(I don’t like that smirk on your face, four-eyes. You. Me. Cage. Now.)
With every good idea, there always have to be some idiots who come along and screw it up for everyone. The Greeks go and invent democracy, and then a few thousand years later "American Idol" pops up and demonstrates its flaws.
Former principal Donald Moten and the jerks at South Oak Cliff High School in Dallas, Texas are the latest to mess up a beautiful concept, since they decided that it would be a good idea to put problem students in a cage and make them fight it out bare-fisted to settle disputes. And they actually thought they wouldn’t get in a world of trouble for this, somehow. Christ, even the warden in “Cool Hand Luke” gave the guys boxing gloves.
Moten, along with security monitors and other employees, "knew of the practice, allowed it to go on for a time, and failed to report it," investigators for the DISD’s Office of Professional Responsibility wrote in a confidential 2008 report.
Despite investigators’ assertions that the staff’s conduct "may constitute a criminal violation," charges were never filed against Moten or the hall monitors accused of organizing the fights. Many of those employees were still working on campus at the beginning of this school year.
"It was gladiator-style entertainment for the staff," said Frank Hammond, a middle school counselor in Cedar Hill who was fired from South Oak Cliff High School and has filed a whistleblower lawsuit. "They were taking these boys downstairs to fight. And it was sanctioned by the principal and security."
Investigators apparently uncovered this when looking into allegations that some of the school’s basketball players had gotten their grades changed to keep them athletically eligible. But that’s nothing compared to playing Caesar and making a bunch of kids fight. Moten, the former principal, is attempting the ‘this is a figment of your imagination’ defense:
"That’s barbaric. You can’t do that at a high school. You can’t do that anywhere," Moten said. "Ain’t nothing to comment on. It never did happen. I never put a stop to anything because it never happened."
Investigators disagree, and it sounds like they have plenty of reason to. I don’t know if I’m more pissed off at the sheer dumbfuckery of thinking you can get away with something like this, or that it’s bound to stir up some anti-MMA sentiment among the Bob Reilly’s of the world, who are absolutely convinced that human beings are learning about violence for the first time from watching the UFC on television.
I’m probably equally mad about both, now that I think about it. Just so much rage. If only there were a tenth-grader I could fight.