
It was not clear from your email whether any student protest activities will occur during the school day. [District] Board Policy 7411 requires student groups meeting for non-curriculum related activities to “meet up to 10 minutes prior to the commencement of classes or for a maximum of 45 minutes after the dismissal of classes.” I assume any such protests would not be held during instructional time, and to the extent they were, the District would discipline participating students accordingly.
Further, [District] Board Policy 7411 mandates “[s]uch meetings will be held only when … 1. They do not interfere with students’ academic achievement; 2. The safety of students is provided for; and 3. The cost of transportation and other expenses are paid by the organization and not by the School District.” Any protests occurring during the instructional day would surely interfere with students’ academic achievement if for no other reason than they were not in class to receive instruction. The remaining students (if any) would also be impacted as I would imagine teachers are not going to teach to a classroom where half or more of the students have walked out. Further, to the extent the protests are held (whether or not the District sanctions the protests), the students should be responsible for paying all costs associated with providing for their safety, including the allocable salary expense of any attending police officers, sheriff’s deputies, teachers, or administrators.
To the extent District personnel are involved in any manner other than supervisory, [District] Board Policy 6430 applies. It states “[t]eachers may not use their classrooms or school surroundings as a means to promote their personal political views and beliefs.” Participation in a pro-gun control protest and rally would violate this policy. There is a difference between holding a classroom debate where both sides of an issue are fairly and accurately presented and a political protest where only one side of an issue is advocated, as the Board’s policy recognizes.
To the extent federal funds are used in any manner in support of the student protests, including but not limited to maintenance of the school property, accommodation of special needs students to participate, etc., so doing would violate both federal law and [District] Board Policy 5560 which prohibits use of federal funds for political expenditures.
Please note that use of District resources to promote only one side of a partisan political issue violates the constitutional prohibition against use of public funds for partisan purposes. Phillips v. Maurer, 67 NY2d 672 (1986). Even indirect support to espouse a partisan position has been deemed improper. Permitting use of school facilities also lends an appearance of prohibited partisan activity by a school district, which should be avoided. Surely the issue of gun control is a partisan issue as we have seen in the aftermath of the Parkland shootings.
I do not disagree with you that the issue of school shootings and proposals to limit or eliminate them going forward is an important issue. It is certainly one with which high school students should grapple. However, if school facilities are used to promote only one side of the issue, no matter how indirect the District’s involvement, the District would be in violation of its own policies, state law, and federal law.
I am certain you will do your usual good work and thread the needle on this difficult issue recognizing both the students’ legitimate concerns as well as those of the taxpayer. I support your thought that this can be a learning opportunity for [District’] students. I know [the District] will handle this situation properly and look forward to hearing how the District plans to do so as events become more certain.
Thank you for your time.
So, yeah. We’ll see if ‘Puter’s e-missive has any effect whatsoever. ‘Puter’s betting not since the teachers union’s a bunch of worthless hippies and the administration’s terrified of them. Lord, a decision in Janus v. AFSCME cannot come soon enough.
* Buried lede: ‘Puter can write.
** Also, the extension GorT put on the blogging software that says this post’s readability “needs improvement” can suck it. Those programmers’ moms “need improvement.
Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this.
’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies.
The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig.
His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred.
He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently.
Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet.
‘Puter suggests the Czar suck it.