Ban Foolish Educators, Not Toys
I’ll begin by stating unequivocally that I don’t for one minute think students should be allowed to bring guns or any other actual weapon to school. Period. No exceptions. Should teachers and administrators be armed? Possibly; under very strict circumstances and with considerable training and supervision (like airline pilots). But the likelihood of this ever happening is nil, so it’s not worth discussion here.
That said, we as a people who value our precious children must do something about the rampant psychological violence being inflicted upon them in school districts across the nation. By that I mean the ridiculous, inane, foolish, immature, over-reactive actions taken against youngsters and perpetrated by so many of those charged with protecting these very same students in our public schools.
To wit, news item one from earlier this year (February) when an 8-year old boy in Virginia was suspended for having “pointed a finger like a gun” in the hallway after a friend pretended to shoot him with a pretend bow and arrow. The children’s class had been studying Native American culture and had just learned a song about deer hunting, according to news reports. The hapless kid served an in-school suspension for the day and was charged with “threatening to harm self or others” on par with bringing an actual weapon to school. Really?
News item two: In March, an elementary school in Baltimore suspended a 7-year old boy for chewing a breakfast pasty into the shape school officials said resembled a gun. Seriously – a pop gun Pop Tart? I wonder if, because the pastry had a filling, the asinine administrators considered it to be a loaded weapon? To add insult to the insanity, the school then sent home letters to parents offering counseling for any students who may have been traumatized by the non-event. How about the trauma inflicted on the poor 7-year-old boy? Shameful. But it gets worse.
News item three: Just last month, a 6-year old kindergarten student in Massachusetts was accused of causing a disturbance and of traumatizing other students on his school bus by bringing a teeny tiny plastic toy gun (like something those green toy soldiers in “Toy Story” would hold) along with him. I’ve seen a picture of the offending item. It is the size of a quarter. The kindergartner was forced to write an apology letter to the bus driver, was given detention and may lose his bus riding privileges.
News item four: A middle-schooler in Maryland was suspended for 10 days for merely talking about guns on the bus ride home. The bus driver had overheard the boy talk about wishing he could protect everyone by having a gun to use against bad guys. Not only was he subsequently interrogated by the school principal, but also a sheriff’s deputy who then attempted to search (without a warrant) the boy’s home.
News item five: In May, a 5-year-old boy (also in Maryland) was interrogated so ruthlessly he wet his pants. He was then suspended for 10 days after school officials “caught” him with a cowboy-style cap gun in his backpack. The frightened child was viciously badgered by school officials before they bothered to call his parents. Then the pinhead of a principal told the boy’s mother that, had the cap gun been loaded with a roll of paper caps, they would have deemed it an “explosive device” and called in the police. I deem the school principal a dangerous idiot.
News item six: In June, the parents of a 3-year old deaf boy in Nebraska were told that they must change their son’s first name because when it is “signed” it looks like a finger-pistol. The boy’s name is Hunter. His school has said that the way in which he signs his name is a violation of its “weapons in school” policy. You can’t make this stuff up.
I could go on with more examples of this foolishness. And I will, next week.
I’ll see you ’round town.