We have yet another case of the “zero tolerance” policies being imposed in our school as an excuse of zero judgment or though by school officials.We have been discussing the steady stream of absurd actions taken by school officials under “zero tolerance” policies. For a prior column, click here. In the latest case, an 11-year-old boy was suspended from school for talking about guns on a school bus. That’s right, for saying the word “gun.” The boy reportedly said that he wish he could have defended the school with a gun to stop the massacre.
Bruce Henkelman of Huntingtown, M.d., said his son was suspended for 10 days after a bus driver heard him talking about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school. She turned her bus around and took him to the principal, Darrel Prioleau. Henkelman said “The principal told me that with what happened at Sandy Hook if you say the word ‘gun’ in my school you are going to get suspended for 10 days.” Henkelman said in an interview with WMAL.
Prioleau reportedly demanded to know if there were firearms at home and called in the police. A deputy allegedly told him that his entire house would be searched.
These cases make a mockery out the school system and shows a virtually moronic enforcement of these policies. What these educators are doing is avoiding any requirement of personal judgment or thought. These abuses continue because principals and school officials face no discipline for abusing a child in this way. They teach the students a dangerous form of authoritarian learning with the imposition of senseless and arbitrary rules. While we have seen suspensions for finger guns, stick figure drawings, and even a LEGO toy, this is the first I have seen involving pure speech in the use of the noun “gun.” What type of citizens are we shaping in our schools when a child is interrogated (without his parents) by police and threatened with a search of his home for using the word “gun”?
By the way, that story involving the LEGO toy also was the product of the school officials in Calvert County — showing a disturbing pattern among its school officials.