Zero-tolerance policies need to be eradicated. They squelch common sense and allow for zero discretion.
A perfect case in point is that of a 10-year old child who was suspended and threatened with expulsion for the simple act of pretending to shoot a fake arrow from his fake bow at a classmate. It was done in play. He was suspended from school and now has this ‘offense’ on his record.
The boy, a fifth grader, only used his hands to make the innocuous gesture.
Who knows what emotional harm this has done though the parents good handling of it might turn it into a positive.
The Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties watchdog group, has taken the case.
According to the disciplinary report, the child, Johnny Jones, was in class when another child shot at him with an imaginary gun (his folder). Johnny shot back with an imaginary bow and arrow. A girl in the class reported the boys to the teacher. Have they brainwashed the children?
The teacher alerted the principal. ‘Firearms’ were involved in play fighting, she reported.
The Principal suspended him and threatened him with expulsion for ‘making a threat’ to another student using a “replica or representation of a firearm”.
The student code prohibits replica firearms.
You can’t make this stuff up.
The school is South Eastern Middle School in South Eastern School District, East Fawn Grove, Pennsylvania.
The tagline on the school district website reads, ‘Providing Progressive Education to Strengthen the Global Community’ It figures, doesn’t it?