Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bureaucracy at every turn

On of my life's goals is to confront bureaucracy every chance I can. Sometimes it is through direct action, sometimes it is through subversive aggressive passive... well, you don't want to know. Suffice to say, bureaucracy and the bureaucrats who find comfort in the mindless machine, really piss me off.

This story has a bureaucrat at its root. Maybe two or three.

A Texas sergeant and his son recently found themselves separated not only by an eight-hour time difference, several bodies of water, hundreds of miles and a war, but by a high school official who suspended the boy for answering his dad's call during class.

Cove High School in Texas, where half the students have at least one parent deployed, justified the punishment against Brandon Hill by saying he had violated the no-cell-phone policy when he took the call from his father, who is serving in Iraq.

Source: - Texas School Suspends Student for Answering Call in Class From Dad in Iraq - Local News

It makes me proud to be an American.

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The Exterminator said...

Well, this incident shows how some people blindly follow rules without taking any personal responsibility.

Clearly, the rule against having cell phones in a high school class is, under most circumstances, reasonable. In this instance, the teacher should have ignored that rule. But he or she didn't -- or wouldn't -- because that would have required exercising judgment.

The bureaucracy should have built in exceptions to its no-cell-phone policy, both for emergencies and extenuating circumstances. It failed to do so, probably just through oversight. So now, everyone should realize that the no-cell-phone policy needs to be clarified.

But still: How will the powers-that-be know that a call is actually coming through from a parent deployed in a war zone. The easiest answer is to have a specified hour each day in which kids can get phone calls. At all other times, the parent can call the school office and ask for his or her child to be paged.

That's what parents did when you and I were in school, Mojoey, back in the days before cell phones. I don't see why that solution would be particularly onerous.

Johnny Crow said...

Stupid fucking bureaucracy.