We’re still stuck in a paradigm tyrannized by what I call “Bureaucrat’s Rule Number One.”
The Rules Are More Important Than People
They have it backwards… completely backwards. People are far more important than the best rules or policy statements.
Is there a line where common sense finally kicks in?
I hope so, but we haven’t found it yet.
Today’s case in point?
A teacher at Valley Forge Elementary School sent Margo Gaines, a 6-year-old girl with Downs Syndrome, to the principal’s office after she got frustrated, then pointed her finger at her teacher and said, “I shoot you.”
If this is a 16-year-old then yes, calling the police is absolutely the right move. It’s the wrong move when the 6-year-old in question doesn’t even understand what she said.
While in the principal’s office the little girl was asked about what she did. Her response?
“‘Oh, I shoot mommy,’ [she] laughs, or, ‘I shoot my brother.’ The principal asked, ‘Did you mean to hurt your teacher?’ And she said no and it seemed like she didn’t even know what that meant,” said Maggie Gaines, Margo’s mother.
“She really didn’t understand what she was saying, and having Down syndrome is one aspect, but I’m sure all 6-year-olds don’t really know what that means. Now, there is a record at the police that says she made a threat to her teacher.”
State Pennsylvania State Senator Andrew Dinniman agrees there are problems with the policy.
“As a state senator, an educator, and a parent, I am concerned when I hear that such important decisions appear to be guided blindly by written policy or legal interpretation without those in positions of authority using their judgment, experience, and common sense to weigh in,” Finniman said.
It’s time for a new rule. Let’s call it Humanity Rule Number One.
People Are More Important Than Rules
Whether you agree or disagree, please let me know in the comments section below.