Thursday, January 13, 2005

Poor Master Jordan

Today's Windsor Star contains an article about an 11 year old public schoolboy suspended for (gasp) gelling his hair into a mohawk replica of his soccer hero, David Beckham. It seems the more things change,the less school authorities are able to adapt. T'was ever thus.

Upon attending his class, young Master Jordan was confronted by his teacher and told to wash the gel from his hair. He refused and was sent to the office. There he once more refused to comply on the grounds that, "I think I should be able to wear my hair the way I want to." Silly Master Jordan.

When contacted, his mother supported his son on the grounds that, "It's not hurting anybody." She said she supports her son's desire to express himself through his hairstyle and there's nothing in the school policy that prohibits students from sporting a Mohawk. Silly mom. (It may be genetic.)

Apparently the school's failure to anticipate gelled Mohawks in its dress code was no deterrent to those who must be obeyed. He was suspended for two weeks! (We are told that the length of the suspension was determined by the fact that, "there was a history of issues over Jordan's behaviour." I bet. After all, the kid shows signs of possessing spunk (or is that punk?).

"I told the vice-principal he will be coming to school tomorrow with his hair like that," Muzzin [his mother] said, pointing to Jordan's spikes. (Teachers to the left of them. Principals to the right. Into the valley of death rode the Muzzin family.)

But superintendent Rod Peturson said such disruptions hurt other students, who come to school prepared to study. "If I'm a parent and I want my kid at school for an education, I don't want some kid's fashion statement to become a distraction."

Peturson said he applauds Jordan's teacher for wanting to keep the classroom "focused on instruction.... It was the ongoing gel, the mess and the primping which became a distraction."

I agree. Aside from the pure horror of the distraction, as a child of the sixties, I know in my heart that if you allow unorthodox hairstyles to flourish in the schools, the streets will soon be filled with peacenicks and the coalition of the willing will lose the war in Iraq. It's happened before.

So Master Jordan, I'm afraid John the Mad must support the cruel and arbitrary decision of the Superintendent Peturson. I know you probably aren't aware that the geopolitical destiny of the West is intimately entwined with your emerging testosterone surges and your antipathy to follow the bleating sheep in your classroom. But it is. O'the innocence of youth.

In your young exuberance and your mother's guileless simplicity you may think you'll win this struggle for independence, but I have every confidence in the capacity of the public school authorities to extinguish any trace of independent thinking from your character. They are the Borg. There must be no fashion distractions. You will be assimilated. The fate of the Western world depends on it.


At 6:22 pm, January 13, 2005 , Blogger Kateland, aka TZH said...

I would love to see how he would make out at the daughter's school. No makeup, jewellery, piercings or tattoos allowed, a restricted a hair code to comply with, ties, jackets, and shirts tucked in on all occassions. Detentions are even liberally handed out if you are caught out of dress code off school property but in the school uniform.

At 9:39 pm, January 13, 2005 , Blogger John the Mad said...

Good heavens Kate. Until now no reader knew you had a daughter in the Royal Military College. Congratulations.

At 10:48 am, January 14, 2005 , Blogger Babbling Brooks said...

...or condolences from 18808.

In any case, I think it's a private high-school, not RMC, right Kate? I have experience with one of those, too.

Personally, if I had it to do over again, I'd go to public school for classes, and use the tuition, uniform, books, food, and miscellaneous expense money to fund an extensive outside-the-classroom education. Out of country exchanges. Camping trips in the North. Visits to the best museums worldwide.

I certainly won't be sending my son to the school from which I graduated grade thirteen.

At 2:28 pm, January 14, 2005 , Blogger Kateland, aka TZH said...

Sorry for misunderstanding - she's not at RMC but a private prep school - actually Last Amazon's first choice of university is RMC and she is certainly being groomed.

At 2:38 pm, January 14, 2005 , Blogger John the Mad said...

I was joking about RMC, though my erstwhile colleagues in the Forces who went there say its a great place. In my time it was not coed. That and my iffy high school marks determined a civilian university for me.

At 3:28 pm, January 14, 2005 , Blogger Babbling Brooks said...

John, your former colleagues who speak fondly of RMC do so purely in hindsight. At the time, I can assure you, it's a bit of a grind. Having said that, I'd recommend it to the right sort of individual. The place nearly sucked me dry when I attended, but some folks thrive.

I was at my class' ten-year reunion a couple of autumns back, though, and it was great. I have more in common with classmates I haven't seen in a decade than I do with people I work with daily. You don't find that at just any school, or in just any job.

Kate, be sure The Last Amazon understands it's tough being female at the College. In my experience, about half the women were super-competent, and the other half were there to fill a quota. Not much middle ground in between. Unfortunately, the super-competent were continually having to prove they weren't there on quota. Not fair. On a positive note, though, she'll probably like the male to female ratio at the school: when I attended it was eight to one. ;)

At 4:38 pm, January 14, 2005 , Blogger John the Mad said...

Point well taken, Damien.

I fondly remember standing at attention on the tarmac in 100 degree heat, while my hours of spit-shined shoe polish melted into puddles around me. Or a buddy and I cleaning floors with a toothbrush late into the night for making a comment while we were standing easy. As I recall he looked at his watch and said, "It's three o'clock." I muttered, "Really."

The ground shook, the heavens split open, a giant fist appeared in the sky and a voice boomed out over the firmament, "You two miserable creatures ... see me immediately following drill!"

"Yes sergeant!"

I remeber it fondly now. At the time, of course, it was not a good experience. It was sheer utter misery.

There's no life like it.

At 7:18 pm, January 14, 2005 , Blogger Babbling Brooks said...

John, if I can ask a favour of you, would you please spell my name Damian? I have traumatic grade-school memories of being taunted as The Omen. My one solace during that horrible time was that my name was spelled differently than the demon-child's. Throw this dog a bone. ;)

At 9:51 pm, January 14, 2005 , Blogger John the Mad said...


Arrrrhhhhgggg. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.

I can assure you that you've emblazoned the spelling on my pre-frontal lobe for all eternity. I assure you, you show no signs of demon possession on your blog.

Jehn the Med


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