Ohio Child Suspended For “Level 2 Look Alike Firearm” (AKA Finger Gun)

220px-gesture_thumb_up_then_down_forefinger_out_like_gun1We have another towering success of the “zero tolerance” rules applied blindly in our schools. Ohio school officials have finally captured and suspended Nathan Entingh, 10, after he pulled a finger gun out at school. That’s right, another finger gun suspension. While these cases have been widely denounced as insane, school officials remain undeterred and continue to hammer children with nonsensical actions. To complete this utter insanity, the family then received a letter informing them that Nathan had been found with a “level 2 look alike firearm.”

Nathan is a student at the Devonshire Alternative Elementary School. This action not only involved not only a teacher who reported it. The punishment was then imposed by Devonshire Principal Patricia Price.

We 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). 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. If you do not have to exercise judgment, you can never been blamed for any failure. Conversely, even when the public outcry results in a reversals, teachers and administrators never seem punished with the same vigor for showing no judgment or logic in punishing a child.

Price refused to answer press inquiries but the Columbus City Schools spokesman Jeff Warner said that the school stood by the action taken against Nathan, noting that “We’ve had a problem at this school. The boys have gone around fake shooting and making paper guns at class. It’s inappropriate. She has sent notes to parents for the past three weeks alerting them of the problem.” However, the parents say that they never received such a notice.

If there is unruly behavior in class, how about denying recess or sending a note to the parents? He is 10 years old and in the fifth grade. What is really striking is how administrators are not only portraying arbitrary action as a “rule” but dressing it up with this faux classification system of “level 2 Look Alike Firearms.

The lunacy shown by teachers and administrators has forced legislators to consider a formal law to curtail the zero tolerance policy. The officials cite a 1998 law that required schools to “adopt a policy of zero tolerance for violent, disruptive, or inappropriate behavior, including excessive truancy.” It is the type of ill-considered, poorly drafted law that should be unnecessary. Schools were already allowed to take action against such disruptions and could be held accountable for poor performance at individual schools. However, when the law passed, teachers and administrators felt empowered to stop making any logical decisions or, perish the thought, exercise professional judgment.

Nothing in the 1998 law requires blind, senseless actions. That was an interpretation placed on the law by teachers and administrators who are not being held accountable for such absurd applications. They are succeeding in teaching children that they must yield to arbitrary and capricious authority. The children are shaped in an environmental of petty authoritarianism, as discussed in this past column.

44 thoughts on “Ohio Child Suspended For “Level 2 Look Alike Firearm” (AKA Finger Gun)”

  1. all the jokes aside, just where do these rules/laws come from? Crazy things are being done to our children in school. In NJ a child was twirling a pencil and strip searched and questioned 5 hr. The kid that blurted out he has a gun-nothing it seems. To me it seems that child should have been questioned as to why a pencil is a gun.

  2. what everyone seems to be missing is the zero tolerance policy has nothing to do with educating the child but in demanding that said child understand from a early age that they are not to fight back against authority…. just as they no longer want our children to know how to read.. because reading means they will find out what freedom and democracy means…. charter schools were put into place in order to teach our children how to be good little slaves…. notice they no longer even teach our kids how to write in script. sound out words, or even do math past the basics because if they learn that THEN THEY WILL LEARN HOW THE SYSTEM REALLY WORKS. and if they learn how the system really works then they just may discover that they were enslaved from birth… unbelievable that people still refuse to accept the truth of what is really happening.. that is the reason they politicized everything. if your child is attending a accredited school then they are being taught that the elites want them to be taught. how to be low wage earning good lil slaves.. but of course the people don’t want to acknowledge that because acknowledging that means that the people will finally have to admit that everything they thought they knew was a lie and their whole lives are a lie which of course it is…

    with all the so called technology we have today we should be living much longer and healthier lives then our ancestors and yet our life spans have been cut much shorter thanks to the new technology…. but hey dont listen to us were conspiracy theorist and dont know what we’re talking about…. even with all the proof in your faces all day everyday

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