A "zero tolerance" policy is one that enacts harsh punishment for any violation of school
rules, without exceptions and without any consideration of mitigating
Zero Tolerance for guns is not about school safety, it is about gun control. Zero
Tolerance for bullies is not about school safety, it is about legitimizing and
promoting homosexuality. Zero Tolerance in general seems to be mechanism used by teachers
and school administrators to escape the burden of tough decisions, avoid charges of favoritism, and let the local police do their dirty work.
There are many cases surfacing, all over the country, in which Zero Tolerance has trumped common sense. An eight-year-old was suspended from
school for three days, for pointing a breaded chicken finger at a teacher and saying "Pow, pow, pow." Two eight-year-olds were charged with
"making terrorist threats" because they were playing cops and robbers with a paper gun. And the list goes on and on. Someone at the Rutherford
Institute stated it well: "By refusing to consider each individual's personal history and the intentions that inspired their actions, zero tolerance
policies deny the unique worth and dignity of every
Tolerance policies put teachers and principals in the position of having to make irrational decisions in relatively simple cases. It makes no
sense to suspend children for playing cops-and-robbers on the playground or giving a cough drop to a
By refusing to consider each individual's personal history and the intentions that inspired
their actions, zero tolerance policies deny the unique worth and dignity of every
The problem of zero tolerance displacing common sense started decades ago, and the longer it continues, the more pernicious it becomes.
Recently there has been a rash of news stories about innocent kids (almost exclusively boys) facing punishment for pretending that a harmless object
is a weapon. It could be a half-eaten pastry, or part of a chicken nugget, or a pencil, or a scrap of paper. What if a kid pretends
that a cookie is a land mine? What if a kid chews an apple until it looks like a pressure cooker? What if he shows off a brownie, says
it looks like the Koran, and then steps on it? Kids have imagination, just like everyone else, and they (used to) routinely enjoy comparing
their imaginations with their peers. Often, their original ideas call for correction and reproof, but that interaction is part of the
The teachers and administrators of public schools reflexively freak out at the first sign of an active imagination. And it won't get
any better unless the thinking of public school executives (and education professors) completely inverts, and once again young boys are
taught to be young men and handle power tools and firearms safely. That would also require an inversion of the political system in
America, or perhaps I should say reversion back to at least the early 20th century. In other words, it's not going to happen -- the
public schools aren't going to get any better.
If public schools have become so dangerous, and if guns, knives, drugs and inappropriate touching are such
great problems that the administrators have had to resort to these measures, then it is time to
take your kids out of the public school system. Private schools are expensive,
and home schooling is
a lot of work, but it is a viable option for many families.
More unfavorable information about the education system in America can be found
on this page.
For openers, here is a story, quoted in its entirety
from CNSNews. It is a story which
exemplifies Zero Tolerance stupidity:
Third-Grader Suspended for Drawing Armed Soldier
(CNSNews.com) - A picture
of a soldier holding a canteen and a knife
has earned the third-grade boy who drew it a suspension from school.
Wire reports said the third-grader also drew a fort, listing its inventory
as guns, knives, and first-aid kits. The principal of Lenwill Elementary
School in West Monroe, La., is quoted as saying that the school "can't
tolerate anything that has to do with guns or knives." The boy's father
said he's been forced to explain to his son that being in the Army and
owning guns "is not bad." According to press reports, school officials
stand by their decision to punish the child for what they consider
"a violent arrangement."
The same story quoted on Newsmax:
Pupil Suspended for Drawing Soldier.
Links to other web sites dealing
with "zero tolerance" are listed at the bottom of this page.
Killers and Gun Fetishes. You don't have to be a psychiatrist to see that one of the best
ways to attract a disturbed obsessive violent individual to an object is to glorify it, and then tell that
person that they should not have it, that nobody should have it, because it is too dangerous and too
powerful. Homicidal, gun-toting maniacs have emerged because America's culture, including its
gun culture, is in decline, not because it is prospering.
Zero Tolerance. The mainstream
media is saturated with stories of shootings, rampant drug use amongst youth, and the ever-present threat of terrorism.
But in the pursuit to establish and maintain safety, many of our governments and institutions go too far. Indeed, the
policies of these institutions and agencies often infringe on our constitutional rights and liberties. We must never
fail to balance today's dangers in schools, malls, and other public places with the timeless and essential ideals written and
preserved in our Bill of Rights. By refusing to consider each individual's personal history and the intentions that
inspired their actions, zero tolerance policies deny the unique worth and dignity of every person.
Difficulty of School Behavioral Policy. According to state policy, students who are disruptive in
class ought to be punished according to the severity of the disruption. But in schools at which I've taught
in north Minneapolis, what is classified as disruption might include 3/4 of the class. So what do teachers
in these schools do? They adjust and react according to the circumstances.
School Students Are the New Inmates in the American Police State. [A]t a time when we are all viewed as
suspects, there are so many ways in which a person can be branded a criminal for violating any number of laws, regulations or
policies. Even if you haven't knowingly violated any laws, there is still a myriad of ways in which you can run afoul of the
police state and end up on the wrong side of a jail cell. Unfortunately, when you're a child in the American police state,
life is that much worse. Microcosms of the police state, America's public schools contain almost every aspect of the
militarized, intolerant, senseless, overcriminalized, legalistic, surveillance-riddled, totalitarian landscape that plagues
those of us on the "outside."
Timely news and commentary:
Grade Student Punished for 'Misgendering' Another Student. If a child is dressed in pink dress with pigtails,
you're probably going to assume they are a girl. If the child is dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, with short hair and
possibly a ball cap, you will assume he is a boy. First graders are no exception to that rule. If they see
someone acting in the manner of a certain gender, then thats the gender they will thank the person is. It is a
no-brainer to them. A California charter school is confusing the children though, and then punishing them for the
confusion. In what is being considered a "pronoun mishap," a first grader allegedly "misgendered" another student.
school student suspended for 'liking' photo of gun on Instagram. An Edgewood Middle School student was handed a
10-day suspension for "liking" a picture of a gun on Instagram with the caption "ready." The parents of Zachary Bowlin
posted a picture of the intended suspension notice which read, "The reason for the intended suspension is as follows:
Liking a post on social media that indicated potential school violence."
Carolina high school confiscates every yearbook, claiming white female student's 'build that wall' quote is 'inappropriate'.
A North Carolina high school has confiscated all its senior yearbooks and is reprinting them because it believes a white female student's
'build that wall' quote was inappropriate. Richmond Early College High School is a predominantly white public school in Hamlet, North
Carolina, with 214 students. Its staff recalled its senior yearbooks this week after a screenshot of one female student's photograph
and quote appeared on social media, sparking accusations from critics that the state is 'racist'.
Teacher Forbids Students From Wearing Cross in Class.
[Math teacher Lora Jane] Riedas justifies her action by characterizing the Holy Cross as a "gang symbol." Similarly, educrats
have justified silencing Christians by denouncing anything they might have to say as "fighting words." According to a
student, Riedas considers wearing a cross in her classroom to be "disrespectful," and therefore forbids it.
Allegedly Banned Students From Wearing Crosses. A high school teacher in Tampa, Fla., has allegedly banned at
least three students from wearing Christian cross necklaces, according to a letter sent to the superintendent of the school
district. Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit litigation group that promotes religious freedom, in a letter to Hillsborough
County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins detailed math teacher Lora Jane Riedas' actions. The letter claims
Riedas told at least three students they could not wear their Christian crosses.
suspends four-year-old terrorist. Americans have a constitutional right to bear arms. Perhaps in this day
and age of confused fear of violence, some Americans like, oh, say, school teachers should have an official obligation to
know a little something about firearms. Here's the latest chapter in scary school silliness. In deep southern
Illinois this week, Kristy Jackson went to pick up her four-year-old son Hunter from pre-school. She was greeted by an
extremely unhappy teacher who said the little boy had brought to school a dangerous "shotgun bullet." Never mind there's
no such thing. Jackson was shocked, but also puzzled because her son had just spent a bonding afternoon learning the
beginnings of gun safety from his grandfather, a police officer. The stern teacher led Hunter's Mom to the principal's
office. There, she was handed the evidence that had condemned her son, a tiny empty .22 shell casing.
Preschooler Suspended for Bringing Spent Shell Casing to School. Kristy Jackson said her 4-year-old son was
suspended for a week from the A Place 2 Grow school after the teacher notified her that he had brought a "shotgun bullet" to
school. Jackson said it was actually a spent .22 caliber bullet casing that Hunter picked up off the ground
while his grandfather, a police officer, was target-shooting. She said her son put it in his backpack to show his
friends and that she and her husband did not know he had it.
The Editor says...
Note to so-called teachers: Perhaps you should learn the basic about firearms so that you don't panic every time you see anything associated with them.
Illusion of Freedom: The Police State Is Alive and Well. [Scroll down] In fact, the American police state has continued to advance at the same
costly, intrusive, privacy-sapping, Constitution-defying, relentless pace under President Trump as it did under President Obama. [...] Schools haven't stopped treating
young people like hard-core prisoners. School districts continue to team up with law enforcement to create a "schoolhouse to jailhouse track" by imposing
a "double dose" of punishment for childish infractions: suspension or expulsion from school, accompanied by an arrest by the police and a trip to juvenile court.
In this way, the paradigm of abject compliance to the state continues to be taught by example in the schools, through school lockdowns where police and drug-sniffing
dogs enter the classroom, and zero tolerance policies that punish all offenses equally and result in young people being expelled for childish behavior.
suspended from middle school for cutting peach with child butter knife. A South Florida couple is outraged
after they said their daughter was suspended from her middle school for using a child butter knife at lunchtime to cut a
peach. "There's no one there trying to educate and to be reasonable to say, 'Let's work this out,'" the girl's father,
Ronald Souto, said. Souto's daughter is an honor roll student at Silver Trail Middle School in Pembroke Pines.
school suspends girl for bringing butter knife to lunch. The principal at a South Florida middle school is
sparking outrage for handing down a six-day suspension to an 11-year-old honor student who brought a toddler-proof butter
knife to school. WPLG-TV in Miami reports that the student at Silver Trail Middle School in Pembroke Pines was
suspended recently after she was caught using the knife in the cafeteria to cut a peach in half to share with a
classmate. Police were called to investigate the matter, the station reports.
11yo suspended from school
for cutting peach with child's butter knife. An 11-year-old girl in Pembroke Pines, Florida has been suspended
from school for using a child's knife to cut a peach to share with her friend. According to the child's family, she was
eating lunch in Silver Trail Middle School's cafeteria when her friend asked her for some of her peach. She took a
child's butter knife out of her bag and cut the peach in half.
a Middle Schooler's Arrest for Stealing 65-Cent Carton of Milk Says About America's Justice System. Teenager Ryan Turk faces
criminal charges for disorderly conduct and petit larceny for allegedly stealing a 65 cent carton of milk from his middle school cafeteria
in Virginia. That's right, the criminal justice system is utilizing the time, expense, and effort needed to adjudicate a criminal
matter in a dispute over a carton of milk. The mere fact that an eighth-grader can face a criminal charge for such a minor transgression
points to a failed exercise of discretion by both the school administration and the law enforcement official involved in this incident, which
can be a significant contributor to overcriminalization — the misuse of criminal laws and penalties to try to solve every problem
and punish every mistake.
The Editor says...
When I was a kid, a half-pint carton of milk was ten cents, I think. Chocolate milk was slightly higher.
orders 5-hour psych exam for student after he hands in anti-gun control presentation. Manville High School
senior Frank Harvey school officials are driving him out over an anti-gun control class presentation he received an "A" on
last year. Harvey was suspended Tuesday [9/27/2016] and ordered to undergo a five-hour psychological exam before he can
return after he left a thumb drive in the school library that contained an anti-gun control presentation he gave as an
assignment in April, NJ.com reports. Someone found the thumb drive and turned it over to school officials, who then
called police to interrogate the student.
Girl Suspended for Bringing Plastic Bubble Gun to School. A spokesman with School District 27J in Brighton
released a statement defending the action, saying, "This suspension is consistent with our district policy as well as how
Southeast has handled similar situations throughout this school year." "It's absurd to send a 5-year-old home for a
bubble-maker," said Nathan Woodliff, the executive director of the ACLU of Colorado. "This is a silly example of a very
real problem. Zero-tolerance policies often mean zero common sense."
13-Year-Old Strip Searched
Then Thrown in Jail for Burping in Class. Because of his loud burps, his teacher, Margaret Mines-Hornbeck,
reported the boy to Officer Arthur Acosta. The seventh grader was then taken to an administrative office after being
searched for drugs, as the assistant principal accused the 13-year-old of participating in a marijuana transaction.
During the search, the boy was asked to remove his jeans and shoes, then flip the waistband of the shorts he had been wearing
underneath. This was all in vain considering no drugs were found. After the traumatizing experience, the boy was
suspended for the remainder of the year, all because he burped too loud. But sure enough, that wasn't the end of it.
rules for middle school, officer in teen's burp arrest. A federal appeals court has upheld the petty misdemeanor arrest
of an Albuquerque student accused of repeatedly disrupting his middle-school class with loud burps [8/1/2016].
Belch in Gym Class. Then Handcuffs and a Lawsuit. Is fake burping in gym class enough to get a seventh-grader
arrested? Yes, according to a federal appeals court, which granted immunity to school officials sued by the kid's family after
the 13-year-old was hauled off to juvenile detention in handcuffs. The officer's action was based on a New Mexico misdemeanor
law that makes disrupting school activities a crime. In a 94-page opinion, the court backed the arrest, saying the law didn't
forbid arresting someone for burping. One judge on the panel wrote a pungent, four-page dissent explaining why that reasoning
is wrong. But determining the correct outcome here is a little tricky. The arrest was clearly absurd. Yet it isn't
clear that the remedy for every stupid arrest is a federal lawsuit.
police were called to a South Jersey third-grade class party. On June 16, police were called to an unlikely scene:
an end-of-the-year class party at the William P. Tatem Elementary School in Collingswood. A third grader had made a comment about
the brownies being served to the class. After another student exclaimed that the remark was "racist," the school called the Collingswood
Police Department, according to the mother of the boy who made the comment. The police officer spoke to the student, who is 9, said the
boy's mother, Stacy dos Santos, and local authorities. Dos Santos said that the school overreacted and that her son made a comment about
snacks, not skin color. "He said they were talking about brownies. ... Who exactly did he offend?" dos Santos said.
The Editor says...
Do the schools bring in the police whenever racially sensitive comments are made? Don't the cops have plenty of other things to do?
This case really is a no-brainer -- but now in a different way.
Upholds Suspension Of 2nd Grader Who Chewed Pastry Into Shape Of Gun. The suspension of second grader who
chewed his breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun was upheld by a circuit court judge last week. Joshua Welch was
suspended from Anne Arundel County's Park Elementary in March 2013 after chewing his pastry into the shape of a gun and
"[pretending] to fire it." The student's father, B.J. Welch, took the matter to court in hopes of having the suspension
reversed and expunged from his son's record. But WJZ 13 reports that an Anne Arundel County circuit judge upheld the
suspension, ruling that Joshua's actions were "disruptive."
School rejects teen's gun-toting,
flag-waving photo. [Scroll down] It was, by all accounts, an epic picture that summed up the heart and soul of this teenage patriot.
Now, at Hunterdon Regional kids have to upload their assignments to the school's Google site. And that's when Josh learned there was a problem.
His self-portrait was rejected because it violated the school's gun policy. "The rules of our school prohibit students from using artwork depicting
themselves or another person with any weapon," the teacher wrote to Mrs. Meys.
sends sheriff to order child to stop sharing Bible verses. A public school in California ordered a 7-year-old
boy to stop handing out Bible verses during lunch — and they dispatched a deputy sheriff to the child's home to
enforce the directive. "This is a clear, gross violation of the rights of a child," said Horatio Mihet, a Liberty
Counsel attorney representing the first-grader who attends Desert Rose Elementary School in Palmdale. They are also
representing his parents, Christina and Jaime Zavala.
Banned From School After Trump Hat Makes Students Feel Bad. A nine-year-old boy has been banned from his
California elementary school after school officials decided that his red "Make America Great Again" hat was making other
students feel bad. "They told me to take my hat off because it brings negative emotions to the other children who don't
like him," third grade Logan Autry told a local news station. He refused to take the hat off just to make other kids
feel better. "It's my favorite hat," he said. "The First Amendment says I can wear my hat."
suspended for bringing clear plastic bubble gun to school. A 5-year-old kindergarten student was suspended on
Monday for bringing a clear, plastic, princess-themed bubble gun to class at her elementary school in Colorado. The
student received a one-day suspension at Southeast Elementary in Brighton. The girl's mother said she didn't know her
daughter placed the $5 Frozen-themed bubble gun into her book bag before school.
Suspended for Carrying Toy Bubble Gun to School. A Colorado public school suspended a 5-year-old girl from
kindergarten this week after she brought a plastic toy bubble gun to school. The student's mother Emma told a local Fox
station that she was shocked when school officials called and told her she needed to take her daughter home. "I don't
want her to miss out on class. That's a silly reason not to go to school," she said. "If they had contacted me
and said can you make sure this doesn't happen again, we just want you to be aware, I think that would have been a more
appropriate way to handle the situation. 'Could we have a warning?' It blows bubbles."
Investigated for Forgery After Using Real $2 Bill. How is it that all the adults at her school were this idiotic?
I'm not a big fan of lawsuits but in this case I hope this family sues and gets a million $2 bills.
$2 bill sparks police investigation in Houston. A Houston eighth-grader was reportedly investigated for forgery
after she tried to use a $2 bill to pay for lunch at school. Danesiah Neal, a student at Fort Bend Independent School
District's Christa McAuliffe Middle School, said she was trying to buy some chicken nuggets with the $2 bill her grandmother
gave her, but school officials confiscated the bill and said it was fake, a local ABC News affiliate reported. [...] Police
were then led to a bank where the 1953-issued bill was examined and determined to be real.
The Editor says...
Obviously the police and the school officials are poorly trained if they can't recognize genuine U.S. currency, or if
they are unfamiliar with the only-slightly-uncommon $2 bill.
Discipline. Murfreesboro, Tennessee, police are refusing to say exactly how many students they handcuffed and
arrested at a local elementary school or exactly what the children are charged with. But parents say at least
10 children, ages 8 through 11, were arrested for "criminal responsibility for conduct of another."
arrest outrages Murfreesboro community. Police handcuffed multiple students, ages 6 to 11, at a public
elementary school in Murfreesboro on Friday [4/22/2016], inspiring public outcry and adding fuel to already heightened tensions
between law enforcement and communities of color nationwide. The arrests at Hobgood Elementary School occurred after the
students were accused of not stopping a fight that happened several days earlier off campus. [...] It remains unclear exactly
how many children were arrested. State law prohibits the release of juvenile law enforcement records, and police have
denied a media request for the information.
The Editor says...
Does a 6-year-old or an 8-year-old have an obligation to stop a fight between older kids?
accuses student of 'racism' over mask made out of newspaper. Cinco Ranch High School student Blake Alcede
thought it would be funny to make a mask out of newspaper during a class assignment. School officials think he's a
racist because they contend the mask resembled a Klu Klux Klan hood, the Houston Chronicle reports. Alcede said he
didn't initially realize the racial implications of making a newspaper mask, but now he does. "I could see how it's
racist," he said. "If you were doing it on purpose, it would be."
