Last week, KMOV ran a news story describing an incident that occurred during a Choir trip to Six Flags. The incident involved students bringing and consuming alcohol during the trip, some of whom arrived back at the school visibly drunk. The incident resulted in the suspension of six students from attending graduation.
The policy for possession and consumption of alcohol is very strict, as it should be. Such misbehaviour is rightly banned, due to the illegality, risk of harm, and liability to the chaperons and the school district. If a student abuses that policy by consuming or possessing alcohol, then let the consequences fall where they may.
However, we're talking about simple implementation of policy at Timberland High School... so something must have gotten screwed up. As it turns out, two of the suspended students didn't consume or possess alcohol. They were suspended for just "knowing" that other students had the alcohol at the event. They are being punished after making a personal choice to not consume the alcohol, or even possess it, because they knew there would be consequences. However, they didn't realize that this was the Wentzville School District, and that means (say it with me)... "flexible policies"!
These students fell victim to two unwritten policies in the school district. The first unpublished policy must say that if a student makes a personal decision to refuse to participate in an inappropriate act offered by another student, they then must report that to administration. I've looked for the "big brother" policy on their website, but have failed to find it (rumor has it that its located in a safety deposit box somewhere in Arizona). If the students were made aware that such a "snitch" policy existed, they would have been able to make an informed decision to tell the chaperons, and avoid any punishment. Instead, they are now at the whim of Winston Rogers' snap judgements, and the blind eye of support he enjoys from the Wentzville School Administration.
The second unwritten policy (which was given to me as a draft from the District entitled, "F*** Off, but Thanks For The Tax Money") is that parental involvement in issues involving Timberland High School students is not acceptable. A report from a parent involved in the issue describes that they were not made aware of the issue until after the students were interrogated by Wentzville School administrators. Additionally, when the students were picked up by their parents after the event, no administrators were on hand to discuss any issues. To date, Winston Rogers and the rest of the Wentzville School district administration have failed to return calls and emails to the Choir parents.
These are the same policy and communication issues that the parents of the publications staff have come to expect from the Wentzville School District, Wentzville School Administration and Winston Rogers. So, as a Wentzville School District parent, I would like to welcome the Choir parents to the realization that the Wentzville School District has no interest in parental involvement, and to personally wish them good luck in dealing with Winston Rogers and the mindless support he enjoys from the district... you'll need it.