Why didn't the Globe talk to any of the 200 students who protested at O'Bryant?

Globe: 200 protest tardiness penalty.

Cara Lisa Powers writes the reporter to ask why she only quoted school officials in her story about the protest and resulting schoolwide lockdown at John D. O'Bryant High School of Mathematics and Science:

... I am incredibly troubled by the portrait that this paints of young people who are protesting a policy that they view as unjust. By only quoting the spokesperson from the Boston Public Schools, and not giving any voice to the youth, you are reinforcing the dominant perception that adults' opinions are more valid than those of young people.

The young people that organized this protest are standing up for something that they believe in. Further, they are doing it in a time-honored tradition of organizing their community. Implying that a peaceful, organized, silent protest is somehow unruly is just as unjust as corralling students into an auditorium and preventing their teacher's from teaching them. I'd like to know what "more healthy" approach their headmaster would have liked to see, other than a peaceful silent protest. ...



    Free tagging: 


    So you want it to be heard

    By on

    So you want it to be heard that they blocked other students from going to their classes? Are you sure of that? The administration is trying to keep the students from getting killed. Is getting a detention slip for being late to class too much to ask? Christ on on popsicle stick - what is wrong with you? Did you not grow up? It is the job of grown-ups to be grown up and take responsibility for the children in their care. That is what the school is trying to do.

    Uh, you'd think that maybe ...

    it would be a good idea to read why the students did what they did. I didn't say what the school did was wrong, and I didn't say that I don't think grown-ups should take responsibility for the children in their care. I'm not taking a side. I'm just saying that students are leaving long comments about what happened and you might want to read them, especially if this issue is important to you, and apparently it is.

    So Caroline - you weren't

    By on

    So Caroline - you weren't saying this, and you weren't saying that. Don't you think it's time to make up your mind and take a stand? I assume you're a grown-up - it's what we do. We make decisions and we take responsibility for them. I don't care what excuses the kids make - they're kids. We grown-ups have a responsibility to teach them that they need to be on time - it's a basic job requirement in most places. "My dog ate my homework" is not appropriate for the workplace, so it can't be for schools either. Be in class on time - it's that simple. By "listening" to them you humor them and legitimize their immaturity. If they don't like the school they are in, they can try somewhere like English high, where kids wander in to class when they feel like it.

    maybe the school could help

    By on

    maybe the school could help kids be on time by extending the passing period from 4 to 6 minutes. what's the point of requiring kids to be "on time" if it's not physically possible for many of them to make it to class in the time allotted? a compromise allowing all students to *learn better* is preferable to continuing to attempt to enforce an unworkable tardiness policy. it's attitudes like this--attitudes that adults are infallible, inflexible rule-makers--that make kids want to rebel more and more.

    the protestors were to stay

    By on

    the protestors were to stay in the hallways to protest the sweep. Anyone who was in the hallways after the bell was part of the protest, MEANING anyone who wanted to go to class COULD have, heck, I was in my class while this happened, so anyone who was "blocked" from going to class was only part of the protest. There were more people in classes than those outside, don't let the school or the paper lie to you. I won't blame you, but the author of the article for writing such an opaque article with very little research on the actual situation.

    do your research

    By on

    the protestors were to stay in the hallways to protest the sweep. Anyone who was in the hallways after the bell was part of the protest, MEANING anyone who wanted to go to class COULD have, heck, I was in my class while this happened, so anyone who was "blocked" from going to class was only part of the protest. There were more people in classes than those outside, don't let the school or the paper lie to you. I won't blame you, but the author of the article for writing such an opaque article with very little research on the actual situation.

    I'm ashamed that many people are being misled on the actual situation.

    If they were under 18...

    By on

    ...and their parents weren't around to say it was OK, then it wouldn't be OK for the reporter to quote the students.

    Since when???

    By on

    Since when???

    Why not?

    There can be no law against this; it would violate the freedom of the press granted by the First Amendment.

    "reflection" on tardiness

    I am so sorry that the bus was cancelled and the T screwed up yet again. I won't do it again, but the T probably will, unannounced, and without apology. Maybe the T can provide "a reflection" on their tardiness and why there wasn't a bus for 45 minutes on a cold morning when three were due in that time?

    Cleaned up the post and an afterthought...

    I think the students are pretty smart - highlight the headmaster's weaker solution (writing an essay for tardiness) by highlighting the problem (making everyone late), but both actions do nothing to reduce or eliminate the chronic tardiness from some students. The students could have gotten detention or suspension instead, but instead found that being locked down is no peach either.

    Bringing the students into solving a problem like this and letting the students brainstorm shows trust in the students and allows them to solve a problem that they don't normally see in textbooks, and helps other students in the bargain.

