Zero Tolerance:
Political correctness displaces common sense

Introduction: 

A "zero tolerance" policy is one that enacts harsh punishment for any violation of school rules, without exceptions and without any consideration of mitigating circumstances.*

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 person."1  Zero 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 friend.2

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.*

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 teaching/learning process.

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:This material came from akdart.com, Copyright 2014.

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 NewsmaxPupil Suspended for Drawing Soldier.

Links to other web sites dealing with "zero tolerance" are listed at the bottom of this page.



Liberals, 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.

The 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.

Public 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."

Middle 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."

North 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.

Teacher 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.

Pre-school 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.

IL 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.

The 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.

Girl 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.

Florida 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.

What 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.

School 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.

Bubble gun
5-year-old 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.

Court 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].

A 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.

Why 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.
Judge 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.

School 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.

Nine-Year-Old 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."

5-year-old 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.

5-Year-Old 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."

8th-Grader 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.

Eighth-grader's $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.

Brickbat:  Classroom 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."

Kids' 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?

School 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."

CA 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.

Student 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."

Student 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.

Texas 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.

Florida 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.

High 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.

Teachers 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.

Oregon 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?

Old 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.

On 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.

7th-grader 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.

Florida 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 privacy concerns.

Confederate 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.

Real bomb vs fake bomb
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.


Eight-Year-Old 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.

More about the Clock Kid.

Smack 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.

Middle 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.

Mom 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.

Permission slip
Parents Must 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.


School 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.

10-year-old suspended 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.

Six-Year-Old 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.

Boy 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.

8th 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.

School 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?

Zero 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. (

Student 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.

School 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 more nefarious?

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."

Zero 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."

'Pop-Tart 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.

'Pop-Tart 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.

Pop-Tart 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: [...]

'Zero 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.

Blam! 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.

"Zero 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.
Students 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.

Fifth-grader 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.
In 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.

Maryland's thought 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.

HS 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.

Police, 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."

HS 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.

Alexandria 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.

Toy 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.

Teacher 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.

School 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.

North 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 policy."

Coward 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.'"

It's 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.

Florida 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.

Zero 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.

How 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.

High 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.

19 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.

Parent 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.

Gov't Offers 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.

Colorado 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 manhood.

Finger gun
Boy Suspended 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.
[Emphasis added.]

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 pellet gun.

Seventh 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.

Anti-bullying 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 manufactured crisis?

Student 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 2012.

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.

Guns, 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.

Elementary School 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 claims.

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.

Political 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.

Child 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?
Boy 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.

US Marine's 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.

Virginia Students 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 occurred.

The Editor says...
Science without risk is not science.

100 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.

Update:
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.

Teacher 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.

Maryland 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.

Swelling 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.

Somewhat related:
Florida 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.

Maryland father 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.

Maryland 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.

Update:
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.

Public School 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.

School Removes 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.

School 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."

Teacher 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.

6 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.

Seven 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.

Florida 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.

The 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.
Second-grader 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 evaluation.

No physical evidence.  This is a thought crime.
Boy, 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.

High-school 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.

Paper gun Philadelphia 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.

Philadelphia fifth 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 Philadelphia.

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 official.["]

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.

Girl, 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.

Pennsylvania 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.

Six-year-old 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.
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.
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?

Editor's note:
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 details.

Children should 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.

Nebraska 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.

Massachusetts 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].

Queens 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.

Don't 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.

Kitchener gun
Man 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.

Gun 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, Record staff.

Canada: 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.

More 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.

More 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 zero sense.

Arvada 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.

9-year-old 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.

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.

Texas 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.

Model Student, 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.

High 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.

Columbia 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...
Expulsion 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.

Don't 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.

Update:
Expulsion 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."

Another update:
Columbia 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.

Child 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.

Mom:  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 flag.

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 weapons" policy.

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.

Boy, 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 classmates.

Child "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.
[Emphasis added]

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 discipline him.

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.

Photo courtesy Jan Somma-Hammel/Staten Island Advance

Big brouhaha 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


Zero Tolerance or Overreaction?  9-year-old punished for bringing tiny toy gun to school.

Mayor:  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.

It's a 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 disciplinary committee.

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 good judgment.

Update:
Zachary 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-tolerance — 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.

Criminal 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.

Overregulating "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.

Update:
Tolerance 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.

Update:
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 be unconstitutional.

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.

Same incident:
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 brought 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.

5th 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.
Synopsis 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.

Did 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.

Update:
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.

Sharpie Madness

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.

Boy 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.

Oregon 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.

Cops 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.

School 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 middle school.

AK-47 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 educational process."

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.

Board 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.

 Editor's Note:   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.

Zero 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).

"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.

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.

Silencing 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.

Another 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.

Watching You:  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 the police.

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.

Zero tolerance has its limits:  A student's suspension is cut so his school won't lose money.

The zero-tolerance 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.

Department of 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.

High 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.

Common 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.

Zero-tolerance 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!"

Zero 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 "zero tolerance."

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.

Schools' 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.

Anti-Gunners 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."

Imaginary 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.

 Editor's Note:   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.

British 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.

Senator 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 OverLawyered.com:
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."
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.

Update:
No charges in a kitchen knife caseFlorida 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."

Shut Up, 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 capricious way?"

Quoted from The Archives of the Zero-Tolerance Watch



Coalition 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 director explained.

Teen will fight zero-tolerance insanity:  A Canadian family wants their school board to apologize after a boy is suspended without evidence for drugs.

Zero Tolerance 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.

Suspensions 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 outbursts.

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.

Anti-Smoking 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."



Is This Tiny Toy a "Weapon"?
It's obviously harmless, but the law is the law.
Photo courtesy This is True, used with permission.

If you 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".

In order to prove "weapon possession", ordinarily you'd have to prove that the item is a weapon.  Except in California, of course.



Other web sites dealing with zero tolerance issues:

Zero Intelligence:  The implementation of a zero tolerance policy is the equivalent of giving up on common sense, reasonability and intellect.  All infractions are grouped into types with uniform punishments regardless of the individual facts of the incident.  Possession of Advil is treated as if it were equivalent to pushing crack.  An honor student with the wrong type of pencil sharpener is punished the same as a known delinquent with a switchblade would be.  Improper use of an inhaler leads to arrest as assault with a weapon.  It is easy to see why we call these "Zero Intelligence Policies".

End Zero Tolerance:  "A comprehensive and up-to-date national resource for those interested in learning more about the negative impact of Zero Tolerance upon students, families and society."

Z T Nightmares:  This site publicizes the downside or evils of zero tolerance school discipline policies, and contains dozens of rather alarming anecdotes and numerous additional links.

Parents Against Zero Tolerance:  This is a newsgroup on Yahoo, and apparently requires registration.

Katy Zero Tolerance.  (Katy is a suburb of Houston.)  This site has lots of information about a recently passed Texas law addressing this issue, and links to other resources for Texas residents fighting the same battle.

Jerry Moore's Zero Tolerance News Blog.  Many more anecdotes and lots of useful information about the ZT problem and ways to deal with it.

Social Consequences of Zero Tolerance.  Yet another page that describes a number of ZT cases.

Parent Advisory Council Team.  This site offers advice about due process and describes ways to effectively deal with injustices at public schools by filing complaints with the right people.

The Madness is Spreading.  You might think "Zero Tolerance" is a playground issue — just a way for school administrators to deal with violent kids.  If you did, you would be wrong.  ZT is a mindset of black-and-white rules applied to a gray world.

Our Horrible Children  is a freqently updated weblog devoted to tracking the idiocy of the zero tolerance policies prevalent in most public schools today.


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Updated May 13, 2017.

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