Back in March, I wrote about an incident in Dallas ISD where $57,000 was spent to send boys to see the film Red Tails. Girls were excluded, if you’ll recall, and at the time the district claimed it was because “there weren’t enough seats in the theater.”
While taxpayers in DISD ought to feel oddly thankful for this money-saving gaffe on the part of their school district (it might have been twice the cost!), it was still one of those moments fraught with the worst kinds of discrimination that inevitably leads to more government. Girls stayed in the classroom to watch a film about girls competing in spelling bees, and boys went to a movie theater to watch a film about war heroes. It’s that dichotomy that led to the U.S. Department of Education swooping in to “train” district officials on, you guessed, gender equality.
Tell me, dear readers, if you think that spending money on training these dolts on gender equality would fix the root problem.
While certainly idiotic, the decision to send just the boys to the movie theater wasn’t the worst offense here. The problem wasn’t that the kids were watching a movie or even that gender segregation took place. The problem was that the district forked over $57,000 of taxpayer money to do it. Films are a great medium for reaching kids, and have been used as classroom tools for decades. There is even a place for gender segregation for some subjects at certain ages. But what happened in Dallas ISD wasn’t a good example of either – it was sheer waste happening in a district with a deep and storied history of waste.
Now the federal government is coming to the rescue, armed with sensitive language and ways to make sure no one is offended again. A shame that this is just a greater waste of taxpayer money and resources. It’s common sense – don’t spend money you don’t have on a field trip that purposely excludes half your student population. See? A little free advice from your friendly neighborhood taxpayer advocate.
Here’s hoping we can go a whole school year without hearing about one more extravagant school district’s fumbling of their mission and waste of their resources.