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Okay, BobC, we'll have a debate, but first I need to understand what you're saying and what you disagree with.

I think you're advocating the use of common sense. Few would disagree with that, except that someone might wonder what it is.

I think common sense is a label that's only good for tacking on later, after we decided we liked what someone did, thought, said, etc.

Beforehand it's not much good for deciding what's right.

One man's common sense is another man's poison. Take gun control for example. Some think it's commonsensical to eliminate guns in order to eliminate shootings. Others think it's more commonsensical to allow guns to a lot more people in order to ward off, at gunpoint, shootings.

I happen to agree with the Swiss way of doing business. According to a book by John McPhee about Switzerland, written over twenty years ago (title escapes me) the Swiss, for nat'l defense purposes, issue military rifles to all the males over a certain age. They just don't issue bullets. Possession of the bullets is a crime.

I think forbidding bullets is common sensical. Of course, then we'll have bullet trafficking and a war on bullets and people being sent up the river for illegal possession of bullets, and programs to de-addict bullet lovers, but that's another problem which has little to do with common sense.

Okay, I think you're saying the school kid should have swallowed his five day suspension without protest, or maybe you're saying (for such an erudite writer you've left me a lot to guess about) that the parents should not have to resort to the law, but to a higher authority in the school, the district, or the school higher-ups somewhere.

I have a big problem with accepting foolish punishment. The reason this made the news is because of the disconnect between what the kid did, turn the Mj over to his parents, and what the school did, suspend the kid.

Whether you call this common sense or stupidity, the fact that a lot of people think its the latter suggests that more reasoning needs to be applied.

My suggestion was that a lawyer could have added to the discussion and seen to it that the arguments were advanced in the right forum. I wasn't suggesting that (s)he sue anyone. A chat with the principal or a letter to the district might have taken care of the matter. Lawyers write letters all the time hoping to resolve things without litigation. Often the fact of the attorney's letterhead suggests the prospect of future legal difficulty, but that's what gets people's attention.

Schools, of course, have their own lawyers, and when questions of discipline arise and the lawyer for the pupil is brought in by the parents, the principal turns the matter over to the district which sends the file to its lawyer.

The two lawyers then hash the matter out. It's when they can't agree that a dispute resolution mechanism may be needed, and that may include litigation in the courts, but more likely, in the case of school discipline, it may mean an administrative hearing of some sort or even ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) i.e. mediation, arbitration, etc.

So if we still disagree on something, let me know what it is.

BTW, I enjoy these discussions more when there's something to talk about, i.e., there's something to disagree about. The most boring of the posts are the ones that say "I agree" because that just about eliminates any discussion and the thinking stops there.

In the past there was some name-calling on this website when there was disagreement, but that seems to have taken a rest, thank goodness. The kind of back and forth I'm seeing lately is very welcome, especially when leavened with a little barbed humor. After all, we're from StatNisland, which is part of Noo Yawk, where a certain amount of "mouth" wasn't just a survival advantage, but built in as you grew older.

-rs :)

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