Wednesday, November 21, 2007

On being correct, III

Zero tolerance or zero intelligence? You decide:
Students Suspended For Fake Drug Use In PSA

WAYNESBURG. PA - Two students at Waynesburg Central High School have been suspended for 10 days because of the way they depicted an activity they were trying to discourage. John DiBuono and his classmate made a public service announcement for a TV workshop. They used crushed Smarties candies. In the video, his friend pretended to snort cocaine. It was supposed to be a message against using drugs.

In a statement, the Jerome Bartley, superintendent of the Central Greene School District, said: "Although the individuals involved were not using illicit drugs, the district's policy prohibits look-a-like drugs, substances, liquids or devices."

It's listed in the student handbook, but DiBuono's father says the punishment doesn't fit. "I believe that the discipline is a bit excessive, and you know this was clearly an anti-drug statement," he said.

In addition to the suspension, DiBuono, a 4.0 student, said he was told to attend drug counseling. "The only words said in the entire public service announcement was, 'Don't do drugs,' and now I'm being sent to rehabilitation conference," he said. "I think it's a little ridiculous."

The superintendent says the students weren't assigned to do a public service announcement that day but instead, "took it upon themselves to produce a short video depicting drug use."

DiBuono says it was an ongoing project.

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