Teacher, Coach Fired for ... Giving Fruit to Students?!. A California middle school teacher and multi-sport
coach says he was fired for what he thought was a good deed. Marine veteran Arnold Villalobos, who worked at Center
Middle School outside Los Angeles, would collect uneaten fruit in the cafeteria and hand it out to student athletes and
others after school. He says that's when the school district asked him to stop, apparently because it violated state
health codes. He says he complied, but they fired him anyway.
Student wearing empty holster cited for 'threatening
the safety of campus'. Two University of South Alabama students were confronted by campus police Wednesday [4/13/2016], and
one student was cited for "causing alarm" by wearing an empty holster. "This week is the empty holster protest for Students for
Concealed Carry in Alabama to demonstrate that students are defenseless on campus," D.J. Parten, president of Students for
Concealed Carry, told Campus Reform.
raises hand, accused of violating 'safe space'. We're not quite at peak idiocy when looking at life on university campuses
in 2016. But we're getting [very] close. A student at Edinburgh University was threatened with being thrown out of a meeting
because she raised her hand in a "safe space."
punished for criticizing vegetarian. The story involves a New Jersey sixth-grader who ran afoul of the state's Anti-Bullying Bill of
Rights Act after he poked fun at a vegetarian classmate. [...] "Vegetarians are idiots," the youngster declared. "It's not good not to eat
meat." The 11-year-old, identified in court documents as C.C., went on to tell K.S. (the vegetarian) that "he should eat meat because he'd
be smarter and have bigger brains." The vegetarian child reported the incident to officials at Lower Middle School in Montgomery Township.
At that point, the school's anti-bullying specialist launched an investigation to determine if the meat-lover had "committed an act of harassment,
intimidation or bullying."
Zero Tolerance: 2 Teens Face Expulsion,
Jail for Fishing Knives, Advil in Their Cars. Two Escondido, California, high school students — ages 16 and 18 — could
see their whole lives derailed because they committed the crime of keeping fishing supplies in cars they parked on school property. The elder teen,
Brandon Cappelletti, had three knives in his car: the remnants of a family fishing trip. The knives were used to cut lines and filet fish.
The younger teen, Sam Serrato, had a pocketknife in his glove compartment. His father had left it there. Both teens are facing expulsion.
Cappelletti, a legal adult, could serve jail time if convicted of weapons charges, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
eighth-grader suspended for rescuing classmate during asthma attack. Anthony Ruelas watched for what seemed like an eternity
as his classmate wheezed and gagged in a desperate struggle to breathe. The girl told classmates that she was having an asthma attack,
but her teacher refused to let anyone leave the classroom, according to NBC affiliate KCEN. Instead, the teacher emailed the school
nurse and waited for a reply, telling students to stay calm and remain in their seats. When the student having the asthma attack fell
out of her chair several minutes later, Ruelas decided he couldn't take it anymore and took action. "We ain't got time to wait for
no email from the nurse," a teacher's report quotes him as saying, according to Fox News Latino.
The Editor says...
When you need an ambulance in a life-threatening emergency, do you send an email to your doctor and hope for the best -- no matter how long
it takes to get a reply? That is essentially what the incompetent teacher did in this case. The student who eventually did the
right thing was suspended for his effort. Common sense has left the public schools, and has been replaced by an over-reliance on
computers and email.
eighth-grader gets detention for hugging a friend. Before this week, 14-year-old Ella Fishbough had never
gotten in trouble at school. The cheerful, curly-haired eighth-grader's undoing came when she learned that a male friend
was having a bad day. As consolation, Ella put her arms around him in a hug. "It was literally for a second," the
eighth-grader told Click Orlando. But that moment earned her a morning in detention — as well as a blemish on her
formerly spotless disciplinary record.
school football player ejected from game for praising God after scoring touchdown. Sticking you hand up and
pointing towards the sky in football almost always means that you are praising God, not committing 'excessive celebration.'
What a moronic term that is. This is just way over the bounds on being politically correct. I hope the Arizona
Interscholastic Association rules in favor of Pedro Banda, who is the high school student from Dysart High School that was
ejected over this.
Teen faces assault charges for throwing baby carrot at middle
school teacher. A 14-year old girl could be charged with assault and battery after she threw a baby carrot at one of
her former teachers. School disciplinary documents allege a baby carrot was used as a weapon in an assault and battery of a
Moody Middle School teacher.
and School Officials Need to Get Thicker Skin. With no comment from the school, it is hard to know what they are thinking,
but on the surface it seems that the harsh punishment to Aliya for what was not even a prank must be the result of some zero tolerance
policy in the school system. It seems like every few weeks some school official somewhere in the country is in the news because
he or she has taken zero tolerance policy too far.
8th-grader suspended from school for wearing patriotic shirt showing gun. The standoff comes during an
extremely tense time in schools across the country, but especially among those in Oregon. Last week, a 26-year-old man walked
into Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., armed with three pistols and a semiautomatic rifle and began methodically
shooting students and professors. The incident, which occurred on the fourth day of the fall semester, left nine people dead,
as well as the shooter, and led to 10 being hospitalized.
The Editor says...
Send your kid to school wearing a T-shirt with a picture of a chewed-up Pop Tart (in the shape of a gun) and see
what happens. Where do they draw the line?
school: Districts rediscover teacher discretion, drop 'zero tolerance' policies. So-called "zero tolerance" is
out and grownup discretion is back in at schools around the country, after years of policies that punished children for
everything from playing cops and robbers at recess to chewing a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun.
Ahmed's Clock, President Obama Once Again Spoke Too Soon. Eagle Scouts, honor students, and others have had
their college careers derailed by "zero tolerance" policies. Take just some of the bizarre zero tolerance "weapon" cases
involving younger students that got national news coverage in 2013.
• 1st grader was given detention
and suspension for bringing a quarter-sized toy gun on a school bus.
• 1st grader who brought a clear
plastic toy gun to show and tell was suspended.
• First grader suspended for "talking" about a toy gun
with another student.
• Kindergarten girl was suspended for 10 days for saying he was "shooting" a
friend with a Hello Kitty bubble-making gun.
• Second grader was suspended for "pointing a pencil at
another student and making gun noises."
• Seventh grader was suspended for playing with an airsoft gun
in his own front yard
• Seventh grader suspended for having a tiny keychain "gun."
Second grader in Baltimore was suspended for biting a Pop-Tart into the shape of a mountain, which school officials
mistook for a gun.
forced to cover up his 'Star Wars' T-shirt at Texas school. A seventh-grade student in Rosenberg, Texas, says school administrators
forced him to cover up his "Star Wars" T-shirt because it depicted a weapon. Joe Southern told a local ABC affiliate that his son, Colton,
wore a shirt depicting the "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" logo and an image of a Storm Trooper holding a weapon. He said his son had worn
the shirt to class at George Junior High School several times, but on Thursday [12/17/2015] administrators took issue with the T-shirt.
school threatened 9-year-old with sexual harrassment charges for love note, mom says. A 9-year-old Florida boy's "love note"
landed him in the principal's office with the school threatening sexual harassment charges, his mother told local media Monday [11/9/2015].
The note described how his crush "wears the same uniform and how her eyes sparkled like diamonds," his mother told WFTS. The station
reports the boy lives in Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa. It did not name the child, his mother, or the school, citing
flag on Ga. kid's backpack leads to school lockdown. A Confederate battle flag attached to a high school
sophomore's backpack reportedly led to a school lockdown in Polk County, Georgia. Officials at Rockmart High School say the
flag caused a disruption when the 10th-grader, who is white, was confronted Wednesday morning [9/23/2015] by two black students
prior to school starting, a local Fox News affiliate reported.
The Editor says...
This is an example of public school logic. Instead of punishing the two-against-one black bullies, the
school punished the white guy with the backpack.
Muslim "Bomb-Clock" Kid's Victim Narrative Just Imploded.
Imagine the panic and demonizing that would ensue if a non-Muslim student brought this alarm clock to school. This religious bias
was demonstrated when a 7-year-old boy bit his Pop-Tart into the shape of a pistol at lunch. There was no tweet from Obama, no
special invites. The little boy was suspended before he even finished eating his completely useless "weapon." School officials
knew it wasn't a gun, unless one considers strawberry paste and sprinkles ammunition. However, the youngster simply wasn't of the
right religion, and all his white privilege earned him was suspension and court appeals.
Faced Expulsion for Drawing Gun, But Muslim Student Gets White House Invite After 'Hoax Bomb'. Following news
that high school freshman Ahmed Mohamed brought a homemade clock which police described as a "hoax bomb" onto campus, police
declined to file charges and President Obama reached and invited Mohamed to bring his clock and visit the White House.
Contrast that with the experience of an unnamed elementary school student who was threatened with expulsion — and
ultimately pulled from the school — for drawing a picture of a Ninja holding a gun.
about the Clock Kid.
down: 13-year-old busted for stolen kiss. A 13-year-old Maryland boy is facing an assault charge after he
planted an unwanted kiss on a female classmate. The criminal kiss happened at Pikesville Middle School between the eighth
grade boy and an eighth grade girl. The young Casanova told police he stole the kiss on a dare, the Baltimore Sun reports.
school boy arrested, charged with assault for kissing classmate on a dare. A 13-year-old Baltimore middle
school boy is facing a second-degree assault charge as a juvenile after he allegedly kissed a classmate without her
permission. Baltimore County police officers and Baltimore County school officials responded to a report of an assault
between two eighth-grade students this week at Pikesville Middle School, local Fox station WBFFreported. School officials
said the boy kissed the 14-year-old girl when some of his classmates dared him to.
sues school board for teen's arrest, suspension over NRA shirt. A West Virginia mother
is suing the Logan County Board of Education for violating her teenage son's constitutional rights
after he was charged and suspended for wearing an National Rifle Association T-shirt to school.
Tanya Lardieri filed the lawsuit in federal court on behalf of her son, Jared Marcum, who was charged
in 2013 for disrupting the educational process and obstructing a police officer after he refused to
turn his NRA T-shirt inside out, EAGNews.org reported.
Sign Permission Slip Before Kids Can Eat Oreos. There are 18-wheelers with brake
problems, hungry bears just stumbling out of hibernation, and lawnmowers that suddenly shift into
reverse. And then there's the unparalleled danger of Double Stuf Oreos. Thank goodness
this teacher requires parents to sign off on cookie consumption — if they dare.
Named After War Hero Forces Child to Shave Off Military-style Haircut. Adam Stinnett
looks up to his older stepbrother — a soldier in the U.S. Army. So when it came time to
get a haircut, the seven-year-old told his mother he wanted a basic military-style cut. And that's
exactly what he got — high and tight — just like his stepbrother. [...] "I have the
utmost respect for the military and its members," the principal wrote in an email to Amy [Stinnett].
"However, we are not a military school and the boy's haircut is against our rules." She tried to
reason with the principal — but it was a lost cause.
for making fingers into shape of gun. Ten-year-old Nathan Entingh doesn't understand
why he got suspended from school for three days. According to his father, Paul Entingh, one moment
the boy was "goofing off" with his friends in fifth-grade science class, and the next the teacher
was taking him out of the classroom, invoking Ohio's zero-tolerance policy. The offense? Nathan
was "making his fingers look like a gun, having the thumb up and the pointed finger sticking out," said
Entingh, describing the February 26 incident.
Child Suspended for Making Gun Shape with His Hand. The latest case zero tolerance
madness has occurred in Colorado Springs, as a first-grader has been suspended from school for
pointing his fingers in the shape of a gun. It's a familiar tale, as Elijah Thurston became just
another in a long list of children to be punished for innocent imaginary play. The boy allegedly
made the gun shape with his hand and said, "You're dead" while pointing at another child in his class.
points finger like gun, gets suspended. A Columbus principal suspended a student for
three days last week after the child pointed a "lookalike firearm" at another student in class and
pretended to shoot. The boy's age? 10. The "level 2 lookalike firearm" cited
in his suspension letter? His finger. "I was just playing around," said Nathan Entingh,
a fifth-grader at Devonshire Alternative Elementary School in a far northern section of the district.
"People play around like this a lot at my school." Other kids have been caught playing pretend
gun games on the playground at Devonshire and weren't suspended, Nathan said.
Grader Suspended for Informing Classmates of Standardized Test 'Opt-Out'. A New Mexico
eighth-grader was suspended from school for letting her classmates know that they could opt out of
the state's new online standardized test. 12-year-old Adelina Silva printed out the forms from
her own school's website and was rewarded with a trip to the principal's office.
Suspends 9-Year-Old Boy for Pretending to Be Bilbo Baggins. [Scroll down] But
that is exactly what happened to Aiden Steward, a 9-year-old boy from Kermit, Texas. After
watching the movie "The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies" one weekend with his family, Aiden
brought a toy ring to school and told a classmate that he would make him disappear, much like Bilbo
Baggins did in the story. School officials, however, considered Aiden's playful statement to be a
"terroristic threat" and suspended the young boy from school, under the premise that no threat would
be tolerated, whether real or imagined.
The Case for Zero Zero-Tolerance.
Bureaucrats, by nature, are timid, unimaginative creatures always on the lookout for an easy,
uniform response to every happenstance. Also, the increasingly feminized culture of today's school
bureaucracies stands mystified by, suspicious of, and hostile to, the very nature of boisterous
boyhood and is quick to stifle any expression of budding masculinity. None of the cases cited here
posed any credible threat to any person or to the orderly functioning of any school. The robotic
rules of zero-tolerance do something truly nasty: they stigmatize the very nature of unruly childhood.
Zero-tolerance rules also demonize inert objects and images. Worse yet, these pernicious ordinances
teach children that it is risky to hold certain opinions or express certain thoughts. Are guns and
soldiers and conflict really bad? Would we be a democratic republic without them?
Tolerance Insanity: Gun Drawing Gets Boy In Trouble. An elementary school boy in
Widefield, Colorado, was sent to the school office for drawing a picture of a gun as part of a
school assignment. Second-grader Kody Smith was told to go outside, look at the clouds and draw
what he saw. "Draw a picture of what you see in the clouds from your imagination and that picture is
a gun," he said. Because Kody drew a gun and everybody knows how dangerous drawings are, his teacher
called him into the office and filed a "behavior report" on Kody.
Zero Tolerance for
Doodles of Weapons. In the space of two weeks, two Arizona 8th-graders in different
districts were suspended for drawing pictures of guns. Payne Junior High in Chandler issued a
five-day suspension, later commuted to three days, to a student who sketched a gun on a homework
assignment. Although it was only a doodle of a laser gun and depicted no violence or human
targets, school officials said the drawing "was absolutely considered a threat" under the district's
zero-tolerance policy. (
Points Finger Like Gun, Gets Suspended Under Zero Tolerance Rules. If one were looking
to find a singular, widespread example of the American people's abdication of common sense, the best
of the available examples would have to be zero tolerance policies in schools. Think about it for a
moment. Here we have a population consisting entirely of incomplete members of society, those that
are still undergoing the learning and growth required to become fully functional members of our union.
To treat that still-learning population with any measure of "zero tolerance" is antithetical in the extreme.
These are the very people you would expect to make mistakes, to lack a full understanding of their surroundings
and situations. They're the people in our culture most in need of tolerant learning opportunities,
rather than the iron fist of [false] justice.
Suspends Student Indefinitely For A Drawing Of A Cartoon Bomb He Made At Home. Is
there some sort of secret contest going on between administrators to see who can come up with the
most ridiculous interpretation of their school's zero-tolerance weapons policies? Do they meet
annually to hand out awards and have a good laugh at their students' expense? Or is it something
Really Stupid 'School Administration'
Behavior. Rubber bands are a controlled item at Young Middle Magnet School of
Mathematics, Science & Technology in Tampa FL. In a December newsletter, the Buffalo Bulletin,
administrators warned parents and students ... "There have been recent incidences of students at
our school using rubber bands as a method of projecting objects at other people." "Rubber bands are
not permitted at school. If students are in possession of rubber bands for any reason they will be
subject to consequences that may include out of school suspension."
Tolerance Hurts Kids and Ruins Schools. Virginia Beach sixth-grader Adrionna Harris
took a razor away from a troubled student who was cutting himself and threw it in the trash. When
school administrators found out, they gave her a certificate of merit for helping a classmate.
Ha, ha! Of course they didn't. They gave her a 10-day suspension, with a recommendation
that she be expelled. For three or four seconds there, she was in possession of a dangerous object
in violation of the school's zero-tolerance policies. The only reason administrators found out
about the incident was that Adrionna volunteered the information. And the only reason she threw the
razor away instead of turning it in was because she didn't want to violate school policy.
How a Pop-Tart Triggered a
Gun Law. About a year ago, 11 weeks after the Newtown massacre, a 7-year-old Maryland
boy named Josh Welch was suspended from school for biting a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun. The
story quickly became a minor sensation — generating coverage from outlets as varied as Fox and
The Huffington Post — and several more followed in its wake. A 5-year-old Massachusetts
boy got in trouble for building a gun out of Legos. Another child was suspended for making a
shooting gesture with his finger. A third, a little girl in Pennsylvania, was sent home for
bringing a bubble gun to school and accused of making a "terroristic threat."
bill' would protect school kids' right to turn pastry into guns. The Florida
legislature is considering a bill to offer protection to children who play with imaginary guns at
school, including those "brandishing a partially consumed pastry or other food" that resembles the
shape of a weapon. The detailed provision refers to the case of 8-year-old Josh Welch in Maryland,
who was suspended from school in March for chewing his Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun.
Guns' Now Permitted in Florida Schools, Actual Guns Still Banned. Florida lawmakers
finished the 2014 legislative session after passing a law that bans schools from punishing students
for chewing Pop-Tarts into imaginary guns, and after failing to pass another bill that would have
allowed some trained and screened employees to carry guns in schools. The so-called "Pop-Tart
bill" actually covers a broader range of actions that may have been previously banned under some
school zero-tolerance policies.
Guns Now Legal in Florida Schools. Florida legislators wrapped up their 2014 session
by passing a bill that revises school discipline guidelines in the wake of the now-infamous incident
in which a 7-year-old boy was suspended for chewing his breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun and
other zero tolerance snafus. They're calling it "the Pop-Tart bill" and it's rather specific: [...]
tolerance' toward schoolkids could backfire, says expert. Little boys around the
nation keep getting in trouble for guns — whether they're made of plastic, formed by
fingers or even fashioned from Pop-Tarts — but some experts say having "zero tolerance"
for games children have played for centuries is turning the adults into bullies and backfiring on kids.
These Tykes Got Busted for "Guns" Made of Legos, Pop-Tarts, and Paper. In the wake of
the Newtown massacre and the NRA's call for putting armed guards in America's schools, some school
officials have reacted severely to young kids' play around the subject of guns. Recent cases have
included the suspension of students as young as five years old simply for talking about playing with
toy weapons. The offenders' arsenal has included breakfast pastries, Legos, and Hello Kitty.
Tolerance" at Schools Is Going Way Too Far. On February 1, in Forest Hills, Queens,
12-year-old Alexa Gonzalez was arrested after she was caught doodling on her desk. Profanity?
