Thursday, March 24, 2011

Where Public School Administrators Prove Once Again That Their Sanity Is In Doubt

Hayley Russell was described by many of her teachers as both “bright and capable,” as well as “overly social, and often sidetracked in class.”  She sounds like an average middle school student, to me.  So what did the former Rachel Carson Middle School student do to earn a seven week suspension, and be prohibited from being on school property without first obtaining permission?  She brought drugs to school.   Hayley’s drug of choice was prescription acne medication, and under the Fairfax County, Virginia school district’s zero tolerance drug policy, Haley deserved a strict punishment.  We all know what a threat clear skin is to our public institutions of learning.  You can find the Washington Post article here.
I will grant that both Haley and her parents should have followed school rules and sent the medication to the school where it would have been stored in the office and administered as needed by a school official.  They didn’t.  Haley kept the pills in her locker.  After two classmates narced on her to school administrators, the school investigated the matter, taking ten pages of notes and conducting a school hearing that the Russells described as both “invasive and condescending.” There was absolutely no evidence that Hayley ever attempted to sell or distribute her acne medication to other students, or do anything other than combat the affects of clogged pores.
Any school administrator worth their salt would have discovered the medication, called the Russells, reminded them of the school policy and asked them to comply, and then returned Hayley to the classroom.  That would have been not only rational and sane, but perfectly acceptable under Virigina law, which clearly states that in situations involving drugs, “special circumstances may be considered and other consequences given by school boards or through a superintendent’s designee.”  Haley’s disciplinary record was clean. She was an A/B student.  Instead, an investigation ensued that determined Hayley “willfully and deliberately possessed and consumed prescription medication at school, knowing that her actions were in violation of school rules,” adding that she “put the safety and well-being of other students and staff at risk.” 
The staff and students were in danger.  
Would someone remind why we’re supposed to send our children to public schools? 


  1. Ridiculous. Yes - a simple phone call to remind the parents of the med policy.

    And now the emotional damage the school inflicted on this young lady - now EVERYONE knows that she has acne.... .AACKKK!!!

  2. I was just reading on yahoo how 65 million people have trouble getting past the application back ground check because of minor or mistaken charges that happened to them years ago. How is this incident going to follow this young lady. Will she have problems getting into colleges? a job? Thanks public schools for ruining another life.

  3. Arby, I would remind you why if I could think of a reason why. But for the life of me, I can't think of one single reason why I would want to entrust the care of my precious children to these imbeciles.

    Stuff like this makes me crazy.

  4. That reminds me of the news story a while ago (maybe you guys already featured it and I'm dumbly repeating old news) of the senior Honor student who inadvertantly grabbed her father's lunchbox instead of her own on the way out the door. (Both lunchboxes were identical.) At school, she was arrested because there was a paring knife in the lunchbox to cut up the apple also inside. Administrators refused to believe it was just a simple mix-up, expelled her from school, and now she has a "criminal" record, all because she grabbed the wrong lunchbox. All of this despite the fact that she was an honor student who had never even sneezed the wrong way before this.

  5. At a convention a couple of weeks ago, I talked with a family (a VERY distressed family) about curriculum for their 1st grade son. He'd recently been suspended from school for one year for bringing a pocket knife to school for show and tell. True story. And NOW, the same helpful people who left them with no other recourse but to homeschool, are challenging the parents decision to homeschool. They want to see the curriculum they use, they want regular reports of his progress, they want to test him, etc.

    Here's what I told them to tell the school. (Sort of.)

    You kicked him out, idiots. Game over. You lose.

  6. I foolishly sent our daughter to public Kindergarten. She was (mid year) prescribed an asthma inhaler, which she was to carry with her. The powers that be FLIPPED OUT. Violation of school policy and all. Students cannot carry medications on the school bus. Nothing they could do. So sorry. I said, no problem. I will of course, be expecting the school to purchase an additional air chamber,($150) and the medication($200) since our insurance would only pay for ONE, and it is YOUR policy, not mine. Dead silence...
    The Earth MOVED, the sea parted, and school policy (it seems) was not quite so set in stone after all...when cash is involved! She carried her inhaler the rest of the year, until we returned to happily homeschooling!

  7. Welcome, Kimberly! How can such "highly qualified" educators be so ridiculously stupid as to not be able to recognize and deal with the difference between showing zero tolerance toward the irresponsible and illicit use of drugs by students in school and denying a child a professionally prescribed (and very necessary) medication? The lunacy of their position is incredible.

    Wow....thanks for sharing!

  8. Hi Linda!

    Thanks for the warm welcome! Yes, this was just one in a series of truly bizarre experiences when we moved back to the district my husband and I graduated from (including actually physically LOSING our 5 year old on her first day of school for 2 hours...then ridiculing me in the office for my concern over the whereabouts of my child)

    And I am in a highly regulated state...I still ANSWER to these bone heads!