18 February 2007

Stupid Schools

Via Reason came this choice story about a high school principal with (apparently) bigger things to worry about than education: senior Patrick Agin, who participates in the Society for Creative Anachronism, and wanted his yearbook photo to reflect his interests.

I went to school with kids like this, too. They're typically smart, passionate about history, and, yes, creative. I never bought into the whole "creative anachronism" construct, but never once did I think these were kids with serious issues -- kids who shouldn't be allowed to play with their swords if they want to. (If there were dangers around, it was usually from the dumb kids, not the smart ones.)

That they wouldn't let this kid use this photo is, in a word, absurd. But it also reflects a constrained mentality about how to encourage kids' interests, and and about what constitutes a real threat to the American way of life (as with yesterday's New York Times story about girls who participate in wrestling -- with boys). The only good thing is that, as Reason notes in an update, the school gave in, after some legal pressure was applied. Here's to the ACLU, despite the fact that this fight should not have had to happen in the first place.


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