Class Action Suit

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

A mildly amused mother's take on the current status of student rights.

When did an iPod become required school locker accoutrement? When did receiving a car on one’s 16th birthday become a right, so inalienable that Child Protective Services could be brought in if little Amber were to awake on her special day and not find a Jetta in the driveway? And when did it become required by law to notify students they would be tested on material spoon fed to them in class.

“I can’t believe Ms. Skerritt actually thought she was going to give us a test on Friday,” Kate, my eldest, related during dinner, invoking a tone akin to one in which one might exclaim, “And then she kissed my husband square on the lips!”
 
Naively, I responded, “What’s wrong with having a test on Friday? It gives you all week to study.”
 
Kate stared at me in astonishment, as if I’d just asked her to put her dishes in the dishwasher herself. “The Homecoming Dance is Friday and I don’t want my mood to be spoiled by having a test earlier in the day,” she deadpanned.
 
“Well, if the teacher scheduled the test for Friday, you’re S.O.L., “I replied, smugly defending the authority of adults everywhere.
 
“Hardly,” Kate rolled her eyes. “We told her we’re not taking it Friday. So she moved it to next Tuesday.”
 
I shook my head, wondering what kind of milquetoast teacher could be so easily run roughshod over by a group of teenagers. “If I were your teacher, I’d have said fine to not taking the test Friday – and would have made you take it right there on the spot!”
 
“You can’t! It’s illegal!” my youngest, Alison, interjected defiantly. She’s only 12, but apparently well-versed in education law.
 
“Illegal?” I laughed, until a quick post-dinner Google search confirmed that it was, indeed, illegal in the state of Maryland to administer a test without providing at least three day’s notice.
 
Back when I was in school (I’m over forty and permitted to use such introductory phrases), we were not legally entitled to notification of tests. 
 
I can envision a future wherein students are required to receive written notice of exams, and subpoena-like documents are issued providing 14-day notification. I quake at the thought of 12 year olds being accompanied to class by legal representation, pausing to conference with slick attorneys before raising their hand to respond to the teacher’s question, “Now who can tell me the capital of Wisconsin?”
 
Consider the legal outcroppings!
 
TEST RESULTS THROWN OUT! REQUIRED USE OF NO. 2 PENCIL RULED UNCONSTITUTIONAL
 
TEACHER ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF POP QUIZZING!
 
F. LEE BAILEY RETAINED TO REPRESENT 7 YEAR-OLD CAUGHT PASSING NOTES IN CLASS!
 
While amused by the seemingly lopsided status of modern-day student rights, I wondered if this trend was perhaps producing a better educated generation. This question was quickly answered a few days later when I asked Kate to make a bag lunch for herself for school the next day, a task I’d traditionally handled.
 
To this simple request, 15 year-old Kate, National Honor Society member, owner of a 3.97 GPA, a child for whom a bag lunch has been prepared each day since she scampered off to kindergarten, replied straight-faced, “I don’t know what goes in a lunch."


Submitted: February 17, 2010

© Copyright 2022 Candy Parker. All rights reserved.

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