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Kneel Before the King Tyrant Emperor Principal! *Updated*

Did one California principal institute a safety policy that included genuflection to him and his staff?

by
Chris Queen

Bio

August 26, 2013 - 1:00 pm
Principal Dana Campbell tried to build a cult of personality around his leadership.

Principal Dana Campbell tried to build a cult of personality around his leadership.

On the Right we decry the public educational system on a regular basis. While many times the leftward bias in the schools deserves our scrutiny, sometimes words like “indoctrination” seem hyperbolic. At the same time, we can find school administrators who wield tons of power and use it in ways that are, well, downright weird.

Witness Dana Carter, the new principal at Calimesa Elementary School in Yucaipa, CA. Principal Carter began the school year with a policy calling for students to kneel in place at given times until he appeared and dismissed them.

School district officials in San Bernardino County say they will discontinue a policy that required elementary school students to kneel down before being dismissed to class.

Principal Dana Carter at Calimesa Elementary School had reportedly instituted the policy, which called for students at various times of the school day to kneel down on one knee and wait for the principal or another administrator to dismiss them, as a safety measure.

Sure, the school’s official version of events sounds harmless enough — it’s a “safety measure.” But the parents got wind of the policy and read something different altogether into it.

At least one mother told KCAL9′s Tom Wait she was upset after hearing that her 7-year-old daughter was allegedly forced to kneel before Carter.

“She says that she has to drop down on one knee with her hands at her side, wait for the principal to come out, lift his arms and tell them to go to class,” said the mom.

“I feel that the principal wants to be like a king, and we don’t have kings in America,” she added.

Parents distributed flyers protesting the policy. The flyers contained such lines as:

All students must stop and “KNEEL DOWN” before the bell rings, and for them to be excused by either himself or an administrative staff member. [sic]

IS IT OK FOR YOUR SON AND/OR DAUGHTER TO KNEEL DOWN TO THEM?

Campbell bowed to public pressure and ended the policy, and he has vowed to meet with parents to develop alternative safety measures.

To me, this story isn’t so much a political issue as it is a matter of a dumb choice on the part of school officials. The measure smacks of an attempt to build a cult of personality around the principal. What would be next? New uniforms, complete with brown shirts? Children dutifully singing songs in his honor? Thank God the school district had the good sense to end the policy before it became too entrenched.

What do you think? Would you allow your child’s school to enact such a policy?

UPDATE:

You remember the old game “Telephone,” where you pass a message through several people, and the message usually gets distorted? Well, it turns out that’s what has happened with this story. The take-a-knee policy is more innocuous than it seems. Ace of Spades summarizes it best:

Basically the school’s idea is this: Kids get all hyper, running around at recess, then they continue that hyper behavior when it’s time to come back in from lunch, running and tripping and shouting like demons, as kids will. So, the school has them take a knee at the end of lunch, as a coach might do, to get that hyper energy to dissipate out from them, and I guess to change their minds over from the Run Like Angry Vikings setting to the Get Ready to Sit Still and Listen to a Teacher Talking setting.

Whatever the merits of this policy are, it certainly isn’t a case of a principal demanding kids kneel before Zod.

So there you have it. Sometimes we can run with an idea without finding out the whole story. I’m guilty of it here, and I offer up my apologies for not doing due diligence.

All Chris Queen wanted to be growing up was a game show host, a weather man, or James Bond. But his writing talent won out. By day, Chris is a somewhat mild-mannered office manager for an IT managed services provider, but by night, he keeps his finger on the pulse of pop culture and writes about it. In addition to his Disney obsession (as evidenced by his posts on this website), Chris's interests include college sports -- especially his beloved Georgia Bulldogs -- and a wide variety of music. A native of Marietta, GA, Chris moved with his family as a child to nearby Covington, GA, where he still makes his home. He is an active charter member of Eastridge Community Church and enjoys spending time with family and friends. In addition to his work at PJ Media, Chris spent nearly a year as a contributor to NewsReal Blog. He has also written for Celebrations Magazine and two newspapers in Metro Atlanta. Check out his website, www.chrisqueen.net.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
"The measure smacks of an attempt to build a cult of personality around the principal."

