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Posts Tagged ‘Plymouth-Canton Schools’

This game has gone viral.  The ontroversial ending is all over the internet.  It is even on Rivals, the premiere websource for high school sports and college recruiting.  I’ve seen the youtube video posted numerous times on Facebook and discussed on spartantailgate.com, one of the most frequented websites in the world and maybe the most notable single team/school college  website on the net.  Below is the link to the rivals article.

http://highschool.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1001233

As I’ve said before, I’m a John Glenn graduate.  In fact, I played a varsity sport there.  So I’m not upset to see them win the game.  There again, I’m a member of this community now and I support the local schools and teams (but do not really follow them.)  When it comes right down to it, though, I don’t care too much one way or another who won this game.  But I am slightly bothered by Plymouth High’s handling of the controversy, at least the way it is presented in the rivals article linked above.

Here’s a bit from the article that stood out and that I found somewhat disappointing

Sawchuk wants no part of that – or being an Internet sensation. He just wants what he feels his team earned: A victory.

“It’s something that’s a protest in my eyes,” he told the paper. “We won the game. We played our tails off and they (Glenn) should not be happy with the win.”

The “protest” is so strong that the team’s official website has yet to record a final score of the game.

I have no problem with the Wildcats athletic director or football coaching staff lodging a complaint over the play.  They might be right.  Perhaps the refs should have — or maybe did — blow the whistle.  They could have been screwed.  Sometimes, though, being a good sport means accepting with as much grace as one can muster those calls that don’t go your way.  For the coaches to talk like the Wildcats didn’t lose the game is a bit too much.  The game won’t be replayed.  Two weeks later the score won’t be set aside.  The Wildcats will not be declared the winners.  It’s time to accept the situation as is and move on.  The kids on the team will learn that life often requires this.  Some of us have to continuously swallow bitter pills, suffer grave injustices (or at least perceived ones.)  The best thing the coaches could do for the players is to let this matter go and move forward.

That’s easy for me to say.  I didn’t play.  My child wasn’t on the losing side of the field.  I do recognize, too, that the Wildcats did shake hands with the Rockets after the loss, a very dignified and appropriate response.  I applaud them for that.

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An often misquoted and misunderstood biblical phrase, “out of the mouths of babes,” is loosely used to convey the sense that children, perhaps unfettered by world-weariness, often express wisdom that is beyond (or at least forgotten by) their elders.  Sadly, in my experience, that is not often enough the case.

I read a nice article in today’s Plymouth Observer entitled “Sending a Message: Kids divided on texting while driving ban.”  You can read the entire article here:  http://www.hometownlife.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009910080660

The article is quite an eye opener.  Oh, it’s not shocking that kids would text while driving.  Maddeningly, I see this happening almost daily.  The people who can least afford to be distracted on the road, inexperienced drivers, yack on their cell phones incessantly and text with an alarming frequency.  I’m actually surprised these days when I pass a teen driver that is not on his or her phone. And I’m not exaggerating.

What did shock me in the article is that some of them, knowing the danger they are putting themselves and others in by distracted driving, think a ban on driving-while-texting is a bad idea or it goes too far.  Here are some of the more disheartening quotes from some local high schoolers:

Kristyn Sturtz, a 16-year-old Plymouth High School junior, said she has stopped text messaging while driving, but she opposes a federal ban because “people are going to do it anyway” and she believes the law would be ineffective.

Still, Sturtz said, “I know people who have gotten in crashes (while texting). No one has gotten hurt, but cars have been totaled.”

Ah, the old “people are going to do it anyway” reason for not passing laws.  I suppose we should take the drunk driving statutes off the books because people continue to drink and drive.

This young lady admittedly texts while driving but won’t stop unless the feds step in and ban the practice:

Kara Bongiovanni, a 17-year-old Canton High School senior, said she doesn’t typically initiate texting while driving, but she reads and responds when others text her. “I try to make it to a red light before I respond, but I do read it while I’m driving, though,” she said.

Still, Bongiovanni said she would stop texting while driving altogether if state or federal lawmakers impose a ban — an idea she supports.

Apparently it seems advisable to her only to read texts while driving but not actually respond until she is at a red light.  This is at least a step in the right direction.

This boy perhaps expresses the most startling sentiment of all: he regularly texts and drives but the law should find a “middle ground” to regulate his behavior.  An all out ban, he seems to suggest, would disconnect his poor soul during his commute:

Alex Gravlin, a 16-year-old Salem High School junior, said an outright ban goes too far. He suggested efforts to find “a middle ground” in the controversy, although he isn’t sure what it would be.

Gravlin said he often prefers quick text messaging over formal phone conversations, and he said it’s a practice he engages in “from the time school gets out until I go to bed.” He conceded he texts while driving “every now and then,” but he usually tries to do it when he is stopped at a red light.

