Pennsylvania Fifth Grader Reportedly Suspended For Shooting A Pretend Arrow

valentine-cupid-pictures-vintage-cupid-and-arrow-pics-2We have previously followed the suspensions and discipline of students under zero tolerance policies that are used by teachers to justify zero judgment or responsibility. I have long criticized zero tolerance policies that have led to suspensions and arrests of children (here and here and here and here and here). Here is a prior column on the subject (and here).Children have been suspended or expelled for drawing stick figures or wearing military hats or bringing Legos shaped like guns or even having Danish in the shape of a gun. Despite the public outcry over the completely irrational and abusive application of zero tolerance rules, administrators and teachers continue to apply them blindly. We can now add Johnny Jones, a fifth grader at South Eastern Middle School in Fawn Grove, Pennsylvania. It was not a finger gun this time. It was an imaginary bow and arrow. That’s right, an imaginary William Tell.

The move against Jones was followed by a familiar refrain: zero tolerance means no discretion and no thought by school administrators. Administrators appear to relish rules where they can claim no choice and thus no responsibility in punishing children. According to reports, his family’s counsel has sent letter protesting the action.

In this case, a girl complained to a teacher that she was witness to the violent act. Administrators were reportedly aghast that Jones used a “replica or representation of a firearm” in “making a threat.” Of course, even the most mentally challenged person could see that a make-believe arrow is not a threat but that would require someone to take responsibility to protect the child.

39 thoughts on “Pennsylvania Fifth Grader Reportedly Suspended For Shooting A Pretend Arrow

  1. Sounds like it is going to be an interesting Valentine’s Day at this school.

    Cupids running amok!

    The Horror. The Horror

  2. Hmmmmm….

    I’m a little uncomfortable with the “reportedly” part. And Turley’s source is a pretty junky paper out of the UK. And this is all over the conservative internet – you know – all those well-known journalists over at The Blaze and Infowars and Federalists something or other. I couldn’t find anything from any local source.

    Perhaps it’s worth watching, but I’m holding off on any judgement on this one.

  3. Aha! From this story we can give birth to a new movement for free thought, free speech in AmeriKa. The Broken Arrow Movement. Print a symbol of a broken arrow on a tee shirt and under that a symbol of a broken First Amendment. On the back side of the tee shirt say: Johnny Comes Walking Home. Home To Home School. Then: another tee shirt: If All Kids Were Home Schooled These Schmuck Teachers At Fawn Grove Wont Have Jobs.

    Oh. I can see the joy on the faces of the kids as they exert their free speech rights.

  4. I tried to find the source of the news story, so went to the Rutherford Institute web site. They are a 501(c)(3) non-profit law firm whose mission statement says,

    “The Institute provides its legal services at no charge to those whose constitutional and human rights have been threatened or violated.

    Founded in 1982 by constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead, The Rutherford Institute is a civil liberties organization that provides free legal services to people whose constitutional and human rights have been threatened or violated.”

    They are currently representing the child. This link takes you to a PDF of the letter Senior Staff Attorney Douglas McKusick sent to school superintendent Rona Kaufman on December 4. She has not responded to the letter yet.”

    https://www.rutherford.org/files_images/general/12-04-13_Johnny-Jones_Letter.pdf

  5. If the Rutherford Foundation was founded by a guy named Whitehead then why is it not the Whitehead Foundation? Something fishy here. Maybe he was a Redskins fan and was already taking heat.

  6. Gene,
    I did a bit of research on them as well. The Rutherford group is basically a libertarian law organization, which like the Institute for Justice, got its seed money from ALEC. However, the other side of that is they do take cases like little Johnny and that of John Rosemond, who otherwise would find it somewhere between difficult and impossible to get aggressive representation.

    My view on such matters is that each case needs to be assessed on its merits, and if I had a litmus test for every lawyer I ever worked with, I would be out of work completely.

  7. OS,

    Yeah, I spotted the ALEC connection as well. Call me judgmental if you like, but I treat everything ALEC (or SPN) related as untrustworthy. Even when taking a hard to place case like Rosemond’s, they are furthering a very specific (and I think demonstrably disastrous if not outright fascist) political and economic agenda regardless of the merits of the claim.

  8. For some reason, the spam filter doesn’t like me this morning. I had to sign in and rescue my last two comments (above). I haven’t studied the filter settings for WordPress/Askimet, but does anyone know if there is some way regular (well behaved) commenters can be whitelisted so it won’t keep snagging the regulars and GBs….as long as they don’t use the handful of forbidden words?

