the last word (tm)
17/No. 2 - 447th issue - April
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KNIFE PULLED ON KINDERGARTNER IN CAMPBELL COUNTY
Apr. 14 - When a local TV news team teased a story about a knife being pulled on a kindergarten student and the school system not following proper disciplinary guidelines, I just knew it was going to be in the Campbell County Schools.
Sure as grass is green and Bush is stupid, it was. The Campbell County Schools have a history of violence and favoritism, so few were surprised.
According to WLWT-TV, a kindergartner at Riley Elementary (near the southern end of the county) was threatened with a knife on the school bus. A 3rd grader brandished the blade at him and said he'd stab him in the heart if he didn't stop playing with his friends.
District ignores own policy
The so-called public school system of Campbell County is known for its many Allowed Clouds. You can't do this, you can't do that. But this is the school system that hired ol' Boner and Conservey 30 years ago, so I don't expect consistent enforcement to accompany the district's love of rules.
One thing the school system claims to be serious about is weapons. The written policy is very clear: Pursuant to Kentucky law, students who bring weapons to school must be expelled for a minimum of one year.
But what did the school system do? They suspended the assailant for only 4 days - and let him back on the school bus after only a week.
I don't know who the kid with the knife was, but he's got to have some sort of connections to receive that sort of special treatment. His folks are probably Bush-worshiping soccer parents who spoil him. In fact, I can almost guaran-fucking-tee it!
Maybe the county's public schools will get sick of the knife-toting pupil by the time he's in high school, and they'll kick him out then. But then Brossart will probably take him.
The Campbell County Schools are the system that expelled me just because I cussed out a teacher after he attacked me with a ping-pong paddle. Not only was I kicked out of Cline, but I wasn't even allowed to enroll at "their" high school. And not just for a year, but forever.
They expelled me for good for that, but they won't suspend kids who threaten schoolmates with knives for more than 4 days? Yep, that's the Campbell County Schools I know. School officials are always sneering about how we have to follow the RUUUUULES - but they don't even enforce the rules when they should.
BROSSART AN ANTI-BULLYING PIONEER?
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! The President chewed bubble gum until his teeth fell out!
Just joking! Actually the real story here is that the much-lampooned Bishop Brossart High School - school harassment capital of the world - is now trying to reimage itself as a pioneer in the fight against harassment.
Guess what? As far as I'm concerned, this repackaging ain't workin'.
Since I found this Catholic high school's 2007-08 student handbook, I've been investigating the manual for signs of change, and I figured I could discuss it in April to keep it on the frontburner. That way, my findings will be fresher for next year's batch of freshmen. I can make more of a difference by bringing it to the fore now than if I had done so 2 months ago.
Something caught my eye that I don't think was ever in a Bro$$art handbook before: its anti-bullying policy. I had to do a double-take, because I couldn't believe I was reading a Bro$$art rulebook. On paper, it's a mighty progressive anti-harassment policy. But the words progressive and Brossart don't belong in the same article (or even the same library).
I can guess how the new policy came about: School administrators were probably gathered in their secret castle last year, hashing out the details of the new handbook. One of them probably said, "Hey, that guy at The Last Word isn't too happy about how he was treated when he was a student here. Let's put this anti-harassment policy in our book to shut him up."
"But, but, but - isn't that a bit, um, liberal?"
"Look, let's add this policy, and we'll grin and bear it. It's not like we're going to actually enforce it or anything."
The fact that Bro$$art put such a strong policy in its handbook means I had the school on the run. And the school was losing - badly. No school wants to be thought of as a harassment mill, and I'd toiled for years to make sure everyone knew that's what Brossart is.
I don't believe for one minute the school has really changed, even with the new policy. I've never seen solid proof it has, so I have to go by default. Besides, harassment was so pervasive at Brossart that if you took it away, there'd be no Brossart left. When you have people in charge who were bullies themselves when they were over 45, it infects the whole institution. Harassment and Brossart were inseparable, and I don't think it will ever change.
I doubt Brossart's policy against harassment is enforced, and I wouldn't believe anyone if they said it was. The endless attacks that went on when I went to school there violated the school's written rules of the time. Not once was anyone ever punished.
The new harassment policy warns, "Students found to have filed false or frivolous charges will also be subject to disciplinary action." That's fair. But since this is Brossart we're talking about, I think it just shows the fix is in: For years the school has had an idiotic meme in which they dismiss real acts of harassment as elaborate hoaxes. There could be a million witnesses, and the school will call it a frame-up. I think the purpose of this clause is to discourage victims from even reporting the abuse they suffer, because the victims already know the school is going to say they made it up.
The handbook has some "goodies" that show time really hasn't moved forward at Brossfart. The manual gloats that students should now expect 2 hours of homework a day instead of the one hour that it used to prescribe. (It still has those terrifying words, "for some it may mean more.") And - as an example of the school's unchecked greed - the school now issues fines of $2 to $5 for violating the dress code (a dress code that's generally even stricter than it used to be). Who's ever heard of a school fining someone for a dress code violation? And I'm sure the dumb rules like that are enforced. I know from experience the school swears by moronic rules.
I didn't think Bishop Brossart High School could get any crazier than it already was, but almost everything I've seen about it lately shows it has. They're petty and ridiculous. Just from the handbook it's obvious they issue new rules just for rules' sake. The only apparent bright spot - the new anti-harassment policy - offers no hope, because there's no evidence they even enforce this "other" rule.
Trust a member of the Class of '91½: If you attend Brossart, stop now. If you'll soon be going to Brossart, don't go. If you're a parent who's thinking of sending your kids there, save you and your kids a lot of grief by finding another option. It took me over 15 years before I could even start to move on from the abuse I suffered there, and don't think for one minute the school is tough on bullies even with the new policy.
