Several years ago, I would regularly share horror stories about innocent kids being abused by politically correct government school administrators who overreacted to anything remotely resembling a gun.
But I eventually stopped sharing these types of stories because it seemed there were so many and I felt like I was making the same points over and over again.
Time for the hiatus to end. I’ve run across a handful of stories that are so preposterous that I can’t resist revisiting the issue.
Here’s our first example. A local television station in North Carolina reports that a little girl was suspended because she pretended that a stick was a gun while playing with her friends.
A local mother is outraged after her 5-year-old daughter was suspended from school because of a stick that resembled a gun.…It started Friday when her mother got a call from the principal about a playground incident. Caitlin explained that she and her two friends were using their imaginations, playing “King and Queen.” In this case, Caitlin was the guard protecting the royals and picked up the gun to imitate shooting an intruder into the kingdom. Hoke County Schools said Caitlin posed a threat to other students when she made a shooting motion, thus violating policy 4331. …Miller says Caitlin was alienated by her friends and teachers as a result of the suspension. She hopes that the school will issue some sort of apology to her daughter.
I’m not the only one who thinks this is insane.
Suspended over a Butter Knife
Now for our second story.
It’s about a very dangerous 11-year old girl who – gasp!! – a Florida television station has the details.
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. …Souto’s daughter is an honor roll student at Silver Trail Middle School in Pembroke Pines. …Ronald and Andrea Souto told Local 10 News reporter Michael Seiden that their 11-year-old daughter was suspended for six days for bringing the knife to school. “This is a set of a spoon, fork and knife for toddlers — one year old,” Andrea Souto said. “It is made for children to learn how to eat properly. She’s used it since she was a baby.” According to the school district, the girl violated the county’s weapon policy when she used her butter knife in the cafeteria to cut the peach. …Ronald said he hopes what happened to his daughter will bring change to the district, specifically new policies when it comes to weapons.
But this rogue child didn’t just get suspended. She may become an actual criminal.
The Soutos said they were shocked about the suspension and are now concerned that their daughter’s act of kindness could lead to criminal charges. …The Pembroke Pines Police Department said it has turned over their investigation to the State Attorney’s Office. It’s unclear whether prosecutors will file charges.
Preschool to Prison Pipeline
Our third story comes from a St. Louis TV station and it involves a four-year-old boy who was suspended for a shell casing.
Hunter, 4, has been suspended from his preschool for bringing a shell casing from a fired bullet to school. He’d been at the preschool for about a year, she said, and now was in tears.Neither she nor Hunter’s dad knew it, but he found something he thought was pretty neat and he took it to school Tuesday to show his friends. …Hunter’s parents got a letter from the school’s director saying Hunter had been suspended for 7 days. …It turns out the casing came from a visit with Hunter’s grandpa who is a Caseyville police officer, Jackson said. …The school’s vice-president e-mailed her that he was notifying the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).
The last sentence is particularly chilling since DCFS bureaucrats presumably have the power to take children from their families. So imagine the horrible position of Hunter’s parents, who not only have to deal with their kid being suspended for doing nothing wrong, but also have to worry about the state kidnapping their child if some anti-gun bureaucrat woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
Our fourth and final story is courtesy of the Montgomery Advertiser in Alabama, where a teenager was expelled for a year because of a water gun.
A family is up in arms after their 16-year-old daughter was expelled from Prattville High School for having a water gun on campus. …she was banned from school property and any extra-curricular activities for the same period. …She said a male classmate handed the toy to her daughter “as a joke.” “…the second you picked it up, you know it’s plastic and a toy,” she said. “So we can understand the initial reaction, not knowing it wasn’t a real gun. But after the principal and school officials knew it was a water gun, things should never have progressed this far.” …The family wants any reference to the expulsion removed from Laney’s academic records, McPhillips’ letters read. …If the expulsion isn’t removed from Laney’s academic record, the family is considering filing legal action.
I suppose there are two big-picture lessons to be learned.
It’s hard to be optimistic about the education system after reading these stories.
If bureaucrats at government schools don’t have common sense, how can they teach reading, writing, and arithmetic?
Maybe (especially given the shocking lack of results after record levels of staffing and funding) we should break up the government school monopoly and let parents choose better-quality schools.
Second, keep in mind that anti-gun statists know they can’t win the intellectual argument against private gun ownership, so they’re trying to stigmatize anything remotely connected to guns in hopes of eventually winning the political argument.
Republished from International Liberty.
Daniel J. Mitchell is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute who specializes in fiscal policy, particularly tax reform, international tax competition, and the economic burden of government spending. He also serves on the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review.
This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.