It's a subject that many like to stay clear of because of a lot of really nasty things that's been said and done both because of and about what this or that senseless idiots has done or said. These actions and statements combined with the reactions to them and the retaliations make for a vicious circle where things continue to escalate until some kind of full scale war breaks out.
As a result of all this, a lot of people would rather just turn a blind eye to something instead of dealing with it, others allow things to go on because even if they won't admit it they think it's ok or somehow right, then there's the one's that just don't give a rat's ass. I am not a hamster, I fully understand the reasons why a lot of people would simply rather not deal with a thing. That does not change the fact that something is wrong and very much needs to be dealt with.
I'm sure you're wondering "What inspired this little rant?" Well, this isn't a rant, it's not even close to a rant, I have not yet even begun to rant. This was inspired by a series of blog posts that began with one titled "Whatchu gun-do bout it cracka?", in which I found the story of kids in a high school that had to deal with groups of black and hispanic kids cutting in the lunch line. When the kids who were already there complained about it, they were asked Whatchu gun-do bout it cracka? and called assorted "reverse racist" names and threatened with various forms of violence from the offenders.
Authority on the scene (translation: lunch monitor) then ends up taking the side of the offenders and punishing the kids who complained about the others cutting in line. This punishment consists of anything from being sent to the back of the line to being denied a hot lunch, getting what's known as a "sub lunch" instead.
By the way, did you know that it's actually illegal to deny kids a hot lunch that are on the free or reduced price lunch program? (Not that it shouldn't be illegal to deny *any* kid a hot lunch)
The "sub lunch" is just that. Sub. As in sub-standard, not fit even for sub-humans or animals. Consisting of apparently whatever nasty thing available in the cafeteria at the time. In the case related in the post I'm talking about it consisted of a *frozen* (as in it was not thawed) turkey sandwich, a rotting apple, and a three day old milk. In my opinion, the person who ordered that to be served and the idiot in training who actually served it should be up on charges. There is flat out zero excuse for this kind of crap.
Kat, The mother of the two boys in the story, contacted the school board and left a detailed message for the person in charge of the high school. Far as I know, she hasn't gotten a reply yet.
In a followup post the next day titled "Will investgate and call me back", Kat's story continues as she contacts the school and leaves a message asking for the principal to call back. When lunchtime arrives and the principal had not called back yet, she called the school again. This time they asked her for details of what the call was about and she gave them enough of the short version to elicit an "audible cringe" from the person taking the message.
Kat's third post, "I feel violent now.", brings the update that the principal finally called her back around 3pm.
Basically, the principal said that this was the first time she has heard about this kind of issue, and when I told her that it's because the students are afraid to speak out about it because they have been threatened with being beaten up, she still insisted that if she doesn't know about it, she can't do anything to resolve the issue.
She said if anything like that happens again, that the boys need to go to her office right when it's happening, and tell her right as it happens. Yeah, being threatened with an ass kicking is really going to motivate students to go tattle tale right then and there huh? That's like walking around with a big sign that says I just told on you, come kick my ass please.
Ok, it's obvious to me that this person is at the very least being "willfully ignorant" about the situation because they don't want to deal with it (or because they somehow think it's ok.)
As for the frozen turkey sandwich ....
She said she will try to have more supervisors in the cafeteria, but that she cannot guarantee that things will be seen by anyone, and as for the frozen turkey sandwich, she is still investigating that part of the story.
None of the lunch ladies admit to not serving Mark his hot lunch like they were ordered not to, so she will have to go through the computer records for the keypad where the students type in their student number after the lunch lady enters in which type of lunch the student was served.
If he was served a sub lunch, it will be a certain number code, hot lunch is a different number code, the salad bar and $2 a slice pizza bar, is another number code. If he was given the sub lunch and the lunch lady entered that code, then he entered his student number, it will prove what kind of food he was served, but she does not believe that he was given a frozen turkey sandwich. She said the sub lunches are simply pre-packaged cold lunch meat sandwiches for students who choose not to have a hot lunch that day, and she doesn't think that his sandwich was frozen.
All I can say here is that I have little doubt that if checked, the code will show that he had the hot lunch. It will do so because that particular variety of "sub lunch" is obviously un-official and when a kid is given that, the person entering codes puts in the one for the hot lunch so that the staff's butts are appropriately covered.
So what the hell do I do now?
If I go to the media, they will want to interview the boys or they won't report the story, the boys will be on tv, and then they'll surely get beat up.
I so wish I wasn't in the shape I am in, I would go to the school every day, take pictures, hang out in the cafeteria, and film what happens myself, post it all up on youtube, label it as the name of the high school and where, just and start being a royal pain in the ass to the principal, force her to do something.
I've a few thoughts here Kat. First I think that going to the media is a good idea. Make it clear to them that your boys are not going to appear on camera or be identified by name in the story.
Secondly, getting video of this stuff and posting it on YouTube is a great idea also. I understand that you can't do this yourself but seems to me that there's plenty of other parents in the area with the same problem. From the sound of it, odds are pretty good that you know some of those parents. Perhaps one (or more!) of them would be willing to do something like that.
Another thing to think about is that as a blogger, you ARE the media (or at least part of it.). You've started by blogging about it, there's been a bunch of people commenting on your posts and I'm sure that I am not the only one writing about it on my own blog. This needs more bloggers writing about it, making noise, emailing the television station about it, Etc. Etc.
The old saying goes "The squeaky wheel gets the grease", so make noise, lots of it, until something is done about it. Keep the rest of us updated and I for one will continue to blog about it along with you. Madame Principal obviously doesn't want the press involved, what she doesn't know is that in a very real way bloggers are the "New Press". Word can spread about something quick from blog to blog until it touches so many news feeds that somebody HAS to do something about it.
Somebody (I think it was Ben Franklin) said that "The pen is mightier than the sword" and it's true.
And a large enough and / or loud enough blog or blogs can beat the living snot out of any pen made.
Technorati Tags: cutting, reverse racism, lunch line, bullying, sub lunch, lunch program, substandard lunch, hot lunch, racism, cutting in line, hispanic kids, threats, cutting in line, black kids, violence