Brossart is not the beacon of love it portrays itself as, and there are better choices.
In 2007, I thrice goed on vacation. I'd worked hard, and I earned it. These weren't like the overseas trips that the privileged kids in middle school got to miss 3 weeks of class for. These were brief outings - and (to quote the old Halls commersh) I had to go to work (cough, cough)!
My trip to the Huntington, West Virginia/Ashland, Kentucky, area from July 14 to 16 was a downright spectacle. When my peeps and I left on Saturday morn, I had a bad case of diarrhea. But as our caravan of counterculture Dukakisiks bipped eastward on the Alexandria-Ashland Highway, the fun beginned!
We buyed goods at a yard sale near Tollesboro, and we later turned off onto KY 2 to go to Carter Caves State Resort Park. We barely missed the main cave tour there, but we settled for a different tour. Also, at the restaurant there, I noticed someone wiped a boogie on the wall in the restroom.
The comical gob of mucus loomed large in my mind as we bipped east on US 60 (the scenic route) to Catlettsburg, Kentucky, where we had reservations at our motel. That's where the mischief rating inched towards the level that's worthy of a good road trip!
When you pay for a hotel that advertises a swimming pool and where you've made reservations, you expect the pool to work. It's known as getting what you pay for. Getting my money's worth is what I call good old-fashioned Midwestern thrift. Eric Rudolph, a right-wing terrorist who's cozy with the Bush regime, complains because he only gets 90 minutes of swimming every day of the year while he's in prison - and it's all free, courtesy of the American taxpayers like you and me. But the rest of us usually only get to swim when we go on vacation, and that costs money.
After we arrived at our inn, we spent an hour unpacking. Most of the lights in the room were burned out, but the real shock awaited us when we inspected the pool. A sign on the door to the swimming pool room intoned that the pool would be closed until Monday (the day we were leaving).
This did not sit well in my struggles against the Evil Empire. We spoke to the clerk. She refused to give us a discount - and when we asked to cancel our reservations so we could find a different motel, she threatened to charge us anyway. It's "policy", you understand. After we argued politely for another hour, she canceled the reservation and opted not to charge us.
Pooing is cool.
Because 2 valuable hours of my peeps' vacation time were wasted by the hotel's display of rightist beedledickery, a funny thing happened when we got back in the car: A human brain sent impulses to a set of fingers, which grabbed a water bottle and other garbage from the car, lifted it over the pavement of the parking lot, and deposited it thereon. Oops! Oh well. Corporate America can deal with it.
We found an inn in Ashland. This motel was quite a barg, and it had an indoor pool. I noticed somebody had spit out 2 wads of bubble gum on the ledge of the pool. After that, we Roads Scholared about Ashland a bit.
On Sunday we finally went to Huntington, much to the chagrin of the Far Right. The city has some neat Ohio River bridges, which should delight any Roads Scholar. As we crossed from West Virginia into Ohio on the beautiful East End Bridge, choice words were uttered as a struggle with the camera materialized.
It was also on Sunday that I noticed someone had draped pee-soaked toilet paper all over the toilet seat in the restroom at Kentucky Fried Chicken in South Point, Ohio. I also buyed shoes. Back in Kentucky, we peeped KY 244 and its harrowing underpasses.
On Sunday night a monstrous thunderstorm breezed through the area. The year 2007 will be forever known in this region for its ruinous flooding rains.
On Monday we visited Bennetts Mill Covered Bridge, where a state trooper pulled up and asked us where a car he was chasing went. We also rescued a turtle on the AA Highway and took KY 8 home from Maysville. We ate lunch in Augusta, and when we were trying to get back to KY 8 using a dirt road, gasps were heard as the car got stuck on a railroad track.
So that's our trip for ya! It's the type of fun that only working-class peeps like you and me can appreciate! We work hard, and we did this trip on the cheap!
Take a gander at these 70 Roads Scholarin' photos from our fact-finding mission:
YOUR VERY OWN STUPID JOKE BOOK!
Wow. I'm so glad. I have my very own stupid joke book.
Q: Why did
Barney Fife look in the toilet?
A: He was looking for Gomer's pile!
Q: What did
the pee say to the poo?
A: "You stink!"
Q: Did you
hear the one about Boss Logg?
A: Yeah, he's still after Jesse Dook!
Those so-called jokes are actually funnier than the ones that people a little proselytizing booklet that an elderly gent who invaded the neighborhood handed out during Trick-or-Treating this past Halloween weekend. It's labeled "Your Very Own Joke Book!" and it features such gems as these:
Q: How do you
fix a cracked pumpkin?
A: With a pumpkin patch, silly!
Get it? Get it? Get it? Get it? Get it? Get it? Get it? Get it? Get it? Get it? Get it? Get it? Get it? Get it? Get it? Get it? Get it? Get it? Get it? Get it?
Man, I'm really doubled over in laughter, aren't you?
At first I thunk it was just a pamphlet of dumb jokes that even a 3-year-old wouldn't think are funny. But I opened it up and saw mirthful drawings of a gorilla picking its nose and a kid blowing a bubble, more imbecilic jokes, and...proselytizing!
Why oh why? Understand, it's obviously a booklet for children. Do people appreciate a total stranger proselytizing to their kids? I sure as shit wouldn't.
The tract roars, "GOD HATES SIN! HE WILL NOT ALLOW SIN INTO HEAVEN!" (Ooh, an Allowed Cloud!) It's followed by a little thingy to fill out and send away for "free literature."
What??? Send this lovely joke book away??? Without a "NO POSTAGE NECESSARY IF MAILED IN THE UNITED STATES" thing???
Too bad there's no bonfires scheduled any time soon, because slick paper like the type this tract is printed on sure does make great fuel.
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