Monday, February 01, 2010

Cy Ridge photo prank leads to 3 suspensions

From the AP via the Houston Chronicle:

A spelling prank in a class photo for more than 600 seniors at Cypress Ridge High School led to the suspension of three students.

Some students wore T-shirts spelling out “CLASS” as part of “Class of 2010” in a formal shot.

But in a later informal shot, students representing “C” and “L” moved from the front row, leaving behind a different three-letter word.

Administrators at Cy-Ridge cited the school's code of conduct and suspended the three students for three days. The penalty began Tuesday.

Senior Austin Knight says “C and L ran off” and it's not the fault of the other three students, who also were fined $135. The money will help pay the cost of retouching the photo.

Senior Raymond Carrigan says the students were “ignorant and disrespectful.”

Actually, that's the whole article. Click
here to see it in context and to view reader comments, most of which seem to support the pranksters.

I was class president when I was a senior at Kingwood High School back in 1986. For our class picture that year, I was seated dead center in the first row, and was wearing a button that said "I am opposed to the HISD dress code." HISD stands for Humble Independent School District, for which KHS was, and continues to be, a crown jewel. Before they took the shot, the principal walked up to me and said, "Take that thing off. You're supposed to be the class president!" I backed down and took it off, even though I was pretty certain the offending button wouldn't be readable in the finished photo, anyway. I regret having caved in so easily.

My foiled protest was more blatantly political than this successful one at Cy Ridge, but the point is essentially the same: high school is bullshit, and I want everyone to understand that I know it.

These days, I can tell you exactly why high school is bullshit, but this protest in far West Houston gives me hope. American kids spend thirteen years of their lives enveloped in a governmental institution that constantly tells them that they are there to be "educated," that "education" is a great thing, and that they will be worthless bad people if they don't willingly receive this wonderful "education," even while it is rammed down their throats. Most kids go along to get along, but some resist. Because schools are far more about indoctrinating children into the culture of obedience and authority, rather than about actual learning, virtually all of these resisters are simply incapable of articulating why they resist. But in their hearts, they understand that there is something deeply degrading and humiliating about the totalitarian institutions we euphemize as "schools." So they fight back.

Sometimes it's making a fart noise to disrupt class. Sometimes it's getting high in the bathroom. Sometimes it's spelling the word "ass" in the class photo. But it always means the same thing: I am a human being, damn it, and you will not fucking lord over me! If we had a school system geared toward training our youth to actually think, and analyze, and debate about important and meaningful issues, fart noises would probably be a less prominent protest form, but then, that would contradict the obedience imperative, and I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Anyway, my congratulations to the ass kids of Cy Ridge. You may not realize it, but you really are fighting the good fight.