Gimme an S…Gimme a T…Gimme D…

What’s that spell?

McKinney North Cheerleaders, that’s what.

Until yesterday I was largely in the dark about the fiasco brewing over at a North Texas highschool, where it is alleged that former principal Linda Theret failed to exercise responsibly the duties of her office to discourage the rebellious behavior of a few teenage girls representing a rather naughty squad of bloomer-baring miscreants.

The facts are these: Five teenage girls from McKinney North High School have been allowed to violate school codes of behavior, trangress boundaries of acceptable dress, and disregard appropriate classroom decorum, all with a cavalier assurance of disciplinary immunity. Their repeated misbehaviors were inhibited only by the frustrated attempts of their former coach to set the girls aright. Frustrated, I say, because one of the girl’s mothers, Ms. Theret, used the influence and authority of her office to favor her daughter and her daughter’s friends. In October, the coach resigned and went public with her concerns. The principal has been suspended, as has the assistant principal, and the national headlines have been grabbed by yet another sordid story of prurient princesses shaking their pompoms and a whole lot more in the Lone Star State.

Imagine trying to prepare students for a college education with Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Tara Reid, Lindsay Lohan, and Jessica Simpson sitting, standing, and yacking on the cellphones while you tried to teach. Furthermore, try to imagine if those girls all had mothers like Madonna, Patsy Ramsey, or Leona Helmsley pumping their egos and defending their every infraction.

What you’d have is a complete breakdown of an educational environment. And that’s exactly what the good citizens of McKinney, TX, got.

Rowdy girls running around senior high schools flaunting their postpubescent profiles and scratching, biting, and hissing for the role of alpha female is nothing new. Such girls were my classmates, and they probably were yours. Some of us had the misfortune of sharing parents with those delinquent debutantes. The only difference in the vicious vixens of my secondary education was that they were, for the most part, ashamed to get caught. They walked the halls like vestal virgins during the school day, sweet talking teachers and playing the prude. At night, their Jekyll turned Hyde in an addictive elixir of alcohol-induced debauchery.

It’s almost comical to hear preachers and politicians denounce the barbaric brutalities of some Muslim societies, where mullahs and muftis punish the smallest acts of unchastity with scourgings and whippings and floggings. Those uncivilized pagans, we are told, have little regard for the value of human freedom, for the laws of God, or for the just and noble claims of our sanctified system of popular sovereignty. We, you see, are much better than they because we respect the unrestrained freedom of privacy that allows girls to abort their babies without parental consent, the freedom of the press that keeps shows like Girls Gone Wild on our televisions, and the separation of church and state that keeps religious values from exerting undue influence on public education.

I’m not one of those crazy evangelical kooks trying to pull kids out of public schools, but watching situations like the McKinney North cheerleader scandal unfold has given those of us who still affirm the benefit of public education a more difficult challenge. What it has done is given another opportunity to affirm the tremendous need — dare I say, duty — to reempower public educators to break out the old “board of education” and wield again the authority of corporal punishment. Perhaps that would smack some sense into recalcitrant teens like those who have arisen across the country in schools like McKinney North.

The good book says that sparing the rod is a foolproof recipe for spoiling the child. Watching those spoiled brats in McKinney damage the reputation of an entire school system makes you wonder what a few lashes might have done to deter their stubborn patterns of self-destruction. And if I didn’t think their perverse little masochistic hearts would thoroughy enjoy a good spanking, that’s exactly what I’d prescribe.

Who’s to blame for the kind of sociopathic behavior exhibited by the “Fab Five” of McKinney North High School? Is it the girls themselves, who have been denied an environment of structure and discipline in a public school system devoid of responsible administration? Is it the parents who have been allowed to relinquinsh their responsibilities of child-rearing to the omnipotent charter of state-sponsored education? Is it the church that has imbibed the moral-relativism of the surrounding culture and contented itself with a graceless gospel of entertainment and political influence?

Perhaps it is a combination of all of these, but I’m growing convinced that a so-called “Christian” society that produces — even rewards — a posse of lewd, irreverent cheerleaders is deserving of the same condemnation leveled against human-rights-violating Islamic societies where unchaste teenage girls are beaten for the kind of behavior we record on DVDs to market and sell here in the godblessed United States of America.

5 thoughts on “Gimme an S…Gimme a T…Gimme D…

  1. I agree with your sentiments even though I do not know the details of the McKinney scandal. However, you have to remember it is TEXAS and football and cheerleaders in Texas are not the norm for the nation. Some states have public school adminstrators who have a sense of duty and responsibility even when it involves football and cheerleaders.

  2. Well said.

    We have a lot of parents these days who would rather be their child’s best friend than take responsibility for parenting them. I’ve been a teacher and administrator in both public and private, Christians schools and I’ve seen it frequently. Parents just don’t realize they are not doing their kids any favors by letting them have whatever they want, and running interference for them whenever they bump up against the rules that everyone else has to follow. And it’s not just happening in public school, either. I worked for eight years in a private Christian school operated by a group of conservative Southern Baptist churches, in Texas BTW, where the administration played favorites with certain families and gave their kids exemption from rules that others didn’t get, and where teachers who wouldn’t cooperate with the administration’s blatant favoritism were hassled and left without support.

    When I was in seminary, I worked in guest services at a large hotel in Ft. Worth near the campus. One of the local high schools rented the ballroom for their prom. A pharmaceutical company across the street was responsible for a big chunk of our business and on the afternoon of the prom the company CEO’s administrative assistant rented one of our suites in the company name. During the prom, we kept seeing students disappear down the hallway and into the hotel, and started getting complaints from guests on the sixth floor about noise. The assistant manager and I went up there and discovered 80 kids at a party in the suite, complete with kegs, and the odor of marijuana was powerful. There was not an adult in the room. After running them all out and locking the suite, we called the woman who had rented the room and she freely admitted she had rented it, on company credit card and with their substantial discount, for her daughter’s party. The daughter and boyfriend had tried to get back into the suite and found their key wouldn’t work any more, and they had the audacity to come to the front desk and ask for a refund! The mother tried to get the CEO of the company to stop doing business with the hotel to “punish” us, but when he came over and found out from us what had happened, and saw the kegs and condition of the suite, he changed his mind. The school’s response was that they were not responsible for the actions of individual students at events taking place off their campus.

  3. One would think the principal would hold her child to a higher standard or send her to another school in the district where there was no family connection. I think the local paper was good to interview the coach so that pressure could be brought for the investigation.

    Everyone should be grateful that this was settled appropriately. If you can’t do your job without bias when you work for the public you should lose your job.

  4. I agree with what you say here. However why would malign Patsey Ramsey, who recently died? I sang for the little girl’s funeral in ’96 and know this family. They don’t deserve to be included in the same breath as Madonna.

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