Rockstar: Questioning Authority in Canada

Hi. my name is Nick Dodds, I’m 11 and in grade 6. I go to king city public school in ontario. and I would consider myself a libertarian rockstar. In my school in Ontario Canada I put up a sighn in my locker that said “QUESTION AUTHORITY”.

One day last fall my teacher got a glimpse of it as I took some materials out of my locker. She asked me what it was and I said to her ” Well that’s my QUESTION AUTHORITY poster.” She asked me what it meant and I explained the whole alternative thinking thing and how authorative figures can be wrong sometimes. She gave me a cold look and told me kindly but still forcefully: “take it down please.” I replied with a “No.” and I got a feeling that an all out war was at its beginning. Well she told me again and I said”No”. well she was really boiling at the time and I tried explaining to her that it was in my rights to freely express myself. As I was telling her this she jumped to conclusions interupted me any time possible and made me sound like a pretty bad person. She started to scream and I quote: ” I’m sending you out of the room untill you decide to cooperate and that’s my right!” So I’m out in the hall doing my work induring my unlawful punishment when she comes outside and tells me to come back in. I felt pleased that I had reacted so smoothly but the scent of war was still in the air. . . I think she was trying to provoke a really bad reaction out of me so she could nail me for something, but it backfired and now she was mad. Bad move.

So let’s say it’s about a week or two after the incident and I’m walking to the school library with my class for some sort of a study period. I suddenly realise that I’ve forgotten some materials that I need, so like any smart guy I break away from my class and go back for what I need. So I get what I came for and was half way to the library when I notice the principal of our school Mr. Lester behind me and I hear a muffled voice say something that sounded remotely like “Mr. Dodds” (my last name) but smelling trouble I Ignore it hoping he’s not calling me. But he says it again and I turn around and face him. What a perfect place to strike – in an empty hall without the support of my classmates ( not that they’d give me much support anyway. . . ) and he asks me if he could see my locker. I say “Yes.” and walk him there, undo the combination lock and open it. At the sight of the sighn I smell trouble. He asks me what it is and we go through the entire thing again – me cool, him at the point of almost intrusive (though much cooler than my homeroom teacher Mrs. Stanley) and all the interuptions in between. He tells me in his most authorative and intimidating voice ” Take it down NOW.” Well, back then I really didn’t know my Canadian rights so facing the principal and possibly in-school suspension, sadly but more determined than ever, I took it down.

A couple of nights later, I thought to myself “Are you going to let them squash you just like that?! It’s internet time!” So I sighn in to interlog and start searching for info on my rights. And eventually I found it; The Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms and the york region board of educatioin policies and procedures handbook. Armed with literary support, I confidently put my poster back up.

About two months later, the principal of our school was walking down the hall while I was doing some thing in my locker, and wouldn’t you believe it – he confronts me. The conversation is as follows:

“Didin’t I tell you to take that sighn down?”
” And why didn’t you?”
” Because it’s against my freedom of speech right.”
” We don’t have that right in Canada. Well I’ll leave it to you to take it down.”

He was obviously scared that he was fighting a losing battle. And since then I haven’t had a single problem with him.

Contact Nick Dodds

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