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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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March 6, 2014 - 8:42 am

Legalism has gotten a 14-year-old girl a case of frostbite.

The trouble began when a small science experiment triggered the fire alarm at Como Park Senior High School in St. Paul, Minnesota. Fourteen-year-old Kayona Hagen-Tietz was swimming in the school pool for health class at the time. Her clothes were in her locker, and a teacher told her that there was no time for her to change. Hagen-Tietz was rushed outside–still wet and dressed in only swimsuit.

It was 5 degrees below zero in St. Paul that day. With the windchill, it was 25 degrees below zero.

Hagen-Tietz asked to wait inside an employee’s car, or at the elementary school across the street. But administrators believed that this would violate official policy, and could get the school in trouble, so they opted to simply let the girl freeze.

Her fellow classmates, at least, huddled around her to try to keep her warm. And one teacher did eventually lend her a coat.

At the risk of sounding like a dubstep repeat sequence, everyone involved with this who works in the school system needs to be fired. They literally endangered a student’s life, because they have had their brains shoehorned into narrow legalistic modes of behavior. They shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near kids, and criminal prosecution should be considered. No more fooling around with this idiocy.

Between this and the numerous cases of little kids suspended from school for making a gun with their fingers, going pow-pow, drawing a firearm or even wearing a shirt that mentions Second Amendment rights, our educational system has been unionized and overlawyered right out of common sense.

Here’s a radical set of proposals: Kick the unions permanently out of all public education, fire at least half the administrative staffs in every school system, cut excessive superintendent salaries, stop schools from building ridiculous sports palaces, and let those who do remain in the system think.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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Top Rated Comments   
So you would let a 14 year-old girl freeze to death to "cover your ass"?

Any teacher who would do that DESERVES to be sued into oblivion, and never allowed to practice their "profession" again.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Certainly, some solution, involving having a female teacher chaperone said student, could have been found. That might be enough to hold us "sue-happy" parents at bay.

Bottom line: Your career is more important than a student's safety. Got it.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
May the school administrators be personally sued to oblivion and then criminally charged with child abuse.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (75)
All Comments   (75)
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Why are names never named in these articles? One can Google the school name and get the principal, but - guess what? -- eviidently teacher and staff names are secret information and password-protected. Ditto school board. Ditto teacher's union president.

When cops are sued for malpractice, I can totally get behind it -- you need to get their attention before there is change and a gazillion dollar settlement does have a tendency to focus the attention. But our public schools are already teetering on the brink of bankruptcy so a lawsuit for malpractice just seems like it would serve to push the whole ball of wax over the edge into oblivion.

Which I'm not sure would be a bad thing. Our nation without a public school system. Other than lackadaisical baby-sitting, I wonder if we'd even notice the difference.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ohhhhh, good stuff, Maynard. So which of these intellectual giants is in charge of fire drills?
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
The mother in the interview made a great point. CPS would have ground her into dust if there were a real fire at her home and she took her children out into those conditions wet and naked and did not attempt to find her shelter.

Every faculty member involved should be fired immediately, and all certificates and diplomas related to education and child-care should be revoked, and the mother should receive a settlement in the sum of the cost to send her daughter to a private school or home school her herself until she's completed the 12th grade.

Zero tolerance for refusing to aid your students.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
This sounds just like the Muslims who prevented girls from leaving a burning school because they didn't have their heads covered. Many died. These administrators should be fired and be required to pay for the girl's medical expenses.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
In general, I am against most lawsuits and support teachers. I have a lot of teachers—all non-union—in my family and know it is a hard profession.

However, in this case, if it were my child, today I would take her to a doctor to see if she has frostbite or other cold related ailments and tomorrow I would skip work to talk to lawyers. It should be a easy, quick lawsuit.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
When I read about such outrages, and there are many, I cannot fathom how such dimwits are allowed the supervision of children. The "profession" of teaching has degraded to the point that every day spent in a public school literally injures a child's intellectual and social development. Not only do they lack common sense, today's teachers are evidently too selfish to risk the slightest discomfort in order to save a child's life. Just sending a kid to public school might be considered child abuse.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
had an unconscious student at my school today. nobody even wanted to touch the girl to check for a pulse.

I went to the girl, started looking for the carotid artery, found the pulse, and with the touch the girl started to come to. Now suppose she wasn't breathing.

But I was told by others, similar to this that I could be sued for touching the student, and to which I said good samaritan law. In emergency I trust that actions that do no harm, but would help can't be sued.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
"and to which I said good samaritan law."

I would have replied something more along the lines of, "If fear of a lawsuit stops you from helping someone in need, you are cowardly SCUM!"

40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
this is child abuse and child endangerment. Simple, sue those that were responsible, and make sure that they are never allowed a child again.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
It would be interesting to see what the school's policy is for safeguarding students and staff in the event a fire doesn't break out on a warm, sunny day. What if a winter storm or a tornado were approaching? What if there were thunderstorms with lightning strikes in the area? What if a swarm of killer bees or locusts covered the area? You're just supposed to stand out in the open like a yutz and take it?
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
As a qualified teacher who has so far chosen not to teach, I think that girl was mistreated badly and all the teachers should be fired. However, if you look at a teacher's rulebook, it's intense with all the various ways in which you're supposed to treat kids... or not. It's worse than kitty gloves. If I even touch a kid accidentally in no offensive place and in no offensive manner, I could be facing a lawsuit. It's one of the reasons I've decided not to teach... it's immoral and makes me jumpy.

I'm betting the teachers were in a panic about the whole thing... warmth, job, warmth, job (it's not too long, isn't it, even though you notice she's turning into an ice cube)... and so this poor girl got neglected in the panic. Schools these days.... as I've said, the teacher's rulebook is about as long as the Obamacare act.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's lucky it was only ten minutes. Fire drills often take longer. Nice that someone finally gave her a coat. There was probably all kinds of extra clothing out there that could have been given to her right away if some teacher gave a damn.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
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