Saturday, May 13, 2006

Epilogue? 2

Admirable is the restraint in the response of Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys (CSMB) to the infamous spoon-and-fork incident at Ecole Lalande. Relevant excerpts:
The CSMB would like to use this space to support the principal, the staff and the school team of Lalande primary school in Pierrefonds/Roxboro, who have been overwhelmed in the last few weeks by the turmoil caused by the way an educational intervention involving a student during the noon lunch hour was handled. Both the staff and the principal of the school felt and feel that they have been directly challenged and are hurt by the comments and the intentions that have been imputed against them.

The CSMB must also point out that the educational intervention in question was not aimed in any way at the practices of any cultural community. It was strictly limited to the way a child was consuming lunch on that particular day and had nothing to do with the way of eating or the utensils used.
The CSMB has invited the parents of the pupil to enter a dialogue to clarify the facts, the misunderstandings, and the interpretations. It has wishes to intervene thoughtfully and soberly on the issue. It must first and foremost be remembered that the disclosure of any information regarding the students that have been entruested to its charge may constitute a breach of confidentiality. Its overriding concern is to preserve a respectful educational link with the choild and openness to dialogue with the parents.

Note the absence of recriminations, in particular, any details on the behavior of the child that were at the root of the incident, as opposed to what other follow up stories have already reported, or for that matter, any mention of the child's identity at all. This is a principled stand, and for that the board deserves admiration.

Whether this explanation satisfies some is another matter entirely.

As a postscript, I might recommend the young adult novel Nothing but the Truth by Avi, which best approximates this incident and precedes it by a full 15 years.


  1. Thanks for this DOM. The hit and run press has already forgotten this incident, having already made its paeans to political correctness.

    What will be interesting to see is how true the accusation is, hurled at Ecole Lalande of RACISM, which the Philippine Embassy of Canada and the Press, relying only on one side, said it would be happy for the authorities to conclude as the ultimate problem there.

    But like all systemic problems, there cannot be only one manifestation. If Ecole Lalande is run by practicing racists, there should be many, many other incidents that should now come out -- considering how truly diverse that school system apparently is.

  2. Right you are, DJB. This is an endemic problem with our media, unfortunately. Embarrassments are quickly swept under the rug. That's why Devils are needed to keep them honest.

  3. And angels. But look at this posted at UNIFORS:

    Rizalist said,

    on May 13th, 2006 at 2:59 pm


    But I am suddenly upset and angry at this Saudi Prisoner release that GMA was just one big self-congratulatory smile over. I’ve come to Unifors for diplomatic relief!

    I mean, what is this? The 13 th Century?

    Who is this Prince Abdullah? He who would fling out of his Kingdom, like so many coppers out of a large pot of gold, Filipinos they say violated their laws and have been imprisoned?

    I hear GMA say, the Arab King paid blood money for the release of the prisoners.

    What system of Justice is this that the Philippine President would ACCEPT such a medieval and autocratic gesture?

    Is this not in fact a way for the great Arab potentate floating on Allah’s oil, to say to the little GMA, the tinpot Snowpake Queen of an archipelagic land once ruled by the Empire of the Ottoman: you are still our minor tributary, here take back some of your kin (our headaches, now yours!).

    And is she — are WE — expected to respond in some equal measure to this Prince Abdullah Bullah? Does our DEMOCRACY now have a quid pro quo with the most evil empire on Earth — the one that gave OBL his birth, his demiurge?

    Are we now expected to reply in kind and release Abu Sayyaf prisoners or Muslims that are in OUR jails?

    I’ve come to UNIFORS for diplomatic relief!

    I demand that you GUYZ do something about this atrocious spitoon upended upon our Constitution, and everything we stand for.

    No sir. This is not generosity from the Arab KIng.

    It is a towering and dastardly insult to the people of Bonifacio, Aguinaldo, Quezon, Osmena, Roxas, Quirino, Magsaysay,Garcia, Macapagal, Marcos, Ramos, Estrada, Arroyo and every Batungbakal and Buencamino from Aparri to Jolo, who loves democracy and liberty and Rule of Law!

    Awake ye blind men!

    Hear me ye deaf
    that are not dumb,

    I know now
    What sort of Thing
    Did make bin Laden!

  4. Hi, Dean: I use Devil in terms of accuser, or adversary. Besides, I like the more aggressive context ;-)

  5. I've always thought that some broadsheets are masquarading as tabloids.

    Now, regarding that 13th century fundamentalist sect of an eastern religion... Money talks and they've got lots of it. Realpolitik.