  9. The Stealing of America: The Incestuous Relationship Between Government and Corporate America

    By John W. Whitehead
    April 16, 2012

    https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/the_stealing_of_america_the_incestuous_relationship_between_government

    Excerpt:

    ” Although big business and government have always had intimate relations, that relationship was at one time governed by a tacit understanding that the government’s first priority was to protect the individual rights of its citizens, while corporations—private entities, separate from government—were free to concern themselves with making a profit. Unfortunately, the rise of the corporate state over the past 70 years (a development that both President Eisenhower and Martin Luther King Jr. warned against) has done away with democratic government as we have known it. In the process, the interests of mega-corporations have been prioritized over those of the average citizen. Nowhere is this emphasis on corporate profit at the expense of the American citizenry more evident than in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

    A nonprofit membership organization which purports to uphold principles of “limited government, free markets, federalism and individual liberty,” ALEC is comprised of state lawmakers and corporate representatives with a mutual interest in seeing legislation adopted at both the state and federal levels. ALEC was founded in 1973 by a number of conservative activists. About 2000 state lawmakers are presently members of ALEC, or roughly a quarter of state legislators in the nation. Unlike lobbying groups, however, ALEC is not required to disclose its relationship with legislators.”

  10. Whitehead, on ALEC:

    The Stealing of America: The Incestuous Relationship Between Government and Corporate America

    By John W. Whitehead
    April 16, 2012

    “The only difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is the velocities with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock on their door. That’s the only difference.”—Ralph Nader

    https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/the_stealing_of_america_the_incestuous_relationship_between_government

  11. The Stealing of America: The Incestuous Relationship Between Government and Corporate America

    By John W. Whitehead
    April 16, 2012

    An excerpt from the link posted at 8:08:

    “The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC not only gave unfettered free speech rights to corporations but paved the way for unlimited amounts of money to be poured into election campaigns, especially those of presidential candidates. However, what really made that ruling so significant was not that the Court granted First Amendment rights to corporations—formerly reserved only for individual citizens—but that in doing so, the Court legitimized an incestuous relationship between government and its corporate controllers.

    Although big business and government have always had intimate relations, that relationship was at one time governed by a tacit understanding that the government’s first priority was to protect the individual rights of its citizens, while corporations—private entities, separate from government—were free to concern themselves with making a profit. Unfortunately, the rise of the corporate state over the past 70 years (a development that both President Eisenhower and Martin Luther King Jr. warned against) has done away with democratic government as we have known it. In the process, the interests of mega-corporations have been prioritized over those of the average citizen. Nowhere is this emphasis on corporate profit at the expense of the American citizenry more evident than in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

    A nonprofit membership organization which purports to uphold principles of “limited government, free markets, federalism and individual liberty,” ALEC is comprised of state lawmakers and corporate representatives with a mutual interest in seeing legislation adopted at both the state and federal levels. ALEC was founded in 1973 by a number of conservative activists. About 2000 state lawmakers are presently members of ALEC, or roughly a quarter of state legislators in the nation. Unlike lobbying groups, however, ALEC is not required to disclose its relationship with legislators.”

  12. Excerpt from link posted at 8:08:

    The Stealing of America: The Incestuous Relationship Between Government and Corporate America

    By John W. Whitehead

    “The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC not only gave unfettered free speech rights to corporations but paved the way for unlimited amounts of money to be poured into election campaigns, especially those of presidential candidates. However, what really made that ruling so significant was not that the Court granted First Amendment rights to corporations—formerly reserved only for individual citizens—but that in doing so, the Court legitimized an incestuous relationship between government and its corporate controllers.

    Although big business and government have always had intimate relations, that relationship was at one time governed by a tacit understanding that the government’s first priority was to protect the individual rights of its citizens, while corporations—private entities, separate from government—were free to concern themselves with making a profit. Unfortunately, the rise of the corporate state over the past 70 years (a development that both President Eisenhower and Martin Luther King Jr. warned against) has done away with democratic government as we have known it. In the process, the interests of mega-corporations have been prioritized over those of the average citizen. Nowhere is this emphasis on corporate profit at the expense of the American citizenry more evident than in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

    A nonprofit membership organization which purports to uphold principles of “limited government, free markets, federalism and individual liberty,” ALEC is comprised of state lawmakers and corporate representatives with a mutual interest in seeing legislation adopted at both the state and federal levels. ALEC was founded in 1973 by a number of conservative activists. About 2000 state lawmakers are presently members of ALEC, or roughly a quarter of state legislators in the nation. Unlike lobbying groups, however, ALEC is not required to disclose its relationship with legislators.