Threats against her teacher? No, the middle school student had written, with an erasable marker, "I
love my friends Abby and Faith," along with "Lex was here. 2/1/10" and a smiley face, according to
the New York Daily News. This, apparently, was a criminal act in the eyes of her teacher. She
called school security — New York police officers — who promptly cuffed her and hauled
her across the street, to the local precinct[.]
If you are a public school student, your personal life is not your own.
Suspended For Holding Airsoft Guns In Photo Taken In Living Room. Two Massachusetts
high school sweethearts — Tito Velez and Jamie Pereira — are suspended from
school after posing with Airsoft toy guns for a photograph at home before attending a homecoming
dance last week. Pereira and Velez are students at Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School.
The photo was taken by Velez's father in their living room and then posted to Facebook.
School officials abuse 5 year old who drew something resembling a gun. An
Alabama mother is furious that her 5-year-old daughter was forced to sign a school contract stating she wouldn't kill herself or anyone
else at school. School officials told Rebecca, who did not want to give her last name, they had to send 5-year-old Elizabeth home
after an incident in class. "They told me she drew something that resembled a gun. According to them she pointed a crayon at
another student and said 'pew pew'," Rebecca explained.
is banned from using ChapStick at school because it's considered an 'over-the-counter drug'. An 11-year-old girl whose lips became so chapped
they bled at school is now petitioning the district to let her use lip balm. Grace Karaffa, a fifth-grader at Stuarts Draft Elementary School in
Virginia, has suffered from dry lips for years and and repeatedly her requests for ChapStick have been turned down because the district considers the
ointment an 'over-the-counter drug' that require's a doctor's note and must be held by the school nurse.
Zero tolerance applies to teachers, too.
Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment for a Novelist. From the Dept. of Insane and
Dangerous Overreactions to Fictional Threats: A 23-year-old teacher at a Cambridge, Md. middle
school has been placed on leave and — in the words of a local news report —
"taken in for an emergency medical evaluation" for publishing, under a pseudonym, a novel about a
school shooting. The novelist, Patrick McLaw, an eighth-grade language-arts teacher at the Mace's
Lane Middle School, was placed on leave by the Dorchester County Board of Education, and is being
investigated by the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office, according to news reports from Maryland's
Eastern Shore. The novel, by the way, is set 900 years in the future.
police strike. A teacher in Cambridge, Maryland has been suspended from teaching,
banned from school property, had his home searched, and been taken in for emergency medical
evaluation because of a novel he wrote under a pseudonym in 2011, three years before he was hired.
Kid Arrested For Writing In A School Project That He Shot A Dinosaur. Sixteen-year-old
Alex Stone was arrested and suspended Tuesday morning because he completed a school assignment by
writing about killing a dinosaur using a gun. The Summerville (SC) High School student and his
classmates were told in class to write a few sentences about themselves, and a "status" as if it
were a Facebook page. For Stone's "status," he wrote a fictional story that involved the words "gun"
and "take care of business." [...] According to a report by WCSC, television investigators say the
teacher contacted school officials after seeing the message containing the words "gun" and "take
care of business," and police were then notified on Tuesday [8/19/2014]. Summerville police
officials say Stone's bookbag and locker were searched on Tuesday, and a gun was not found.
lawyer release statements on student's alleged dinosaur killing. A Summerville High
School student who says he was arrested and suspended after writing about killing a dinosaur using a
gun in a class assignment has hired a lawyer. Attorney David Aylor, who is representing
16-year-old Alex Stone, said his client's arrest over a creative writing assignment on Tuesday [8/19/2014]
was "completely absurd," and is seeking to appeal the suspension and "proceed with the legal issues of
[Stone's] arrest." "This is a perfect example of 'political correctness' that has exceeded the
boundaries of common sense," Aylor said in a statement released on Thursday." Students were asked to
write about themselves and a creative Facebook status update — just days into the new
school year — and my client was arrested and suspended after a school assignment."
Freshman Arrested for Shooting 'Neighbor's Pet Dinosaur' in Classroom Assignment. "I
killed my neighbor's pet dinosaur," Alex Stone wrote in a classroom assignment earlier this week.
That fictional slaying led to real-life handcuffs. On the first day of the new school year, the
16-year-old freshman at Summerville High School in Summerville, S.C., was directed by a teacher to
pen a few sentences about himself and a Facebook-style "status" as part of an in-class assignment.
Stone wrote about killing his neighbor's pet dino, using a gun to "take care of the business." His
teacher notified school officials, who contacted the police.
cops bust 10-year-old for bringing toy gun to school. A 10-year-old Alexandria boy was
arrested after police said he brought a toy handgun to school on Tuesday [8/19/2014], a day after he
showed it to others on a school bus. The boy, a fifth-grader at Douglas MacArthur Elementary
School whose name is not being released, was charged as a juvenile with brandishing a weapon, police
said. He was also suspended from school, and Alexandria City Public Schools Superintendent Morton
Sherman said further action is being considered, including expulsion.
gun made of paper gets kid tossed from school. Meet 8-year-old Asher Palmer, who was tossed out of his
special-needs Manhattan school for threatening other kids with a toy "gun" — which he made out of rolled-up
paper. "Asher is exactly the type of student Lang [School] is supposed to be serving. Why they did this
doesn't make sense," his outraged mom, Melina Spadone, told The [New York] Post.
Asks Second Graders To Draw What They See In Clouds, Boy Sees Gun, Teacher writes him
up. Another little boy has gotten in trouble at a taxpayer-funded public school for
having something — or, in this case, drawing something — that represents a
gun but isn't actually anything remotely approaching a real gun. This week, a second-grade teacher
in Colorado filed a behavioral report on a boy after he drew a picture of a gun because she
instructed him to go outside, look up at the clouds and draw what he saw. The incident unfolded
at Talbott Elementary School in Colorado Springs, reports local CBS affiliate KKTV.
Hands 13-Year-Old Over to Cops for a Doodle of a Man Hanging, Lawsuit Alleges.
Another child victim of zero tolerance policies by schools around the country. The law of contagion
led to a freak out over a 13-year-old boy's doodle at a school in Beaverton, Oregon.
Dakota U. Bans Something Truly Ridiculous from Campus. Fencing is not only an Olympic sport; it is
sponsored by more than 30 NCAA colleges and universities. However, that didn't stop a North Dakota university
from banning its fencing club from practicing on campus. The reason? Fencing violates the school's "weapons
Suspends Student For Pointing-Pencil Allegation: "We Must Do Our Duty". A boy was suspended
because someone shouted about him, as he twirled his pencil in class, "He's making gun motions; send him
to juvie!" Notice that, when cowards rule, bullies are empowered. In this case, according to
the victim, the accuser had been bullying earlier and held a grudge. Not only do bullies carry out
their campaigns by their own actions, but they also find they can easily manipulate the rules to get the
institutions to cooperate and continue their bullying. The punk accuser has just gotten this boy
cast out of his school and subjected to five hours of psychological interrogation.
NJ Student Suspended, Given Psych Eval for 'Twirling Pencil' Like a
Gun. Thirteen-year-old Ethan Chaplin, who attends school in Vernon, New Jersey, was suspended for two
days and will undergo a psychological evaluation after another student complained that he was "twirling a pencil"
like a gun. According to News 12 New Jersey, Chaplin said he was "just twisting around a pencil with a
pen cap on it when a student behind him yelled, 'He's making gun motions, send him to juvie.'"
Time to Start Suing Schools and Officials — Personally — for Abusing Students. The
Washington Times reports that a New Jersey school in the Vernon Schools system suspended a 13-year-old boy last
Thursday [4/3/2014]. His "crime" — twirling a pencil in his fingers. Another kid behind him yelled
"He's making gun motions, send him to juvie!" According to AWR Hawkins, that kid had been bullying Ethan Chaplin,
the kid who was twirling the pencil. And the idiots in charge of the school took the bullying to an entire new level.
set to pass Pop Tart gun bill to protect kids playing in school. On Tuesday [3/25/2014], the Florida
Senate will hold a committee hearing on legislation that has become known as the "Pop Tart bill." The
legislation got its nickname from an incident involving Josh Welch, a 7-year-old Maryland boy who was suspended
from school in March 2013 for chewing his strawberry Pop Tart into the shape of a gun. The Florida bill
makes it clear that children in public schools will be allowed to simulate firearms while playing without risk
of disciplinary action or being referred to the criminal or juvenile justice system. The Florida House
passed the companion bill Thursday by an overwhelming vote of 98-17.
Tolerance, Evil Objects, and the Psychosis of the Left. The progressives' ideation of guns fully crosses over
into the talismanic realm. At the capacity of their reasoning on this issue, they believe that not just a gun but
even a picture of a gun, or a shirt referencing a gun, or fingers that clearly are not a gun, or a Pop-Tart bitten into
the shape of a gun is possessed of actual evil, and that all of these exercise a remarkable, powerful influence on human
feelings and action. [...] Of course, when irrational people are entirely convinced of imaginary things, the only foolproof
way to deal with the offending thing is to destroy it. As we are beginning to see in the increasingly zealous
prosecution of absurd zero tolerance rules, such as suspending a kindergartner for the equivalent of terrorism because
he pointed his finger, there is no middle ground. Scare them young, make examples of the clearly innocent, and all
will see and fall into line out of fear of the state and those who will imprison you over imaginary threats.
Every Part of American Life Became a Police Matter. Though it's a national phenomenon, Mississippi
currently leads the way in turning school behavior into a police issue. The Hospitality State has imposed
felony charges on schoolchildren for "crimes" like throwing peanuts on a bus. Wearing the wrong color belt to
school got one child handcuffed to a railing for several hours. All of this goes under the rubric of
"zero-tolerance" discipline, which turns out to be just another form of violence legally imported into schools.
Despite a long-term drop in youth crime, the carceral style of education remains in style. Metal
detectors — a horrible way for any child to start the day — are installed in ever
more schools, even those with sterling disciplinary records, despite the demonstrable fact that such
scanners provide no guarantee against shootings and stabbings.
School Senior Jailed, Kicked Out Of School Because Of Pocket Knife In Car. An Ohio high school student has already been
jailed and kicked out of school for having a pocket knife in his car, and now he fears he could lose his dream of serving in the Army.
Jordan Wiser, a student at Ashtabula County Technical School in Jefferson, is finishing up his senior year from home after school
officials searched his car in December and found the folding knife and an Airsoft gun. School officials called police, who
charged him with illegal conveyance of a weapon onto a school ground based on the three-inch knife.
How 'My Brother's Keeper' Stands to
Destroy Already Bad Schools. Yes, Junior may disrupt the class, terrify his teacher, and otherwise prevent
classmates from learning, but everything possible should be done to keep him marching toward graduation. Diploma in
hand, he will — supposedly — join the workforce, eschew criminality, and pay his taxes. A
diploma is now a magic piece of paper. To this end, the Obama administration (particularly the DOJ) is doing
everything possible to lighten the punishment of young men of color. Obama himself has called for ending the "zero
tolerance" policy common in many schools since blacks disproportionately are guilty of infractions. Similarly, the Justice
Department now regularly sues school districts over racial inequalities in suspensions, expulsions, and other disciplinary measures.
It just assumes that all groups commit offenses in equal proportions, so disparities merely reflect racial discrimination.
The attorney general has also called for de-criminalizing low-level nonviolent active drug dealings.
Ohio student points finger
like gun, is suspended. A central Ohio principal says she suspended a 10-year-old boy from school for three days for
pretending his finger was a gun and pointing it at another student's head.
Things That School Children Are Being Arrested For In America. When I was growing up, I don't remember a single police
officer ever coming to my school. Discipline was always handled by the teachers and by the principals. But today,
there are schools all over the country that have police officers permanently stationed in the halls. Many other schools
will call out police officers at the drop of a hat. In the classrooms of America today, if you burp in class, if you
spray yourself with perfume or if you doodle on your desk, there is a chance that you will be arrested by the police and
hauled out of your school in handcuffs.
Student suspended, criminally
charged for fishing knife left in father's car. A senior at Northeast High School in Clarksville, Tenn. has been suspended for 10 days
and faces a multitude of additional punishments including criminal charges because school officials found a knife belonging to his father inside his father's
car. [...] The student's father is a commercial fisherman who works on the West Coast.
of dying boy has to prove her son can't take standardized test. Andrea Rediske's 11-year-old son Ethan, is dying. Last year,
Ethan, who was born with brain damage, has cerebral palsy and is blind, was forced to take a version of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test
over the space of two weeks last year because the state of Florida required that every student take one. His mom has to prove that Ethan,
now in a morphine coma, is in no condition to take another test this year.
New Approach to Classroom Discipline. Zero tolerance policies, a tool that became popular in the 1990s, often spell out uniform and swift
punishment for offenses such as truancy, smoking or carrying a weapon.
Zero Tolerance, Reconsidered. Schools across the country
are rethinking "zero tolerance" discipline policies under which children have been suspended, even arrested, for minor offenses like cursing, getting into shoving
matches and other garden-variety misbehavior that in years past would have been resolved with detention or meetings with a child's parents. These
reappraisals are long overdue. Studies have shown that suspensions and expulsions do nothing to improve the school climate, while increasing the
risk that children will experience long-term social and academic problems.
Zero-tolerance stupidity at
school. It's already well-established that education majors have the lowest test scores of any college major, but nonetheless
tend to graduate with high grades. That certainly suggests a lack of critical faculties. But the constant stream of stories of
zero-tolerance stupidity suggests that there's something more lacking here than just academic smarts: There seems to be a severe deficit
of the very sort of critical thinking that the education industry purports to be instilling in kids. One might dismiss any one of these
events as an isolated incident, but when you have — as we clearly do — a never ending supply of such incidents, they're
no longer isolated: They're a pattern.
boy, 6, suspended for kiss gets allegations on record changed from 'sexual harassment' to 'misconduct'. The principal at the
Colorado school where a 6-year-old was suspended Monday [12/9/2013] for planting a kiss on a classmate's cheek said the allegations on the
student's record will be changed from "sexual harassment" to "misconduct."
Free Hunter Yelton. Hunter
Yelton of Cañon City, Colo., is accused of sexual harassment. Hunter Yelton is 6 years old and in the first grade.
"He has a crush on a girl at school, who likes him back," reports Colorado Springs' KRDO-TV. "It may sound innocent enough," the
station intones. But in Barack Obama's America, even a small boy can become a sexual suspect.
What The Know-Nothings Know. They know that a
picture of a gun is actually a gun. They know that a Pop-Tart chewed into the shape of a gun makes the Pop-Tart become a gun. They
know that merely saying the word "gun" will make one appear, violating their zero tolerance rules. They know that 5 and 6 year
olds who play Cowboys and Indians, or any other imaginary game, are actually posing a threat to the lives of other 5 and 6 year olds,
indeed to all of us. They know that suspending or expelling such children solves the imaginary problem. They know that children
belong to the state.
Boyhood Is Not a Mental Illness. The purpose of
psychologist Enrico Gnaulati's 2013 book is to argue how ordinary childhood behavior is often misdiagnosed as ADD, ADHD, depression and autism —
frequently with life-long, disturbing consequences. [...] He cites numerous studies showing that typical boy behavior — wrestling, rough games of
tag, good guy/bad guy imaginative play that involves "shooting" — are condemned by preschool and elementary school teachers, the vast majority of
whom are women, without the behavior being redirected appropriately to release boys' "natural aggression." Boys who play in the way noted above are
not on a path to mass murder, contrary to what zero tolerance school policies suggest. For the vast majority of them, they are simply on the path to
for Making Gun Shape With Fingers: 'It Was a Game'. The mother of 8-year-old Jordan Bennett said her son was only playing with his friend
at Harmony Community School in St. Cloud. She fears his one-day suspension, which was handed down Friday [9/27/2013], wrongly labels Jordan as
a violent person. There was nothing in his hand. He used his thumb and index finger, Bonnie Bennett told a local TV station. It was a
game. He made no threatening advances or threats to harm anyone. No words were said. They took a child that has never been in trouble
before and went to the extreme, the mother continued. A child that has no history of violence is now classified as a violent offender.
Florida boy, 8,
suspended from school after using finger as imaginary gun. An 8-year-old Florida boy was suspended from school after using his
finger as a pretend gun while playing cops and robbers with his friends. Jordan Bennett was suspended for a day after administrators at
Harmony Community School in Harmony, Fla., said the gesture was an act of violence, WFTV.com reported. His mother, Bonnie,
told the station she's concerned that her son may labeled violent with a suspension now on his academic record.
Eight Year Old Jordan Bennett
Suspended for Finger Pretend Gun. Jordan's mother Bonnie Bennett [...] continued talking about her son's suspension for a pretend gun, "The
entire story is he held his hand in the shape of a gun... They kept telling me he had nothing in his hand. He had a pretend gun." Americans
are outraged. [...] "What kind of men will the USA have if our children are made to act like cowards?" said a Tea Party activist.
School suspends child for using finger as
pretend gun while playing with friends. An Osceola County mother is outraged after she said her 8-year-old son was kicked out of class for
playing cops with his friends at Harmony Community School and using his finger to simulate a handgun. Jordan Bennett was suspended from school for
the day, but his mother, Bonnie, said she's now worried her son be labeled as violent with a suspension on his record.
Felony weapons charge for
student who brought fishing supplies to school. The arrests of several students who unwittingly and accidentally violated school weapon
policies has some Georgian lawmakers saying "zero tolerance" makes zero sense. A Cobb County high school senior was charged with the felony of
bringing weapons into a school zone after police found fishing knives in a tackle box in his car. Cody Chitwood, a 17-year-old student at Lassiter
High School and avid fisherman, turned himself in and was released on $1,000 bond.
The alleged offense occurred on private property, well away from their school.
Boys punished for airsoft guns in yard.
Like thousands of others in Hampton Roads, Khalid Caraballo plays with airsoft guns. Caraballo and his friend Aidan were suspended because
they shot two other friends who were with them while playing with the guns as they waited for the school bus. The two seventh graders say
they never went to the bus stop; they fired the airsoft guns while on Caraballo's private property. Aidan's father, Tim Clark, told
WAVY.com what happened next lacks commons sense. The children were suspended for possession, handling and use of a firearm.
What is an Airsoft gun? Apparently it is a very realistic looking
Graders Suspended For Nine Months For Playing With Toy Gun — AT HOME. The latest incident occurred in
Virginia, where a seventh grader and his friend have been suspended from school for playing with a toy gun, in the boy's own
front yard, outside of school hours. WAVY-TV reports that while waiting for the school bus, the boys were fooling around
with an airsoft replica handgun, shooting plastic pellets at a target attached to a tree, with a safety net rigged up to catch
any off target pellets.
laws: A mom dares to critique the social trend. Anti-bullying laws have proliferated in the past decade: But some people are troubled at what
lawmakers and advocates almost always portray as a positive movement against bullying that may or may not have the desired effect.
Bully for You; Bully for Me. Has bullying become more
pervasive and aggressive in recent years? Or is it just reported more often than it used to be? Is something serious going on, or is it a
suspended for 10 days after accidentally carrying pocketknife to school. David Schaffner III voluntarily turned himself in to school
authorities while at a football game, after he realized he'd kept his pocketknife after hunting. Instead of rewarding him for his honesty or at least
mitigating the punishment somewhat, the school gave him the same punishment it would give a student who tried to sneak a weapon into a school event.
