A borrowed rant, but one I can relate to

A good friend and former co-worker recently posted an open rant on FB after receiving a take-home package following the first day of school. While the spin is Canadian, I think lots of us can relate, particularly those with school-age kids.

<open rant> My school board has been taken over by lawyers! First day of school package includes: new policy on locked schools, warning that kids can strangle themselves in playground, numerous release forms for everything you can imagine (same info 8 times). My favourite form informs me that “participation [in recess] involves risk of injury, minor or serious, including permanent disability.” Here is my favourite part: “For specific examples of injuries related to the activity, contact the school.” Really?
Dear School Board Administrators: stop watching CNN and Fox. Please focus on providing an engaging educational environment. Stop teaching my kids that the world is hostile. We live in Canada!
Thank you.
</end rant>

So, where exactly do we start with this?

When did the start of school trigger a flurry of this kind of liability paperwork? Where have we, as a societly, allowed the public education system to degenerate into this politicized, litiginous, bureaucratic juggernaut? I dunno about you, but I’m starting to look for the remaining three horsemen.


About Mark L. Sheppard

learning geek, lifelong learner, terminally curious, recovering blogger and Ed Tech explorer.

Posted on September 14, 2013, in commentary, opinion, rant, reflection, thoughts and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Mark–you are spot on here. We have too much ‘leadership’ based on following trends set by fast-talking self-proclaimed ‘experts.’ Where is the courage? the sense of good judgement? and most of all what’s become of administrators talking to and learning from the real stakeholders?

    • Maurice: I have to wonder if the birds of the 80’s generation are coming home to roost? After all, many of them *are* the current stakeholders. The overabundance of caution we seem to be experiencing will do the school kids of today no good whatsoever.

      • At some point we need to learn some of life’s lessons very well. A bruised knee, a burned finger or a bloody nose will teach you much more effectively than any other way. People who have not experienced the good and the bad of the physical world do not have the appropriate sense of caution that is needed. I am not advocating for subjecting our kids to dangerous situations but like you I am saying that we have gone way to far and we need to have a few ongoing messy conversations about how far is far enough.

  2. The ironic part is that if any “permanent disability” injury *did* occur while in the playground (I assume doing recess duty which, I understand, is an obligation when you’re a teacher) the waivers and releases mean nothing.

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