Thursday, January 6, 2011

Another reason why Plano schools are not all they're cracked up to be

It was almost 20 years ago now that I moved to Plano, thinking it would be in the best interests of my, then, 13-year-old son. I'm a major supporter of public schools (well, I was at the time) and I heard Plano schools were the next best thing to the Highland Park schools and the Highland Park schools were the next best thing to Oxford. At the time I lived only a few blocks from where I reside today, in a section of Dallas that's part of the Richardson Independent School District.

I should have smelled a rat right away when I learned that Plano has both high schools and senior high schools, the high schools being, I subsequently learned, the farm teams for the senior high schools' football teams. Football dominance was not everything in Plano; it was the only thing. But at the time my son was still a couple of years away from high school. As an 8th grader, he belonged in Plano's middle school (the farm team for the farm team) system. In the section of Plano where I resided, he would be attending Wilson Middle School which, I subsequently learned from the DPS, was the weapons and drug epicenter of Dallas area schools. More kids were busted by undercover cops at Wilson for doing drugs and packing heat than at any other school within a 70-mile radius, I was informed.

My son had taken a year of band at Forest Meadow Junior High and wanted to continue down that path. However, when we tried to enroll him at band in Plano, we were told that all the second-year band classes were full and if he wanted to take band, he would have to repeat the first year. I was against this, but the kiddo was such a band fanatic he said he would make that sacrifice. Well, about a third of the way through the school year I noticed his enthusiasm for his saxophone beginning to wane and when I asked him about it, he told me the band class was boring, that it was an inferior repeat of what he had taken at Forest Meadow. No big deal, thought I. Band was an elective. It can't be that difficult to switch to a different elective. The heir, however, set me straight. He had asked his counselor only a week or so into the school year if he could change and was told he couldn't.

Now that didn't sound right at all. I had classmates in junior high that changed electives all the time during the school year ("I thought I would meet some cool chicks in home economics, but it's not working out. I'm going back to wood shop."). So I accompanied him to school the next day, met with his counselor and was told the same thing: Once a student picked out an elective, he had to remain with it not only through that semester, but for the entire school year. I began to voice a rather unpleasant protest to this particular brand of injustice when in walked another student, this one wearing his letter jacket with the emblem on the letter clearly identifying him as a football player, to change an elective he was taking. It took all of three and a half minutes to complete the paperwork for this cretin. That's when I learned there were two sets of rules for students in the Plano public schools, one set for the football players and the other set for everyone else.

I made arrangements to move back to Dallas and I pulled him from the Plano school system as quickly after that incident as I could.

I mention this because I still despise the Plano school system, with my hatred being constantly refueled by similar horror stories I've heard from other former Plano parents. And now along comes this jerk to give me even more ammunition. The real horror about this deviant is that this sort of predatory behavior (at least from the stories I heard from my son and his classmates way back when) is far more prevalent than Plano school officials will want to admit. But it turns this guy is an idiot as well -- totally brain dead. Imagine the horror of discovering there's a predatory idiot teaching your son or your daughter ninth or tenth grade English. How do I know he's an idiot? Simple: Anyone with even a modicum of intelligence doesn't send his wife a text message meant for the 17-year-old girl whose life he has corrupted.

I'm trying to think of a suitable punishment for Herr Zellner. Castration immediately comes to mind, but that will only solve his below-the-belt problem, not the one between his ears. I'm thinking perhaps castration combined with a frontal lobotomy would be suitable. Now, where can I find a judge?

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