School Has Become Too Hostile to Boys. In May, Christopher
Marshall, age 7, was suspended from his Virginia school for picking up a pencil and using it to "shoot" a "bad guy" — his friend, who was also
suspended. A few months earlier, Josh Welch, also 7, was sent home from his Maryland school for nibbling off the corners of a strawberry Pop-Tart to
shape it into a gun. At about the same time, Colorado's Alex Evans, age 7, was suspended for throwing an imaginary hand grenade at "bad guys" in
order to "save the world." In all these cases, school officials found the children to be in violation of the school's zero-tolerance policies for firearms,
which is clearly a ludicrous application of the rule. But common sense isn't the only thing at stake here. In the name of zero tolerance, our schools
are becoming hostile environments for young boys.
Turning public schools into forts.
[A]s I point out in my book, "A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State," with every school police raid and overzealous punishment
that is carried out in the name of school safety, the lesson being imparted is that Americans — especially young people — have
no rights at all against the state or the police. Indeed, the majority of schools today have adopted an all-or-nothing lockdown mindset that
leaves little room for freedom, individuality or due process.
How a Miami School Crime Cover-Up Policy Led to Trayvon Martin's
Death. The February 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martion might never have happened if school officials in Miami-Dade
County had not instituted an unofficial policy of treating crimes as school disciplinary infractions. Revelations that emerged from an internal
affairs investigation explain why Martin was not arrested when caught at school with stolen jewerly in October 2011 or with marijuana in February
The Editor says...
It's easy enough to explain why he wasn't arrested at school. The stolen jewelry wasn't a weapon, and the marijuana didn't resemble a gun.
The Schools' Sinister War on Guns. Call it living in
Upside-down Land or the realization of the Bible's prediction of a time when bad will be called good and good, bad, but once again innocent schoolchildren
have been persecuted for, well, just being children. This time the offender was Chase Lake Elementary School in Edmonds, WA, where some kids were
suspended for using Nerf guns on school grounds. And it's an all-too-common story. A child will be punished for drawing a gun, shaping his
fingers as one and saying "bang!" merely talking about guns or some other innocuous action.
public education, and stupidity. [Scroll down] But wait, there's more. In Calvert County Maryland, the son of Bruce
Henkelman, of Huntingtown (an appropriate name) was suspended for talking about guns on a school bus. "He said, I wish I had a gun to
protect everyone. He wanted to defeat the bad guys. That's the context of what he said," Henkelman said. "He wanted to be
the hero." The bus driver took the 11-year-old back to school, where the principal and a sheriff's deputy questioned him. It gets
worse. The deputy wanted to search the Henkelman residence for firearms without a warrant.
Beginning Toy Gun Turn-In Program. Strobridge Elementary Principal Charles Hill has a brilliant idea: he's holding a
toy gun exchange next Saturday in which students of the Hayward, CA school can turn in a toy gun to receive a book and a raffle ticket to
win one of four bicycles. Really. Hill believes that children who play with toy guns may not think real guns are dangerous.
"Playing with toy guns, saying 'I'm going to shoot you,' desensitizes them, so as they get older, it's easier for them to use a real gun," he
The Editor says...
Ill-conceived programs of this sort only make the forbidden fruit more attractive. Take the kids to the gun
range for "gun ed" classes and when they mature, they will throw their toy guns away on their own. Until then,
let them be kids! If you want your children to have a respect for life and an awareness of gun safety, keep your
kids out of the movie theaters and throw away your television.
Guns and Grade-School Panic.
The specter of school shootings has brought a too-typical staple to local newspaper sections: the boys disciplined at (or suspended
from) grade school for bringing a toy gun or anything resembling a gun. The Washington Post just found the latest wild overreaction,
from Calvert County, Md., a blue state that's cracked down on gun rights. "A kindergartner who brought a cowboy-style cap gun onto
his Calvert County school bus was suspended for 10 days after showing a friend the orange-tipped toy, which he had tucked inside his
backpack on his way to school," according to the family.
Pop guns, Pop Tarts and deadly
pencils. The Calvert County, Md., kindergartner who was suspended last week for brandishing an unloaded cap gun on a
school bus returned to class Monday [6/3/2013]. The crime wave in Calvert County is over. The school initially suspended
the 5-year-old for 10 days, but relented in the fear and trembling of public ridicule.
Kindergarten and the Kafkaesque.
To follow up on the recent story about a five-year-old boy suspended for showing a cap gun to his friend on a school bus, Investor's
Business Daily relates a charming collection of similar anecdotes regarding such child abuse at U.S. re-education camps —
oops, I mean public schools. Each tale involves a very young child receiving severe punishment for the offense of imagining he
had a gun.
Correctness Traumatizing Kindergarteners. If you don't think public school fanaticism has reached dangerous levels,
consider affluent Calvert County, Maryland. "Educators" there spent hours traumatizing a 5-year-old boy for having a cap gun.
Student Suspended For Toy Gun The Size Of A
Quarter. When you add liberalism, political correctness, and gun control monomania, you'll get a toxic combination of absurdity.
In the very blue state of Massachusetts, one six-year-old was suspended over a toy gun about the size of a quarter. Do you hear that?
It's common sense going down the drain.
Suspended for Making Gun-Shaped Pop-Tart Gets Lifetime NRA Membership. An 8-year old Baltimore elementary school student who was
suspended for biting his Pop-Tart into the shape of gun has been awarded an NRA life membership by those who think the school overreached.
Park Elementary in Brooklyn Park, Anne Arundel County, MD, said they suspended Josh Welch not simply for fashioning the Pop-Tart in the shape of a
gun, but for also saying "inappropriate things." According to CBS Baltimore, those "inappropriate things" were, "bang, bang."
This is not an advertisement, it is an editorial comment:
Further down this page, you may see comments of mine and news reports from elsewhere in which there are references to "breakfast pastries" and other obscure
terms, which refer Pop Tarts. So before I get in any trouble, I would like to point out that Pop Tarts is a registered
trademark of the Kellogg Company. And I'm a big fan, although at my age I've had to cut back
considerably on my consumption of this superior product. (My favorites: Strawberry or Apple, unfrosted.) The Kellogg company could
easily capitalize on this little controversy by printing gun outlines on the Pop Tarts, to make it easier to chew them into the shape of a
gun. At first, the resulting publicity might be largely negative, but at least people would be talking about Pop Tarts constantly.
And eating them. Or at least gnawing on them.
Update: Branded for life?
Suspended for Pop-Tart 'Gun' Loses Appeal to Have Record Expunged. An appeal to have an eight year-old boy's record
expunged for a suspension he received for biting a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun has been denied. The attorney for Josh Welch,
the boy who made national headlines after nibbling his pastry into a gun, said Monday that a top school official has denied an appeal
to have the boy's record expunged.
Beware the Dictators of Virtue.
America today tolerates different things. It tolerates little boys dressing up as little girls at school, but not little boys
pointing pencils and making machine gun noises on the playground. The little boy whose mother dressed him up in girlish clothes
once used to be a figure of contempt while the little boy pretending to be a marine was the future of the nation. Now the boy in
the dress is the future of the nation having joined an identity group while the aspiring little marine is suspected of one day trading
in his sharpened pencil for an assault rifle as soon as the next gun show comes to town.
little boy suspended for pretending pencil was a gun. While a lot of parents laud public schools for adapting a "zero
tolerance policy" when it comes to violence, it's beginning to look more like a zero tolerance for good old fashioned common sense.
The latest example of this happened this week in Suffolk, Va., where a second grader was suspended for pointing a pencil at another
student and making gun noises.
Second grader suspended for pointing a pencil like a gun.
The war on little boys
marches on. In the latest school disciplinary response to anything that might resemble even the idea of a gun, a seven year
old boy at a Virgina elementary school has been suspended for pointing a pencil at another student and simulating gun noises.
Va. Boy Suspended for
Pointing Pencil Like Gun. A seven-year-old Virginia boy was suspended for pretending a pencil was a gun at his Suffolk
school. Christopher Marshall apologized for the incident, but the school has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to weapons or
threats of weapons. The boy's father is furious.
Suspended for Pointing Pencils and Making Gun Noises. A couple of second grade students at a Virginia elementary school
were recently suspended for two days after violating the school's "zero tolerance" policy on weapons. The weapons in question?
Pencils. Late last week, seven-year-old Christopher Marshall was taking on the role of a marine and his friend "a bad guy" when
their teacher spotted them pointing pencils at each other and pretend shooting. According to the teacher at the Driver Elementary
School in Suffolk, Christopher was heard "making gun noises," something school officials say violated their policy on weapons.
The Editor says...
This country has a serious long-term problem: The public schools are being run by adults who do not have the discernment
that even the second-grade kids have. The kids know perfectly well that a pencil is not a gun, and they recognize that pointing a
pencil at someone and making verbal sound effects is not a threat. The administrators at this little kid's school don't know
that. Zero tolerance must be enforced, whether it defies common sense or not! The public schools are now hopelessly mired
in utter foolishness that would have been almost unimaginable 30 years ago. Once again, I blame the lawyers: The
schools are afraid to defend themselves against lawsuits resulting from the teachers exercising their judgment on a case-by-case
basis, because sooner or later someone will claim they were treated unfairly.
Do the right thing,
have your life ruined. Eagle Scout Cole Withrow was just a few weeks from graduating with honors from his North Carolina
high school, but now the active church member is facing a felony weapons charge and a precarious future after accidentally leaving a
shotgun in his pickup truck in the school parking lot. Most members of the Johnston County community, just southeast of Raleigh
believe the 18-year-old is paying far too big a price for an honest mistake.
High School Track Team
Disqualified When Runner Gestures Thanks to God. The Columbus High School Mighty Cardinals had won the 4x100-meter
relay — by seven yards, no less — and had a shot at the state championship. That was until Junior sprinter
Derrick Hayes pointed to the sky. Hayes's father, K.C., said that his son made a gesture of thanks to God, but raising a hand to
the sky is considered excessive celebration according to the state scholastic rules. And with that, the team was disqualified.
Teen Girl Expelled, Charged
With A Felony After Science Experiment Goes Awry. Science experiments don't always go the way they are intended.
A 16-year-old Florida teenager knows this all too well. This week Kiera Wilmot went to school and mixed some household chemicals
in a tiny eight-ounce water bottle. It looked like a simple chemistry project, but then the top popped off when a small explosion
The Editor says...
Science without risk is not science.
Students Wear Shirt After One Suspended, Arrested for Wearing NRA "Protect Your Rights" Shirt. When Jared Marcum was suspended from school
and arrested for wearing a NRA "Protect Your Rights" t-shirt, it drew national attention. Afterwards, the liberal bullies at Logan County Schools who
thought they could get away with picking on a 14 year old kid started to become a lot more reasonable.
Charge dismissed against student who
refused to remove NRA shirt. The West Virginia eighth-grader arrested after refusing a teacher's demand he remove a National Rifle
Association T-shirt he wore to school won't face criminal charges after all.
Student Sent Home for 'Support the
Troops' Shirt... at Army Base!? The 12-year-old daughter of a U.S. soldier deployed overseas was reportedly sent home from
school by administrators for violating the dress code. Cejai Taylor wore a red t-shirt to honor her father, Sgt. James Taylor, and
other service members. It was part of a "red shirt day" campaign that she hoped to start at the school.
Sues School over Suspension for 'Weapons' Charge: Showing Students Garden Tools. Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have
filed a civil rights lawsuit against a Chicago public school district on behalf of a second-grade teacher who was suspended after he displayed
garden-variety tools such as wrenches, pliers and screwdrivers in his classroom as part of a "tool discussion" in his class. [...] Bartlett
was subsequently penalized with a four-day suspension without pay — charged with possessing, carrying, storing or using a weapon.
The Editor says...
The teacher must not have known about the "Screwdriver Free Zone" signs in front of the school.
8th grade student suspended, arrested
over gun t-shirt. When 8th grade Jared Marcum got dressed for school on Thursday [4/18/2013] he says he had no idea that
his pro-Second Amendment shirt would initiate what he calls a fight over his First Amendment rights. "I never thought it would go
this far because honestly I don't see a problem with this, there shouldn't be a problem with this," Jared said.
school district outlaws hugging, homemade food, pushing kids on swings. The Old Line State — where kids have been
suspended for making guns with their fingers and with toaster pastries — now boasts a school district that prohibits hugging
and homemade food in public elementary schools for anyone except a parent's own children. Parents must also register to enter the
playground and they can't push anyone except their own kids on the swings.
Did Gun Friendly Cartoons from the 1970s Influence Who We
Are Now? How much do you think these old cartoons peppered with guns influenced who we are now? In a world where a child cannot even
use his fingers or his breakfast toaster pastry as a pretend gun, what will this country be like in another 40 years?
Zero Tolerance = Zero Common Sense. Zero tolerance policies are
turning schools into zero common sense institutions. It is not an exaggeration to state that the public schools are becoming the bastions
for conditioning our young people to live in a fascist police state devoid of common sense, any understanding of child psychology and any
semblance of enjoying civil liberties.
Educational Bureaucracy Declares War On Children. What is happening these days in education? Children are being
demonized and expelled from public schools for "crimes" associated with plastic army men or gun-shaped cookies. A monster is growing.
Ever since the Department of Education took in more than $100 billion in 2009 stimulus cash to "improve education" the incidents of
petty tyranny traumatizing children from its bureaucrats and teachers unions has grown exponentially in schools.
Government schools and the culture of
cowering. Creating irrational fears in children is abusive. Also damaging to young souls and minds is the institutionalized
squelching of the imagination and the subverting of rationality (kids know that gun-shaped Pop Tarts can't hurt them), both evident in
the Pop Tart incident. One wonders if the cogs in this machine ever speculate on the real purpose behind bureaucratic promotion of
absurd, arbitrary rules, baseless fears, and mental paralysis. Hint: In what kind of society is a cowering populace a necessity?
Shadow of the Gun. Every day another one of the
stories comes in. A teacher panicked by a plastic gun, an army man on a cupcake, a t-shirt, a pop tart chewed into the shape of a
gun or a finger gun, hits the panic button. Suspensions and lectures quickly follow as the latest threat to the gun-free zone,
usually in the form of a little boy, is tackled to the ground and lectured to within an inch of his life.
School Bus Driver Suspended for Taking Phone Call From Marine Son. A Florida school bus driver is facing a five-day
suspension for taking a phone call from her Marine son who is serving in Afghanistan. Rossana Lucas says that she only gets
a chance to speak to her son every few months, and that there weren't any children on-board the bus at the time that she took the
brief phone call.
appeals son's controversial pastry 'gun' suspension. The father of a 7-year-old Maryland boy who was suspended for
shaping a pastry into a gun has filed a formal appeal of his son's punishment. William "B.J." Welch is asking officials at
Park Elementary School in Baltimore to remove the offense from the second-grader's records, according to the Washington Post.
lawmaker introduces bill after pastry 'gun' suspension. A Maryland lawmaker has introduced legislation after
a 7-year-old boy in his district was suspended for shaping a pastry into what his teacher thought looked like a gun. The Star
Democrat reports that Republican Sen. J.B. Jennings introduced a bill that would prohibit schools from suspending students for
seemingly harmless childish acts, such as playing games with fingers pointed like guns or chewing food into the shape of a firearm.
The Editor says...
Scroll down for the background on this story, where you see the words "breakfast pastry." In a saner world, with
intelligent professionals in charge of the public schools, and fewer lawyers waiting to pounce, incidents like this would never
happen. A little kid should be permitted to chew on any corner of his food without worrying about the resulting shape.
By exposing these stories to the light of day, and openly mocking the officials who make decisions based on irrational fear,
perhaps "zero tolerance" can be slowed down. I doubt if it will ever be halted completely, because the primary purpose
of the public schools now appears to be instilling a fear and hatred of guns. The government that wants to disarm the
teeming masses must start by indoctrinating the school children.
Maryland boy suspended for
gun-shaped pastry is now lifetime NRA member. An 8-year-old Maryland boy who was suspended from school for nibbling a pastry
snack into the shape of a gun has been given a junior membership in the National Rifle Association.
The Al Capones
Of Second Grade. The nation's elementary schools are overrun by small-minded and unreasonable people, prone to hysterics,
who can't distinguish between make-believe and reality. They are called school administrators. In the wake of the Newtown,
Conn., massacre, they have been punishing little children for making gunlike gestures with their fingers and other harmless horseplay.
Insanity. A seven-year-old boy who was suspended because he chewed his Pop Tart into the shape of a gun. Now,
really, why would you suspend a kid for that? A gun-shaped Pop Tart isn't a threat to anyone. Nor does chewing a
Pop Tart into the shape of a gun suggest violent tendencies. Meanwhile, a 5-year-old girl was charged with "terroristic
threats" for talking about her pink toy gun that shoots ... bubbles. The school suspended her for 10 days and required
a psychological evaluation. And in Maryland, boys were suspended for playing cops and robbers and using their fingers as
imaginary guns. Who is frightened by this sort of thing? People who can't distinguish between fantasy and reality.
Thought Crimes And Pastry Guns.
Recently, a school in the once great state of Maryland offered counseling to students "troubled" by a classmate eating pastry into the
shape of a gun. [...] Our enemies parade their children around in suicide vests and teach them to kill and hate all Westerners and Jews.
We teach ours to be afraid of misshaped breakfast food and to tremble at the mere hint of something possibly representing a firearm.
Even in obvious play. The educational system in the United States is beyond broken and is dominated and controlled by politically
correct, busy-body Progressive administrators.
Green Army Men From Child's Birthday Cupcakes Due to Guns. In this case a child's parents made cupcakes for their child's
birthday and sent them to the school for their son and his class to enjoy. This is something that was regularly done when I was
in school. [...] The cupcakes were adorned with classic little green army men that have been standard children's toys for decades.
The school felt the need to remove those army men and send out a letter about the issue.
Confiscates Cupcakes Decorated with Toy Soldiers. A Michigan elementary school is defending its decision to confiscate
a third-graders batch of homemade cupcakes because the birthday treats were decorated with plastic green Army soldiers. Casey
Fountain told Fox News that the principal of his son's elementary school called the cupcakes "insensitive" — in light of
the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. "It disgusted me," he said. "It's vile they lump true
American heroes with psychopathic killers."
Threatened My Son, Questioned His Mental State Over a Photo Of a BB Gun. On [the Tony Katz] radio show
Saturday, [Joseph C.] Phillips explained that as his son was showing off the single photo, his Social Studies teacher, a
Mr. James DeLarme, walked by. As his son described the incident, DeLarme "snatched" the camera out of his hand and asked
him about the photo.
Yr Old Suspended for Talking About Toy Guns. Well, to be honest, we didn't think we'd get to this
point quite yet. We thought it would take at least a few more months before students got suspended for talking about
guns, but apparently we just went ahead and surpassed that. In [Washington state] a six year old boy was sent home from
school and initially suspended after talking about toy guns to his classmates.
