Thursday, February 7, 2008

Is Smelling a Crime?

I am having to rant but I couldn’t believe this when I read this article about DA: Lewisville teen's hand sanitizer gel sniff not a crime. It made me wonder if we are just looking for a reason to disrupt the classroom lesson just one more way. I remember when I was young (back in the old days), we used to get things called ditto sheet that was made with this blue ink on a mimeograph machine. I used to love to get them right after they were made and smell the paper because they smelled so good. I don’t think it caused me any brain damage (not that I know of anyway) but I guess if that happened today, I would have been expelled from school. There comes a time when we need to say stop to all this foolishness! There are more important things in school to worry about than whether some student smells my hand sanitizer. I have hand lotion in my desk drawer and I know students carry hand lotion and hand sanitizer in their backpacks. What about the nail polish that I smell in other classrooms? I know we worry about students doing drugs and drinking, but are we not becoming a tyrant when we have to worry about students smelling hand sanitizer?

If I see a student smelling something and I might think it is inappropriate, I would ask them to put it away or not touch it again (if it is mine). Then they are given advanced warning that if they continue they will pay the consequences for not following directions, not for smelling something. This would be a good lesson to teach about ingredients in some things that could be harmful to a person’s health which could lead into a lesson about laws against “inhaling” inappropriate things. Isn’t it our job to teach them these thing? What lesson will being suspended for smelling hand sanitizer teach? I think it will teach that you shouldn’t smell hand sanitizer and not the big picture. I think things like this hurts educators’ reputations in the eyes of the community and shouldn’t we be building relationships and not cutting them down?

Sorry this was just a rant but it amazes me at what lengths schools will go to show they have the power. Have a nice day!

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