Staff photo by Angela Lewis Foster School board members study information packets during their meeting Thursday, September 15, 2016 at the Hamilton County Department of Education.

We've hit a new low in faux outrage.

According to the Telegraph, a newspaper in England, the National Union of Students in that country announced last month students should stop whooping, clapping and cheering and face consequences for such outbursts.

The reason? Because it excludes deaf people, so they are calling for the "jazz hands" reaction, which is the sign-language symbol for clapping.

Deep breaths. Or maybe, whoop, there it isn't.

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Jay Greeson

For some reason, the National Union of Students hates clapping and whooping. In fact, this is the second time the group has tried to curb the enthusiasm for boisterous support. In previous conventions, the group banned clapping because it believed it triggered anxiety.

More deep breaths.

It's just the latest version of the snowflake discourse that is melting any and all mental toughness.

An NUS spokesman told the Telegraph: "The hand gesture used [during the conference] is the sign used in the British Sign Language vocabulary for applause. It means more people can participate in our conference."

(Betting the blind folks don't believe it's more inclusive, huh?)


Coincidence or direction

This paper's Kendi Rainwater has had an excellent run of stories this week detailing the secretive culling of the list of candidates interested in being the next Hamilton County Schools superintendent.

Yes, it's staggering that a group such as the school board — a collection of well-meaning folks — can be this obtuse at times. With all of the calls for transparency and the need to rebuild trust with parents, employees and taxpayers, this email dog-and-phony show is at best troubling. At worst, it eventually could be viewed as illegal.

Still, if there was one bit of good news in the list, it was the order.

Sure, it was listed alphabetically, but considering the top two names on the list were Natasha Baker and Alan Coverstone and the last one was current interim Dr. Kirk Kelly, here's a hope that coincidence will be a precursor to decision — from the top to the bottom.

It's all about the A, B and Cs, right, gang?


Speaking of schools ...

The education folks in Bledsoe County, Tenn., made some headlines this week with a decision to cut band and music programs to balance the budget, as TFP reporter Tyler Jett informed us.

That, of course, got the more musically inclined students in Bledsoe whistling an angry tune.

Not to downplay the role music has in schools, especially for those students who love it, I'm going to reserve my outrage for the time being.

Call it experience or whatever you'd like. The three Rs may be the basics of education, but when folks want big reactions to school-budget woes, they pitch proposed cuts to the four Bs — ball, books, buses and band — to galvanize public support for budget increases.


Saturday's Stars

I was proud to take in a large chunk of Friday's Armed Forces Day parade.

Good times.

And while I believe those who protect our freedoms always are worthy of the Saturday Star status, I also want to thank those government officials who have funded and hosted this great event for the last 68 years.

Nice job.

The cool, wet conditions did not dampen the spirits or the support for those honored, who were as always appreciative of the cheering, clapping and whooping it up.

(Just don't tell those National Union of Students kids. They may protest next year.)

Contact Jay Greeson at and 423-757-6343.