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Jan 25th 2012 7:10AM Don't remove absolute accountability from the ship's master. For very sound reasons, this accountability has long been the custom of the sea. Ship owners need to reinforce that accountability by requiring sound safety practices including - of course - passenger orientation. What I have not heard about at all is the command and control structure of these ships: what are the officers' responsibilities? When should an officer step in and assume command? For example: why was communication so inept? Why didn't the passengers "get the word"? If the captain left the ship, who was on board and in charge? It is this chain of command question that puzzles me more than the crack up of a single human being.
Sep 9th 2009 5:22PM Jim, did you really mean to sound so silly?
Jun 27th 2009 10:04AM I should have said that I agree with Robin, not Steve Paulette.
Jun 27th 2009 9:57AM I agree with Steve Paulette.
In addition: This superintendent certainly must have many excellent qualifications as well as a major lapse of good judgement in public and has great public responsibility as a leader.
If the superintendent were to understand that she made a knee-jerk terrible decision in public, one that is way beyond appropriate behavior by an appointed public official, she could redeem herself by making an equally public apology to the student and his family - and by extension to the entire community. This could be a valuable "learning moment" as well; her good example of simply staying she was wrong, that she erred, that such autocratic and inappropriate use of authority was not what we are about in this country, and that she would be pleased to present the diploma properly in public at any time and place the family chose.
She could, by doing so, do a real public service as well. School officials have more power personally than other officials (other than wardens) because children have such limited individual rights and this can lead to excessive use of authority as we learned this week when the Supreme Court ruled that strip searches of students were improper.
Teaching is tough and teacher need useful guidelines of what is and is not appropriate use of authority because all use of authority teach as well as control. The inappropriate lesson taught here needs to be addressed.