Saul Alinsky Would Be Proud

I don't have a “feminism” category, as I usually leave that to Ann Bartow, who does feminism better than I can. But in this case, Amanda Marcotte has already done all the work.

QuestionAuthority.gifAnd, strangely, I did't have an “activism” category either until now. Via Pandagon we learn of a high school rebellion against a very stupid “no bags” policy.

As any woman reading this is immediately thinking, the problem with not letting students carry even small bags to school is that female students have a very real need to carry pads and tampons. The danger of bleeding through your pants is statistically much higher than the danger that you’re going to turn out to be a school shooter, but that fact didn’t give the assholes who passed this policy pause.

Realizing that it’s a bit problematic to leave female students bleeding from between their legs with no way to plug it up, the school has tried to compensate by allowing students who are currently on their period to bring small bags to school during their period, but no other time. Anyone who was ever a teenage girl and remembers the high percentages of creepy men—many who work in schools—who enjoy humiliating you by prying into your privacy can see the immediate problems with this policy.

And, in fact, kids were being humiliated by the guards.

The students organized a protest reminiscent of Saul Alinsky's chewing gum rebellion, described in Rules for Radicals. (The students at a strict school complained they weren't allowed to do anything except chew gum. He suggested that they chew lots of it, and leave it around until the administration agreed to their demands.)

The small Sullivan County school has been in an uproar for the last week. Girls have worn tampons on their clothes in protest, and purses made out of tampon boxes. Some boys wore maxi-pads stuck to their shirts in support.

After hearing that someone might have been suspended for the protest, freshman Hannah Lindquist, 14, went to talk to Worden. She wore her protest necklace, an OB tampon box on a piece of yarn. She said Worden confiscated it, talked to her about the code of conduct and the backpack rule — and told her she was now “part of the problem.”

Which shows that we have another school where the kids are smarter than the administration.

Question authority!

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4 Responses to Saul Alinsky Would Be Proud

  1. brat says:

    I prepare educational leaders as part of my job. This is going to be a fabulous example of “boneheaded leadership.”

    And by banning bags, the school has now created a health and safety hazard, besides embarrassing the hell out of 1/2 of the student population.

    Good for the students for highlighting just how adolescent the adults in charge are.

  2. Ann Bartow says:

    Update from the local paper here:
    http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070929/NEWS/709290329/-1/COMM04

    Sounds to me like a restrictive but not completely insane policy: “banning backpacks or any bag large enough to hold a textbook from the hallways, except at the start and end of the day,” combined with an overzealous and assholish guard who asked a girl with a “too large” purse if she had her period, several calls to the media, and then enter the tabloidish sensationalism of Fox News and its ilk.

    The “no backpacks in the halls” rule is fairly common around the nation, especially at overcrowded schools or schools with narrow hallways. But students are generally allowed small to medium sized purses, pencil cases, etc. to supplement the storage capacity of their pockets, and in fact it sounds like that is the actual policy at Tri-Valley High. I say this not only in reliance on the news account linked above, but because I have a family member who teaches in that school district, although not at that particular school, and that is how she understands the policy, and that is how it is enforced at her school.

  3. Ann Bartow says:

    Top news story from the Times Herald Record today? Boy Hit With Apple.
    http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071001/NEWS/710010327

  4. Jean Camp says:

    The cop who is policing this is available for school duty because he was fired for fiscal corruption:
    http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070928/NEWS/709280342
    Whomever thought this guy was worthy of being placed in charge of these young people is him or her self incompetent.

    I guess none of the parents know any lawyers, alas.

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