    The admin took the students

    By on

    The admin took the students time to have the tardy studentsd fill out the reflection sheets so they could analyze patterns and see how to improve things so that we could get to class on time. They explained that too us as well. Everyone that is protesting just does not want to take responsibility for there own actions. If we followed the rules like some of us do and were on class on time none of this would be an issue.... REMEMBER THAT!!! So it didn't affect us. It just affected those students who are constantly in the stairs and hallway and lockers. They should start seeing punishment for that. Why should we follow the rules and get nothing for it when those who dont follow the rules dont get consequences and are allowed to run the school.

    And that protest was not peaceful lots of scremin and chaos. So unnecesssary

    are you even a student?

    By on

    So you obviously hadn't heard anyone with a pass or being in class and still being taken to the auditorium.
    Personally, the whole protest movement for me is over. What we need to protest is how the school handles these situations, it was far worse than how the protest went.

    Another problem students have is being taken out of class for almost a whole period, the sweep is having negative effects. Then you have to actually be in the school to see how hard it is to be on times when everyone (1300 students) uses the same routes. Personally I have been late a few times and I just sit back and I am amazed at how crowded the halls are, and to know there are some other exits that are not meant for use.

    I agree the protest on being late is stupid. But this is a start to make things right in the school, we can't just blame the school for our problems.

    Thats funny so skipping

    By on

    Thats funny so skipping classes and screaming in the hallways was the solution some of us decided on... cause they were so concerned about missing class again.. LOL! The students doing this are not the best students they are trouble students...

    They used the methods that

    By on

    They used the methods that they were taught in school As American they have the right to protest. Do we adults deny them and insult them because they wanted to be heard. Once I checked people protest for what they believe in. If people did not protest then Gay marriage would not be an issue. What do we say to people who are gay and want to be married , life is not fair get over it. Stop looking down on them because it seems as though this is the issue. We as adults do not make time to listen and so this is what happens. If you are against the draft are you not going to protest against it. It seems as though it was more than a situation of tardiness. If they are 18 may I add that they should have no problem talking to the press. The press did not care enough to ask.

    Yeah method such as

    By on

    Yeah method such as screaming and yelling blocking doorsways disrupting other students who want to be on time to class because they care about their education. Prventing these students from attending class and creating mayham!! These are the methods they were taught to protest?? WHAT??? This was chaotic and not organized and it threatened the safety of a great number of students... many young than them. All because they did not want consequences for making it to class late constantly. Oh please!!!

    If they wanted to do something to have their voices heard they should have contacted a teacher.. administrator or someone who they felt comfortable with and express these concerns with them to share with the admin or many other more peaceful ways... not acting like a bunch of rebellious teenagers disrupting the safety of the school.

    were you in the school

    By on

    There were no yelling and screaming that was not out of the ordinary. The halls being crowded is something the students face daily. I was in class (yes, no one was blocked from going to class on time) at the time while being near the hallway, so I think it's safe to say I know what I'm talking about. Unless you are 100% sure of what happened and what is going on in the school, I plead you refrain from being ignorant and showing off the lack of intelligence you carry around.

    The incident was not like

    By on

    The incident was not like that... students are protesting the tardy policy... when is it ever okay to be late to class on time (except in extentuating cicrumstances). In work you get fired if its a habit... they need to learn how to operate in the real world. They need to take responsbility for their actions. Which means making it to class on time... or taking the consequences. Nuff said.

    What Gulag

    By on

    do you work in? Real world? Puhleeze. Maybe if you work for the Catholic Church you get petty heirarchy stupid like this. Elsewhere grownups in grownup jobs have a bit more give and take. that's because the goal is getting work done on time and with good quality - not petty power "I'm in charge here" tantrums and "my cock gets big if I bully you peons around" attitudes.

    What is wrong with What

    By on

    What is wrong with What Gulag? This is not a power issue. Maybe you may see it as that but its not. Students are being responsible for being to class on time. Sicne when is that something to protest. That is a rule in 99.9% of schools around the world. All they were given was a warning and a chance to reflect upon why they were late and how they can be on time in the future. They weren't suspended or punished or had some drastic measures against them. Its seems like some felt like they were being disrespected but that's life. We all have to do things we dont want to but you just have to do it. Teaching students they can show up to class whenever they want sets them up for failure in the future. Colleges will send the student back to their dorm or home if they come late constantly. Things happen but these students were obvioulsy constantly late hence the reason for the crack down by the principal. This should have been done earlier is the only thing I see thats wrong. These kids are a at a disservice if they think they can get away with not being accountable for their actions. It will hurt them in college and in a job when the consequences will be worse then having them write a reflection... more like losing their job or getting an F in college or having to repeat the course.

