Sunday, March 13, 2011

ZAP! #42: Don't Be Stoopid!

ZAP! #42...March 13, 2011

At the outset, we will admit this bias: We are not a fan of tattoos, pierced body art, or lips injected and inflated with God only knows what. Of course free will does allow folks to do stupid things and we generally will always step aside and ignore their choices...unless the act is criminal.

And this brings us to MacArthur HS basketball coach Ms. Suzie Oelschlegel. Without attempting to read between the lines, we are not stating that Ms. Oelschlegel is stupid. Let’s be clear about that. However, we do believe that she is in the process of doing something the average person would consider to be blatantly dumb.

The MacArthur HS girls basketball team recently won the Class 5-A State basketball championship. At some point in time, Coach Oelschlegel told her team -- supposedly as an act of solidarity -- that should the team win the state championship, she would have the teams “rally cry” tattooed on her body along with other team members. While this doesn’t sound too bad, it does verge on the edges of being a little irrational for a professional educator.

Of course, we thought the team’s slogan might be something symbolic and have genuine meaning like: “Remember the Alamo,” or “We’re #1 State Champs.” After all, the team is known around town as the Lady Cardinals! Dignity might even prevail in the tattoo parlor.

Imagine our dismay when we learned that the slogan to be permanently inked on the coach’s body and that of team members would be: “We N Dat Thang.” Does this ring any bells? Ever heard these words uttered by anyone of importance or sanity?

If you answered no to the above question, then you probably don’t listen to rap music. We don’t and that’s why we had no clue as to what “We N Dat Thang” was, meant, or signified. Even after being told, we still don’t get it. But at our age -- yes, we are beyond high school age -- in life, there are a lot of things we don’t get. And even more things that we don’t want to get.

Additionally, the MacArthur HS principal thought the coach was doing something nice “for the kids.” And we sometimes wonder why our educational system drags the bottom rung of the ladder world-wide?

But times change. And we should embrace they say. On reflection, the staff of the CCR is going to change our mind on tattoos.

In fact, we are going to the local tattoo parlor tomorrow and have our first inking. Yes, we are going to have the following tattooed on our right index finger: U - B Stoopid.

Then, when we run into one of our fellow inkers with wretched slogans or art, we can point our index finger at their “art” and smile.

They will just think we are in agreement with their ink job, since they will not be able to see or read our ink job of: U - B Stoopid.

A reader sez:

“Mr. Holbrook: Please be advised that the District nor its employees are authorized to have students get tattoos.

Additionally, I have checked with the District AD and have been notified that staff have not had students to get a tattoo.” IISD Superintendent Bedden

To my knowledge, the coaches are the only ones who have considered getting a tattoo. The school district, or it's employees, should not and will not encourage students to get tattoos. And the coaches may be re-thinking their comments/decision.” IISD Board President Jones

We Say:

Mrs. Jones, Mr. Bedden--

First, I only write about what I’ve read, seen or heard. And I willingly correct any factual errors that might pop up in my satirical musings. To this end, I have noted the TV coverage of the Tattoogate story, the reporter’s article on same and a link to the slogan’s use by Crunk Joose...which in itself is vulgar, misogynistic and replete with foul language. If you haven’t viewed, read, or heard all this, you should.

While I already understood that it would be a violation of district policy for a teacher, staff or administrator to tell, advise or encourage a student to get a tattoo, I also know that information and expectations can also be conveyed and imparted through other means: wink, nod, inference, suggestion, example, hint, and extrapolation. Also, an individual is supposed to be at least 18 or have their parents/guardians permission for a tattoo in Texas.

Regardless, I fully understand the legalese you expressed in each of your responses to the ZAP! concerning the coach’s comments about getting this gross tattoo. (And for the record, I did not state or infer that she coached or requested that students do the same. But, do you really think that if the coach got the tattoo that some of the students wouldn’t?)

What I don’t understand is the coach’s and principal’s total disregard for what this tattoo would mean and represent...certainly not State 5-A basketball champions. And it now appears that the IISD is more concerned about someone commenting on the coach’s and principal’s conduct then they are with addressing the real issue -- leadership and establishing exemplary examples. Also, the issue goes well beyond the “good grammar” and “motivation” aspect as voiced by the principal! (How shallow of a commentary was that?)

Hopefully, the above might center the discussion on what this issue is really about. It is not about what the IISD policy manual states an employee can or cannot do as inferred in your notes to me. Nor is it about a tattoo. To me and many of my readers, the issue is about the type of example administrators (coach and principal) project to students and the general public (those that pay their salaries). And in this instance, both individuals seemed to have failed the test and actually tarnished the glow of the actual event.

.........................Mark Holbrook

Here is the link for the TV coverage:

Here is the link to the slogan being discussed for the tattoo:

Here are the reporter’s notes on the subject: