By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
What with the official Day of Reagan Mourning being Friday, June 11, and no updates probable until at least the following Monday, that means another weekend blown. So to speak.
The Houston school district's new Code of Conduct for students gets even tougher on misbehaving students who are sent to disciplinary-alternative schools. It also makes clear, for the first time, that stun guns are banned on HISD campuses.
Has this become a burgeoning problem in HISD? Have there been stun-gun shootouts in cafeterias across the city, with rival gangs Tasering each other over the chicken nuggets, hapless sixth-graders writhing and twitching on the ground as a bunch of eighth-grade bullies laugh at the little baby crying because he has 100,000 volts cruising through him?
Well, no. Not exactly. There's never been a reported incident of a student using a stun gun on an HISD campus, spokesman Terry Abbott says. In fact, he adds, "I know of only a couple of occasions where children brought stun guns to campus."
He says the code change is still needed, however, because stun guns are not illegal, so there was no specific language in the HISD code banning them from campus.
Of course, HISD is already one of those districts slavishly worshiping the zero-tolerance god, where kids have even been expelled for displaying a gun-shaped cigarette lighter. Academic careers are not yet threatened if you point your finger and leave your thumb up -- so your hand looks like a gun! -- but it's getting there.
Given that, we actually sort of assumed stun guns were already frowned upon.
At any rate: Remember, kids, before you Taser that smug jerk whose mom helped her win the science fair -- wait until she's off campus. Then fire away.
No Help Needed
Good luck. Don't let the doorknob hit you on the way out.
One Houston mother tells Hair Balls she wanted to introduce her preteen and a couple of his friends to the political process by the time-honored tradition of envelope-stuffing and block-walking. So she found a number for the Kerry campaign's Houston headquarters and dialed, no doubt expecting open arms for an actual volunteer here in alleged Bush Country.
"Umm," she was told by a clearly taken-aback staffer. "We don't really have a lot of room here." Not to mention "I don't really know what volunteers could do" (Whaaat?) and abject horror at the thought of preteens running around.
Democrats, be of stout heart -- the John Kerry machine is clearly firing on all cylinders.
The mom, who didn't want her name used, was directed to the Harris County Democratic Party, where indeed they were very glad to have her and her crew.
It turns out Kerry's office here deals only with fund-raising calls to bigfoot financial types. "It's just dialing for dollars over there," says Harris County Democratic chair Gerry Birnberg.
And all you grassroots types can just stay the hell away, apparently.