Texas has a new policy about what food schools can serve in their cafeterias. Based on that policy, an elementary school there gave a third-grader a week of detention for possessing a Jolly Rancher candy. Here’s the superintendent’s take:
“Whether or not I agree with the guidelines, we have to follow the rules,” he said.
Of course, the rules said that parents could send whatever shitty food they desired to school with their kids — the school just couldn’t sell it to them. This idiot clearly doesn’t agree with the guidelines, so he decided to make a 10 year-old girl miserable to prove his point.
I learned the term “malicious compliance” from a friend who worked in a Fortune 500 company. Mid-level managers who are butthurt over some new policy will often apply it in the most obtuse manner imaginable, with the aim of undermining the goals of company leadership. In the business world, malicious compliance gets managers fired. In the world of education and government, it gets you a Reason piece about creeping government intervention.