Stories of Anti Gun Hysteria. The anti gun hysteria in schools has reached a fever pitch. It has almost
gotten to the point of anytime a child says the word gun they will surely be suspended. I have to wonder how much money,
lost time, and man hours are spent on these suspensions, lockdowns and investigations. I would be curious to see those
numbers estimated at the end of 2013 because we are on our way to having hundreds, if not thousands of these incidents in the
next few months.
high school student reportedly suspended after disarming gunman. A 16-year-old Florida high school student says he was
suspended for three days for wrestling a loaded gun away from a teen threatening to shoot. Fox4Now.com reports that the
student, who attends Cypress Lake High School in Fort Myers, tackled the 15-year-old suspect on a school bus after he allegedly
pointed the weapon at another student. [...] According to the referral the student received the following day, he was suspended
for his role in an "incident" where a weapon was present and given an "emergency suspension," the station reported.
feverish de-legitimization of personal self-defense . Three Florida high school students disarmed another student
who was armed with a loaded pistol while riding home on a school bus. The school district then promptly suspended all three
students for being involved in an "incident" with a weapon. One of the suspended students asked, "How are they going to
suspend me for doing the right thing?"
Victim calls Cypress HS teen 'hero' suspension crazy.
A Cypress Lake High School teen who had a gun pointed at him last week says he would be dead if not for the quick action of another
student, who was suspended despite disarming the gunman and being called a hero. The victim, who Fox 4 is not identifying,
said it was "crazy" the school would suspend the teen who wrestled a .22 caliber RG-14 revolver out of the hands of a 15-year-old gun
wielding suspect on a school bus last Tuesday [2/26/2013].
Keywords: effigy, fetish, superstition, totally nuts.
suspended for having breakfast pastry shaped like a gun. Yet another student has been suspended for having something
that represents a gun, but isn't actually anything like a real gun. This time, it was a breakfast pastry.
Boy, 7, suspended for shaping
pastry into gun, dad says. A 7-year-old Maryland boy was suspended from school for two days for shaping a breakfast pastry
into what his teacher thought looked like a gun, according to his father.
Steyn declares America
'doomed' in wake of Pop Tart gun suspension. [Mark] Steyn, author of "After America: Get Ready for Armageddon," compared
this generation of children, who may have felt threatened by the so-called Pop Tart gun, to the American generation that stormed the
beaches of Normandy. "You're doomed, America," Steyn said. "You're done for. No society can survive this level of
stupidity. The school counselor is available to meet with any students who are traumatized by hearing reports of some guy four
grades below them who nibbles a Pop Tart into a gun-like shape. [...]"
Schools Jump the Shark. Public school
officials at Heritage Middle School in Meridian, Idaho put the school on 'lockdown' because a teenage boy was seen 'roaming the halls'
with a folding military style ... shovel. A shovel. No report filed on whether it was a high capacity shovel.
Teacher Reportedly Refused to Grade Student
Reports on Guns. An English teacher at Denton High School in the Dallas-Fort Worth area allegedly refused to grade two student reports because they
discussed guns. MyFoxDFW.com reports that the teacher, Dewey Christian, told his students to write a report on anything they wanted.
Brainwashing Kids About Guns. A five-year-old girl from Pennsylvania
was suspended from school last month after telling a friend she was going to shoot her with a pink toy gun that sprays bubbles. Despite not even having the bubble
gun with her at the time of the shockingly dire threat, the kindergartener was later interrogated by school officials without her parents present. She was
ultimately — are you sitting down for this? — labeled a "terrorist threat," suspended for ten days, and required to undergo psychiatric
No physical evidence. This is a thought crime.
7, suspended from school for tossing imaginary grenade during recess. A seven-year-old boy from Colorado has been suspended
from school after he lobbed an imaginary grenade on the playground while pretending to be a hero soldier. Alex Evans, of Loveland,
said he was playing a make-believe game called 'rescue the world' during recess at Mary Blair Elementary School, which resulted in his
removal from class after officials said he broke a key rule.
freshman suspended for having a picture of a gun. Yet another student has been suspended for having something
that represents a gun, but isn't actually anything like a real gun. This time, Daniel McClaine, Jr., a freshman at
Poston Butte High School in Tan Valley, Arizona, made the mistake of setting a picture of a gun as the desktop background
on his school-issued computer.
girl scolded, searched for pulling out paper gun at school, mom says. A Philadelphia elementary school student was scolded
and searched by administrators in front of her entire class after she pulled out a paper gun in class last week, according to her mother.
Melody Valentin's mother, Dianna Kelly, tells Fox 29 that school officials went too far when they reportedly punished her daughter
for pulling out the gun, which she says looks like a folded sheet of paper.
grader searched by school officials after bringing paper gun to class. A Philadelphia fifth grader was admonished by
school officials and called "murderer" by classmates for bringing a piece of paper that looked like a gun to school. Melody
Valentin was searched by a school official in front of Newlin Fell Elementary School classmates last week, she told Fox 29 in
Origami guns. If you're going to get in
trouble over a paper gun, at least put some craftsmanship into it.
Fifth Grader Gets Third Degree for Paper Gun. Taking yet another page out of
1984, liberal authorities have recruited children to participate in their anti-gun witch hunt. ["]Melody didn't realize the
piece of paper was still on her person when she took it out of her pocket. A classmate saw the "gun" and reported it to the school
Elementary School Girl
Threatened With Arrest Over 'Paper Gun'. A South Philadelphia elementary student was searched in front of classmates and
threatened with arrest after she mistakenly brought a "paper gun" to school, yet another example of the hysteria sweeping America's
school system in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook massacre.
The Editor says...
A "gun" that does not launch or discharge a projectile is not a gun. This case tells us that any crude facsimile or effigy of a
gun is now contraband. This phobia is a state-sponsored superstition bordering on hysteria. (What if some kid is making paper dolls
and accidentally produces a string of what looks like ammo?) At first glance, this would indicate that the government schools are
being operated by morons. In reality, the zero tolerance mindset is a way of avoiding the inevitable lawsuit when a member of some
protected minority is punished while someone else is not.
5, suspended from kindergarten for ten days after threatening to 'shoot' friend with pink Hello Kitty bubble gun. A 5-year-old
Pennsylvania girl who told another girl she was going to shoot her with a pink toy gun that blows soapy bubbles has been suspended from
kindergarten. Her family has hired an attorney to fight the punishment, which initially was 10 days but was reduced to two.
girl, 5, suspended for threatening to shoot girl with pink toy gun that blows soapy bubbles. A 5-year-old Pennsylvania girl who
told another girl she was going to shoot her with a pink Hello Kitty toy gun that blows soapy bubbles has been suspended from kindergarten.
Her family has hired an attorney to fight the punishment, which initially was 10 days for issuing a 'terroristic threat.' But her
punishment was reduced to two days after her mother met with school officials and had the incident dropped to 'threatening to harm another
student,' which apparently carries a lesser punishment.
suspended for making gun gesture. The child, who attends school in Silver Spring, Maryland, was given a one-day suspension after the
incident, which took place a week after the US massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Robin Ficker, the boy's lawyer, said
that the child was suspended after he made a gun with his hands, pointed it at another student and said "pow".
This sort of thing has been going on for years.
6, gets suspended from school after making gun sign with fingers, pointing at classmates. It's handgun control in the
extreme. A Michigan kindergartener's make-believe gun — which he created with just his fingers — got him
suspended, the Grand Rapids Press reported. Mason Jammer, 6, who attends Ionia's Jefferson Elementary School, pointed his finger-gun
at a fellow student Wednesday [3/3/2010] and got kicked out of school till Friday.
This is an original
compilation, Copyright © 2013 by Andrew K. Dart
Guns, Guns, Guns. If people are just grown-up animals, more articulate
versions of the creatures who eat each other's young, and sometimes their own young, there is as much use in wondering about the nature of evil as there is in trying
to understand why a killer whale kills. [...] But evil just can't be controlled. Not with the sort of zero tolerance policies that confuse object with subject,
which ban pocket knives and finger shootings to prevent real shootings. That brand of control isn't authority, it's authority in panic mode believing that if it
imposes total zero tolerance control then there will be no more school shootings.
Gift of toy guns at elementary school upsets
parents. Rutherford County school leaders took steps to tighten loopholes in the district's suspension policy Thursday. The move came two
weeks after a student at Barfield Elementary School handed out several toy guns to his classmates. The toys were inside some gift bags the fourth grader
gave out to celebrate Eid al-Adha, an Islamic holiday.
The students had better not bring Tylenol to school, but...
Some NYC schools to offer "morning after"
pills. New York City's Department of Education has begun offering "morning after" contraceptive pills to students in a pilot program at
13 of the city's high schools. [...] The birth control will be available to students as young as 14 without parental notification.
Should Texas Cops Be Giving Tickets
to 6-Year-Olds? This may sound like a ridiculous question, but according to a report on Yahoo! News, Texas cops are indeed
giving tickets to 6-year-olds. What crimes are being committed in kindergarten?
The news item immediately below was sent to me via email on May 10, 2012. Kimberly Smith's daughter was arrested after apparently being
the passive victim of a lunchroom altercation at school. Her story is worth reading, so click the link and read the
not be arrested for doing the right thing. My name is Kimberly Smith, and I am trying to reach out to everyone
to share my daughter's story. My 14-year-old daughter was arrested after reporting an altercation to the school office.
Our daughter has never been in an altercation in her life. This was the first, after being bullied time and time again for
getting good grades, winning freshman princess, and the Thomas E. Steiner award. She stood up to another girl who
threw lettuce and ranch [dressing] all over her.
school says deaf 3-year-old's sign-language gesture for his own name looks like 'weapons,' must change. School authorities
in Grand Island, Neb., fret that the hand sign used by 3-year-old deaf boy to signify his own name is a violation of district policy on
banning anything that may resemble a weapon, the boy's family says. They want him to change it.
The Editor says...
I guess that means that if you name your kid Dynamite you have to send him to a private school.
Jolly Rancher lands
Brazos ISD third-grader in detention for a week. A third-grader at Brazos Elementary was given a
week's detention for possessing a Jolly Rancher. School officials in Brazos County are defending the seemingly
harsh sentence. The school's principal and superintendent said they were simply complying with a state law
that limits junk food in schools.
2nd-Grader Sent Home for Crucifix Drawing. An 8-year-old boy was sent home from school and ordered
to undergo a psychological evaluation after he was asked to make a Christmas drawing and came up with what appeared
to be a stick figure of Jesus on a cross, the child's father said Tuesday [12/15/2009].
girl Alexa Gonzalez hauled out of school in handcuffs after getting caught doodling on desk. A
12-year-old Queens girl was hauled out of school in handcuffs for an artless offense — doodling her name
on her desk in erasable marker, the Daily News has learned. Alexa Gonzalez was scribbling a few words
on her desk Monday [2/1/2010] while waiting for her Spanish teacher to pass out homework at Junior High School 190
in Forest Hills, she said.
blame me, says principal who called for the arrest of Queens girl, 12, for doodling on desk. Education
officials say it was a "mistake," but the principal of a school where a 12-year-old girl was arrested and cuffed for
doodling on her desk won't back down, the student's mom said Friday [2/5/2010]. Alexa Gonzalez no longer faces
a suspension for scribbling with a lime green marker, but principal Marilyn Grant told her mother, Moraima Camacho,
that agency policy dictated that she calls the cops.
shocked by arrest after daughter draws picture of gun at school. A Kitchener father is upset that
police arrested him at his children's' [sic] school Wednesday [2/22/2012], hauled him down to the station and
strip-searched him, all because his four-year-old daughter drew a picture of a gun at school. "I'm picking
up my kids and then, next thing you know, I'm locked up," Jessie Sansone, 26, said Thursday.
leading to dad's arrest was a toy. A plastic toy gun is to blame for the mayhem that saw a man
arrested at his daughter's school this week. It was found in the home of the Kitchener father of four
after he was arrested over a drawing his daughter drew at the school on Wednesday. Jessie Sansone was
strip-searched but not charged. ... The school board, police and child welfare officials all say proper
procedure was followed in the case.
photo by Peter Lee,
Four-year-old Allegedly Sketches Gun; Dad Arrested, Strip-Searched. On February 22, Jessie Sansone
of Kitchener, Ontario, thought he was making a routine stop to pick up his children at the end of a school day.
Instead, he found himself arrested, strip-searched, and thrown in jail. His wife was also taken into police
custody, while his children were spirited away by child welfare agents. Anyone observing this series of events
would think Sansone had committed some horrific crime. In fact, he had done nothing even remotely illegal.
The entire Sansone family was treated to this raw display of state power because four-year-old Neaveh Sansone had
allegedly committed the unforgivable sin of drawing a picture of a gun at school.
We need more of this. School officials
in Gastonia, North Carolina, reversed the suspension of Emanyea Lockett, 9, for "sexual harassment" after he called a
substitute teacher "cute." Best of all, school officials effectively fired the moron who suspended him, Principal
Jerry Bostic. Why a man of 44 years experience of working with children would do something so rash is beyond
me. But don't cry for Jerry Bostic. His pension will be at least 80% of his pay. Based on an average
principal's salary in that area, he should be looking at $6,000 a month.
Lawsuit: Student arrested for
burping. A 13-year-old was handcuffed and hauled off to a juvenile detention for burping in class, according
to a civil rights lawsuit filed against an Albuquerque public school principal, a teacher and a city police officer.
schools rethinking zero-tolerance discipline stand. Nearly two decades after a zero-tolerance
culture took hold in American schools, a growing number of educators and elected leaders are scaling back discipline
policies that led to lengthy suspensions and ousters for such mistakes as carrying toy guns or Advil.
schools ease zero-tolerance policies on drugs. At least four Hunters Lane High School football
players who were suspended last fall for smoking pot before a game will graduate with their class on Saturday.
That makes them the most high-profile beneficiaries of a new Metro Nashville Public Schools effort that takes
student discipline for drugs on a case-by-case basis, instead of applying a zero-tolerance policy to all.
The Editor says...
In other words, zero tolerance policies are to be overlooked if they adversely affect
blacks. (I doubt if these "students" are being shown favoritism just because they play
football, although that would be just as bad.) This means that the discipline standards
for black students are lower than the standards for other students.
The Bullied Nation. After the
Columbine Massacre, all the conferences on bullying yielded a Zero Tolerance madness that criminalized
everything from toy soldiers to plastic knives to playing cops and robbers. Six-year-old cub scouts have
been suspended for bringing camping equipment to school. Arrests have been made for shooting rubber
bands. Advil and Midol have become controlled substances. ... There will be no conferences held on this
type of bullying because it is practiced by the conference attendees, the school bureaucrats and teachers,
and the public officials who enable them, against the children placed in their care. And their only
solution to every problem is more of the same.
Restoring Integrity at
Dansville Schools. Dansville School administrators needlessly dragged my son's name
through the mud, yet takes no responsibility for their own actions and little accountability.
This Blog is an ongoing diary of the issues that face Dansville Public Schools and their
administrators that will ultimately result in the district failure if they aren't resolved.
Zero Tolerance, Zero Sense.
Two good kids. Two broken rules. Two parables of justice, except one offers a bracing lesson in
honor and the other just leaves you heartsick at the latest evidence that zero tolerance often makes
Police arrest 11-year-old over 'inappropriate' stick figure drawing. An 11-year-old Arvada boy was
arrested and hauled away in handcuffs for drawing stick figures in school, something his therapist told him
to do. His parents say they understand what he did was inappropriate, but are outraged by the
way Arvada Police handled the case.
suspended for 'kick me' sign. It's a sign of the times. The classic schoolhouse prank of
slapping a "kick me" sign on a classmate's back is no joke at one Upper East Side school, where the city's
zero-tolerance anti-bullying policy was strictly enforced against a 9-year-old boy.
Bagged For Taking Eco-Unfriendly Ziploc to School. Isabel Theoret was preparing a sandwich for
her 6-year-old son's Kindergarten class one day last week, when he screamed out, "No Mommy! Not a Ziploc!"
The child, who lives with his family in the town of Laval in Quebec, explained that his teacher would exclude
him from a contest to win a stuffed teddy bear if he brought an environmentally unfriendly plastic baggie to
school police ticketing students as young as six. School police officers in Texas are doling out more
tickets to children as young as 6, who under past disciplinary practices would have been sent to the principal's office
instead, according to a report by a Texas nonprofit.
Sports Star Suspended for Paring Knife Mix-Up. On its face, this looks like it's an asinine decision
which is probably the product of a culture that makes lawsuits possible in every breath we take. How else to
explain what the school principal has done here? It's either the school's fear of a lawsuit, or a total lack of
common sense among the school's leadership, or there's something we don't know about all this that hasn't shown up in
the media reports.
Sorry, But We Deserve
Our Schools. Public schools aren't the failures they're castigated for being; they are misunderstood
successes. True, they don't teach very much English, math, or history but that's a secondary job.
Young kids are regularly suspended for drawing pictures of guns, wearing T-shirts with guns on them, possessing
empty ammo casings, or anything else suggestive of an armed citizenry. That's primary, and the public
schools are good at it. The students maybe can't multiply or read, but they all know guns are bad, just
as they know how to do sex and sell green theory to their parents. They are turning out well-trained
future voters favoring the current leftish pieties who will obediently support Progressive government and
who will not ask too many questions.
school student faces expulsion for unloaded hunting rifle in car. A 16-year-old high school
student in Columbia Falls, Montana faces possible expulsion after accidentally bringing an unloaded hunting
rifle to school. Though the gun did not pose any danger to others at any time, the school's
zero-tolerance policy might mean Demarie DeReu will be labeled a domestic terrorist, her college career
derailed and record tainted forever.
Falls girl faces expulsion after leaving hunting rifle in trunk. A 16-year-old Columbia Falls
High School student faces expulsion after inadvertently bringing an unloaded hunting rifle to school.
Now that the news media have picked up the story...
unlikely in school gun case. The story of a Columbia Falls High School junior who was suspended
after inadvertently bringing an unloaded gun to school has attracted national attention — and,
school officials say, has been blown out of proportion.
let feds dictate gun rules. There's probably no better example of how a "one-size-fits-all"
federal policy does not work than the opprobrious law that tells Montana schools what gun policies they shall
adopt and enforce. The issue got some well-deserved attention this week after a Columbia Falls High
School student was regrettably suspended for having an unloaded hunting rifle in the trunk of her car while
parked at school.
hearing moved to hold crowd. An expulsion hearing for a Columbia Falls High School junior who
inadvertently brought a gun to school has been moved. ... According to a memo from the district office, the
location change "was made to accommodate the expected public participation."
Falls girl back in school. The Columbia Falls High School junior who inadvertently brought a rifle
to school is back in class today [12/14/2010] after school board trustees voted not to expel her. Demari
DeReu, 16, faced an expulsion hearing Monday night after bringing an unloaded hunting rifle to school earlier
this month. DeReu told school officials about the rifle and was, per district policy, suspended
immediately. She has been out of school ever since.
Zero Tolerance = Zero Common Sense.
Zero-tolerance restrictions are tools of deranged public education bureaucrats who are more interested in tossing
good kids out of school than tossing bad teachers out of school. Poor-performing teachers are protected by
powerful teacher unions and other such mystical impunity. Little kids who make innocent mistakes are protected
by no one because it appears that no one in the public school system actually [cares] about the students.
Still Expelled for Toy Gun — a Year Later. Samuel Burgos has fond memories of his
friends at school, but he only gets to see them in pictures now. The 8-year-old boy hasn't been in
school for a year and will likely miss another year if the Broward County School Board has its way.
Burgos was suspended from school in November after a teacher found a toy gun in his backpack.