    What if it isn't Possible?

    Saying that students should just make it between classes without running in the halls in fewer minutes than it really takes is stupid. If it takes an administrator 6 minutes to walk between the furthest spaces, then how are students being irresponsible by not running? How can they do this in crowded hallways in four minutes? Responsible magic?

    Then there are the bathroom breaks. In order to cram as many minutes into the school day as possible, administrators will shorten breaks AND demand that kids use the bathroom ONLY on those breaks. How are they being "irresponsible" by not changing soaked sanitary napkins and tampons? Is it responsible to bleed all over your clothing and chairs? (yes guys that IS WHAT HAPPENS!). How are they being irresponsible if they have to take a pee and there are not enough toilets to do so and still get to class on time?

    If administrators have considered the need for biobreaks and the existance of menstruation, and have walked the furthest extents of the school during crowded times and came up with that 4 minutes, then I'll buy that the students are just being childish. Otherwise, I would say that what we have here is yet another little "I can't do this right so the students will just have to make it work - or else" game that mindless administrators play (my husband taught school, so I've seen this stupidity in action against teachers and students - don't bother making me see the glaringly stupid gaps and impossibility in my policy, I'm being administorial! I am god and I declare! Cover for my incompetence or I'll have to punish you for exposing my stupid!).

    But I suppose that everybody would just get on their bus and train at 4am if they were responsible, and stop blaming the T for getting them to work an hour late. Never mind that the T doesn't run before 5am at all, and in many locations before 6am. They just make the Important People who run the system look bad by complaining. See?

    Colleges will send the student back to their dorm or home if they come late constantly.

    WTF? What sort of nanny uni/ninny bible college did you go to??? I've never heard of this - and I finished grad school recently and have a lot of relatives and friends who are profs at schools all over the country.

    The issue is that about 90%

    By on

    The issue is that about 90% of the students are making it to class on time. So it's only a small amount that aren't. There are some legitimate concerns and unusual circumstances where some students have classes on opposite sides of the school this is a very small percentage and needs to be addressed... most of the tardy students hang out at the lockers, socialize and walk as slow as they possibly can... and still be considered walking...LOL! These are the students this policy was indeed targeting. These students just as all the others should be responsible for getting to class on time. In fact the reason for the reflection were to figure out how to improve things.... and were instead met with a protest even though students had not been punished. If this was Boston Latin this would be unheard of and these students would be shipped off to other schools already.

    Schools are Different Sizes

    In the small Catholic high school where my husband taught, four minutes was plenty of time to change rooms, visit a locker, and use the restroom.

    In a larger school, four minutes is not enough. This is especially true for girls one week out of four, unless there is a liberal rest room policy.

    Teachers in my high school stopped marking tardies unless it was more than five minutes late because there was too little time to get across the sprawling building and everyone knew it. (the old schedule hailed from a time when there were half as many people in the building, which had rather narrow hallways). When they spaced out the bell schedule to include two ten-minute breaks - one before and one after lunch - and gave us five minutes to get from point A to point B (instead of 3), the problem disappeared. It was worth adding the necessary fifteen minutes to the schedule as this reduced disruptions and increased instructional time.

    Of course this happened because the administrators actually (gasp!) used stop watches and tried to walk from the arts area to the chem labs or from the gym to the language arts wing in three minutes during the crowded times, or using the restrooms when everybody else needed to. That's because they were interested in actually solving a problem! It also helped that one of them was female and timed her route to include a pad change stop. I think that is where the ten minute breaks plus lunch scheme came in ...

    There were no excuses afterward, because the administrators could always show us how it was done ... from actual data.

    In my experience, it has

    In my experience, it has been the professor's discretion how she wants to handle tardiness. And different professors have different policies, some don't mind and others won't allow you into the room.

    Also, does anyone else feel like the last string of Anons (probably the same anon) is just trolling?

    College Tardiness

    Pretty much of them will give you a bad grade if you don't learn the material or do the work. That is the "real world" lesson you learn in college.

    Colleges all across the

    By on

    Colleges all across the country...

    Including but not limited to:
    Ohio State
    Michigan University
    And those are the ones I know off hand.... many more.

    Yes... it depends on the professor but most penalize for repeated tardiness as in considering it an absence and after 3 absences you receive an F in the class and have to repeat the course. Consequences- Lots of money down the drain... low overall GPA.... and joining a 5 or 6 year plan... more lost money.




    Studies show " The number one common characteristic of students who earn "F" or "D", "W" or "NC" grades is that they missed more than two classes and/or were regularly late for class."

