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School Suspends Students For Riding Bikes to School

Posted by on May 22, 2012 | 13 Comments

One of my goals has been to promote a healthy lifestyle by getting people to participate in physical activities. I was shocked to hear this story from our former employer. A large group of seniors rode their bikes to school on their last day. The principal suspended them.

There’s no need to express my feelings. In this age of growing obesity and lack of exercise, especially among children, the absurdity of the decision speaks for itself.

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2012/05/kenowa_hills_seniors_suspended.html

This could have been handled in a way that could start an awesome tradition that would have turned out to be immensely positive. Instead, the decision-makers set a horrible precedent that casts them in a really bad light. The handling of this situation is indicative of the pervasive attitudes in the education world.

Quite frankly, it’s not a surprise. Schools don’t seem to understand a basic element of dealing with teens- create an authoritarian police state and kids rebel. Create an environment of mutual respect and shared learning and kids flourish. [sigh]

This is one of the reasons we decided to walk away from the teaching profession.

What are your thoughts? Feel free to share the link to the story.

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13 Comments

  1. Emily G
    May 24, 2012

    Wow… They were escorted by a police cruiser and the MAYOR! The principal had the gall to say “I am glad they made it here safely. It was a safety risk,”

    What, were they biking on the interstate??

  2. Aaron
    May 23, 2012

    Our class prank, if you can call it that, was to camp out in front of the school building and have breakfast together to start off our last day of high school… A tradition that was not continued, sadly.

  3. Widgetman
    May 23, 2012

    I went the other way after 20 years in industry. I got so fed up with the poor quality of candidates that applied for the jobs I was making available that I jacked it in and trained as a teacher. I’m trying to change things from the inside – coping with the daily incomprehensibility, lack of common sense, lack of leadership, lack of funding, lack of appropriate roll models, glacial rate of change, fear of the unknown, bureaucracy, micro management, and PC gone mad nature of the world of education in the UK. Maybe I’m the mad one ……

  4. Richard
    May 23, 2012

    Good grief, what a moronic thing to do (the teacher, not the students).

    Here in Japan kids have to either walk or ride bicycles to school, and are also encouraged to do loads of running around while at school.

    Although I can understand why you walked away, Jason, it’s a shame that your former (and future) students miss out on having a great teacher. I’m sure all of us can remember at least one teacher who inspired us in whatever way. If great teachers keep leaving because of a stupid system, it’s ultimately the kids who lose out.

    Anyway, any principal who punishes physical exercise needs kicking up the arse and/or removing from the position.

  5. Bare Lee
    May 23, 2012

    It was good of her to put her foot down. Next thing you know they’d be occupying the principal’s office and demanding better tatter totters at the graduation ceremony, or perhaps questioning the constitutionality of some of our government’s recent decrees and whoreful legislation.

  6. Tim
    May 23, 2012

    I laugh/cry at this as my school (student teacher here…) is on the eve of it’s twice yearly ‘walk n roll’ in which students are encouraged to walk, ride bikes, scooter or skate to school. Sounds like the principal overreacted (though i do have to concede that the morning of the ride is a bit late to try and organize traffic control, etc.).

  7. MIranda
    May 22, 2012

    Am I missing something? Is there a rule against riding bikes to school? I’ve never heard of anything so preposterous.

  8. Glenn
    May 22, 2012

    Let’s follow this line of logic:

    -Students organize “prank”: ride a few miles to school in a group
    -Police and the local mayor provide safety detail and support
    -Principal gets a wild hair up her ass
    -Principal suspends students over “safety concerns”, makes students ride their bikes back home as punishment

  9. Chadisbarefoot
    May 22, 2012

    This is a perfect example of the complete absence of creativity in our education system. Outside-the-box thinking gets the beatdown in public schools, and kids are not the only victims.

    /publicschoolteacher

  10. Victor Reynolds
    May 22, 2012

    Oh give me a break! What “evils” did these students do? Calling a police escort and riding responsibily? That should be commended. The principal obviously was on some damned power trip when she made her decision.

    I could see why you walked away from the teaching profession Jason.

  11. jeff
    May 22, 2012

    I’m going to take a moment to ignore the fact that the the “offense” was totally not a prank…

    The kids were suspended for something that happened away from school grounds! The closest thing I can find to a “crime” is delaying traffic, and making some teachers late. I can only assume if a student drove to school and got into an accident, which delayed traffic, he too would be suspended, right?

  12. Brian G
    May 22, 2012

    You get suspended for vandalism. Overturning and burning cars. Bullying. Beating someone up. Trashing personal property.

    Suspended for riding a bike?!?

  13. Kenneth D
    May 22, 2012

    I’m with you Jason, the principal seemed to make the worst decision possible in dealing with this event.

    Your idea of making it a tradition is a truly great one.