August 21 2013
Vicki E. Alger
It's been barely one week since school started, but controversy is already at a boiling point in California. Until now, students at Calimesa Elementary School in Yucaipa had to kneel down on one knee at various points throughout the day until the principal or other school administrator signaled it was alright to go to class or recess.
The policy was reportedly implemented by Principal Dana Carter as a “positive way to enforce safety,” according to CBSLA.com. “Positive behavior intervention” is how Yucaipa Calimesa Unified School District Superintendent Cali Binks described the policy.
What is so positive about forcing children to genuflect repeatedly before government schooling officials? And what conceivable safety issue—posed by six to ten-year-olds—would be resolved by making children kneel down?
Thankfully, enough outraged parents spoke up and the district backed down, so students are free to walk around upright just like every other free American living beyond the boundaries of this San Bernardino County school district. As CBSLA.com reported:
At least one mother told KCAL9′s Tom Wait she was upset after hearing that her 7-year-old daughter was allegedly forced to kneel before Carter.
‘She says that she has to drop down on one knee with her hands at her side, wait for the principal to come out, lift his arms and tell them to go to class,’ said the mom. ‘I feel that the principal wants to be like a king, and we don’t have kings in America,’ she added.
District officials said Carter will schedule a future meeting with parents to plan different safety options on campus.
There’s likely a whole lot more to come on this story, but for now let’s hope the “different” safety policies won’t include students having to prostrate themselves or kiss the rings of school administrators.