I hate to sound like a finger-wagger, but this is a safety issue.  Drivers that feel this way could kill themselves or others.

There’s another issue at work her, too.  People just can’t seem to unplug even for a few minutes, teens in particular.  This thinking is lost on me.  Why is responding immediately to some inane teen jibber-jabber more important than paying attention to the road for a few minutes?

Now this kid gets it.  She seems to have a head on her shoulders:

Amy Paladino, a 17-year-old Canton High School senior, said she has completely stopped sending or reading texts while she is driving, and she supports a ban.“I never text while I’m driving. I just let them pile up until I’m done driving,” she said, adding that she became fearful after seeing stories about people who have died while texting and driving.

“I don’t want that to be me,” Paladino said.

See how simple that is?  If only more of her peers would listen to her.

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Westland John Glenn (my high school alma mater) got a lucky break, on an incredibly controversial play, and beat the Plymouth Wildcats on a last second touchdown at Glenn’s homecoming game last week.

The Wildcats blocked a field goal attempt but the ball did not pass the line of scrimmage. It was picked up by Glenn’s kick holder and, after some confusion on the field, run in for a touchdown. The play was upheld by the refs and the game awarded to Glenn. There’s some dispute over whether Glenn’s #87 downed by the ball by kneeling while in possession, but that was not seen or called by the refs.

A crazy play like this is a tough way to lose a game. It’s also an incredible way to win it. The play is on youtube and you can see it here.

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A 16 year old student in the Plymouth-Canton School District has tested positive or probable for “Swine Flu.”  The school district is closing all schools May 4 and 5.

I can just imagine that panic is going to start setting in around town.  I’m personally not too worried about this, but if you are I do understand.  Just wash your hands religiously and you’ll cut down the risk of infection.  Get some hand sanitizer and carry with y0u.  Use it after you handle money or touch door knobs and stuff like that in public places.

panflu

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The March 15, 2009, Plymouth Observer reported that officials of the Plymouth-Canton School District are trying to get their hands on millions of dollars in federal stimulus money.  The funds wouldn’t got to keeping teachers employed, anything to improve the curriculum or even balance the budget, but would got to several so-called “green” initiatives.

Superintendent Craig Fiegel enlisted the aid of a pair of consultants who have helped the district craft some $13 million in renewable energy projects slated for buildings across the district.The two drawing the most attention are a plan to cool off the gymnasiums, particularly at Plymouth High School, which can reach temperatures as high as 95 degrees during the summer, and covered, solar-heated walkways to provide cover for students moving between the Plymouth Canton Educational Park’s three buildings.

http://www.hometownlife.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009903150529

The school district wants to spend the money on heated sidewalks and cooling a gymnasium during the summer — when are school gyms used in the summer? — while the district is looking to be $7.4 million in the red next in 2010-11.

If the Plymouth-Canton school board does nothing else and the numbers crunch the way the district’s financial team has planned, there will be enough money in the district’s projected $2 million deficit in 2009-10.

It’s the following year that really presents problems.

As budget predictions sit now, the school district faces a potential $7.4 million deficit in 2010-11, when it will have only about $2.5 million in its fund equity.

http://www.hometownlife.com/article/20090319/NEWS15/903190691/1032

What kind of sense does any of this make?  Our leaders want to cover and heat sidewalks while the school district is about ready to start hemorrhaging cash?

Maybe the argument is that stimulus money is supposed to be spent on projects that create jobs, not balancing budgets.  Even so, I see the school district’s proposals as madness — stupidity — in light of anticipated massive budget deficits.

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The Escape, always looking for ways to raise funds to stay on the air, is having a can and bottle drive this Saturday, February 7, from from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the east entrance of Salem High School (near the student parking lot).

The Escape is also willing to pick up your cans and bottles at your home.  If you are interested in that, call 734-416-7732.

http://www.881theescape.com/

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A few weeks back I made a lighthearted post about the Plymouth-Canton School District’s automated school closing alert telephone calls. I was impressed by the system but a tad miffed at being called at 5:15 a.m. I understand, though, that word needs to get out early so parents can prepare appropriately.

One phone call, though, should suffice. Between 5:23 and 5:26, I got three (3) straight phone calls. I had to go downstairs to answer the phone. This time I had a pretty good idea that it was a school closing alert call and didn’t get out of bed. But by the third time the phone rang, I had to answer if for no other reason than to get it to stop! Sure enough, it was a school closing message.

Leave a message for me! Please! We have voicemail. I don’t want to get out of bed, in the freezing cold, to be told what I already know, that school is closed.

The system needs to be changed to allow it to leave voicemail. Or the phone calls could start at 6:00 a.m., when I’m already awake.

Reform is needed, damn it!

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