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School Board has apparently lost their mind

By   /   October 31, 2012  /   Comments

 Just when I think the brain trust we call a school board can’t do anything dumber, they seem to feel like they just have to prove me wrong. The latest is the suspension of Turner Elementary teacher Tracey Drayton. Drayton’s offense? Slapping a child.

Maybe it’s just me, but this is the kind of thing that clearly warrants termination. Dr. Joshua Murfree, who I have disagreed with on just about everything up to this point in his tenure, also felt this case warranted termination. The school board committee that heard the case? Nah, let’s just suspend for 30 days.

For the record, there’s no dispute of Drayton hitting the student. She’s admitted that much. So why does she still have a job?

Reportedly, she had a great record before this incident. However, there’s a saying that it only takes one “Aw crap” to erase a whole lot of “atta boys”. This is a prime example. I honestly don’t care if she had been teacher of the year every year she’s been in the system. She. Hit. A. Child. Why is there even debate?

Drayton may be a fantastic teacher, but she crossed the line. Hitting a student in anything other than self defense is never acceptable. Never. Unfortunately, this is a mixed signal to our kids.

My son has been told over and over not to hit another student. He’s not the aggressive type, so it’s not been an issue, but he’s been the victim of bullying. More than once, a student was the aggressor and my son was told not to hit back. He isn’t allowed to defend himself. Failure to do so could get him in deep trouble. They tell him it’s wrong to hit.

However, my son is a kid. Kids are learning, and if he defends himself from an attack, he’s being attacked by someone his age and I honestly don’t think he should get the same punishment as the aggressors. Drayton is an adult. She knows better. Further, she hit a child. Please tell me how this is even remotely right?

So now Drayton is out of work for a mere 30 days. She’ll have to go to some anger management classes as well. Pardon me if I’m not really impressed by the decision of the school board. I thought a decision like this should have been a slam dunk. Obviously, it’s not.

The one time Joshua Murfree gets a call right, we get a school board that doesn’t seem to recognize it in the least. No wonder our school system is so completely jacked up.

Tom Knighton is the Editor and Publisher of the Albany Journal.

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