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Limiting student drivers

Posted Thursday, February 14, 2008, at 6:24 AM

News flash: Bedford County high school students will only be allowed to drive small, used cars and trucks to school.

"By limiting students to small, used vehicles, at least five years old, with four-cylinder engines we make sure there are no visible class distinctions," a school board press release said. "Plus, specifying small vehicles limits fast, reckless driving, reduces gasoline use and opens up space in cramped parking lots. And, it prevents students from ganging up talking about their vehicles.

"We must ensure uniformity among students," the board said.

Students will also be banned from placing any decals, front license plates, etc., on their cars indicating personal interests or preferences in sports teams, music or any other subject. The only exception will be decals or plates supporting their school's athletic teams.

In addition, vehicles must be painted standard factory colors. No custom paint designs will be allowed. Stripes will be banned as well because they could be considered an attempt to make vehicles more noticeable.

"Low-riding" cars will be banned, and suspect vehicles' ground clearances will be measured to ensure suspensions are set at factory height.

Parking lots will be inspected daily to ensure compliance.

When school board members were asked if they drove flashy and/or muscle cars during their school days and if those vehicles downgraded their academic performances, they appeared surprised at the question but remained silent.

Okay, admittedly I made this up. Ridiculous, right? But does it sound...familiar?

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

You might have started something here David. Hmmmm.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 7:11 AM

Nice stretch.

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 7:50 AM

Sounds like a good idea to me...

-- Posted by Farmer Bill on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 8:02 AM

This makes perfect sense. Bedford Co.

Schools have more problems than what the kids are wearing to school. They have kids in 12th grade that can't even

fill out a job application, can't spell or write. Teach them to make change and live in the real world.

Time to elect a new school board that will do something beside worry what they are wearing.

-- Posted by roadrunner on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 8:13 AM

now dont get carried away.. its jus simple nice clothing to be worn.. its not hitler wanting all blonde hair blued eyed ppl to live and others gone... it has nothing to do with keeping kids from seeing who richer than the other as much as it is to keep these hoodlums from wearing these pants to their knees and any type of shirts that can be offensive in sexual or drug related manners.. it has nothing to do with religion so noone should think that.. i liked the first attire with all the strict restrictions.. i wish we would have had uniforms when i went but o well .. guess everyone needs something to complain about

-- Posted by someonecares on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 9:23 AM

roadrunner, just because they WON'T fill out a job application doesn't mean they can't. Big difference, again most of that difference lies in the way they were raised thus far.

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 9:31 AM

LauraSFT - Didn't say they won't said some couldn't, not all.

-- Posted by roadrunner on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 10:10 AM

I honestly have serious doubts that any high school senior without learning disabilities can not fill out a job application. What exactly are you basing that idea off of?

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 10:16 AM

That rule could of saved me a lot of money a couple of years ago... Where were you when I had a couple of kids turn 16 on me? Thanks David!! ;>)

-- Posted by tgreader on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 10:24 AM

My daughter already has a car, but its not an approved color for SCHS.

Do I need to buy another car?


(this totally made my day! Thanks David!)

-- Posted by amori_da_viaggiare on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 10:50 AM

Anyone have a teenager that attends a school with red being one of their colors? I have a car for sale but you can't buy it for another year, it's not old enough yet and you will probably have to remove the tint. That might indicate they're a drug dealer. Other than that it should be fine!

-- Posted by Disgusted on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 12:00 PM

I honestly have serious doubts that any high school senior without learning disabilities can not fill out a job application. What exactly are you basing that idea off of?

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 10:16 AM

I am with Laura on this one. I have never seen a 12th grader that can't read or write...that comment was just laughable. I don't think you give the kids or the teachers much credit. If a 17 year old can't read or write, I am hoping someone would have noticed before they hit the 12th grade and in that case how did they make it to the 12th grade? Everything my kids do in school involves reading and writing.

It's most likely that they DON'T want to fill out the application, not that they CAN'T

and this blog was hilarous..it just shows how ridiculous the Dress code is...GREAT JOB DAVID!!!

-- Posted by Disturbia on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 1:54 PM


You've just undermined my campaign to get all the local younguns into safe,efficient NEVs.

As for colors,ask the insurance folk.

I think a silver car costs more than red or black and white costs even less.

(Which reminds me of what parents in my day used to keep skirts at a modest length - black vinyl seats with lots of metal...)

O.K., we can dress our kids like Plain folk or Gothic Lolita,eliminate junk food on campus and mandate travel by foot or bicycle.

Then we insist that they ace a life skills course before they leave school.

I'd rather see our youth demonstrate that they can make intelligent choices on their own before we turn them loose.

Neither pure license nor removal of choice helps them develop their own good judgement in a safe environment.

