11-year old Suspended for Turning in a Toy Gun Under the Dangerous Weapons Policy

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Chicago school

Fredrick Funston Elementary

Story tip from Herbert R

There were 421 killings in Chicago in 2013. You can click this link to see the actual people killed and it’s horrific when you actually see the faces of these murdered souls. It’s a war zone and it’s getting worse. While this horror is taking place in the Windy City, school officials really aren’t getting their priorities straight.

An 11-year old in 6th grade boy at the Fredrick Funston Elementary School, Caden Cook, was suspended from school for voluntarily turning in a non-firing plastic toy gun he had mistakenly left in his jacket pocket from the night before. He was waiting to be patted down, which is the normal state of affairs in this school, when he remembered the toy gun, but turning it in wasn’t sufficient.

His crime you ask? He violated the school’s weapons policy against dangerous objects. The school might not feel they have much latitude on this issue. The Chicago Public Schools defines the “dangerous objects” policy. The object Caden Cook had is ludicrously considered a “firearm.”

He has been ordered to undergo counseling and, according to The Rutherford Institute which has taken his case, he has also been subjected to intimidation tactics, interrogation, and dire threats by school officials—all without his mother being present.

He’s 11!!! And he’s being made to feel like a criminal. God only knows what damage that could do to this little boy.

The Rutherford Institute has put out a statement of support for the student and demanding that the school reverse its abusive treatment of the child.

“This case speaks volumes about what’s wrong with our public schools and public officials: rather than school officials showing they are capable of exercising good judgment, distinguishing between what is and is not a true threat, and preserving safety while steering clear of a lockdown mindset better suited to a prison environment, they instead opted to exhibit poor judgment, embrace heavy handed tactics, and treat a toy gun like a dangerous weapon,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State. “In the process, school officials sent a strong, chilling message to this child and his classmates that they have no rights in the American police state.”

Zero tolerance policies are insane and damaging to young children. Funston’s motto is Where We Focus on Children and children are their number one priority. They seem to be missing the mark on this issue. Wanting to protect children can’t involve setting up a police state.

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