Thursday, May 11, 2006

I love stories like this, LVII

The high school prom is a high point – maybe the high point – of a teen's school days, right? Maybe that'll change in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts, where some prom dates – specifically, boys that don't attend Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School – have to pass a new kind of muster:
Kenneth Jenks, D-Y principal, confirmed Monday that the school ran criminal records checks on any non-D-Y students invited to Saturday's prom and that at least six dates were denied a ticket because of some type of criminal history involving a drug or alcohol offense or violent crime.

I guess that's what we want, then, right? Criminal background checks conducted by school officials on potential prom dates.

My somewhat sardonic young friend, Jessica, wrote:
Of course, if you have a criminal history but attend DY High, then I guess you're free to attend.

Jerry Pournelle has an explanation for all of this: his Iron Law of Bureaucracy.
Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. Examples in education would be teachers who work and sacrifice to teach children, vs. union representative who work to protect any teacher including the most incompetent. The Iron Law states that in all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions.

I would go further: Not only have the government-funded compulsory attendance matriculation centers mastered self-preservation, but they have assumed more and more of the parenting role for the children in their charge. My wife, Janet, and I are going to find out about that tomorrow when we meet with the school psychologist, our first-grader's teacher, and the school principal. I'm afraid we're going to be told that we have not been exemplary parents. More later.

1 comment:

jessica Menn said...

Of course, if you have a criminal history but attend DY High, then I guess you're free to attend.