Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Valedictorian Punished for Speaking at Graduation

Psychotic Principal swears out criminal complaint against top grad for the crime of attempting to speak at commencement ceremony
If you've ever wondered why so many people homeschool their kids in this state, look no further than principal Rufus Lassiter at Gallatin High School in Sumner County, Tennessee.

Rufus Lassiter has filed a criminal complaint against Chris Linzy, valedictorian with a 5.35 GPA on a 4.0 scale.

The valedictorian's crime?

The kid attempted to give a geeky speech at his graduation ceremony. I kid you not! Chris Linzy managed to get out all of two sentences before the mike was turned off. Then like any good geeky kid would, he quietly went to his seat.

You probably thought valedictorians were supposed to give speeches. I guess your kid doesn't go to Gallatin High School. Lucky you! At Gallatin High School, the honor goes to the popular kid, or the popularly elected class president.

And what was the subject of the criminal speech?

The need for this generation to "build a new America upon the values of reason and individuality."

They really don't like smart kids in Sumner County, Tennessee!

I'm guessing principal Rufus Lassiter was not exactly an honor student. Probably he was a jock. Whatever he was in high school, he has since evolved into a class A jerk.

Besides filing criminal charges against the kid, Rufus Lassiter is also withholding the valedictorian's diploma. "School administrators haven't decided whether Linzy will receive his diploma."

But it's not just the principal, the problem appears to be systemic in the public school culture of Sumner County, Tennessee:

Sumner County Schools Superintendent Benny Bills said he was displeased with Linzy’s behavior. “He’s a smart guy; he knew there would be consequences,” Bills said. “He understood what the rules were…Who is he to be different? Just because you are smart you don’t have the right to go against the rules."

Linzy has won numerous academic awards. He has an engineering scholarship to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He has an interest in alternative fuels, and is producing hydrogen fuel in his garage at home in Castalian Springs.

“I’m an engineering geek,” he said. “If there’s one thing I do, it’s always maintain my grades. I’ve taken every advanced course the school has to offer.”

“I had just become slowly disillusioned with the way the school has been the past couple of years,” he said.

Linzy said part of his disappointment is that the achievements of ultra-smart students such as himself are minimized at the school. Since most Sumner County high schools ask the school’s top students to deliver speeches, he said Gallatin High’s tradition disturbed him.

Although he had tried to get the rule changed earlier in the school year, he said he’d given up on it until he heard Lassiter make a statement to the audience Friday night.

In the statement audience members and students were threatened with legal action if they were loud or disruptive with applause or calling out names, said Chris Linzy’s father, David Linzy. They were told they would be ushered out of the gymnasium and that a petition for disruptive behavior would be filed.

Legal action for applause?!?! Whoa! Was this a graduation ceremony or a prison ceremony? Not only does this school frown on brainy kids, it doesn't think much of kids who like to have fun either. I think that means this is a school that doesn't like kids. No wonder kids drop out of Tennessee schools in droves. And I mean droves!

According to the valedictorian's dad, Chris "is probably the quietest person in the world." The quietest person in the world finally gets up the nerve to speak, and he's charged with misdemeanor criminal charges. That'll teach him. (Disclaimer: my youngest daughter is the other quietest person in the world.)

The real criminal offense is that kids have to attend schools run by the likes of Rufus Lassiter. This control freak would be far better suited for the job of warden at Riverbend Maximum Security Prison than guardian of children.

People, stay away from this school!

Here's the kid's criminal speech. Please note the irony.

People who need to be heard are silenced

By Christopher David Linzy

Christopher David Linzy, member of a generation not without heroes but worse with counterfeit heroes.

This is not because those persons that deserve to be role models do not exist but instead because these people that need to be heard most in our society are silenced by the roar of counterfeit personalities.

The great industrialists and philosophers of our society are drowned out by nihilistic and altruistic celebrity voices that preach a message the end result of which is in fact the destruction of our industrial world.

These people have become our generation’s only guides and this is why we live in a moral vacuum. With no one to inspire us to pursue our desires and personal goals we turn instead to the mindless goal of the so called collective mind. Individuals are lost in a sea of disillusion and decay.

This however can be stopped. Our generation can turn back the tide of decay and build a new America upon the values of reason and individuality. We can lead not only ourselves but all who follow us out of the swamp of the mind and onto ground paved with individual morality and reason driven ambitions.

See the kid's apology here.

Update: It appears that just a few short years ago, Rufus Lassiter was a soccer coach (more here) at Gallatin High School. Heh. From coach to principal. It figures.

Please make some phone calls.

Principal, Mr. Rufus Lassiter
Gallatin High School
700 Dan P. Herron Drive
Gallatin, Tennessee 37066
Fax 615-451-5426
Ron Becker, Assistant Principal for Males (!)

Director of Schools, Benny Bills
(615) 451-5205