Let's withdraw all the hazards we can from the equation,give them guidance in making wise decisions then stand back and watch them govern themselves while we're still there to limit the damages.

If we start training our kids from birth in that direction,we might not have folks who begin their adult lives ill-equipped to look after themselves,unable to distinguish which outsiders to heed and which to ignore and unfamiliar with the concepts of self-control,responsibility and delayed gratification.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 2:03 PM

I think roadrunner's point was not that they can't fill out the application but that they can't do it at the level of competency that will be suitable for an employer's positive consideration. I have some experience in looking at applications and interviewing applicants. Just as I see on these blogs, and some from educated individuals, correct spelling doesn't seem to be a high priority and neither is good grammar. In text messaging and blogging these might not be essential but in filling out an application they can be a deciding factor.

-- Posted by devan on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 2:13 PM


Never once in high school did I fill out an application that required an essay. Most of it was list your name, address and telephone number. Simple stuff really that I KNOW they taught me in Kindergarten.

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 2:25 PM

My point exactly. If applicants can't get through something that simple without stumbling what can you expect when they actually have to function in a work environment. A lot of jobs don't require high levels of spelling and grammar to perform but the lack of effort in filling out an application with care indicates to me that might be the same attitude in job performance.

-- Posted by devan on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 2:42 PM


Never once in high school did I fill out an application that required an essay. Most of it was list your name, address and telephone number. Simple stuff really that I KNOW they taught me in Kindergarten.

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 2:25 PM


-- Posted by Disturbia on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 2:45 PM


I'd just like to see an application that a high school senior filled out and misspelled their name or address. Could it be that high school senior didn't want the job and was just filling out the application to appease his/her parents? If they misspelled their names how would you know?

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 2:51 PM

BTW, my 3 year old can spell his first and last names.

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 2:52 PM

What about describing your work history and giving accurate and complete dates of employment without gaps between jobs? What about describing extracurricular activities that might indicate useful job related skills acquired? What about actually describing in sentences what you did on previous jobs instead of putting down just a job title? This is all pretty "simple stuff" but often poorly presented on applications.

BTW, if an employer just needed first and last names they could get their employees out of the phone book.

-- Posted by devan on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 3:06 PM

If they can't manage the basics,how will they manage some of the more sophisticated questions that do get asked on applications, nowadays?

A tight job market means the bosses might ask how a worker would handle a given task or problem.

They'd expect knowledge of basic math,telling time,dealing with customer orders,schedules,inventories,etc.

Applicants may guess what spin to put on a question about seeing friends eating grapes they haven't paid for,etc. but can they figure out how to phrase their answers?

Unfortunately,entry level applicants compete better when they display the competence of a veteran employee (while retaining the naive and desperate virtues of the novice ).

Few businesses want to waste time making sure the jobs are being done correctly by hiring folks that don't bring in a foundation of skills for them to build on.

They'd prefer to hire the people they can trust to do the job correctly from day one.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 3:13 PM

Again, I say is that because they don't know how to read and write or because they don't want the job to begin with......

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 3:16 PM

I only read applications. I don't read minds.

-- Posted by devan on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 3:20 PM

deavn, while I see your point in that some high school seniors are dumb as rocks it is not b/c that ONE person in the class of thirty was set aside by the teacher as unimportant. Often, it's because that ONE person's grades aren't looked upon with more scrutiny at home. I assure you that there has not been a high school senior, or even freshamn for that matter that can't read or write or answer basic questions such as what do you do after school, whose parents have not been well informed of the situation. It MUST reflect in their grades, grades and performance AND EVEN CLOTHES must be scrutinized by parents. When the three mentioned above are NOT is when they get into messes such as SSA.

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 3:22 PM

No argument there. Doing applications is sometimes more a matter of effort than perfection. Employers can overlook some spelling and grammar errors as long as the job is not dependent on these skills. What will always make a difference is the appearance that an effort was made to present complete and accurate information.

-- Posted by devan on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 3:31 PM

GREAT point,devan!

The better applicants can demonstrate how they can benefit their employers and they know how to sell themselves.

"The three years I spent smuggling arms taught me how to handle goods,fill orders,act discreetly and manage funds.

The fact that I'm still alive and not in prison shows I know how to make deals and I can consistently benefit myself,my customers and my superiors."

A good worker is likely to have groomed himself (consciously or unconciously) to think critically,act decisively,be resourceful and get along with other people.

He can't show that in a few,short lines that could be found in a phone book nor in interviews that ask "If you were a tree,what kind would you be?" or " Find the value of Pi in Perl".

Knowing which questions to answer and how might be good to know as well as the three R's.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 3:42 PM

There are some other good points.

Students do not become incompetent overnight.

