Robert Dill and his Anti-American Mission [The Publisher's Ring]

Robert Dill and his Anti-American Mission

Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice.

- John Adams, 1765

Jodi Faltin, a fourteen year old grade nine student was recently suspended from school in Blairsville RD because of her eyebrow ring. Her parents went to the school board and stressed that she was a bright student and that they, as her parents, felt that she should be allowed to wear the ring if she wanted to. The school board didn’t budge, and she remains suspended as long as she wears the eyebrow ring.

As I’m mentioning news items, I’d also like to bring up the popular television show American Idol. In a recent article in the Tri-Valley Herald, the following rule is mentioned:

"Some people waiting to get into the park spent their time reading the rules, which said contestants must be 16 to 24 years old on Aug. 3, 2003, and that anyone with visible tattoos would be kicked out. That sent at least one young woman with ankle ink scurrying to the parking lot to get 'concealer, socks, pants, whatever ...' from her car."

Banning of tattoos for musicians? Given that, oh, 99% of pop stars and rock musicians are tattooed, these rules not only seem repressive, but actually bizarre. Clearly having a tattoo does not damage a musical career, and if anything is representative of the type of individual who’s able to excel in that lifestyle — so we must ask ourselves, if the purpose of American Idol is not to choose the best potential pop star, what is its purpose?

Is American Idol just another tool in the hands of the mega-corporations in the creation of consumer slaves that all look and think the same?

After this case was brought up in The Indiana Gazette, Robert Dill of the United School District wrote in to defend being a repressive ass. He “applauded the school administration” and claimed that they were “correct” for three reasons:

  1. The health and safety of the student body is paramount to a district. Spiked accessories could pose serious safety concerns.
  2. Part of every school district's mission is to prepare students for the real world. Allowing students to erroneously believe they can do as they please and wear what they want is fundamentally wrong.
  3. Schools have the responsibility to teach students acceptable behavior. We must instill in students that one's appearance does not determine who they are.

Every one of those “reasons” is a lie, and typical of the repressive politics masquerading as modern liberalism.

I’ve written on the first reason at length in the past, but if the issue is “spiked accessories” then it clearly doesn’t apply to an eyebrow ring. As far as general health risks from piercing, as I’ve pointed out over and over, piercing is dramatically safer than organized sports or even riding the school bus. There is no health reason to ban piercings that stands up under objective scrutiny. The reason for this ban is exclusively sociopolitical and they really should just stop making this “health concerns” claim — unless they are seeking not just to be bigots, but stupid bigots.

Dill goes on to claim that the role of the schools is to “prepare students for the real world” and basically says, “well, the real world isn’t fair, so schools shouldn’t be fair either.” To that there can be only one response: bullshit.

The purpose of the schools should be to educate, not to make slaves or consumers. Dill says we must not “erroneously” allow students to “believe they can do as they please and wear what they want”. Let me let Dill in on a little secret: it’s a free country. If students want to wear a piercing somewhere other than their ears, that’s their right, and in a free society they can do so if it pleases them. Might it make finding some types of jobs harder? Sure, it might. But so will being black. Does Dill advocate that minorities be educated only for menial jobs and manual labor since that’s what the society he grew up in dictates?

The whole point of a free country and The American Dream is that a person can rise up and define who they want to be on their own terms, and if they work hard they will succeed. Schools shouldn’t be teaching people that they have to operate only inside tight boundaries, doing as big business says — schools should instead be teaching individuals to excel. Maybe I’m expecting too much though; I’ve quoted him before, but William Torrey, the former US Commissioner of Education wrote,

Ninety-nine out of a hundred are automata, careful to walk in prescribed paths, careful to follow the prescribed custom. This is not an accident but the result of substantial education, which, scientifically defined, is the subsumption of the individual.

Perhaps I’m an optimist, but I believe that we’re making a serious mistake when the purpose of education is to control and mold “the 99% who will be slaves”. I really believe that we should be focusing on imparting knowledge rather than conditioning. Dill on the other hand is quite clear in his third point that he does not feel that way, saying that schools must instill “acceptable behavior.”

Dill’s justification that “we must instill in students that one’s appearance does not determine who they are” could be seen as an admirable sentiment, but in light of his other statements and of the forcing of the point through rules brings to light his deception. If it is true that one’s appearance doesn’t dictate who one is (a highly debatable point), then the eyebrow ring shouldn’t be a big deal — what Dill is actually saying is “we must instill in students that one’s appearance does determine who they are.” He is in fact quite clear that it is a student’s adherence to visual norms that will determine their fate in life.

Robert Dill and his associates on the school board are just more witless oppressors in a long string of morons destroying America. America was built on individualism and the notion of defining oneself on one’s own terms; even a cursory look at the “greats” of American history should make that clear. This new plan that’s been growing over the past hundred years is what will ultimately cause America to fall — and many would argue that is already well on its way to happening. A hundred years ago America was known as a wild and pioneering country where anything was possible, but these days its known as a boorish, ignorant, obese, and illiterate nation with citizens that blindly follow corporate leaders. That is not a good thing and the school system should be ashamed of propping it up!

To quote John F. Kennedy,

Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.

So Robert Dill and the rest of the United School District board, fuck you for playing your part in the destruction of a great country.


Shannon Larratt

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

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