"I was bitten must have been the devil"

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Is it just me?

Has everyone heard about James Tate in Shelton, Connecticut? I guess it's getting national attention.
Is it just me or is this getting out of hand?
Here's what happened; a senior at Shelton High named James Tate wanted to ask his girl to prom in a special way so he cut out 12 inch cardboard letters and taped them to the side of his school. They read "Sonali Rodrigues, will you go to prom with me? HMU (hit me up) Tate".
The school headmaster gave Tate and his friends who helped, In-School-Suspension and banned them from the prom.
Now, the whole country is coming down on the school's administration. There are facebook pages dedicated to allowing him to go and his story has been told on Jimmy Kimmel and with Matt Lauer this morning.

Does this teach kids that they can pull whatever idiot stunt they want and can use the power of social media to help them in the end?

James says it wasn't dangerous, he had friends hold the ladder for him and he even wore a helmet. He knew he would get reprimanded but did not think it would be this severe. In fact, he thinks he should be able to pick his punishment, "I feel like it would have been more appropriate to make me clean up the letters or spend a weekend there cleaning up trash outside the school, mopping the floors … maybe a week of detention, just so I don't miss my prom," James said.

The school so far is not backing down and they can't. The rule is that kids serving suspension (in school or out) cannot attend prom. If they change the rules for him then why have rules at all?

Maybe I'm being too harsh, but I think he needs to learn there is a penalty for your actions, and the millions of youths out there watching this unfold need to learn that too.

What do you think?


  1. I'd like to know more before "ruling" on the case but his 'I knew it was wrong but I didn't expect such a harsh punishment' defense does not impress.

  2. Actions have consequences with some leading to undesired outcomes.

  3. @Nota- the kid is a good student, he is an Advanced Placement honor student and captain of the golf team, he's a good CT yuppie in the making. At first I was on this kids side but the media and social networks are hurting him not helping. Now this has gotten too big for the Principal to even consider going back on the punishment.
    James' parents are equally to blame for allowing this to go on, if it were one of my kids I'd say "you did this now you must pay the consequences". Instead they parade him around to get his fifteen minutes of fame.

    If this issue stayed between the students parents and school administration, there could have been an appeal but as usual the media has to take the story too far.

    The school is now in a lose/lose situation; set a bad example for all kids or let James Tate become a martyr.

  4. Why doesn't he just take the girl out for a nice night on the town? Proms are lame.

    Said the 51 year old. Who didn't go to his.

  5. Proms are lame. I went to my senior prom in '98 and Heathers senior prom in '99, it was okay, I guess.
    I refused to go to my Junior Prom, that's super lame.

    Honestly, I don't believe you're 51 after seeing you on FB. I need to get in shape! I'm looking pretty rough for 31 lol

  6. Once you started having kids ...

    (It's my secret formula.)

  7. I agree with you. Too many fail to realize that there are consequences to inappropriate actions.

  8. My first inclination was that the principal over reacted with a suspension instead of other punishment like cleaning up the school or whatever. Second thought was that if it was dangerous to put the letters up, the next kid to try it may fall, get hurt, and sue the school. So reluctantly, I guess I back the suspension.

  9. I think the suspension itself is a ridiculous "zero tolerance" overreaction, akin to expelling a six-year-old for having a plastic knife in his lunchbox to spread his peanut butter. Wooo, cardboard letters taped on a wall. What should we do?? Call in the SWAT team? Evacuate the building? Or just send the kid back up the same ladder to take it down... but that would require too much common sense. I'm totally not seeing what the big deal is, here?

  10. I agree with you. Public opinion cannot be allowed to undercut the school administration - UNLESS - it is blatantly obvious to everyone how stupid a particular ruling is - which does not define this one.

  11. I think there is plenty of Fascism in the US without some halfwit administrator using Draconian rules to stifle a minor. If anything the administrator should be on a 72 hour psychiatric medical hold for being a danger to self and others.