They failed to gain necessary skills over time.

The best employers will move heaven and earth to help a worker with the right attitude and basic abilities but they can't sacrifice their business to babysit the stupid and indifferent or aid those who haven't got some skills and knowledge for them to work with.

There are places for people to gain primary skills and information but the average retail,manufacturing or service industry are not among them.

Bring them a good work ethic and the ability to function at a given job and the wise employers will respect what the worker has to offer.

But,something adequate to pre-exist before it can be brought to the table.

Parents,pet owners,etc. must demonstrate they have what it takes to provide for those under their care.

We should prevent crises as much as prepare for them and give our charges what they need for their welfare-now and in the future.

Otherwise,we pay for their incapacity-but not as much as they do.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 4:01 PM

The sad thing is, that this is correct. Yes children are being looked over, and sent to the next grade that cannot read. Sorry that you find that hard to believe but it is true!

Thank you school board for making sure that children from foreign lands can speak English, while our children get left behind everyday. If you can not read, you can get an aid to read the test for you, guess that keeps the

schools looking good!

what color is going to help these children?

How about we just keep on sending our kids to school in the clothing that they have!

Going to send them all home?

What if Bedford County parents united and students united?

Think I am a little rebel? Thank you!

It is nice to be in the company of such great rebels as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, ......

Look what happend when they took a stand!

-- Posted by punkin1129 on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 4:33 PM


You made some killer points, one of them has me slighted. Spaces between jobs. In this job market? It is impossible. Luckily I never have to apply for a job anymore. But another problem is the job application. Employers are looking for employees that stand out, then why does one expect a job application to be filled out when the potential employee has a kickass resume.

I went to a few contract programming jobs a couple years ago and they didn't even look at my resume, instead wanted me to fill out an application. I was like for a $75,000 4 month contract? hell no. I have my resume with all that same information with all my dates, times on jobs and my details.

I had no problem with the contract forms, the conflict of interest forms, or the other forms for copyright licensing for software etc.

Why should I fill out a generic form with the same information on my resume?

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 4:46 PM

Your are right EM about spaces between jobs. For a lot of people in today's market histories are not always seamless transitions from one job to another. As long as you can fill those spaces with a reasonable explanation and the rest of the history is verifiable most companies will be willing to see the "body of work" rather that just the gaps. On the application subject, the reasons for requiring the company application is for legal reasons related to employment laws and consistency for all applicants. If you have everyone fill out the same form then you can show that everyone was treated equally whereas resumes may contain too little essential information or too much - i.e., personal information that employers are not supposed to ask or even know. Also, all applicants may not have resumes but all can complete an application. My preference for an applicant that has a resume is for them to fill in the very basic information on the application and then let the resume complete the picture if it does not contain prohibited information..

-- Posted by devan on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 5:22 PM

Ok.. so about the mandated vehicles.. I LOVED THIS BLOG!!!!

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 6:18 PM

Yea, somehow this turned into an entirely other blog. The original premise was much more interesting. Usually its really enlightening to look at an issue through an entirely different filter. David's filter certainly exposed some of the fallacies of conformity regardless of what form it takes.

-- Posted by devan on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 6:36 PM

I agree 150%

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 8:44 PM

This should be forwarded to EVERY School Board Member... It truly shows the idiocracy of such a useless policy!

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Thu, Feb 14, 2008, at 8:46 PM

Devan, you are exactly right in reference to most teenagers inability to correctly fill out a job application or any other document for that matter. Text messaging, IM's and other "shortcuts" the kids today use has managed to erode basic skills that many of us older folks were mandated to learn in high school. Students today are allowed to carry calculators with them for ACT testing. Most lack the ability to do long division on paper. We wonder why the Chinese have left us so far behind.....?

Kids ARE being advanced in school when they should be held back. I see reports every week were the class average on a particular test is in the 70's, but by allowing them to do tons of extra credit, they can pull grades up. I'm not pointing fingers at the teachers. I'm saying that society as a whole has lowered expectations on these kids to the point that it's a wonder they can still pass the written portion of the driver's test. That's another issue that I could go on all day about!

-- Posted by tgreader on Fri, Feb 15, 2008, at 8:11 AM

We have two good threads getting tangled up.

Maybe the school one could be separated from the original.

David,your analogy is excellent.

Humor and perception serve well to make us think about the issues.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Fri, Feb 15, 2008, at 1:51 PM

This would not work with my farm truck, since they could stand for an hour just to describe all the stuff that can be found in the back. I think that I still have some garden seeds back behind the seat.

By the way, I learned how to spell in school "I must not talk in class" over and over again.... Ha Ha

-- Posted by Gale Barber on Fri, Feb 15, 2008, at 6:35 PM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.