Oh, I don't know. It worked for Fidel. It worked Kim Il Sung. It worked for Obama...
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
No. A pop-tart chewed into the shape of a gun.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Safety measure? Is he afraid some 7 year old is going to attack him with her Jelly Beans?
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (32)
All Comments   (32)
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I don't think it was an attempt to build a cult of personality around the principal. I think the principal was trying to impose some order and discipline on his students and chose a stupid way of doing it.

Kneel down until you are dismissed? When I was a nipper, we would just sit in our chairs until dismissed. Alternatively, he could have made them stand in line, stand with their backs to the wall, hold hands, or any number of other things.

I'm glad they told this guy to knock it off. He sounds weird. Not a budding fascist, just weird.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Re: "Oh, thank heavens the policy was discontinued!"

WTH?! WHY HASN'T THIS DANGEROUS CHILD-ABUSING EGOMANIAC BEEN FIRED AND FORCED TO TAKE PSYCHIATRIC COUNSELLING?!
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe because there was no abuse, and nothing at all egomaniacal about it?


Even without the link that BodiazRising posted, it should have been obvious to any thinking person that this story was being blown waaay out of proportion.

48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good news Chris and everyone else, this story is not at all what it seems. Check out the follow up reporting by Ace of Spades and Dana Loesch. http://danaloeschradio.com/a-failure-of-conservative-media/
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, nice try. But if safety was the motivation, what happens when he raises his arms and dismisses them? A stampede for the door?
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, and if you had any experience in dealing with groups of children, you'd understand that this method works. It establishes order out of chaos, and, once order is established, it's much easier to KEEP order.

Likely, the next step is to dismiss students by small groups. Can't do that when they are all milling around.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank you for that update. I tend to react to things sometimes without checking them. It is easy to get misled by well meaning people.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Calimesa Elementary rates one star on School Digger. A charter school, Inland Leaders Charter, 0.4 miles away rates four stars (out of five). When someone explains how kneeling to the Principal is going to improve the reading score, I'm willing to listen. As it stands, it would appear that the school administration isn't getting the job done.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just another "tell" of the inherent Fascism of the Progressive Left.

Why is this fool still in his job, and in possession of a teaching credential?
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hmmm.

Who is the fool? The educator who understands how to control a crowd of children?

Or the person who reacts without thinking to a badly reported, inflammatory story?
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah, this about the level of analysis I'd expect from an adult who is still obsessed with Disneyland.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Back in the bad ole fifties while in elementary school, when the recesses were to end the school bell/buzzer would sound twice. On the first sounding all play activity was to stop. All the bats, balls, whatever were to be collected and held.

When the second sounding happened we students then flocked in to our class rooms.

No kneeling, bowing, seig heiling.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why can reality keep at least a hand's breadth away from fiction - at least?.....'>.....:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superjail!
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
"And simply asking them to be quiet while being addressed by the teachers or formally dismissed after assembly wouldn't have worked?"

Well, no, probably not. It doesn't work much anymore.

Do you have any involvement with kids these days? In a group setting? I do, with both Boy Scouts and AWANA in a conservative church setting where the kids' behavior would be considered FAR better than what is generally observed out an about in malls, etc.

Even THESE well-behaved (by today's standards) children simply have NO clue about basic decency, basic manners. I'm talking about GOOD kids from good families.

They know NOTHING about shutting their mouths while an adult is addressing the group. They think nothing of running and chasing through crowds of adults. They don't know the meaning of "wait until you are dismissed".

I suspect there was NOTHING about this that even remotely resembles some principal wanting to be bowed to.

He was probably just trying to find an effective way to manage crowd control, absent reasonable instruction at home from parents.

I don't think it was a wise choice, but I'm willing to be my next paycheck that this is not even a molehill, much less the mountain some are trying to make it out to be.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Agreed. We can speculate about his psychology - why he chose that specific posture for kids to assume prior to being dismissed - but I think his conscious motive was innocent.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe, if the parents didn't revolt, he would have the kids sing a
takeoff on that popular school song..."Barack Obama, mmm."

"Dana Campbell, mmmmmm."

Anything is possible in our wonderful public schools.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
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