I’ve generally said nice things about Canada on this blog.
Our neighbors to the north have been role models on how to fulfill my Golden Rule, imposing genuine fiscal restraint during the 1990s. The Canadians even privatized their air traffic control system, which is a lot more than can be said for the United States.
But this doesn’t mean Canadian politicians and bureaucrats are immune from senseless decisions and hypocritical venality. I’ve shared stories about the Quebec language police and also nominated a Canadian politician for a hypocrite-of-the-year award.
Now we have a new story from Canada. It reminds me of what happened recently in Washington, where a man was fined $1,000 for saving a child from a pack of pit bulls.
In Canada, a kid was scolded for saving another child from a knife-wielding bully. I’m not joking. Here are some of the details from Canada’s National Post.
Briar MacLean was sitting in class during a study period Tuesday, the teacher was on the other side of the room and, as Grade 7 bullies are wont to do, one kid started harassing another. …“He put him in a headlock, and I saw that.” He added he didn’t see the knife, but “I heard the flick, and I heard them say there was a knife.” …The rest was just instinct. Briar stepped up to defend his classmate, pushing the knife-wielding bully away. The teacher took notice, the principal was summoned and Briar went about his day. It wasn’t until fourth period everything went haywire. “I got called to the office and I wasn’t able to leave until the end of the day,” he said. That’s when Leah O’Donnell, Briar’s mother, received a call from the vice-principal.
Was the vice-principal calling to praise Briar, and perhaps also to tell his mother that he would be given some sort of commendation?
Don’t be silly. We’re talking about officials from a government school.
Ms. O’Donnell was politely informed the school did not “condone heroics,” she said. Instead, Briar should have found a teacher to handle the situation. “I asked: ‘In the time it would have taken him to go get a teacher, could that kid’s throat have been slit?’ She said yes, but that’s beside the point. That we ‘don’t condone heroics in this school.’ ” Instead of getting a pat on the back for his bravery, Briar was made to feel as if he had done something terribly wrong.
No good deed goes unpunished.
I don’t know if this story – and the others – are enough to qualify Canada to participate in the US-vs-UK government stupidity contest, but surely this merits an honorable mention trophy.
I’m baffled, by the way, about the teacher’s actions. Was he or she so clueless that a kid could be put in a headlock – without the incident being noticed – during class?!?
Though at least the kid with a knife was suspended (the same penalty dished out to little kids with breakfast pastries, pencils, fingers, and empty hands in the United States, so that doesn’t reflect well on America).
P.S. Canadians do have a sense of humor, as indicated by this parody about leftists sneaking across the border.