Rio Grande HS Held Hostage: Day Eight

On a  time spectrum of news stories consisting of:

  • Interest
  • Outrage
  • Joke
  • Unfunny joke
  • General embarrassment
  • Trivia
  • Nostalgia

the Rio Grande HS situation has now moved from “Joke” to “Unfunny joke”.  Part of reaching the “Unfunny joke” stage is that we’ve entered another time spectrum model, the Kubler-Ross “Five Stages of Grief”.

I think we’re at Stage III, “Bargaining”.  As in “Every RGHS student will have a ‘real’ schedule by after Labor Day! Promise!  So don’t burn the school down, okay?!?”

As any APS teacher will tell you this unfunny situation brings to mind the unfunny chestnut that “School in Albuquerque doesn’t really start until after Labor Day”.  When I first got to APS in ’93 the line was actually “…after the State Fair”, and it probably reflects poorly on the State Fair that nobody cares enough about it to make that joke anymore.  I mean, remember the days when schools got off a 1/2 day to go throw up on amusement rides.

Oh, the days before “accountability”!

And speaking of accountability, the RGHS debacle is like a sixth grade classroom where some kid has loudly farted, the class has fallen over itself in laughter, and even the teacher has smiled…but the smell won’t go away.  The laughter then largely dies, replaced by an uncomfortable vibe and a movement toward trying to open that window to the outside world, the one that always sticks and three kids have to team together to manage it.  But it’s worth it, getting that window open, because the smell is still really bad.

And because the smell is lingering, and because a “school day” at RGHS still sounds conspicuously like 6.5 hours of Study Hall, only without any classes to study for, the question has to be raised:  Who farted here?

I don’t know.  I have no insights into who “dealt” this, but I’ve noticed that as these news narratives roll on, and the hysteria reaches crescendo, finding the actual folks who cause these things becomes less important than just randomly sticking some heads on pikes.

And we’re almost at the point, the point of “Unfunny Joke” becoming “General Embarrassment”, where  the mob starts grabbing the pointy sticks.  And by mob I don’t mean the Rio Grande HS PTSA, which has already called for Principal Chalberg-Hale’s head. On a political power spectrum, I’d put the Rio Grande HS PTSA at the equivalence of somewhere between Somalia & Andorra.

No, I’m talking about a different mob and a different calculation.  A modern one, based more on hits to news media stories and emails to school board members.  I don’t know if those hits and emails will reach the point where scapegoating becomes absolutely necessary, but you gotta think any delay past this “After Labor Day…honest!” declaration will get us clean to “Trivia” stage, as in:

“Remember the Head  Honcho X was got fired over that scheduling thing at Rio Grande a few years ago?”

Have a good weekend everybody, especially those schedule-makers who will be spending it at Rio Grande trying to meet that September 7th deadline.


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