Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Northern Secondary School: Tinpot Dictators of the Day

Yet another school forgetting, or ignoring, that students are people and should be treated as such.

If we've learned anything this week, it's that people in power hate being embarrassed or challenged.

Emil, you did the right thing.

A Toronto teen says he is incredulous that he was suspended after publicly criticizing his high school for what he calls inadequate support for his soccer team.

Speaking at a Nov. 22 assembly at Northern Secondary School that was supposed to be a celebration of the school's athletic achievements, Emil Cohen said: "We now have it instilled into us that soccer [at Northern] is synonymous with the word 'unnecessary.'"

Cohen, 17, said he was upset that students had to take it upon themselves this year to "to do the phys ed department's job to find a coach" for the school's team. In past years, the team also had to supply most of its own equipment and was frequently forced to cede use of the school's field to the football team, he said.

The day after his speech, Cohen was suspended for two days and was barred from all sporting activities at the school.

"The first words out of my mouth were: 'Are you serious?' Because I couldn't believe that this warrants a suspension," said Cohen, who has served the suspension.

The Toronto District School Board superintendent for the area said Cohen disobeyed the rule that speeches before the school body must be approved in advance by staff. The teen didn't follow the directions of a teacher who advised him to amend his speech, said Ian Allison.

Read more here.

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