12-year-old Christine Rhodes is like millions of people in this country; she suffers from asthma. When a classmate of hers began having a severe asthma attack on the school bus, Christine shared her prescription inhaler, making her a hero to the other girl's mother and the community in general. Tell that to the Mount Airy Middle School (Maryland) officials, Principal Virginia Ashmore, and the local police, who charged her with drug trafficking. Seriously . . . we are not making this up. The "offense" gets entered into her record until she turns 16. According to her mother, Laura Rhodes, Christine "went from feeling like she was on top of the world to feeling like she had done something terribly wrong." Mount Airy Principal Virginia Ashmore refused to comment on this case.
Yes, there is something terribly wrong, Mrs. Rhodes, and it is not your daughter's actions. It is the education system in this country and its back-assward approach to teaching. Children have been suspended and arrested for increasingly ridiculous incidents, such as hugging, bringing plastic knives to cut fruit and wearing "offensive" t-shirts. People complain that children do not respect authority figures anymore nor show a desire to learn. Why should they when there is so little to respect in what's passing for authority nowadays? Perhaps school administrators should do more looking in the mirror when searching for a place to cast blame for the student's so called lack of respect. And that goes for just about anyone in power in today's society. If school administrators worried more about teaching rather than using heavy-handed and arbitrary discipline for the sake of discipline, maybe students could actually learn something besides punishment. What's that noise? Oh, that's just Socrates turning over in his grave.
This is definitely one case where zero-tolerance = insanity. To show your disproval of disciplinary methods such as the one mentioned above, please use the contacts listed below:
Principal Virginia Ashmore
102 Watersville Rd.
Mt. Airy, MD 21771
School Board President C. Scott Stone
2219 Harvey Gummel Rd.
Hampstead, MD 21074
School Board V.P. Gary Bauer
924 Century St.
Hampstead, MD 21074