Snort, here. Rip Snort. Intrepid Reporter and Friend of the Truth. Dawg, it has come to the attention of this Hard Nosed Reporter that the Texas Education Agency has established The Office of General Inquiry. Of course we wondered, what in the name of Monty Python is The Office of General Inquiry??? We are delighted to hear that the Agency has seen fit to create such an office. Your Reporter has given much thought to many questions that boggle the greatest minds known to man. What is the meaning of life? What do women really want? Why do Aggies go “whoop”? It is comforting to know that the Texas Education Agency has stepped in to the breach to provide answers to such “General Inquiries.” Just thought you and your readers should know about this. SNORT.
Thank you for the heads up, Snort! However, we searched in vain on the website for the Office of General Inquiry for answers to your pressing and universal questions. We found none. Instead, the Office appears to deal with more mundane subjects arising under Chapter 26 of the Texas Education Code. See http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=3036&menu_id=692. We are told, by reliable albeit unnamed sources, that the Office of General Inquiry, responds to parent complaints over matters the Agency has no jurisdiction over. After acknowledging its lack of jurisdiction, the Office of General Inquiry then requires the complained-of school district to compile a response to the complaint and send it to the Agency. If the Office of General Inquiry can require such action in cases where it does not have jurisdiction, one shudders to think of what it might do when a General Inquiry arises over a matter for which the Office does have jurisdiction. But, we suspect that Monty Python would dismiss issues such as jurisdiction as so much meaningless kerfuffle.
The superintendents are in general rebellion in our Service Center due to the lack of manly food at the annual breakfast during Mid-Winter conference. We count on bacon. We expect sausage. We anticipate gravy. We look forward to many eggs, yolks and all. We count on pancakes and waffles lathered with butter and dripping with syrup. We want biscuits drowning in gravy with hash brown potatoes simmering nearby. We are mostly carnivorous hunter-gatherer types and we expect to leave our annual breakfast filled with equal parts calories and shame. So this year, what do we get? Yogurt. Fruit. Cottage cheese. Frou Frou food, Dawg!! Is it not written into the contract of the executive director that the breakfast at Mid-Winter must be a manly event? We are wondering what recourse we have. WENT TO DENNY’S AFTERWARDS.
DEAR WENT TO DENNY’S:
Not much legal recourse, my friend. Sorry for your disappointment but we can find nothing in the law or regulations that speaks to this. So we suggest you file a complaint with The Office of General Inquiry.
We got snow!! This has not happened in this part of Texas since the Coolidge Administration, but it happened this year. So it turns out that on one of our “snow days” a lot of the kids and some of our employees got together for some frolicking in the snow. We had a blast. But one of the things we did was put together a Texas-sized snowball. By the time we finished, it was more of a boulder than a snowball—at least ten feet tall. We have come to call it the SnowBoulder. I don’t know how the SnowBoulder started to roll. But it did. It seems we were putting the finishing touches on this masterpiece as we rolled it to the top of the highest hill in town. Of course, we lack experience with snow, so we did not anticipate it rolling. I guess it was when our math teacher leaned on the SnowBoulder for a photo op that it got started. All of a sudden, it started moving. Once it had gone ten feet, there was no stopping it. As our physics teacher quickly pointed out, a body in motion tends to stay in motion. So it did, picking up speed as it rolled down hill. Jessica, a cute little kindergarten child, and daughter of the board president, was right in the way of the SnowBoulder. It rolled right over her, burying her deep in the snow. The SnowBoulder kept going until it crashed into the picture window of the home of Mrs. Dimwiddie, President of the local Tea Party and social critic at large. Oh boy. Now we are faced with threats of legal action. Mrs. Dimwiddie’s picture window was broken, along with a vase that was on a table near the shattered window. She now claims the vase is from the Ming Dynasty. We are skeptical, but she is almost that old. Moreover, her cat freaked out and ran away. Ted Cruz (that’s the name of the cat) has not been seen since. Mrs. Dimwiddie’s lawyer asserts that the school is responsible for this damage due to the fact that (1) it was a snow day; (2) school employees supervised the construction of the SnowBoulder; (3) the math teacher started it rolling, and (4) given Mrs. Dimwiddie’s known activism in support of vouchers and school choice, this was an act of illegal retaliation if not attempted murder. Suggestions? WOULD HAVE BEEN SAFER TO HAVE SCHOOL THAT DAY.
DEAR WOULD HAVE BEEN SAFER:
Wow. That puts some things in perspective. In Central Texas, some superintendents were criticized for calling school off on days when it turned out to be unnecessary. There was no snow and no ice and the kids could have been in school, even though it was cold. But nobody got buried by a SnowBoulder or got accused of attempted murder. We think the attempted murder charge will be hard to stick and as for the damage claims, the district should have immunity. Districts have liability for property damage only when it arises from the negligent use or operation of a motor vehicle. However, if suit is filed against the math teacher, or other employees of the school, they will not be able to assert immunity. This was clearly not within the scope of their employment. It was a snow day and they were not on duty, so if Mrs. D can prove that they were negligent, leading to the damage to her home, she has a potential case. As for Ted Cruz, we sincerely hope that he soon comes in from the cold.
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