Hoover schools superintendent: We don't intend to police all off-campus conduct, speech

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Great decision

Schools should be places where students learn right from wrong as an extension of their family. Without teaching kids proper “rules of the road” including proper conversation theirs and others lives can really get hurt.

Absolute Magnitude 108 days ago

The intention is clear

They obviously intend to police all off-campus speech & conduct. Even if they don't, what is to stop the next Superintendent from doing so? This is an outrage and should not be allowed to pass.

Concerned Parent 122 days ago

The Problem with Self Censorship

This proposed rule has sort of triggered me in a way. Obviously, there has been a significant amount of negative feedback from the citizens of Hoover about this proposed rule, because it's a terrible and borderline Orwellian rule. But I'm angry that the new rule was proposed in the first place. This whole thing could have been avoided with better self censorship. We all do it, and it's a mostly a good thing. We all know not to blurt out or post on FB everything that pops into our head. We always have to choose our words wisely. But when you are on a committee that is deciding, in private, a rule that affects almost the entire community like this, you have to challenge bad ideas even at the risk of offending someone else in the room. I can't believe that all 17 people on this code of conduct review committee thought that this was a good idea. So, my guess is that most of the people who disagreed with the new rule just didn't speak up and voice their concern. And this rule is being proposed just a few months after Trump signs an executive order promoting free speech on college campuses? Several people on this committee should have spoken up and explained the many ways that this rule is terrible, but they didn't and that's the problem with self censorship. If someone is too scared to be critical and criticize a bad idea, then they have no business being on a committee that decides things like this. I think the entire code of conduct committee should be replaced. I grew up in Bluff Park and graduated from Berry High School. I was a good student who never had any disciplinary issues. An earlier article listed out just the 20 rules that were being proposed, and I was fairly shocked. There are commonly armed guards in schools now... At some point, as a society, we really need to reflect and ask ourselves are we sending our children to a place of learning or are we sending them into a day-prison.

Lisa P 123 days ago

In support of proposed standard

I applaud the proposed standards. It is vital that all of our students feel safe and not be subject to the disruptions caused by this behavior. That is the paramount concern here. This is not a policy that is hard to follow. Simply don't demean another human being in a way that causes disruption in the environment. For those of you who haven't read the standard, here is the language:
"Conduct that disrupts the school environment: Conduct (including language) that has the purpose or effect (or that could be reasonably perceived as having the purpose or effect) of disparaging, insulting, degrading, or demeaning any person or class of persons based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or any other trait or characteristic that enjoys protection from discrimination or harassment as a matter of law or board policy-including but not limited to e-mails, social media postings, and other forms of communication that creates or substantially contributes to disruption in the school setting, whether or not it takes place on school property or at a school-related event, and whether or not it was intended as a private communication or for a limited audience."
Read the standard, think about it. Think about protecting children from disruption.

Dana Ellis 128 days ago

Sounds good

Be a good little subject, and follow the rules. Nothing to worry about, right? A government wouldn't mislead you, right? 6 million Jews, 20 million Soviet "dissidents" and untold millions of Native Americans just might disagree.
A school board has absolutely no right to censor speech outside of the school campus or school activities.
How about thinking about protecting children (as well as the rest of us) from massive government overreach and tyranny?

James Ford 124 days ago

unnecessary

Hoover is a diverse school, and I'm sure the vast majority of the students are for and proud of the schools diversity. If a student says/does something bad enough to disrupt the school, then he or she is going to face serious backlash from her friends, fellow students, and even strangers on social media, like this girl from Spain Park did. Her father was contemplating selling his business, and moving to a different city because of it. She (and her family) have been punished more harshly and quickly than the school ever could. So we already have a set of rules called "social norms". Like Roseanne, this girl said something that she shouldn't and wouldn't have said because she was under the influence of drugs/alcohol. This should be a teachable moment for telling your kids 'this is what can happen when you take drugs/alcohol'. Schools and growing up are supposed to be about preparing a child for life. If you protect them from disruptions like these instead of allowing them to learn from other's mistakes, how are they going to be able to defend/protect themselves and learn as an adult?

Lisa P 123 days ago

How about this?

Instead of trampling on the first amendment rights of students in an arbitrary and possibly dangerous way why not EDUCATE students on the events they are demeaning with their inappropriate language. A visit to the Civil Rights Museum downtown for all juniors or seniors at both schools. The events displayed are accurate and gripping. A discussion after the trip which could include both black and white adults that lived thru it would put a human face on what is just a distant memory to these young people. History/civics classes watching Schindler's List, The Diary of Ann Frank, or other such films would again make real the events in Germany and what precipated the Second World War. Again some are still alive that lived thru these events use their knowledge to educate so history will not repeat itself.
The school administration has started down a slippery slope. For those who do not remember this is how it started in Germany. History has a bad habit of repeating itself if we let.

Linda Chastain 128 days ago

How about this?

Well said. I agree wholeheartedly with you. Too many “good intention” laws can be twisted to become a controlling device open to interpretation. This type of prevention should be handled by parents. If parents are not involved in their children’s discipline, then the community can become involved.

Cheryl 125 days ago

Agree, well said

While as a parent I would be saddened and ashamed if my children talked like the students in the video that caused the ruckus in the first place, I think it is wrong to try to replace parental and church teachings with removal of free speech and the school now in control of deciding what people can do outside of school limits. It’s bad enough that people are chastised on a daily basis for not being “politically correct”. I dislike discrimination as much as the next person but we are coming very close with this type of thinking to being persecuted for “thinking the wrong way “ or worse yet, speaking those thoughts out loud. Who gets to decide what is harmful and disruptive? Sorry, just too subjective. Let’s fix the root of the problem, let’s educate better, show life lessons and have stricter discipline inside the school. Let’s encourage parents to parent. Let’s encourage society to go back to being allowed to sound out on right and wrong, yes, at the risk of hurting someone’s feelings! Our world and culture has shifted and continues to shift, not in a direction I believe to be healthy.

Lynnette Sefcik 124 days ago

Freedom?

I wonder how someone who obviously failed junior high civics rose to superintendent of "education"? Perhaps Ms. Murphy needs to learn about something called the "First Amendment To The United States Constitution" which protects freedom of speech for all Americans. What's next on her agenda, controlling what church students can and cannot attend? All freedom-loving Americans living in Hoover, and the state of Alabama, should demand her immediate firing as superintendent. If our children are not taught about our rights and freedoms, then we will lose certainly lose them.
"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." -Ronald Reagan.

James Ford 128 days ago