Eleven Year Old Boy Suspended For Using Word “Gun” On Maryland School Bus

Calvert_county_md_sealWe 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.

Sources: WMAL

50 thoughts on “Eleven Year Old Boy Suspended For Using Word “Gun” On Maryland School Bus”

  1. From the article “What these educators are doing….”

    I take issue with the word educators. hmmm, well, yes, they are educating but not what I’d expect a decent to school to be teaching.

  2. HumpinDog:

    “Maryland is a state that is not well centered in its thinking. At the time of the civil war they knew they were a slave state but thought that they were too far north to go south.”

    Maryland didn’t really have much choice in the matter of seceding or not. President Lincoln engaged in some effective, although theoretically (by some accounts) unconstitutional, preemptive action to dissuade them.


    I don’t think they teach actual history in schools anymore. Both political fringes have made inclusion of politically inconvenient facts (let alone actual analysis) in textbooks to be too costly to publishers. So, American history is as follows: The British came, the British left, George Washington was kind of great, Lincoln freed the slaves, everyone is guilty, but America won both World Wars single-handedly, everyone loves us for that (and because we are the best) and wants to be just like us, and anyone who doesn’t is a terrorist.

  3. I heard that Calvert County was not going to allow kids to watch tv in their homes because of the guns and mayhem. Anyone who lives there is asked to chimne in here and let us know the truth. Come on, they really would not question some 11 year old much less kick him out of school for using the gun word. That is soooo Red China.

  4. I heard that Calvert County had outlawed the use of the name Adam because some kid named Adam had shot up a school or some such place. They also outlaw the name Jared for some reason. But not Jesse as in Jesse James. When you outlaw words like guns only outlaws have words. Pretty soon they will be speaking in sign language with the exclusion of the pull the trigger sign.

  5. Maryland is a state that is not well centered in its thinking. At the time of the civil war they knew they were a slave state but thought that they were too far north to go south. And it went all downhill from there. Is there not an NRA in that former slave state that could not go south in the Civil War? One would think there would be. An ACLU is not likely. Too far south. Too close to Lee Atwater. A strong parent teachers association in that county is probably out of the question. An Occupy Movement is needed but they are too lame to Occupy. Weak kneed, not well intentioned, lame brained, Marylanders. I guess that is what happens when you name your state after Mary Queen of Snots.

  6. mr.ed, have you ever walked into an airport and just thought aloud, “THIS PLACE IS THE BOMB!”?

  7. Bron, Custer was last in his class @ West Point! One of the MANY poor decisions he made was having his soldiers wearing their wool uniforms. It was 97 degrees the day of the battle!

  8. Same school system as the Pop Tart gun case. And coupled with the Cap Gun case, it’s all in southern MD… I’m taking up donations to build a wall around that area so the stupid can’t escape. Anybody have any money?

  9. Blouise, The Lakota tour was booked when we were there but I spoke w/ one of the guides. The tribes had done a death dance the night prior to the battle. Young boys were sent out first, knowing they would be killed, to distract the soldiers. And yes, women fought to protect their children. The warriors had driven off the first brigade who quickly retreated up into the hills. Custer, thinking he was invincible got it shoved up his ass by the Indians you described, the warriors came in @ the end to finish up. They scalped because they believe that takes away the soul of the dead. They also cut the femur muscle so the deceased cannot ride in their next life. They cut off the trigger finger so they cannot shoot in the next life. I wonder why they didn’t cut off the main appendage? The best book I’ve read on the this subject is The Last Stand by Nathaniel Philbrick. However, there are many other good ones.

    I love the fact that your grandkids were so interested. There weren’t any kids present when we were there. However, there were kids @ Yellowstone and I get more joy watching their joy seeing the geysers and wildlife. I much prefer kids to adults. No pretense. I pray to have grandkids one day. I know you’re a great abuelita. That’s what my son called his grandmothers.

  10. The entire name of my German term for gun didn’t print. After “causinginjuryordeath” it said “whileemittingaloudbangandsmoke.”

  11. The evening of 11 September 2001, the news media was in full howl. Any talking-head that could exhale a word was put in a seat with a microphone clipped to their clothing.
    “(insert name) what is the American response to this? Who’s going to PAY? Where will the President send our nation’s armed forces? What needs to be done to expose these plots, to gather all the information required?” (1)

    We entered into an ever-more-urgent delivery of “news” for the next month.
    Even as the news I sought: who’s missing, who’s dead, who’s back in a firehouse – alive was relegated to third-class status.
    Those would be cold facts, not hot emotion.
    Cold facts get boring. You might switch to Nick at Night, and watch Laverne and Shirley re-runs. RATINGS require hot emotion. Vitriol.

