Archived Story

Going on your permanent record

Published 12:20pm Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Since I have been out of school for many years (33 to be exact), I am not sure if teachers and principals still use the threat of your permanent record to keep students in line. From as far back as first grade, I can remember hearing those dreaded words “that will go on your permanent record.” In all sincerity, the record is initiated at the time one enters kindergarten and updated continuously throughout your public school days.

I have checked and according to Elaine Balch, guidance record secretary at Hartselle High School, my permanent record is still available and on file at the new campus. In fact, Elaine is very proud of the file room at the new school since all records are in one location. However, Elaine is a very busy woman and probably would prefer that not everyone reading this column come by or call to see what is contained in his or her “permanent record.”

As young children the thought that you forgot to do your homework, or that your dog did actually eat the report you had just finished right before bedtime, would go down forever in non-erasable ink for the rest of your days, is a scary thought. Think about it, what if just as you were about to graduate from college your fifth grade teacher held up your permanent record showing that you missed a homework assignment 12 years earlier, there goes your whole future. Or even worse, you are about to get married and your future wife’s home economics teacher shows you her grades in cooking; it might be too late to cancel the wedding.

With today’s young people, that intimidation factor may fail to work as well as in previous times, since kids now do not take things at face value as we did in the past. Today’s youth would probably do a Google search on their phone and show the proof to the teacher maybe even in first grade. Nevertheless, right or wrong. most of us from my generation and back believed those words and tried our best to keep the record nice and clean.

However, I wonder what happens when your time here on earth is done. Does your permanent record just disappear or maybe get shredded and forgotten. Or, maybe right before the casket is closed someone slips that permanent record in there and it follows you on into eternity? However, there’s no need to fear, God’s grace will cover any blemish or wrongdoing that might be on your “permanent record.”

Randy Garrison is the president and publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer.

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