“What’s the matter with Kansas?” It’s a question that was first asked in 1896 by journalist William Allen White and, well, hasn’t really stopped being asked since. Thomas Frank used the question as the title of his landmark 2004 book regarding the state’s curious political fortunes, and it was asked all too often by Jayhawks fans about their alma mater’s football program - or was until Mark Mangino came along.
(They’re in Kansas and they’re cheerleaders. Close enough. We don’t need another visit from Chris Hansen.)
But today we’ve gotta wonder what the heck is going on with the Sunflower State’s high school students. Last week we found out about a group of jackass high school football players who thought it would be fun to jam some Icy-Hot up a freshman’s fanny, and this week? Well, this week in Wacky Kansas High School Hi-Jinks, it’s all about the Andover Central High School cheerleader orgy. Or something.
Several Kansas news outlets are reporting that a group of high school football players and cheerleaders from Andover, near Wichita, have been disciplined and suspended for … something. Nobody’s saying what, other than it happened at a house party. So — booze? Fights? Drugs? Well, no. So, uh, what happened, and how did the students get suspended?
School spokeswoman Keturah Austin said today that she couldn’t disclose details of the allegations or the discipline because of “student privacy issues.”
The statement said the activities were not sponsored by the school and “were neither physically threatening to students or illegal” and that the actions occurred at a private home over Labor Day weekend.
Nothing illegal. Nothing threatening. Anything else?
“We had some inappropriate activities and we took some action we think it’s appropriate,” said superintendent Mark Evans. Evans says he doesn’t consider what happened hazing.
Thanks for nothing, Wichita-area media. Something happened, it wasn’t illegal, and yet…suspensions and discipline. At a private school, sure, makes sense - they can do whatever the hell they want. I once got threatened with suspension at my religious high school for questioning my religion teacher’s claim that the Earth was 5,000 years old. Par for the course in religious nutjob land.
But it’s pretty disturbing that a public school can just go around suspending students if they engage in behavior the school disagrees with. This isn’t just a liberal rant, either - what if a school district didn’t like kids engaging in church groups outside of schools, or were involved with a charity the district didn’t like? Certainly that wouldn’t be a suspension-worthy activity, would it? So how can a legal - if perhaps immoral in the eyes of a Christian conservative town - activity be grounds for suspension?
Thank God for comments, right? Let’s see what we can find out from anonymous internet commenter and unimpeachable news source “Andover Central High School student:”
I was there for a time and I can vouch that nothing illegal occurred. I am going to debunk each of the false claims in a bulleted list because I believe that would be the only format suitable to the general level of intelligence exuded on this thread.
1) None of the students were 18… NOT A SINGLE ONE. I am a friend to all of the accused “pedophiles” and witnessed these so call “explicit acts”. Besides, under Kansas Law 18 is an arbitrary age. 16 is the legal age of consent.
2) The parents were present at the party. I was there… I would know.
3) There was absolutely no alcohol or drugs. Not a single illicit substance was present.
4) These so called “indecent acts” consisted of nothing more than dancing in front of a seated person. There was absolutely no physical contact taking place.
Aha. I knew this sounded familiar. Seems like we’ve been down this road before. Perhaps you know the story better as…
Seriously though - WTF, Kansas? If a high school football player can’t even get a lap dance or a handy from a cheerleader anymore, then the terrorists have already won.