R.I. School Bans 8-Year-Old Son's Patriotic Hat With Army Figures. A Rhode Island mother says her
8-year-old son's school would not let him wear a patriotic hat she says he designed for a project to honor
Army troops because the school thought it was inappropriate. Christan Morales says her son David was
assigned to make a crazy hat for his second grade class at the Tiogue School in Coventry, R.I. Morales
said her son came up with an idea to glue small plastic Army figures to a camouflage hat with an American
Toy soldiers run afoul of school's weapons
ban. Christan Morales said her son just wanted to honor American troops when he wore a hat
to school decorated with an American flag and small plastic Army figures.
2-Inch-Tall Army Soldiers Gets School Kid
Reprimanded. A policy of no tolerance for weapons got an 8-year-old boy in trouble at his
Rhode Island grade school this week. The boy brought in nearly a dozen M-14 Army rifles to his Tiogue
School in Coventry, R.I. grade school and was chastised by the principal for the outrage. How did he
get all those assault rifles into the school you might ask? Why he did it by gluing seven or so of his
2-inch-tall green army soldier toys to his camo colored ball cap for "make a crazy hat" day at school.
That's right, a few green army man toys were enough to trip the poor child up in this foolish school's "no
Update: After a bunch of negative publicity...
RI school to alter policy that
banned soldier hat. The superintendent of a Rhode Island school district that banned a
second-grader's homemade hat because it displayed toy soldiers with tiny guns said Saturday he will
work to change the policy to allow such apparel.
Teen faces suspension over rosary
beads. The parents of a high school student from Rockland County are demanding answers after
their ninth grader was suspended for wearing rosary beads to school. He was suspended even though the
school doesn't even have a policy banning them.
Boy, 6, gets suspended from school after making gun sign with fingers, pointing
at classmates. It's handgun control in the extreme. A Michigan kindergartener's
make-believe gun — which he created with just his fingers — got him suspended,
the Grand Rapids Press reported. Mason Jammer, 6, who attends Ionia's Jefferson Elementary
School, pointed his finger-gun at a fellow student Wednesday [3/3/2010] and got kicked out of
school till Friday.
11, Charged with Felony over Alleged Pencil Attack in Math Class. A math class dispute among
middle-schoolers in upstate New York led to a felony charge against an 11-year-old boy after he allegedly
attacked with a sharp pencil a classmate who had annoyed him with offers of help. ... In New York City last
week, a 12-year-old girl was arrested and cuffed after getting caught doodling on her desk in erasable
marker. She was detained for a few hours and released.
Girl's arrest for doodling
raises concerns about zero tolerance. There was no profanity, no hate. Just the words, "I
love my friends Abby and Faith. Lex was here 2/1/10 :)" scrawled on the classroom desk with a green
marker. ... Alexa's hands were cuffed behind her back, and tears gushed as she was escorted from school in
front of teachers and — the worst audience of all for a preadolescent girl — her
"Experts" Backpedal on Socialization Dogma. So, what's different about bullying? Weren't there
bullies in the 1940s? Yes, but the bullying of today is of a type that would have sent shock waves through
families of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. Today it's vicious, Lord-of-the-Flies behavior. What,
then, do we have to show for the diktats of child experts? First, an entire education system based in
the abandonment of moral absolutes. Schools grounded in moral relativism are passing along the notion
that there are no standards or principles of behavior that cannot be bent or broken, only petty "gotcha"-type
rules of political correctness infamy are inviolable.
The Case of Kathryn Nurre. Despite the
absence of lyrics, the superintendent of Everett School District No. 2 refused to allow the ensemble to
perform "Ave Maria" at their graduation ceremony because she believed the piece to be religious in nature.
The Case of Donna Busch. One activity
made available to all featured students during "Me Week" was the opportunity to have the child's parent read
aloud from his or her favorite book. Wesley, a Christian, had chosen the Bible as his favorite book, and
Mrs. Busch decided to read an excerpt from Psalm 118 of the Bible. However, on the day of the
reading, Wesley's teacher directed Mrs. Busch not to read the passage and the school's principal backed that
decision, informing Mrs. Busch that she could not read from the Bible in the classroom because it was against
the law and that the reading would violate the "separation of church and state."
The Case of Brittany McComb. During
the spring of 2006, graduating senior Brittany McComb was chosen to give the valedictory speech at Foothill
High School in Henderson, Nev., by virtue of achieving the highest GPA in the school. After composing
her remarks, she submitted them to school administrators according to standard district policy. School
administrators, with the advice of their district legal counsel, censored her speech, deleting all three Bible
references, several references to "the Lord" and the only mention of the word "Christ."
New York Eagle Scout Suspended From School for
Keeping Pocketknife in Car. A 17-year-old Eagle Scout in upstate New York has been barred from
stepping foot on school grounds for 20 days — for keeping a 2-inch pocketknife locked in a
survival kit in his car.
School Chief Sticks By 'Zero Tolerance' Ruling for Eagle
Scout. The upstate New York school superintendent who suspended an Eagle Scout for 20 days for keeping
a 2-inch utility knife locked in his car is unwilling to speak to the teen's family or bend in his ruling.
Lansingburgh Central School District Superintendent George J. Goodwin, 55, said in a written statement that
his district "has an established policy of zero tolerance with respect to the possession of weapons of any kind
on school property or in school buildings."
The Editor says...
Really? Can a baseball bat be used as a weapon? How about a javelin? How about a
backpack full of textbooks? Weaponry is in the eye of the beholder.
Outlawing Manhood. Across the nation,
"Zero Tolerance" polices are commonplace in public school district after public school district. And while they
were ostensibly instituted to stop kids from bringing weapons on campus following the 1999 Columbine massacre, they're
actually just another tool which liberals and over zealous school board members use to war against manhood.
School board reverses expulsion of
Willows student in gun incident. The Glenn County Board of Education has reversed a decision
to expel a Willows High School student for having two shotguns and ammunition in his truck parked
off-campus. ... Tudesko, 17, was kicked out of school after a school security dog alerted to the shotguns
and ammunition in his locked truck on a public street next to the school's tennis courts.
Jennifer Rankin's protest.
What harm would it have done to leave her alone? ... Jennifer Rankin wasn't hurting anybody. She wasn't
bothering a soul. She covered her mouth with red tape in mute protest. That's all. For this,
officials at Peninsula Shores District School brought out the police? For this they kept her isolated in
a room at the school for an entire day?
Gangs rattle schools. He has a
gun. Those words sent confusion and fear through the hallways of John Overton High School. Students
ran to get away from a classroom where a teacher stared down the barrel of a .38-revolver. The
self-proclaimed Kurdish Pride Gang member wanted his teacher dead. Why? She dared to
The Editor says...
This incident shows the futility of zero tolerance rules. When this kid brought a gun to
school, he obviously knew it was prohibited, but I suspect he couldn't have cared less. All
the laws in the world cannot deter criminals from being criminals. The only effective
deterrent is the fear of swift and sure punishment.
Des Moines school
suspends girl over empty gun shells. An 11-year-old Des Moines girl was at home on suspension
Tuesday [10/27/2009] for bringing a handful of empty shotgun shells to school last week. Jazmine
Martin, a sixth-grader at Brody Middle School, picked up the shells as souvenirs during a family trip
to a ranch in South Dakota, where the rounds were fired as part of a show. They were blanks.
over boy's tiny toy gun. A 9-year-old New Dorp boy earlier today learned there is no wiggle
room in the Department of Education's "no toy gun" policy — even if the toy gun is just two inches
long. Patrick Timoney, a fourth-grader at PS 52, South Beach, was nearly suspended after playing with
LEGOs during his lunch period because one of the action figures was carrying at toy machine gun.
Photo courtesy Jan Somma-Hammel/Staten Island Advance
Tolerance or Overreaction? 9-year-old punished for bringing tiny toy gun to school.
School boss should apologize to boy who drew cross. Taunton Mayor Charles Crowley called School
Superintendent Julie Hackett from his vacation today [12/15/2009] and asked her to apologize both privately and
publicly to the family of an 8-year-old special needs student sent home from school and ordered to undergo
psychological testing after drawing a stick-figure picture of Jesus Christ nailed to the cross.
Kid Draws Jesus; Required To Undergo A Psychological Evaluation.
Shortly after attending the lovely Christmas display at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro,
Massachusetts, an eight year old boy with special needs drew a picture of Jesus in class. The teacher
had asked students to draw something that reminded them of Christmas, so the boy drew a stick figure Jesus.
Because of that picture, the boy was sent home from school for drawing a "violent" picture and he was required
to undergo a psychological evaluation.
6-Year-Old Scout Suspended for Bringing
Knife-Fork-Spoon Utensil to School. Six-year-old Zachary Christie was so excited to become
a Cub Scout that he brought his camping utensil to school. The tool serves as a spoon, a fork and a
knife, and Zachary wanted to use it at lunch. What Zachary didn't know was that the gizmo violated
his school's zero-tolerance policy on weapons.
Boy's camping utensil
violates 'zero tolerance'. Zachary Christie, 6, was so excited about joining the Cub Scouts that
he brought a camping utensil that can serve as a knife, fork and spoon to school to use at lunch. School
officials concluded he had violated their zero-tolerance policy on weapons, and Zachary faces 45 days in
the district's reform school.
Fork, It's a Spoon, It's a ... Weapon? Finding character witnesses when you are 6 years old
is not easy. But there was Zachary Christie last week at a school disciplinary committee hearing with
his karate instructor and his mother's fiancé by his side to vouch for him.
Common Sense Is Wholly Uncommon for School
District. A Delaware first grader fails to consider the serious consequences of his innocent
action and has been suspended by school administrators. He now faces 45 days in the district's
reform school having been found guilty of violating the school's zero-tolerance weapons policy by a
The Editor says...
There was a "disciplinary committee"? This sounds as if there were at least three adults
involved in this ridiculous decision, and apparently none of them has the ability to exercise
Christie, first-grader suspended for scouting utensil, returns to school. During last night's
[10/13/2009] school board meeting in Delaware's Christina School district, supporters came out to rally for
change in an over-the-top-zero tolerance policy which left Zachary Christie, 6, facing a 45 day reform
school suspension for bringing in a camping utensil for lunch.
Boy suspended over utensil gets
reprieve. This morning [10/14/2009], Zachary Christie is on his way to school for the first
time since he made the mistake of taking his favorite camping utensil to school and ran into his Delaware
school system's zero-tolerance policy.
And now the Editor says...
I don't expect many people to find out about this incident from this web site. Most of you knew about it
before you came to this page. The purpose of this web page is to document cases like this, so that they
do not fall down the memory hole. In all likelihood, you'll never hear about this little boy again, but
you must never forget about this exercise in heavy-handed totalitarianism. If you have children,
and you want them to grow up to be productive, God-fearing pillars of the community, you must take them
out of government schools. Private schools are expensive, and home schooling is difficult, but
government schools are turning into socialist (environmentalist, feminist) indoctrination centers.
The longer your kids stay in government schools, the worse it gets. I can speak from personal
experience: Even when our son was in the third grade, we had to un-teach a lot of stuff he
learned at school. (Today he is working on a doctorate in mathematics.)
zero-thought. For 75 days or so our kids have escaped the clutches of
that bureaucratic government-employee union operated system of quasi-instructional
gulags we sometimes erroneously refer to as "public schools." They're not "public
schools," you see; they're government schools.
Intent. The [Texas] Legislature is debating reforms to the 1995 Safe Schools Act. Under
this "zero tolerance" law, otherwise exemplary Texas students have been expelled to juvenile justice boot
camps and referred to prosecutors. Their heinous crimes? Unknowingly bringing a pocket knife to
school that was left in a jacket from a weekend hunting trip, or taking Celebrex at lunch to relieve pain from
a broken knee, are just two examples.
The End of the Pocket Knife.
Some misguided and over-zealous officials in the public schools' war against violence have turned good students into
collateral damage. They have instituted zero-tolerance rules and procedures that fail to distinguish between,
say, a student who comes to school armed because of gang-related activity and a Boy Scout who forgets before school
to take his pocket knife out of his pocket. Unreasonable zero-tolerance standards make it certain that school
officials will not make their disciplinary decisions based on sound judgment — and that some good kids
will be punished for no good reason. Miles Rankin is one example of zero-tolerance's collateral damage.
ABA Zero Tolerance Policy. While
zero tolerance began as a Congressional response to students with guns, gun cases are the smallest category of school
discipline cases. Indeed, zero tolerance covers the gamut of student misbehavior, from including "threats" in
student fiction to giving aspirin to a classmate. Zero tolerance has become a one-size-fits-all solution to all
the problems that schools confront. It has redefined students as criminals, with unfortunate consequences.
True Tales of Zero Tolerance
Overcriminalization. Zero tolerance policies ignore the distinction between wrongful intent and innocent
intent, instead focusing mechanistically on the act alone. Supporters of zero tolerance claim that it serves the
interests of efficiency or that it prevents biased enforcement, but to innocent kids struck by the sword of supposed
justice it is only arbitrary and unjust.
Misdemeanor Mistakes and Felony
Forgetfulness. A 12-year-old with hyperactivity disorder told students ahead of him in the lunch line
to leave some potatoes, or "I'm going to get you." The principal called the police and the Louisiana boy was
arrested for making a terrorist threat. He spent two weeks in jail awaiting a hearing. In Arlington, Virginia,
two 10-year-old boys put soapy water in their teacher's drink. The teacher insisted that the young boys be charged
with felonies, although their case was later dismissed. An 11-year-old girl was arrested after asking her teacher for
permission to use a smooth-edged steak knife that she had brought from home to cut a piece of chicken that she was
eating for lunch.
Kindergartner Suspended for Make-Believe
Game of 'Cops & Robbers'. Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court on
behalf of elementary school student A.G. and his parents in their case against the Sayreville Board of Education and the
principal of Wilson Elementary School. The lawsuit stems from a playground incident that resulted in four kindergarten
boys being suspended from school for three days for playing a make-believe game of "cops and robbers" during recess.
Rutherford Institute Calls on Appeals Court
to Honor Student's Constitutional Rights. Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have asked the Fourth Circuit
Court of Appeals to reconsider and reverse its decision against Benjamin Ratner, a Loudoun County eighth grader suspended
for four months after taking a knife away from a suicidal friend.
What I Learned at Graduation: I Have No
Rights. Political correctness — a philosophy that discourages diversity of viewpoints — has
become a guiding principle of modern society. If someone might be offended, freedom of speech is erased. Nowhere
is this more evident than in the schools, especially when religion is involved. Things have gotten so ridiculous that
the mere mention of God is enough to send public school officials into a tailspin.
Tracking and Fighting Zero Tolerance.
[A long] list describes The Rutherford Institute's activity in defense of schoolchildren whose rights to freedom of speech,
due process, property, privacy and public education have been violated by imposition of Zero Tolerance (ZT) policies.
"the Smallest Needles in the World": Carolyn Starks of the Chicago Tribune reports that the
over-bureaucratization of schools and their fear of lawsuits has now extended to diabetics and the treatment
of their condition. Emblematic of this trend is the story she relates of a suburban Chicago mother who
had to drive every two hours to her son's elementary school to test his blood sugar, as the school considered
his blood-testing device's lancet — "the smallest needles in the world" — a weapon and
wouldn't allow it on the bus.
Student faces expulsion
for fake drill team guns. A local school district has suspended a member of the Young Marines
youth leadership group after students saw drill props in her vehicle. Marie Morrow, a 17-year-old senior
at Cherokee Trail High School in Aurora, is serving a 10-day suspension. Her punishment could be
extended at an expulsion hearing later this month. ... The school also called police, who seized the three
drill team guns made of wood, plastic and duct tape.
When a Zero Tolerance Policy Makes
Zero Sense. The story started like this: Marie Morrow, a junior in Cherokee Trails High School in
Aurora, Colorado, is a cadet staff sergeant in the Young Marines and the commander of her local drill team. She made a
mistake: she parked on the school's parking lot with several wooden "parade rifles" in her car. The problem?
A Colorado state law that requires "zero tolerance" of any student in possession of any dangerous weapon — or
anything that an uneducated person might take as a facsimile of a dangerous weapon. ... She was suspended and came
under threat of expulsion for possession of lumber.
waning for zero-tolerance rules. A week before Colorado marked the 10th anniversary of the
iconic [Columbine] tragedy Monday, the legislature sent to the governor a bill making an exception in the
state's zero-tolerance policy on weapons in schools. ... Colorado state Sen. Kevin Lundberg said he proposed
the legislation in his state after Marie Morrow was expelled for leaving three facsimile drill-team rifles in
her car in the school parking lot.
Justices Hear Arguments
Over School Strip Search. The Supreme Court seemed worried Tuesday [4/21/2009] about tying the hands
of school officials looking for drugs and weapons on campus as they wrestled with the appropriateness of a strip-search
of a teenaged girl accused of having prescription-strength ibuprofen. Savana Redding was 13 when Safford, Ariz.,
Middle School officials, on a tip from another student, ordered her to remove her clothes and shake out her underwear
looking for pills. The district bans prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
More Than a Silly
Strip Search. When she was a 13-year-old student at Safford Middle School in Arizona, Savana Redding
was strip-searched by school officials in search of — this is no joke — ibuprofen.
Now she is suing the district and the officials for violating her Fourth Amendment protection
against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Justices Say Child's Rights
Violated by Strip Search. A strip search of a 13-year-old girl by officials at her middle
school violated the Constitution, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday [6/25/2009] in an 8-to-1 decision.
The student, Savana Redding, had been suspected of bringing prescription-strength ibuprofen to the school,
in Safford, Ariz.
Supreme Court: Strip search of 13-year-old
unconstitutional. The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the strip search of a 13-year-old
student violated the constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
Rutherford Institute Wins First Amendment
Victory for Student. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana has ruled in favor of the
First Amendment rights of a high school student who was prohibited under his school's dress policy from wearing a T-shirt
bearing the likeness of an M-16 rifle and the text of the Marine Corps Creed. While the court ruled that the school's
ban on "symbols of violence" is permitted by the First Amendment, it held the ban on the Marine T-shirt in question to
Student Denied Diploma After Blowing Kiss.
Justin Denney's family watched as he ascended the Cumberland County Civic Center stage during graduation Friday
night [6/12/2009] to accept his diploma, but the superintendent told him to return to his seat. The Bonny
Eagle High School senior's mother said she can't believe her son's taking a bow and blowing a kiss on stage led
was grounds for the superintendent to withhold his diploma.
Diploma Denied to Student Who Blew Kiss to
Family, Pointed at Friends. A Maine high school senior was denied his diploma at graduation
after he took a bow when his name was called, pointed to friends and blew a kiss to his family. Justin
Denney was graduating from Bonny Eagle High School June 12 and had gotten up on stage to receive his
diploma when he gestured to his friends and relatives.
The Editor says...
Public schools are not about education. They are all about submission and control.
This episode demonstrates that until you learn to submit and conform, you can't get a diploma.
Fourth grader suspended for using broken
pencil sharpener. A 10-year-old Hilton Head Island boy has been suspended from school for having
something most students carry in their supply boxes: a pencil sharpener. The problem was his
sharpener had broken, but he decided to use it anyway.
Texas School Suspends Student for Answering Call in Class
From Dad in Iraq. A Texas sergeant and his son recently found themselves separated not only by an eight-hour
time difference, several bodies of water, hundreds of miles and a war, but by a high school official who suspended the boy
for answering his dad's call during class. Cove High School in Texas, where half the students have at least one parent
deployed, justified the punishment against Brandon Hill by saying he had violated the no-cell-phone policy when he took the
call from his father, who is serving in Iraq.