    ALEC has been described as a right-wing organization, largely because its legislative members have a conservative bent. In fact, House Speaker John Boehner was one of ALEC’s early members. However, the only credo—political or otherwise—subscribed to by that of its corporate members is materialism, which gives allegiance to no interest, political or otherwise, other than its own. Indeed, while ALEC keeps the names of its corporate members under tight wraps, its roster includes some of the biggest names in the corporate world.”

  13. Excerpts won’t post. Read Whitehead’s views on ALEC via the link posted at 8:08.

    Here’s a brief excerpt:

    “ALEC has also helped engineer a number of laws which bolster the aura of an emerging police state. For instance, ALEC has been the mastermind behind the recent strengthening or imposition of voter ID laws across the country. In the past, these laws have been used to discriminate against specific demographic groups of voters.”

  14. Gene,
    I do agree with you on the overall agenda thing, but when it comes to a specific legal case, one sometimes has to hold their nose. For example, I knew Richard Barrett, the Mississippi white supremacist lawyer. I could hardly stand to be in the same room with him, but he attended all the CLE seminars where I gave presentations, and always asked excellent questions. He had the reputation in the legal community of being really intelligent, and an excellent lawyer, even winning a couple of landmark civil liberties cases before the SCOTUS. But, it would have been a cold day in hell before I invited him to dinner.

    For the person involved in a legal case, that case is the biggest thing in their life. For the lawyer, or for someone like me, they are only one of dozens of clients. I have to remind myself of the client’s world view from time to time–it is how I keep from becoming jaded.

  15. My apologies for the multiple postings that were initially held by WP, but later released by one of the guest bloggers. I guess we know Whitehead’s expressed views, now. (:

  16. OS,

    Yeah, there is a way to whitelist, but it would mean fundamentally restructuring the blog in a way I don’t think would comport with JT’s experiment in free speech. It would mean making the blog a fully moderated forum under WP where comments are only posted after a moderator approves the poster. WP allows you to do this by whitelisting commentators or on a post by post basis, but it doesn’t allow for partial moderation that way, opting for a blacklist on open forums model instead of allowing creation of a “preferred poster whitelist” in addition to a blacklist. It’s not an impossible programming task though. Maybe WP will add that functionality in the future.

  17. AP, I may be missing something here. The statements you posted by Whitehead seems to make him an anathema to ALEC, ??

    davidbluefish,

    Correct. That’s my reading of it, as well.

  18. ANONMOUSLY POSTED eisenhower played a big part in what is happening today within the corporation….

    names of the United States Presidents who were members of the CFR: Franklin Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jack Kennedy [also, Nixon, and George Bush when they later became U.S. President..Ed ]. Others who were considered for the presidency are Thomas E. Dewey, Adlai Stevenson, and vice-president of a CFR subsidiary, Barry Goldwater. Among the important cabinet members of the various administrations we have John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, Cordell Hull, John J. MacLeod, Robert Morganthau, Clarence Dillon, Dean Rusk, Robert McNamara, and just to emphasize the “red color” of the “CFR;” we have as members such men as Alger Hess, Ralph Bunche, Pusvolsky, Haley Dexter White (real name Weiss), Owen Lattimore, Phillip Jaffey, etc., etc.. Simultaneously; they were flooding thousands of homosexuals and other black malleable characters ! into all the federal agencies from the White House on down. Do you remember Johnson’s great friends; Jenkins and Bobby Baker?

    http://educate-yourself.org/nwo/illuminatiagenda3bestoverviewyet8jun02.shtml

    the link provided is from a 4 part taped history of who, how, when and why the government began turning on the people for big corporations and was written by myron fagan way back in time.. confirmed by his son. and also confirmed by the son of jacob (john) schiff

  19. Does blowing a kiss amount to assault if the person to receives it does so unwillingly or unwittingly…..Or it misses the intended target and hits someone else…. A sexual assault…..

  20. I’ve done some more searching, and while the schools in Fawn Grove are closed this morning, I feel more certain that the story is real.

    However, like OS, I would never invite Mr. Whitehead nor any lawyer from the Rutherford Institute to dinner. Mr. Whitehead publishes in Lew Rockwell’s organizations. No doubt you know the racist history of Lew Rockwell.

    I don’t know what to think about any connections between Whitehead and ALEC,
    but continue to wonder if ALEC has grown too “hot” and is now using SPN as its primary action group,

  21. John Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute:

    50 Years Later, It’s Time to Stop Paying Lip Service to King’s Dream

    By John W. Whitehead
    August 28, 2013

    “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”― Martin Luther King Jr.