    The News, clamored for war.
    “NEVER BEFORE have Americans been under such attack!” (2)

    The News clamored for a suspension of the Bill of Rights.
    Now that they’ve been caught-up in the repercussions, they cry FOUL!!!

    Only… no one cares. As those who care can be put under lock-and-key, without warrant, trial, or legal counsel.

    Where this relates to the school bus incident: School Boards, like Congress are voted-in and (supposedly) do the bidding of their local constituents.

    Moral of the story:
    Be careful of the Government you wish-for, as it just might happen.

    (1) pay attention to FBI Field Agents, reporting Arab-nationals who have no interest in landing aircraft.
    (2) Pearl Harbor

  12. I am really curious about how they teach American history in that school. It must be challenging without ever mentioning guns. I know we learned about the early settlers and the American Revolution in grade school. By what euphemism do they refer to those things the soldiers used to fight the British? How do they explain how the colonists hunted animals for food? Maybe they have invented some long, Germanic term like “longtubethatsendshardroundpiecesofmetalintosoldiersbodiescausinginjuryordeathwhileemittingaloudbangandsmoke.” That would solve the problem of students saying the word, because no one could remember it. Oh, and I also remember history books with pictures of colonists and soldiers with guns, but I don’t suppose they have those any more.

  13. I hope the parents file an expensive lawsuit against the school. That is about the only form of address available to the average person these days. The recall election is a good one also.

  14. NICK:

    I love anecdotes especially if they carry a message. It can be an effective way to make a point. Sort of like an allegory only true.

    Custer was a pompous, preening a$$hole from what I have read. Too bad he got those troopers killed.

  15. nick,

    We took the grandkids there a few years ago and hired a Native American guide who spent a lot of time with the kids answering their questions. He was Lakota.

    According to him the main force aligned against Custer was composed of the women, children, and old men as the warriors were off in a different area when Custer was first spied approaching. The U.S. government couldn’t have Custer’s unit being wiped out in such a manner thus “Custer’s Last Stand” became the headline rather than Custer defeated by a bunch of women.

  16. “These abuses continue because principals and school officials face no discipline for abusing a child in this way.” — That certainly was my experience in VA, and special-needs children face even more severe and frequent abuse. I don’t believe these are isolated cases. The only relief I’ve ever experienced was when I found an attorney to represent my son. Short of that, they will not take any responsibility for any abuses or breaches. Again, what good is it to engender such an adversarial climate between school and pupils/parents. I read all the time about these abuses on various blogs and FB pages, and I wish there were a way to identify and gather these children and their families to study the long-term emotional and/or other damage to these children/families, as a way to not only help the families feel heard and supported (because the trauma to kids/families from these abuses is real), but to possibly form a collective way to hold these a-holes accountable.

  17. Bron, I had never been to Deadwood until this week. A lot of history from Wild Bill to Calamity Jane. Wild Bill got shot in the back holding the now infamous “dead man’s hand” Aces and eights. He and Calamity Jane were good friends[I sense platonic!] and her dying request was to be buried next to Bill. We visited the graves, akin to Doc Holliday’s grave in Glenwood Springs, Co. w/ playing cards placed on the grave.

    Here’s something interesting I learned @ Little Big Horn also this week. For over a century it was called Custer’s Last Stand or Custer National Monument. We Americans have the temerity to name a battlefield after the loser! The 3 main tribes in the battle[Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapahoe] had petitioned he govt. for decades to change the name. Bush 41 was the prez who did the right thing and named it after the river, Little Big Horn, where the tribes were encamped. The tribes asked Clinton to erect a monument to the Indian warriors but he refused..not enough votes or contributions I guess. Bush 43 agreed a monument was the right thing and commissioned artists to propose one. It is a hauntingly beautiful one, of course in the form of a circle, a sacred symbol for all Indians. Our guide is a seasonal employee who is an art professor from Texas. You could tell he was a Dem, but he spoke w/ genuine respect for what the 2 Bushes had done. He had submitted a proposal for the monument but was rejected by the Indian commission. I’ve read a couple books on Custer, Sitting Bull, and the battle. But, being there brings the words alive. Sorry for bragging about my travels and anecdotes, but I thought you would enjoy it. Wink, wink!

  18. nick:

    there you go again with your worldly anecdotes. Oh the shame. 🙂

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