Attack of the preschool perverts:
Is American public education a form of child abuse? The Washington Post's Brigid Schulte reported this month on a student named
Randy Castro, who attends school in Woodbridge, Va. Last November at recess he slapped a classmate on her bottom. The
teacher took him to the principal. School officials wrote up an incident report and then called the police. Randy Castro
is in the first grade. But, at the ripe old age of 6, he's been declared a sex offender by Potomac View Elementary
School. He'sguilty of sexual harassment, and the incident report will remain on his record for the rest of his school
days — and maybe beyond.
Zero tolerance policy nixes common sense. According
to a district spokesperson, the code of behavior stipulates that police may be called for "offenses involving weapons,
alcohol/drugs, intentional injury, and other serious violations." Um, call us crazy, but what [Six-year-old]
Randy [Castro] did doesn't meet that test.
Ninth Grader Punished For
Taking 40-Cent Lunch. A Sumner County ninth grader is charged with theft and sent
before a judge for taking a 40-cent lunch without paying. Krista Goetleuck thinks her son's
school went way too far. She said her son is not a troublemaker, he was just hungry.
"Our last hospitalization was $78,000," said Goetleuck, who moved to Nashville a few months ago.
She said her youngest child has had brain surgery. With a family of six and a sick child, every
penny counts for her family, Goetleuck said.
Girl, 10, Arrested for Using Knife to Cut
Food at School. A 10-year-old Florida girl faces felony weapons charges after bringing a small
steak knife to school to cut up her lunch, according to a report on MyFOXOrlando.com. School officials
say the Ocala 5th grader had brought a piece of steak for her lunch, and a four and a half inch steak knife
with which to cut it. According to the report, a couple of teachers took the utensil and called
authorities, who arrested the girl and took her to the county's juvenile assessment center.
More zero tolerance idiocy: ALa has the story of
a 10-year-old fifth grader in Ocala, Florida, who brought her lunch to school from home, a piece of steak — and
a deadly weapon a steak knife from home to cut it. She didn't use the knife for anything
other than its intended purpose — to cut her lunch — but a couple of teachers saw it.
When "Policies" Run Amuck...
I completely understand the need for caution in schools when it comes to weapons in the building, but I would also hope that
the college-educated staff would incorporate common sense into their day-to-day enforcement of those policies.
Grader Suspended For Anti-Obama Shirt. An 11-year-old in Aurora says his first amendment rights
are being trampled after he was suspended for wearing a homemade shirt that reads "Obama is a terrorist's best
friend." The fifth grader at Aurora Frontier K-8 School wore it on a day when students were asked to
wear red, white and blue to show their patriotism.
Teacher Throws a Fit
Over Student's Linux CD. A teacher has thrown a student into detention and threatened to call
the police for using Linux in her classroom. The teacher spotted one of her students giving a
demonstration of the HeliOS distro to other students. In a somewhat over-the-top reaction, she
confiscated the CDs, put the student on detention and whipped off a letter to the HeliOS Project threatening
to report it to the police for distributing illegal software.
by Mike Rechtman.
Zero Tolerance for Common Sense. The
American Bar Association says the modern zero-tolerance-for-children movement is a response to the school shootings of the
1990s. No one doubts the good intentions of those who pushed these policies; it's the enforcement that has raised
concern. And [Adam] Liston is far from the only victim of this noxious overcriminalization, although he may be one
of its older victims.
3 suspended for not standing for Pledge of
Allegiance. Three small-town eighth-graders in Minnesota were suspended by their principal for not standing
Thursday morning [5/8/2008] for the Pledge of Allegiance, violating a district policy that the principal now says may
soon be reworded to protect free speech rights.
someone mention the Pledge of Allegiance?
Pragmatism vs. Zero Tolerance — Let Science
Be the Guide. Whereas policymakers may not be looking critically for evidence before making decisions, the
good news is that real parents dealing with real teenagers in the real world seem to be paying attention. Recent news
from the California Parent-Teacher Association suggests that parents fed up with zero tolerance "horror stories" will lead
the way in making pragmatic, science- based decisions.
Texas Zero Tolerance. When our children in Texas public
schools can be accused, found guilty, ticketed, often times arrested, and removed from school before parents are notified,
there is something intrinsically wrong with a system that claims to work in partnership with parents for the education and
well being of their children.
Has Zero Tolerance Eliminated Campus
Danger? Zero Tolerance, once adopted by a school district, cannot take into account a student's age when
meting out discipline for violations.
The problem with the zero tolerance policy in academia is that the policy
champions "a one size fits all solution to schools' problems".
The School Crotch Inspector: Fighting the Advil
menace, one strip search at a time. There are two kinds of people in the world: the kind
who think it's perfectly reasonable to strip-search a 13-year-old girl suspected of bringing ibuprofen to
school, and the kind who think those people should be kept as far away from children as possible. The
first group includes officials at Safford Middle School in Safford, Arizona, who in 2003 forced eighth-grader
Savana Redding to prove she was not concealing Advil in her crotch or cleavage.
US school rebuked for ibuprofen strip search.
A divided US appeals court has ruled an Arizona school violated the constitutional rights of a 13-year-old student by conducting
a strip search for ibuprofen. Suspecting that a student had violated a policy against prescription or over-the-counter
drugs without permission, public school officials in Safford, Arizona, ordered a search of Savana Redding. A school
nurse had her remove her clothes, including her bra, and shake her underwear to see if Ms Redding was hiding anything.
Backlash Forms Against
'Zero Tolerance'. Lawmakers in several states say the strict policies in schools have resulted in
many punishments that lack common sense, and are seeking to loosen the restrictions. "A machete is not
the same as a butter knife. A water gun is not the same as a gun loaded with bullets," said Rhode Island
state Sen. Daniel Issa, a former school board member who worries that no-tolerance rules are applied blindly
and too rigidly.
Boy, 8, suspended after sniffing Sharpie marker.
A Westminster parent says Adams School District 50 overreacted by suspending a third-grade student for smelling Sharpie
marker fumes and the clothing on which he'd drawn a stripe.
Illustration courtesy of
The People's Cube
School suspends boy
for sketching gun. Chandler school officials have suspended a 13-year-old boy for sketching a
picture that resembled a gun, saying it posed a threat to classmates. But parents of the Payne Junior
High School student said the drawing was a harmless doodle of a fake laser, and school officials overreacted.
punished for T-shirt with gun image. The family of a middle school student who was given
detention for wearing a T-shirt bearing the image of a gun has filed a federal freedom of speech lawsuit
against the school district. Donald Miller III, 14, went to Penn Manor High School in December
wearing a T-shirt he said was intended to honor his uncle, a U.S. Army soldier fighting in Iraq.
first-grader suspended for violent drawing. School officials in this southern Oregon town
suspended a first-grader whose drawing of a stick figure shooting another in the head attracted complaints
from parents. Ryan Weathers, 6, was sent home from Little Butte School on Tuesday [11/13/2007].
New Jersey 2nd-grader
suspended from school for drawing stick figure with gun. Kyle Walker, 7, was
suspended last week for violating Dennis Township Primary School's zero-tolerance policy on
guns, the boy's mother, Shirley McDevitt, told The Press of Atlantic City. Kyle gave the
picture to another child on the school bus, and that child's parents complained about it to school
officials, McDevitt said. Her son told her the drawing was of a water gun, she said.
Zero-Tolerance for Doodling: A 13-year-old
was suspended for doodling a picture of a gun on his homework. While it is discouraging that this type of
overcriminalization is continuing to occur in our nation's schools, hopefully the increase in media attention
will continue to highlight the ridiculous and harmful consequences of these policies.
I Have Zero Tolerance
for Zero Tolerance Policies. I have a confession to make. When I was a child, I was a
chronic, repeat doodler. During dull moments at school, I admit, I not only drew soldiers shooting one
another, but also tanks, bombers, fighters, and even the occasional space ship with planet destroying powers.
These days, of course, any of them would have been enough to get me kicked out of school. In our era of
zero-tolerance, I would surely have spent most of elementary and middle school shuttling between suspensions
and expulsions, with an occasional time out for social studies.
Ill. students lose diplomas
over cheers. Caisha Gayles graduated with honors last month, but she is still waiting for her
diploma. The reason: the whoops of joy from the audience as she crossed the stage. Gayles
was one of five students denied diplomas from the lone public high school in Galesburg after enthusiastic
friends or family members cheered for them during commencement.
Boy charged with felony for
carrying sugar. A 12-year-old Aurora [Illinois] boy who said he brought powdered
sugar to school for a science project this week has been charged with a felony for possessing a look-alike
drug, Aurora police have confirmed.
Schoolboy Turns in Found 'Weapon', Gets
Suspended For His Effort. In school we tell our children that guns are bad. We tell them
to be good little children and turn in those bad, evil guns to a parent, a policeman or a teacher. We
tell them to do the supposed responsible thing. Be an upstanding citizen and take that evil gun out of
circulation so that someone else won't kill half the city, runs the logic. So, a young boy at Troy Middle
School near Joliet, Illinois follows this sage advice and what is his reward? He is kicked out of school
for following his indoctrination.
The End of the Pocket Knife. It
used to be common for adolescent boys to carry their pocket knives everywhere, "in their pockets," although
we know most schools would not approve. Such school policies might make sense today. However, the
mindlessness with which these policies sometimes are enforced by school officials is alarming. Even more
alarming is when the criminal justice system is employed in ways that defy common sense and our traditional
notions of justice.
A new policy to keep
students in line. The district's proposed policy has already drawn support from
some parents infuriated at what they regard as heavy-handed discipline at schools. Students on the
receiving end of such chastisement may become more prone to miss class or drop out entirely because they feel
they are misunderstood. Parents also are concerned that administrators aren't giving suspended students a
fair shake. Naomi Haywood is one such parent. She believes her 16-year-old son, Jonathan Hargrove,
has been suspended twice for fights he did not start because the school he attends, Fremont High School in South
Los Angeles, has a zero-tolerance policy for fighting.
Zero Tolerance for Security Guards.
Security guard George Stevenson chased a suspected burglar onto Arlington Elementary School property and
through the school itself. When he was apprehended, the suspect was armed with a knife. According
to school officials, however, the real criminal was Stevenson. Because he carried an otherwise legal
pistol, Stevenson was arrested and charged with felony possession of a weapon on school property.
Suspended for folding a piece of
paper. Destiny Thomas, an 11 year-old student at Amber Terrace Intermediate School in the
Desoto Independent School District, folded a piece of paper into the shape of a gun. She and two
classmates were suspended and sentenced to 30 days of alternative school for their flagrant violation
of district anti-gun policies.
Perhaps they would have given her a lighter punishment, but...
SELECT PUNCH LINE:
• her paper gun was loaded!
• she had modified it for full-auto!
• she didn't draw a trigger lock on it!
Toy gun on transit bus leads to police
investigation. A police investigation for an action that is not criminal, plus a school
district investigation. The goal: to expel a student for posession of a toy gun that was not
used improperly. Does this strike anybody else as ridiculous?
Indiana students punished for school
rule violations that occur "anywhere at any time". Although the streaker was not on school
grounds, the event did not happen during school hours and did not involve any of the corporation's schools,
East Porter County [says it] was well within its legal right to suspend the student.
Boy Faces Suspension For
Bringing a Butter Knife To School. A butter knife in a boy's book bag led to suspension
at Omaha Public Schools this week. … Now, there's a standoff. Gray's parents say they won't
send their son to school until the district backs down on its mandatory suspension, and the district
said it doesn't have any plans to do that.
"Zero Tolerance" Policies
and the Constitution. The Columbine High School shootings in Colorado in 1999 produced a climate
of fear and near-hysteria among school administrators around the country. Many public school systems
responded by imposing disciplinary policies calling for "zero tolerance" for weapons possession, drug use and
threatening speech, in some cases creating absurd and tragic results. School authorities justified these
"zero tolerance" policies under a Clinton-era federal law, the "Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994" that required
as a condition of receiving federal funds (as all state educational systems do) that states enact laws
mandating one-year expulsions for any student who brings a "weapon" to school.
Zero Common Sense School
Discipline Rules Cheapen Students' Humanity. Ever since an over-eager school administrator first
dreamed up the concept of "zero tolerance" policies, the outrages have been pouring in from all across the
country. Incidents include a boy suspended for bringing a water pistol to school, a student disciplined
for telling friends that breath mints would make them jump higher, a girl expelled for bringing a nail file to
class and a high schooler commended for his valor in taking a knife away from a suicidal friend —
although he was then suspended for violating the school's zero tolerance policy against weapons possession.
Why tolerance is fading for zero tolerance in
schools: Unaware it had turned cool overnight, Eddie Evans's 12-year-old son bolted out of the
house in shirt sleeves. He was on his way to the bus stop when his mother called him back for a
jacket. In third period the boy discovered that the three-inch pocketknife he had taken to his last
Boy Scout meeting was still inside his coat — a definite no-no under the school's zero-tolerance policy.
Unsure what to do, he consulted a friend before putting the knife in his locker. The friend turned him in
and, after lunch, police arrested him and took him to a juvenile-detention center without contacting his
parents, according to senate testimony.
5-year old censored by NY school will get
his day in court. 5-year old Antonio Peck had no idea when he turned in his homework
assignment — a poster about protecting the environment — that it would land
him in federal court. … It featured, among other things, a cut out picture of
Jesus — something he reportedly thought applicable to the environment,
and the assignment.
4-year-old suspended for hugging teacher's
aide. School administrators gave a 4-year-old student an in-school suspension for
inappropriately touching a teacher's aide after the pre-kindergartner hugged the woman.
and Robbers? Not On This Playground. From California to New Jersey,
public schools are banning the children's game of "cops and robbers" and threatening
students with expulsion out of a fear that even imaginary weapons pose a threat.
Zero Tolerance, Zero Evidence. Despite the
controversies that it has created in school districts throughout the country, zero tolerance continues to be a
widely used response to school disruption and violence. This paper explores the history, philosophy, and
effectiveness of zero tolerance school disciplinary strategies.
"Zero Tolerance" = Ethically
Inert. One can sympathize with schools and school boards, in this litigative
era, that decide to install "zero tolerance" policies that eliminate any opportunity for
debate or analysis. You do "X" and the punishment is "Y." No excuses, mitigating
circumstances, or special dispensations allowed.
Zero tolerance or zero common sense? A
first-grader at Struthers Elementary School in Youngstown, Ohio, was suspended for 10 days for taking home a plastic
knife from the school cafeteria in his book bag. The 6-year-old wasn't threatening anyone; he just wanted to show his
mother he had learned how to spread butter on his bread.
Suspended for disagreeing. Tyler
Zilz, a sixth-grader at Willowcreek Middle School disagreed with new school rules that prevented students from
socializing before school and during lunch periods. With the help of his older brother he wrote a three
page letter and distributed copies. … The principal gave him a one day in-school suspension
for "interfering with the educational process".
Eight year old boy faces charges for pointing toy
gun. An 8-year-old Whitmore Lake boy is facing criminal charges for pointing a toy gun at three
other youngsters and threatening to shoot them. Even though the incident involved a toy gun, the Washtenaw
County Prosecutor's Office said, Tommy Davis' intent was to threaten and scare the other children. The boy,
who was 7 at the time of the incident, has a hearing on three felonious assault charges … in Washtenaw
County Juvenile Court.
drops knife case against student. Warren Township school leaders today [4/4/2006] ordered a halt
to the disciplinary proceedings against a teenager who said he accidentally brought a pocket knife to his
boast earns Pottstown Middle School student suspension. A seventh-grade student
was suspended for four days last month after talking about bringing
an AK-47 assault rifle into Pottstown Middle School.
Bar Association Wants End To "Zero
Tolerance". The American Bar Association voted [in February, 2001] to recommend ending "zero
tolerance" school discipline policies. Advocates hope the resolution will prompt school districts to
re-evaluate such policies, which cover weapons, drugs or violence in schools. The National Association
of Secondary School Principals didn't agree.
Report Details the Folly of "Zero
Tolerance". Destructive "zero tolerance" policies in the nation's schools are leading students off
the academic track, sometimes straight to the jailhouse, critics say. In what's billed as a "first-of-its-kind"
report, a public policy group called the Advancement Project noted, "In school district after school district,
an inflexible and unthinking zero tolerance approach to an exaggerated juvenile-crime problem is derailing the
Zero Tolerance and the
Never-Ending Lockdown in America's Public Schools. The imposition of draconian zero tolerance
penalties teaches our young people a very bad political science lesson: that government authorities
have total power and can violate constitutional rights on a whim. To those who are concerned with the
erection of a police state in America, such policies should be causing alarm bells to go off.
Scented hair gel, deodorant could mean
jail time for Canadian youth. "A Halifax-area teenager may face criminal charges for wearing
Dippity Do hair gel and Aqua Velva deodorant to school after his teacher complained to the RCMP [Royal Canadian
Mounted Police, Mounties] about his fragrant abuse of the school's no-scent policy.
of Education expels student for three policy violations. Although the
student did not actually have access to any firearms he was expelled as the district
has made the idea of a gun equivalent to actually possessing one.
Here is another interesting point in the story above:
"[Superintendent Lynn] Evans noted that although the student is expelled, he is still
considered a student in the district; however, he cannot attend classes. The superintendent
explained that the district remains responsible for the student's education." What
does that mean? He cannot attend classes, but the school district wants to retain
control of his education, and wants to be reimbursed by the US Department of Education
as if he was still in a classroom.
Tolerance and the U.S. Supreme Court: The U.S. Supreme Court has
refused to hear an appeal from a New Jersey boy who, as a kindergartner in 2000,
was suspended for playing cops-and-robbers (using pointed fingers as "guns") with
three other little boys during recess. The appeal of the summary
suspension — there was never a warning given — claimed that the school
district had violated the boys' constitutional rights to free speech, procedural
due process and equal protection of law ("just plain silly" is not a basis for
a Supreme Court appeal).
Tolerance" Policies and the Constitution. The Columbine High School shootings in Colorado
in 1999 produced a climate of fear and near-hysteria among school administrators around the
country. Many public school systems responded by imposing disciplinary policies calling
for "zero tolerance" for weapons possession, drug use and threatening speech, in some
cases creating absurd and tragic results.
This commentary was written in 1999:
Smashing Free Speech and Turning
Our Schools Into Pressure Cookers. During the past seven years, less than one percent of the
schools across the country have experienced a violent death on campus, according to June Arnette, associate
director of the National School Safety Center. However, since the latest shooting in Conyers, Georgia and
Littleton, Colorado, schools have instituted oppressive "safety" measures such as sign-in sheets, metal
detectors, uniforms and unwarranted searches. As a result, many of our nations' schools now resemble
prisons more than educational institutions. The students are paying the high price for such safety,
and it is costing them their civil rights.
Let Boys Be Boys, Not Criminals-in-training. By
today's zero-tolerance standards of child's play, my brother and I both should have been sent to the electric chair decades
ago. In fact, every child in our neighborhood and at school would qualify today as a juvenile delinquent
at least, a potentially homicidal maniac on average.
Student Speech — And Even Artwork — in the Post-Columbine Era: The
relevant supreme court cases, and how they have been misapplied.
