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.