    As one who came of age during the civil rights era, I was profoundly impacted by the life and teachings of Martin Luther King Jr., who was far more radical than the watered-down pap about him being taught today. He taught me so much more than just what it means to look beyond the color of a person’s skin—he taught me that life means nothing if you don’t stand up for the things that truly matter.

    King was a clear moral voice that cut through the fog of distortion. He spoke like a prophet and commanded that you listen. King dared to speak truth to the establishment and called for an end to oppression and racism.

    https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/the_myth_of_a_post_racial_america

  22. The Myth of a Post-Racial America

    By John W. Whitehead
    July 01, 2013

    “How can you thank a man for giving you what’s already yours? How then can you thank him for giving you only part of what’s already yours? You haven’t even made progress, if what’s being given to you, you should have had already. That’s no progress.” – Malcolm X, 1964

    In 1964, the United States was in the throes of racial conflict. Civil rights activists were leading black Americans and their white allies in a struggle against institutionalized racism, segregation, and disenfranchisement. The situation was bleak, activists were being murdered, the government seemed deadlocked on the issue, and many were losing hope. However, the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act set the stage for a positive transformation in race relations in a country that had been plagued by racial tension since its inception.

    We have yet to live up to that hoped-for transformation. Almost 50 years later, despite having made demonstrable progress on the race issue, the idea that we live in a “post-racial” society is simply a myth—a myth that was given a boost last week when the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, legislation enacted during the Civil Rights Era which was critical to the enfranchisement of black Americans living in the Jim Crow South. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Roberts claimed that times had changed since the 1960s, and the section of the law requiring historically racist sections of the country to have changes to their elections laws vetted by the federal government was anachronistic.

    Superficially, Roberts’ claims ring true. Obviously Americans have made great strides in confronting issues of race since the 1960s. De jure segregation has been eliminated, minority groups have greater access to essential goods and services, and we have seen what many thought would never happen, the election of a black man to the office of the presidency.

    Yet looking past the veil of progress which clouds the vision of well-meaning people who believe the issue of racism has been solved, we can easily see that there are many policies and practices in America which perpetuate the inequality of races. The following is a brief rundown of the many fronts on which America continues to fail to live up to its “post-racial” ideal. …continues @

    https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/the_myth_of_a_post_racial_america

  23. In the spirit of the day, the words of Nelson Mandela come to mind:

    If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner. -Nelson Mandela

  24. Government is about control by way of taxation you are forced to fund the politicians scheme’s via their co-conspirators, schools (indoctrinate you about proper behavior) corporate America. When they (the government) enact a law, they aren’t asking you to behave a certain way, they are ordering you to do, or not do certain things via their hired enforcers (tax collectors, police, sheriff’s) and will punish you if you disobey.

    Lawmakers and their corporate / banker cronies believe that they have an elitist right to dominate and extort you. If you do not like corporate welfare, business / bank bailouts or even a giant military / police state they do not care. You’ll pay up or they’ll send their thugs with guns to seize your property and put you in jail.

    You may not like hearing this. You may just go on believing the rhetoric that politicians work for us and represent us and that by voting we can change the tyranny at any time. Obviously this past month it was proven that this cannot be done. Those that firmly believe in the constitution also argue that this is not happening today, but over and over again we find that it is indeed happening. Raids on farmer’s markets, raids on organic farms, unchecked rate increases for their utilities, services and bloated waste, and more and more we are are seeing increasing attacks on schools and children in the name of zero tolerance. Obey, or be cast out.

    Today the governments impose higher taxes than the rebels faced in the days of the revolution. They pay 10-times higher than what King George had ever levied. Their military, homeland security and the local police have successfully blurred the lines and for what? Because now if you speak out, protest, peacefully assemble you will be crushed, arrested and sent to prison. You’ll be labeled a terrorist. Placed on some watch list all to make those who wish to dominate and extort you in every way possible believe their elite ass is safe at night.

  25. http://thefreethoughtproject.com/citizens-29-times-killed-police-terrorists/

    excerpt:
    The increase in police brutality in this country is a frightening reality. In the last decade alone the number of innocent people murdered by police has reached 5,000.

    What went wrong? In the 19070’s SWAT teams were estimated to be used just a few hundred times per year, now we are looking at over 40,000 military style “knock and announce” police raids a year.

    The police presence in this country is being turned into a military with a clearly defined enemy, anyone who questions the establishment.

    If we look at the most recent numbers of non-military US citizens killed by terrorism worldwide, that number is 17. You have a better chance of being killed by a bee sting, or a home repair accident than you do a terrorist. And you are 29 times more likely to be murdered by a cop than a terrorist!

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