In a scene reminiscent of a child that loses at marble and then takes his marbles home ruining the game for others, the Montgomery County school system has suspended all distribution of fliers after losing a court decision on the matter.
The dispute over flier distribution began in 2001 when the Child Evangelism Fellowship of Maryland was prevented from distributing fliers promoting its Good News Club, in which students learn about the Bible. The denial was based on the religious nature of the fliers. The school system then implemented a policy of only distributing fliers from the school system or government agencies.
As a parent I am not sure what effect the policy has truly had except that there is a lot less paper coming into our home. That’s probably good if you are a tree hugger, but in the good old days you could also get some interesting community information.
Educators feel that allowing all fliers isn’t practical and the chief operating officer for the school system didn’t want to turn the teachers into professional backpack stuffers.
I didn’t realize that distributing fliers required the teachers to stuff the backpacks. How do they do that when the backpacks are in the lockers? It really has more to do with the time involved in handing the fliers out, rather than the physical stuffing of backpacks in my opinion.
While the school system said there was no other choice until they rework the policy, I think they are wrong.
Here are some suggestions for the school board
? Assign flier distribution to teacher aides
? Ask for a student volunteer to distribute fliers
? Limit the number of fliers per day to a first come, first served policy
? Set up a distribution area in the classroom or in the school hallway for students to pick up fliers.
These are just a few ideas off the top of my head. They won’t work in every case as younger students are unlikely to pick up fliers from a central location, but the school system can try can’t they?
It never ceases to amaze me how quickly a bureaucracy will move when it is their best interest to do so, but proceed glacially when the tables are turned against them.
To the Montgomery County school system, I say grow up and quick acting like a bunch of spoiled brats and decide on a new policy now.