Brickbat: Respect My Authority


Dozens of students at Michigan's Kenowa Hills High School decided to ride their bicycles to school as a senior prank. They talked to the local police department and managed to get an official escort to the parade, and they even convinced the mayor to ride with them. When they got to school the principal immediately suspended the students, forbid them from taking part in the traditional last walk through the school, and threatened to keep them from taking part in the graduation ceremony. Principal Katie Pennington said the students backed up traffic and put people in danger. But Superintendent Gerard Hopkins said the suspension was as much about showing the students who was in charge as it was about any problems they caused.

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  1. The arbitrary application of power. Now that’s an education those graduating seniors can take into the real world.

    1. Exactly. I hope they keep this in mind whenever they have to deal with bureaucrats – and when a politician promises government help.

  2. Katie Pennington’s tantrum ensures that she’ll never be respected again. She has disqualified herself for the job she currently holds.


    1. John, maybe to us, but not to the Nanny Staters!

  3. At least there’s a silver lining to the story. What’s the point of a senior prank if not only did you not get in any trouble but you actually got permission from the authorities?

  4. Am I missing something, how is riding a bicycle to work a prank ? And how is riding a bicycle to school putting peoples lives in danger ?

    1. I rode my bike school just about every day in 6th, 7th and 8th grade. Without a helmet. My evil mom made me take the bus when it snowed or rained.

      1. I also rode my bike every day to school, also without a helmet, my problem was not snow but sometimes the incredible heat that made it punishing. But is was either taking the bike or walking, thank God for the inventor of bicycles.

        1. “My dear boy, if God had intended for us to walk, he wouldn’t have invented roller skates.”

          1. If Gawd had meant for for us to fly, he’d a-gived us tickets!

          1. A bicycle without tires, PHOD. Obscene. You won’t be invited to the next church barbecue.

    2. Seriously. We parked our cars in the parking lot to spell out “Fuck [principal’s name]!” In 8th grade we picked up the principal’s car (manually with about 12 people) and moved it between and perpendicular to two other cars. This riding a bike shit with the mayor jn the lead sounds more like a smarmy eco-protest than a senior prank.

      1. I’m with you, db! f$%^k those little bike-ridin commies. 🙂

        1. You know that f$%^k is a 4-letter word – right?

          1. You’re thinking of f$%k – f$%^k is from the swedish for cover in felch.

            1. Ah.

              *brushes up on Scandinavian*

              1. Why bother.

                If there is one good aspect of centuries of colonization by the Brits then the Americans, it’s that much of the rest f the world speaks English.

                Every Scandinavian I’ve ever met not only speaks fluent English, but they speak it better than many folks right here in Central Kentucky.

      2. We had some guys paint themselves green and streak through the commons. Can’t remember if they were caught or suspended but I think not.

  5. If you and your parents don’t have sense enough to know your brains could end up splattered on Three Mile and Kinney, Fruit Ridge, then maybe that’s my responsibility,” she is heard telling students on the cellphone video obtained by 24 Hour News 8

    If there’s going to be any brains splattered, I’m going to be doing the splattering, goddamnit!

    1. I would think the official police escort would take care of brain-splattering.

      You can take that any way you wish.

      1. What it really boiled down to was a jurisdictional dispute.

        1. Yeah. I was thinking there has to be some Mayor-School Board power struggle subtext involved.

    2. Wow, what a douche nozzle. She actually took a shot a the parents?

  6. Those guys look like they know what they are doing!

  7. So I guess there’s no point in being under the age of 25 anymore if nobody’s allowed to have any fun at all.

    1. What about bath saltz, beer enemas, rainbow parties, auto-asphyxiation, and the ever popular JenKum, kibby?

      Not to mention all those sex partays, twittering, piercings and whatever else you kids are doing these days…

      Good SOD, I feel old…

      1. I can’t believe you left out sexting you heartless cunt.

        And yes, Ken, it’s okay to use cunt when it’s for the children.

        1. I would love to hear a follow-up of this story in which these students are penalized in some way for finding a creative way to call the principal a cunt.

          1. Body paint is a tried and true method. Personally, I would have loved to see a dog shit bomb in the lede somewhere. I need residuals!

      2. what about the pleasures of adulthood, mysterious and forbidden to the young?

          1. Duh, taxing other people.

          2. Bastard, you beat me to it. To be fair, there are quite a few under 25 entrepreneurs and hard workers that pay taxes and do other adult stuff, like raising a family. Not every under 25-er takes an EITC, though arguably most do.

            Actually, I was going to mention car insurance rate reductions, but that’s about it for me.

            1. Car insurance? Car insurance?!?!?!

              What about wisdom, perspective and inner peace?

              1. Overrated, mostly…..

        1. I was thinking nostalgia, but the two mid-20s sitting outside my office saw New Kids on the Block and N-Sync on the weekend to relive their happy childhood, so even that is no longer ours

          1. BAH! They should be listening to The Cure, or Bauhaus or NIN. I would even accept INXS or Culture Club here.

      3. And there’s always Smarties snorting.

      4. I only know what most of those are thanks to Reason some…interesting google searches.

        My piercings twitter account would like to know who the heck SOD is, actually.

  8. “But Superintendent Gerard Hopkins said the suspension was as much about showing the students who was in charge as it was about any problems they caused.”

    Of course it was – got to let ’em know that you’re in charge all the way up to the last second of the last day.

    1. How exactly is the high school principal in charge of how the students got to school? The bike parade did not take place on school grounds, therefore the principal had no authority to suspend the students.

  9. the principal immediately suspended the students, forbid them from taking part in the traditional last walk through the school, and threatened to keep them from taking part in the graduation ceremony.

    And if you think *that’s* bad, wait’ll you hear what the principal did to the mayor and the police!

    Also, *forbade*.

    1. Good catch, Rich! I missed that one! *Forbade* is just one of those awesome word tenses.

  10. We should applaud the school officials. There’s no better way to drive home the libertarian message than first-hand exposure to the realities of self-important bureaucrats and tax-sucking civil servants. When these kids start working and voting, they will be properly cynical when the State comes to them with its hand out, begging for them to vote for more money for “education.”

    1. Yes, especially when the kids were actually trying to be nice and PC.

      The vandalism is part of the tradition known as senior pranks.

      But a decision by Kenowa Hills seniors to do something a lot less harmful has drawn the ire of their principal.

      The plan was to hold a bike parade as a nice, non-destructive, healthy senior prank.


  11. Yes, it was an overreaction on the principal’s (read: cunt’s) part, but what I don’t understand is how she can justify punishing students for activity that took place off school grounds. Clearly, the city had no objections to the students’ activity, since both police and the mayor participated. Yet, this mini-tyrant principal has bestowed upon herself the authority to punish the students for what she perceived as traffic infractions? Was there some other issue at play here? Is there some kind of power struggle between the school and city hall? Does she somehow think the position as high school principal makes her a law enforcement officer? Is she mentally ill?

    1. Yes.

  12. At the time I read this 23 people “like” this. When you click on the “like” button, what exactly are you approving of? The reporting? The students? The principal? Can it be ironic the way one might say “Of course I like getting kicked in the nuts.” I like to let the world know I approve of things so they may go about their business without offending my sensibilities but…

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