One Strike and You're
Out. A female Cadillac Junior High School student who brought prescription drugs on school grounds
was expelled for the remainder of the school year. Principal Jack Richards said the student received an
immediate 10-day, out-of-school suspension and the incident was reported to the local police.
GI Joe Suspension. A third-grader at Sun Valley Elementary was suspended for
bringing a G.I. Joe toy handgun to school. … "It's about an inch long," said
Vicki Stewart, the boy's grandmother and guardian. "(The principal) had to tape
it to a piece of paper to keep from losing it."
"Zero Tolerance" Must End Now.
It's clearly ineffective, since there have certainly been more school shootings over the past five years than
ever before. It teaches children that Constitutional guarantees don't apply to them, which goes against
everything schools should be teaching them. It tells children that schools consider them untrustworthy,
violent creatures, which is the sort of thing some children will take to heart. It takes decision-making
responsibility away from teachers and forces principals and administrators to defend ridiculous decisions,
eroding respect for the school system. And most importantly, it punishes the innocent.
A Diet Coke shared among friends was enough to undo 12-year-old Alyssa Nemec's life.
When Policies are blindly
Applied: Andrew Follett, Jr., 18, was a junior at Downingtown High School East until he was
permanently expelled March 18 by a vote of the Downingtown Area Board of School Directors. He was
charged with possession of a controlled substance and being in possession of a weapon. The problem is the
items he is charged with "possessing" were found in his father's car across the street (Route 113) in the
parking lot of Calgary Fellowship Church.
Florida teen takes Mom's car to school, gets
expelled. Amanda Conroy had some car trouble so took her mother's car to school. That
happened to be the day that police did a random search of students' cars. Inside her mother's Durango was
her mother's stun gun.
Dangerous cookie carrier suspended for a month
and a half. Jules Gabriel was suspended on April 2 and will remain suspended until at least
May 13. His crime was possession of a deadly weapon - a snack pack of Nutter Butters.
Patterns and stripes go next.
School bans solid color T-shirts to counter gangs.
School suspends teen for rap lyric:
A 15-year-old Brookfield Central High School student's homemade rhymes earned him a five-day suspension and
could get the honor student expelled because of a lyric deemed threatening toward the principal —
perhaps the first such case in Wisconsin.
Zero tolerance is turning students into
criminals. Acts once handled by a principal or a parent are now being handled by prosecutors and
Sledder hurt in
accident may be arrested. Julie Miles has two kids at A.G. Bell Elementary in Kirkland, a
school with a zero tolerance for snowballs. Students there say they were told they can't even touch the
snow, much less pack and hurl it.
tolerance has its limits: A student's suspension is cut so his school
won't lose money.
failure: Administrators and board members must always look for ways to put more common sense
into the procedures. Blanket policies are no substitute for a thoughtful approach to each
case. "When in doubt, kick 'em out," is not good legal or education policy.
Student Punished For Keeping
Extra Soda From Machine. A Rio Rancho [NM] teen was slapped with an in-school suspension for
taking both sodas that came out of a vending machine, when he had only paid for one.
Bleeding Through the Band-Aid of Zero Tolerance: The
fear that school violence is escalating is unfounded. According to the US Department of Education, school
violence has actually been on the decline since 1990. Some sources say that it has decreased as much as 30%. In
fact, a child is three times more likely to be struck by lightning than to be killed violently at school.
Overreaction Department: We're fooling ourselves and conning our kids if we claim that zero
tolerance for normal practices that involve trivial risks will result in zero disasters. The world just
doesn't work like that.
4th-grader suspended for gun shell
in pocket: Campus sponsors "Camouflage Day," then kicks out the boy due to "zero tolerance".
Student broadcaster suspended for
saying "God bless". A high school student dismissed from his school broadcast program for signing
off with "God bless" is rallying community members to his side. James Lord, a senior at Dupo High School in
Dupo, Ill., was suspended for one month from his daily news broadcast on the school's closed circuit television
after signing off his Dec. 17 broadcast, the Belleville News-Democrat reported.
Pro-life shirt barred as
"obscene": A Virginia high school student was barred from wearing a shirt with a pro-life message
because it violates the school's policy against profane or obscene language.
Expelled, and it wasn't even a real phaser.
Zero-tolerance policies along with gutless administrators combine to destroy a young man's education.
School student suspended for possession of Tylenol. Rachel Warrick
changed into her PE clothes and headed for the gym, leaving her book bag in the locker
room as she always did. She then joined the other students as they waited for
class to begin. Shortly, an announcement came on through the PA system explaining
that all students would be locked into their second period classes until further
notice. Drug bust. This is a normal event in almost every high
school across America.
Sense Urged over "Zero Tolerance": The National Center for Education
Statistics (NCES) says that no evidence exists that proves that zero-tolerance laws
lower school crime rates nationwide. The NCES, an arm of the Department of Education,
is conducting a study on the effectiveness of such laws.
and school discipline policies: State-by-state evaluation. [PDF]
Losing my Tolerance for "Zero Tolerance". (See photo below.)
Reader Comments on "Zero
Tolerance": "This collection of letters is not representative of all letters
received. The balance is actually a much higher percentage of agreement than
disagreement than shown here!"
Tolerance Equals Zero Thinking: What are we really teaching children by
zero tolerance? To see evil where none exists? Or that justice is arbitrary and
authorities are waiting to get you? Who is really out of control?
Toy Soldiers: "Zero
tolerance" is a handy buzz phrase for concerned citizens dealing with bad things. But the phrase is also
a good sign that people are putting their brains in neutral and surfing a popular panic of the moment.
Less Than Zero: This isn't
just another story about zero-common-sense policies in the schools. It's about how families can show zero
tolerance for these policies by taking matters into their own hands.
Zero Tolerance, 100 Percent Control: In
its daily editorial website, the Wall Street Journal keeps a running tabulation of the "zero tolerance" inanity
that has swept public schools in this country. From the suspension of a third grade boy in Monroe, Louisiana,
for drawing a picture of a soldier to the high school honor student kicked out of school because someone saw a
dull table knife in her car, we are treated to accounts of "education" bureaucrats running amok.
America is a police state.
Would you say that kicking a young girl out of school because her Tweetie Bird key chain is a weapon is just
a bit rigid? How about expelling an Eagle Scout who inadvertently came to school with his Boy Scout
ax in the trunk of his car after a Scout meeting the previous night?
Girl gets "unexcused absence" for
Bush event. Student sings in choir at presidential speech, punished with 'D' grades.
Schools' Zero Tolerance Not Always Best, Schlafly
Says: A pro-family leader says many of the zero-tolerance policies being implemented in public schools
across the U.S. are having a detrimental effect on young boys.
The Problem with "Zero":
No human institution can be run by the inflexible application of bureaucratic rules, without any regard for
individual cases or any attempt on the part of those in authority to apply thoughtful judgment to situations.
Why would anybody think so?
The insanity called "zero
tolerance": What are we doing to children? They can no longer have imaginations. They
can no longer have innocent flirtations, even in the first grade. And worse, they can no longer do the
right thing and get a hero's appreciation. They have become victims of a totalitarian nightmare called
California: No Gun Photos Allowed. A
nine-year-old is almost suspended from a Los Angeles Unified School District school because a substitute teacher
discovered photographs of him and his brother shooting firearms. The photos were taken when their aunt, a
police firearms instructor, took them for some safety training.
The Insanity of Zero
Tolerance: I am here to express my outrage over a widespread shortcut being utilized in public
schools throughout the nation, and also by law enforcement in many jurisdictions. This shortcut, this
doctrine of destruction, goes by the name of zero tolerance.
Special Report: "Zero Tolerance
Policies": On June 20, [2000,] The Civil Rights Project of Harvard University released "Opportunities
Suspended: The Devastating Consequences of Zero Tolerance and School Discipline Policies." The Report
described zero tolerance as "a brutally strict disciplinary model that embraces harsh punishment over education."
"Children are not only being treated like criminals in school, but many are being shunted into the criminal
justice system as schools began to rely heavily on law enforcement officials to punish students."
Back To School Special: The
school year begins, and parents have two new things to worry about: Will our children be safe from
violence, and will our children be safe from school administrators who — over-reacting to the actual
level of danger — might suspend our children, expel our children or send our children for
psychiatric evaluation because of a joke or a misunderstood comment or a nail-clipper.
From the Zero Tolerance Follies:
Doodles of Death!: A
Pennsylvania sixth-grader was suspended for three days for drawing stick figures of two teachers with arrows
through their heads. The school called them "terrorist threats".
Draw Your Weapon: An
11-year-old fifth grader was taken from his elementary school in handcuffs after his classmates turned
him in for drawing pictures of weapons.
solution to violence: Silence the weird. What a windfall Columbine has been
for timid educational bureaucrats: They don't have to deal with their disaffected students,
they can just wash their hands of pain-in-the-backside kids and ship them off to jail.
This ties in nicely with the Draconian
Punishment of the Month: In the 7th century B.C., an Athenian named Draco
established a code of laws which, rather than promoting stability and equality as expected,
became known for their terrible severity. Even 2600 years later, we use the word
Draconian for cases like [the ones on this page.]
Zero tolerance strikes again: Under
Nevada state law, a student who has never had a problem before can be deemed a "habitual" troublemaker with
one erroneous act.
Sunscreen is Banned while Ritalin is Abused.
It is especially important for children to avoid sunburn, because research has found that childhood burns may much
later lead to cancer. But sunscreen has now been banned as a drug in schools.
Crackdown on Children Won't End
School Violence: Although school violence is rarer today than in more than a decade …
politicians and interest groups continue to push their own pet solutions.
Texas City Restricts Toy Guns in
Public: The Carrollton City Council has restricted the possession of realistic toy guns in public
after a recent scare in which a police officer mistook a replica gun held by a child for the real thing.
Targeting Kids' Toy Guns In NYC: Criminals in New York City are increasingly turning to children's
toy guns as their weapon of choice, according to some members of the city council, who want their colleagues to
consider banning the sale of plastic pistols altogether.
Schools contend with complications of
zero-tolerance policies: Zero-tolerance policies on violence have become hotly contested in some
public school districts where strict interpretations of the code have demonstrated that a policy which looks
good on paper may not be in practice.
Zero tolerance rule upsets kids and
parents: Kids playing with finger guns were accused of "violent and aggressive behavior"; then
the parents are asked if they had guns in their homes. One parent's reply: "It's none of their
business if we have a gun."
gunplay backfires: A fifth-grade girl, armed only with an oak leaf, is now in
big trouble thanks to Zero Tolerance.
Madison [Wisconsin] Sixth-Grader Faces
Expulsion Over Science Project: A Cherokee sixth-grader could be expelled for a year, after
bringing a kitchen knife to school for a science project. He needed it to cut an onion. Chris'
father Larry Jorgenson reportedly said that district officials unofficially told them that Chris would be
eligible to return to school if he admits he committed a "crime," submits to psychological evaluation and
completes an anger management course. District officials consider this a no brainer. There is
"no tolerance" for weapons in school. However, Chris Schmidt, 12, considered the knife a kitchen
utensil -- not a weapon.
On one point we agree: It is a "no brainer". But apparently
it is the school officials who aren't using their brains.
Guidance for Fighting A Zero Tolerance
Injustice: Free advice from "just another parent that has experienced this injustice and has
heard from countless others who have had similar nightmares."
The failure of zero tolerance: A
nationwide crackdown on students has resulted in disproportionate punishments and racial profiling.
Criminalizing Toy Guns: Gun control has
reached absurd limits in America. In Michigan, an 8-year-old boy is being prosecuted for pointing
a toy gun at three other youngsters and threatening to shoot them. If this had happened in my day,
every boy would have spent his youth in prison.
Gun Control Activists Want to Ban Air Rifles: British gun control advocates have launched a
campaign to strengthen laws restricting the use of airguns by children and teens, but shooting associations
call the new restrictions unnecessary.
Seeks to Confiscate War Relics, Other Guns: An anti-gun senator has added a provision to the
Defense Authorization Bill that would allow the federal government to confiscate antique military rifles and
other military surplus items.
Town's curb on BB guns becomes a clash of
values: Once an icon of Rockwellian America, the lone boy toting a Daisy BB gun as he
wanders the woods has a new reputation - that of an outlaw. In the boldest of a growing ledger of laws
across the country aimed at grade school "gunslingers," a new ordinance here makes it a crime to let children
under 16 use a BB gun - or its modern cousin, the paintball gun - without parental supervision.
How Firearms Background Checks
Backfire: The Brady anti-gun law has resulted in denial of a firearms purchase to a former
policeman who is an honored war veteran. Why? A juvenile record from 42 years ago that was
supposed to be "sealed" nonetheless came back to deny him the right to buy a gun for his wife's protection.
Patriotic pins are not "gang paraphernalia". Officials
say teacher banning flag button "acted outside district policy" In prohibiting a pair of students from wearing
patriotic pins emblazoned with an American flag and the words, "God Bless America," a teacher misapplied the
district-wide ban against "gang paraphernalia," according to California's Anaheim Union High School District.
Zero Tolerance = Zero Common Sense = Zero
Justice. This page is devoted to challenging and exposing primary and secondary school
administrators' mindlessly inflexible enforcement of so-called "zero-tolerance" policies, which dictate that all
infractions, however minor, against certain regulations will be punished as major offenses. (Quoting:
It's no laughing matter when innocent children, who have no criminal or malicious intent, have their learning
disrupted by long expulsions, or are labeled as 'drug-smugglers', 'weapons-carriers', or 'sexual harassers' in
semi-permanent academic records that may be shown to law-enforcement officials or potential employers.")
Teachers, Guns, and Zero-Tolerance
Tyranny: Teachers are the forgotten casualties of the education establishment's
absolutist war on guns.
Zero-tolerance spiral, quoted from
Criminalizing Kids: The officer
pointed out a kitchen knife lying on the floor of Lindsay's car. She was surprised to see the knife and
ealize that it must have fallen out of one of her moving boxes. For unknowingly having the kitchen knife
in her car, Lindsay was arrested, handcuffed, and hauled off to the Lee County jail. She was suspended
from school and banned from graduation events.
The OpinionJournal.com "Best of the Web" feature has lately made it a special project to collect reports of zero
tolerance excesses, which are fast mounting beyond our ability to record them. F'rinstance, there are the
school officials in West Annapolis, Md., who have banned kids from playing tag during recess, citing
the school's "no-touching" policy; and the honor student given an in-school suspension in West Monroe, La., for
drawing a GI Joe-style commando with canteen, knife and grenades. A 16-year-old student at Legacy
High School in Broomfield, Colo. "may be charged with a felony after school officials found an unloaded
BB gun in his car."
charges in a kitchen knife case. Florida state prosecutors
won't file criminal charges against Lindsay Brown, an 18-year-old whose arrest made
national headlines after she was barred from high school graduation because she had
a kitchen knife in her car. "It once again helps us realize our system works and
common sense at least works there (in the judicial system)," her grandmother said.
Criminalizing Kids II. It was a
cool, clear October day in Washington, D.C., when the closing bell rang and twelve-year-old Ansche Hedgepeth
ran out the door of Alice Deal Junior High School. She stopped at a fast-food restaurant for an order of
hot French fries and then headed for home. Ansche took the escalator down into the Tenleytown/American
University Metrorail station to catch her train. In the station, she ate a single French fry.
Moments later, the junior high student was in handcuffs and headed for jail. Ansche had no idea that
the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) had picked that Monday to kick-off a week of "zero
tolerance" enforcement of "quality of life offenses."
They Explained. The
speech police discover "zero tolerance."
"The notion that having 'zero tolerance' of second- and
third-graders engaging in harmless play is going to do anything to stop high-schoolers
from shooting up their schools is sheer lunacy. And such policies do have a
potential cost; it's hard to see how they can do anything other than sow moral confusion
among young children. How are parents supposed to teach their children right from
wrong when they are subjected to school rules that are completely unhinged from common
sense? … These eight-year-olds will be teenagers by 2006. Can we expect them
to have any respect for adult authority when they have seen it exercised in such a
Quoted from The
Archives of the Zero-Tolerance Watch.
Resists "Tolerance" Police: The group plans
to place an ad in at least one major U.S. newspaper. "It will be about the extent
to which the left in this country has misused and misapplied the term 'tolerance'
to impose a rigid, politically correct ideology on America," the group's national
Teen will fight zero-tolerance insanity:
A Canadian family wants their school board to apologize after a boy is suspended without evidence for drugs.
for Zero Tolerance: Zero Tolerance is another example of the road to hell
paved with good intentions. What was originally intended as a policy to improve safety
in school by ensuring that all children — regardless of race, athletic
ability, or parental influence — follow the rules is used now as an
excuse to treat all children the same when they are in need of corrective
measures. Schools should have zero tolerance for the idea of doing anything
that treats all students the same. One size does not and cannot fit all.
and expulsions aren't always the answer: Despite the overwhelming
popularity of expulsion and out-of-school suspension among educators, there is little
scientific research to show that zero-tolerance or other "get tough" measures are effective
in reducing school violence or increasing school safety.
November 1997: A Colorado Springs, Colo., school district says it did the right thing
when it suspended 6-year-old Seamus Morris under the school's zero-tolerance
drug policy. The drug? Lemon drops. Taylor Elementary
School administrators called an ambulance after a teacher saw the boy
give another student some candy, which was a brand teachers didn't recognize. "It
was not something you would purchase in a grocery store," a district spokesman
said. "It was from a health-food store." A spokesman for St. Claire's
Lemon Tarts, however, noted that the candy is indeed sold in Colorado's largest grocery
store chain. School officials were not impressed, and not only upheld the half-day
suspension, but told the boy's mother that a child who brings candy to school
is comparable to a teen who takes a gun to school.
Quoted from This is
True by Randy Cassingham.
Popular, Obscure Symbols Defined as
'Hate': Many images and symbols have been used in the promotion of racism and violent bigotry in
western culture; Nazi swastikas and other military insignia, or hooded Ku Klux Klansmen gathered around
a burning cross. But increasingly, the number of symbols is growing to include numerology, acronyms and
religious symbols, some of which are generating confusion and even lawsuits over their use and interpretation.
Propagandizing the Police: In principle, the
Connecticut law is of a piece with recent proposals to give the FBI and other agencies enhanced power to keep
political "extremists," almost always of the "right-wing" variety, under special scrutiny. Those "extremists"
considered particularly prone to violence would be subject to interrogation as a means of deterring such
Zero tolerance comes to two Tucson
intersections. "From what I've seen the first three days, I'm not sure we have enough cops to
take care of all the infractions," said one Tucson policeman after watching vehicle and pedestrian traffic at
one of the targeted intersections. They plan to issue citations for just about everything as part of a
"traffic safety" campaign.
Policy Reminiscent of '3rd Reich': If you smell like smoke, you'll be suspended for five days.
That's the message students of a Massachusetts high school will receive when they return this fall, under their
school's new anti-smoking policy.
End Zero-Tolerance Idiocy.
* "Even in our courts,
there is no such thing as Zero Tolerance. Each case is decided on only its merits and there is no one right answer."
Tiny Toy a "Weapon"?
is True, used with permission.|
attend school in the Los Angeles Unified School District,
don't carry a toy key fob like this one in your pocket. A 7-year-old boy was
suspended in school for carrying one of these because it violates the district's
"zero tolerance" policy on "weapon possession".