I Hate This! Student Suspended for Opening Door

Readers — As you know, Free-Range Kids is about trust, community and common sense. All of which a Virginia middle school student displayed the other day when he held open the door for someone he knew.

For this, he was given a day long suspension. The reason? The school had just installed a $10,000 + security system, and his action violated it. Voila:

According to an anonymous e-mail sent to The Tidewater News, the “A” student opened the door for a woman he knew, who had her hands full. The e-mail also indicated the student received a one-day, out-of-school suspension.

[School administrator Wayne K.] Smith said he could not confirm the story for confidentiality reasons. Superintendent Charles Turner said he did not know all the details behind the suspension.

Turner said the policy that prohibits anyone from opening doors was part of making the security system work.

“If it happens, it’s defeated,” he said. “You have to have a system, and that system has to be consistent. We have to stay within the rules and stay secure.”

Turner explained that part of the school district’s mission is to provide a quality education in a safe environment.

“We looked at what we’re doing in our schools for safety and looked at what others have done,” he said.

That’s why the security system was installed initially at the secondary schools and then the elementary schools.

And yet, what the school fails to understand is that the student was an even BETTER security system! The student has a heart, a brain and hands. This incredible carbon-based security system can open the door when that makes sense! It can create a climate of warmth, help and connectedness that a locked door, even operated by remote control from the front office, cannot.

We are happier and safer when we connect, rather than we assume we’re all in dire peril and must outsource our humanity to excessive rules and   machines. — Lenore