Schools roundup

  • Libertarians warned about this: New Jersey’s broad “anti-bullying” law used to silence 15 year old student’s political tweets [Robby Soave, Reason]
  • “New proposal would put armed, retired cops in New Jersey schools” []
  • Chapters ostensibly agreed, though their leeway to refuse not clear: “University of Alabama quietly testing fraternity brothers for drugs” []
  • About time Congress noticed: Sen. James Lankford asking questions about Department of Education’s Dear Colleague letter [FIRE]
  • Schools vigilant against danger of grandparents reading aloud to class without background checks [Lenore Skenazy]
  • No helicopters in sight: German preschool/kindergartens send kids as young as three to camp in woods [WSJ]
  • Los Angeles and New York City school officials got same anonymous threat, but only L.A. closed schools [Ann Althouse]


  • re: Fraternities. It seems as though the fraternities themselves are for this. I don’t see that much in the way of coercion by the university. Even if there was coercion, I am unsure that it is problematic from a constitutional viewpoint, as belonging to a fraternity can be considered an extracurricular activity and the courts have ruled that random drug tests are ok if they are a condition for participating in extracurricular activities (whether that is a good rule is a different issue), I do wonder, however, about singling out fraternities. On the one hand, there seems to be a history of drug abuse and resulting problems with fraternities. On the other hand, if one activity is tested, should not all of them be tested?

  • RE: Background Check on Book Reading Granny.

    I fully support the idea of background checks required for people like this. After all, such background checks have been useful in eliminating teachers from inappropriately contact and sex with students.

    Heck, the idea of a background check should be extended to all professions because that way we can eliminate crime!

    No corrupt cops because of background checks. No CPAs embezzling money because of background checks. No lawyers committing crimes; no contractor stealing from people; no corrupt politicians, etc.

    All eliminated because of “background checks!”

    The panacea for all of society’s ills!

    • gitcarver
      Wasn’t there some posts on this very site about not allowing employers to ask about criminal history?

      Once again it becomes impossible to know what to do.

      p.s. I assumed you were being sarcastic.

      • Kurt,

        The program you are referring to on not asking criminals about their past record is “ban the box.” (see It has been discussed in this forum at length.

        I was going to include that in the post, but it was too serious a point when I was trying to be sarcastic.

        (If the sarcasm wasn’t abundantly clear, I have to work on my sarcasm skills.)

        But wait! There is more that I didn’t bring up in the post as well because I am sure Mr. Olson tires of my long responses. (That may or may not be sarcasm.)

        I am not sure what type of record would ban someone from volunteering at a school. Here in Florida, if you are convicted three times of driving without insurance, that is a felony. So are we banning felons?

        Or how about saying that the ban would extend just to people who have been convicted of a sex crime? How many times have we heard stories about two teens that take a roll in the hay and the male is convicted of sexual assault? The teen and later the adult will have to register as a sexual predator which will preclude him from volunteering at his kids’ school for his entire life.

        Of course, the rational for this is to “protect the children” and it is a good thought. But we are constantly told that the recidivism rate for sexual predators is no greater than for other felons. That means that if we are just screening out sex felons, we can still have people who were convicted of arson, drug dealing, theft, embezzlement, etc in the schools.

        Background checks are ineffective as shown by the number of teachers who commit crimes against students. The way to end kids being harmed is more volunteers so kids are never left alone with an adult.

        The bottom line is that “past performance is not indicative of future results.”

  • re: Fraternities. Beautiful. I don’t see what problem they’re trying to solve with this. Anyway it will be fun to watch the gyrations of Congressmen, judges and business moguls when their sons and daughters are asked to pee in a cup at the good old alma mater. It is the daughters too, isn’t it?