EDITOR'S DESK: Phantom rule book snags Holmes

       I hate writing about race.
       Does that make this a hate crime?
       You see, it's already starting.
       On the one hand, you've got little Holmes Middle School; on the other hand, you've got Big Media (the local version).
       Big Media doesn't care about little schools. Big Media cares about Big Stories. What is a Big Story? Sometimes that's easy. A destructive fire. A nasty murder. But then there are those pesky, complicated social issues. Hard to reduce them into simple, "grabber" headlines that sell papers… unless you've got a rule book to go by. What rule book, you ask? Why, the rule book that says when to unleash the pack. What pack might that be? You know, the one that closes in for humiliation purposes whenever something is said or done that is deemed a Social Issue Violation. So who writes this rule book? Good question. Quick clue: It's not you or me.
       Holmes administrators found that out the other day. They didn't know the rule book had a page titled Proper Behavior for Martin Luther King Day Activities. You didn't know that either? My, my. But now Holmes has been straightened out. Oh, yes. The High Police of Racial Sanctimony, with Big Media (the local version) carrying the train just so, have found the school in violation of the section on Symbolic Racial Unity, and now they can strut off together to the next Big Story.
       By the way #1: Holmes in 2006 ranked the highest in the state in academic excellence for middle schools with 24 to 34 percent poverty-level students.
       By the way #2: Black students, in a tragedy of our times, continue to lag academically in most of the state and nation. I do not believe that de facto requiring Holmes to send non-black students to future King Day activities will solve that problem. I believe I know who could solve it. Unfortunately, they're too busy with rule books.
       By the way #3: See first sentence.

- K.J.