Officials at William Floyd High School in New York recently hit Maverick Stow, a 17-year-old student, with a five-day suspension for coming to school on a Tuesday in early September, a “designated remote learning day” for Stow. The school district said that Stow believed he should attend school in-person five days a week, not four. That’s right, Stow was suspended for not skipping school.
To make matters worse, the student-criminal returned to school on the Wednesday and Thursday following his suspension and was promptly arrested by the Suffolk County Police Department for unlawfully entering school grounds. Though the district said it agrees with Stow’s view that in-person instruction should take place five days a week, it also said it was required to follow state social distancing regulations and labeled his actions as “irresponsible and selfish behavior.” And a “publicity stunt.” Huh? State social distancing regulations allow students to attend school “in-person” four days a week but not five? Do the powers that be think trimming the number of students allowed on campus by 20% makes all the difference?
Apparently. The district noted, "We are still in the midst of a pandemic and will abide by the regulations set in place by our government and health officials designed to keep our students and staff safe. As we have said, Mr. Stow's rights as a student do not surpass the rights of any of our other 8,799 students; they should not have to come to school to witness this circus atmosphere each day." Circus atmosphere? The students that have come to school should not have to witness the “circus atmosphere” created by…a student attempting to come to school?
The school district issued a statement reading: "If Mr. Stow continues to try to access school grounds each day that we are open, we will close the high school - and its approximately 3,000 students - to all in-person learning and it will be all virtual for the foreseeable future. We will not condone or allow students to flagrantly break the law in our schools.” By attending them each day. Alrighty then. Students used to be punished for not coming to school. In days of yore that was called truancy. Now everything is bass-ackward, and truth is punished more often than truancy. District officials threaten to close the school and sentence all 3,000 of its students to virtual home detention because one student wishes to attend it five days a week? That just proves they have no class. Virtual or otherwise.
Maybe the aptly named “Maverick” should have simply claimed he was “protesting”…which in a sense he was. After all, officials don’t label rioters’ actions as “irresponsible and selfish behavior,” or as “publicity stunts.” Nor do they claim protesters create a “circus atmosphere.” And they typically don’t arrest them, either.