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Placing Blame

I recently ran a poll about the 17-year-old student who was suspended after mouthing off to a teacher. The student was talking to his mother on his cell phone at the time, a violation of school rules. What made this situation so unique is the fact that his mother is a soldier serving in Iraq.

I did not — as one reader tried to claim — “begrudge a teenager his right to talk with his mother (currently in a war zone) without having to explain himself to a busybody.”

I don’t personally know the teacher involved, so I have no idea whether or not he or she is a “busybody.” (I suspect that the person who made that statement doesn’t know, either.)

I most certainly did begrudge him the right to speak to a teacher with profanity when he was the one breaking a rule to begin with. I suggested that if he had explained the situation to her rationally, it would have been completely unreasonable for her to still press the rule. But reason apparently never entered into the picture.

In any case, the poll results suggest that 70% of you feel that the student was completely at fault because he didn’t handle the situation well. Twenty percent blame the school entirely for the student’s suspension, despite the student’s use of profanity. One voter placed blame on the student and the school equally, and another placed blame on the mother, who should have timed her call outside of her son’s school day.

Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.