Conservative Political Commentary

[Under the Radar?] Anti-socialist, anti-communist, anti-globalist, pro-Constitution, and usually with an attempt at historical and economic context (This blog was given its name before I decided it was going to be a political blog.)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Heroic Educators Quash Potential Kindergarten Crime Sprees

Taking their cue from the left’s sudden worry over guns since the Newtown shootings, educators in several schools have done their part to prevent kindergarten pretend-gun pretend-violence. Taking decisive and stern disciplinary action, these educators are bravely attempting to prevent future gun violence by driving home the idea that guns are bad, bad, bad, and not to be played with or mentioned, even by pretending, even if the weapon is a Hello Kitty bubble gun, a clear plastic toy gun, or a pointing finger.

These impressionable kiddies may have been saved from a future life of violent crime by these heroic teachers and administrators. Their unenlightened parents have protested these actions, but the administrators have stood firm in defending their handling of thought-crime evidenced by these little ones. Since Newtown, we’re all supposed to be in a hysterical frenzy over guns, especially “assault weapons” and, apparently, harmless toys and a pointed index finger. These things are so evil that they require suspension or expulsion of the offending children, and certainly no apology to the parents.

* * *

I guess the foregoing is roughly how these school personnel view their actions, but in reality these incidents are forms of child abuse. The children have been, in some cases, suspended, expelled, threatened with jail or barred from school premises.

The Newtown shootings were indeed horrific and tragic, but where does panic and hysteria end and rationality and common sense take over again? How many more little children will have to suffer for doing harmless things that children commonly do, when school officials over-react and cause real damage to these children and their families with their ill-advised decisions?

Several recent, similar incidents have been reported, and in each case, the school officials singled out the “offending” children for embarrassment, disrespect, and “bad” school records. Parents have received no apologies, only dumb “explanations” attempting to justify these over-reactions. As part of the attempt to demonize and criminalize “guns,” these so-called educators have hurt children and made themselves look mean and foolish.

They have provided yet another strong reason to encourage home schooling. To cite a few widely-reported cases:
January 18, 2013
By Rick Dandes,  The Daily Item

MOUNT CARMEL [Pennsylvania]— A 5-year-old kindergartner who told classmates she was going to shoot them, and then herself, with her pink bubble gun, was grilled for three hours by Mount Carmel school officials without her mother’s knowledge, then suspended, a family attorney said.

The girl was initially kicked out for 10 days in what the school categorized as a “terroristic threat,” according to the kindergartner’s mother and confirmed by the family attorney. That suspension was reduced to two days and labeled as a “threat to harm others.”
This “threat” was made not in a class room, but while waiting in line for a school bus. The girl did not have the toy with her, but some sharp-eared school official overheard her and couldn’t resist making an issue of this harmless playing.

Another incident, reported by an ABC News affiliate, (via Yahoo) (See video at the site.)
Jan. 3, 2013
A 6-year-old boy who was suspended from his elementary school for making a gun gesture with his hand and saying "pow" is fighting his suspension through a lawyer.
The Montgomery County [Maryland] School District suspended first grader Rodney Lynch for pointing his finger at a classmate, which they said constituted a threat of gun violence, according to Robin Ficker, the attorney defending Lynch.
"His record says suspended for 'threatening to shoot a student' and that's a lie," Ficker told ABC News today. "He wasn't threatening a student, he's never been around a gun, he doesn't know what a gun is, he doesn't know what killing anyone is, he had no intent to harm anyone."
Lynch, who was suspended for one school day, told ABC News affiliate WJLA that he was playing when he made the gesture, and that his friend said "pow."
According to CBS Boston,

HYANNIS [Massachusetts] (CBS) – A mother says her 5-year-old boy was threatened with suspension after he made a gun out of Legos during an after school program.
 Sheila Cruz received a written warning recently about her son from the after school staff at the Hyannis West Elementary School because he had been using toys inappropriately.
His parents could hardly believe that the boy’s playing was considered a serious problem by school administrators. Most people who have heard about this probably couldn’t believe it either.

A somewhat more severe incident was one involving a six-year-old girl in Sumter, South Carolina who was expelled from her elementary school for bringing a clear plastic toy gun for show-and-tell. As reported by WLTX, Columbia, South Carolina. (See video of their TV report at the site.)
“You have to show some kind of judgment,” Hank McKinney says. “I know there is a lot going on with guns and schools and that is tragic but a six year old bringing a toy to school doesn't know better.” ….

“I'm sorry anything can be a weapon,” Hank says.
“A pencil is more of a weapon than the toy gun she brought to school.” ….

Naomi is not allowed to be on school property, even when her parents are picking up her siblings, so they have to park off school property.
(Via Prison Planet, which listed these and other incidents, including some seemingly very minor things that resulted in police searches and school lockdowns.)

Superintendent Dr. Randolph Bynum subsequently vacated the decision to expel Naomi, and she has been allowed to return to class, As WLTX reports, “[T]he story’s received statewide and even national attention. According to the district, school administrators and teacher had received threats over the decision.”

In all these cases, the school officials defended their actions, and while some of the disciplinary actions were reduced, it was clear that they felt their actions were justified and that they would not hesitate to respond similarly to future situations. It will probably take some successful lawsuits by parents to curtail this ridiculous trend, and eventually some of the panic over guns will give way to reasonable approaches to the prevention of school violence.

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