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In the discussion thread: When Schooling Meets Policing [View all]

Response to meow2u3 (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 21, 2015, 08:52 PM


What don't you know about the situation?

Perhaps the principal was roundly and justly reprimanded. No need for outrage at this point if punishment's been meted out.

Perhaps the principal had been reprimanded for allowing too much disorder in violation of policy. Then this isn't so much "Let's punish the kid" as "Let's how how ridiculous the policy is. A bit rough on the kid, but spun properly the kid might enjoy a ride in a police car. After all, "no sense of criminal responsibility." Depends how humiliatingly he was treated at that point.

Perhaps the kid had been a terror for weeks before and the parents or guardian thought it was cute or "appropriate" or just an overreaction to think their little child should be constrained from hurling solid objects at adults. Or perhaps they just didn't care and this was a way of either getting their attention or getting somebody else's attention.

Or perhaps there's a 4th reason that we don't know. The Atlantic has no responsibility to tell us; in fact, if it's reasonable in context then it sort of mellows their article, and that's a bad thing.

And that last paragraph points out the problem: In a media environment where you can't expect the media to tell you all the relevant facts but expects you to still assume that they have (hence be outraged), you simply can't trust them. They push the "outrage" button and you simply don't know whether you're just being obedient and duped or informed and properly outraged.

In any event, some actual data would be nice. Over 3 million educators, if there are 10 incidents like this per year that's a very, very small incidence. If there are 15000 incidents like this, it's a problem. A further difficulty is that having set up what are likely extreme incidents, The Atlantic wants us to assume they're average. (And if they weren't average, would The Atlantic tell us? Sorry, not in their journalistic interest.)

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