Readers — The very best thing about this horrifying story (tweeted about it the other day) is this perfect comment about the school nurse who watched a boy slip into unconsciousness because of a form not signed. (It didn’t even matter that he had his medicine with him and the medicine had his name on it):
Policy is meaningless if it is followed in blind obedience without consideration of the full consequences of not deviating.
Right! I think that a lot of what is driving us all crazy about incidents like this, and Zero Tolerance absurdities, and even CPS travesties, boils down to that simple problem: Blind obedience. So the question is:
How do we RE-AUTHORIZE people to use their brains and hearts?
That’s a really key issue. It’s the issue when guards won’t let a young boy use the community center bathroom because it’s after hours. It’s the issue when a school suspends kids for a “prank” that’s really a morale booster. It’s the issue when a parent gets a ticket for letting their kid wait in the car, even though the child is safe and comfortable. Blind obedience to overarching laws written with an eye to avoiding lawsuits, or an eye to uber-safety.
We have to change the laws and we have to change the mentality of the people enforcing them. Any ideas of how to get there are greatly appreciated. – L.