    Northeastern doesn't have a

    Northeastern doesn't have a university wide policy regarding tardiness/absenteeism (Coming from the perspective of being a former student). The individual departments and the professors established the absenteeism/lateness policy. I have been absent and late a lot over my 5 years there (5 year program is the standard, not the exception there, just in case you didn't know), and only lost points for it in two classes. I had a low participation grade in Intro to Marketing as a result (still passed the class with a B) and Beginner Swimming (still passed the class with a B).

    Not at MIT, either

    To my knowledge, MIT doesn't have such a policy. Maybe it is still on the books from some oldentyme, but it certainly isn't enforced now. I guess a prof might have the right to enforce it if fed up, but people who miss class fail because they lose track of what is going on.

    3 absences = F? Really? Gee, I didn't know that I got all "f" grades the semester I was out for two weeks with mono and strep. How did I get an A in another class that I stopped in for the lecture notes, went to the recitations, and actually attended only for exams?? So they want kids with the flu infecting everybody on the same air handler to make a point?

    wah, wah, wah, we don't want to be on time

    By on

    Students loitering in the halls rather than going to class staged a protest (and disrupted other more studious kids) because they don't want to be on time, and that's news?? Grow up, this is just silly. Life is full of crap adults don't want to do yet we all get over it and move forward with our lives (it's called being responsible). If they're not interested in learning, drop out and then you can hang out for as long as you want, with no one hassling you. Real students who understand the value and importance of education, are on time.

    On February 29, 2008 many

    By on

    On February 29, 2008 many students in our school decided to hold a protest by standing in the hallways causing many other students who weren't apart of the protest to be late. I was one of the lucky ones whose classes were fairly close to each other. Although, I can understand why the students are upset with the "Sweep Policy" , I cannot support the protest that happened Friday. The situation could have gotten bad fast and it cause a delay in what should have been a productive day for many. I do not think that the ringleaders ( Whoever they were) had thought up an alternative solution to the sweep. They were basically yelling for change without offering any solutions of their own. Many kids are yelling " It should be a democracy!" but in a democracy the people give feedback. If you want change do not ask for it and then attempt to wait for the administration to change it. You should first and foremost have an alternative solution otherwise it's just yelling.

    I am a student who did not

    By on

    I am a student who did not take part in the protest. I took no sides, as I always make it to class on time. If I’m able to do that everyday, then others should be able to do the same. However, I also believe that there should be a better way to punish students for being late. The way of bringing this to the administrator’s attention was not by crowding the foyer, blocking all the exits, and making other students late to class. First of all, it was completely unsafe. If I may point out the infamous Station nightclub fire, in which everyone headed for the front door, quickly blocking it off and crushing others. Secondly, there were better ways to go about this. A petition for example. The students claim that the administrators won’t listen to them. But I’ve heard from many class officers that they never once went to the administrators, as a group, and wished to talk with them. Thirdly, there have been some comparisons of the “rounding” up of students to the Holocaust. That is when whatever support I would’ve given them, if any, disappeared. This is not the Holocaust. Unless you have six million people being prosecuted because of their beliefs, you should not even mention this in the same sentence as the Holocaust.

    The bad side of all of this is that nothing has changed and that we have many self-righteous students walking around, patting themselves on the back, thinking they accomplished something, when all they did was stage a sensationalistic safety violation. Kent State, Martin Luther King, and Gandhi have nothing on you, yo.

    sorry I'm late

    but there about 200 mofo's blocking the access to my PC

    I am always late because I take the train in from Worcester, even though I tell the folkies at the O'Bryant that I live on Comm. Avenue with my auntie....

    for the intelligent only

    By on

    Please, unless you are 100% sure of what went on that day and what goes on in the school, refrain from posting because all it says is how ignorant you are.
    I hope people actually read the articles and all other threads and blogs pertaining to the situation, for there are replies by the students that I recommend you read if you truly want to know what is going on.

    I'm ashamed that the globe has writers who refuse to research on situations before whipping up a pile of baloney.

    I'm ashamed to be a student at the school that handle this situation o-so recklessly. It isn't about the protest anymore, we students must begin a movement to fight for our rights to be heard as well as re-discipline the school, staff and students. Things must be done, but I hope at the end the school, staff and student can come together as a family again.

    Yeah, man! Fight the Power!

    By on

    Yeah, man! Fight the Power! Stick it to the Man! After all, the Man is our parents and teachers! Spike Lee! No, no, we won't go! How dare they submit us to that Holocaust-like treatment! We had to fight back! And what better way to do it than by sensationalism and a disregard for other peoples' safety!