June 07, 2006
"Jeremy Maitland took a cookie from the cookie jar." So begins this tale of woe from Richmond, Virginia, where the Henrico County Public Schools suspended young Mr. Maitland and kicked him off the middle school baseball team because he "spotted a container of cookies" in the school kitchen and "decided to eat a sweet." Other students are suspected in connection to the crime, and more punishments have been meted out. His mom, feeling "crummy" about the whole ordeal, complained, "Eating a cookie, I don't think anybody hardly thinks of as theft." Come on, Mrs. Maitland. Cookie burglars and Pillsbury pilfering are as common as dew in Dixie (see here and here); we say: if you commit the crime, you gotta do the time. Furthermore, it's that kind of lax attitude towards discipline and student safety (not to mention health code violations) that has turned NCLB's "persistently dangerous schools" provision into such mush. Gadfly readers (especially you underage ones): Just say no to cookie dough.
"More students in cookie caper," by Olympia Meola, Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 7, 2006
"Parent objects to cookie punishment," by Olympia Meola, Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 5, 2006