Ohio School District Upholds Punishment of 10-Year-Old Boy For Using Finger Gun

220px-gesture_thumb_up_then_down_forefinger_out_like_gun1We previously discussed the bizarre case of Nathan Entingh, 10, who was suspended for merely pointing his finger at another student and saying “pow.” It was discussed nationally as an insane example of abuses under the zero tolerance policies of teachers and administrators. Just to show that neither logic nor judgment will be allowed to influence their use of authority, the school district has upheld that punishment and affirmed this type of institutionalized lunacy.


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, 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.

Of course, in this case, the administrators were upheld and other teachers shown that this is precisely what the school district wants to happen to students.

The District seems oblivious to both the outcry and the absurdity of its actions. Consider the statute of Spokesman Jeff Warner that a finger gun is “look-alike firearm” that must be kept out of school. The finger guns was the previously classified as a “level 2 look alike firearm.” I am not sure what concerns me more: the lack of any sign of intelligence or the penchant for authoritarian abuse in such school officials. Let’s just call it “level 3 insanity” and leave it there.

During the hearing, the hearing officer reportedly offered to revise the offense to be called a “volatile act” instead of the hand “gun” charge. The parents refused to agree to the effective plea for their child. It is particularly bothersome to see administrators dress up these ludicrous proceedings as quasi-legal events like “hearings.” There appears virtually no defense that can be brought since the policy itself is absurd but the policy is not being questioned. That is quite a lesson for future citizens in how to live under arbitrary and capricious authority. It may make for a dangerously docile citizenry but it makes for wonderfully quiet classroom.

21 thoughts on “Ohio School District Upholds Punishment of 10-Year-Old Boy For Using Finger Gun”

  1. The parents need to pull the kid out of that Progressive Socialist Institution and place him in a real school (Home School) environment.

  2. I’m old enough to recall a time when the current state of affairs would have been unthinkable.
    What the hell happened to this once great country?

  3. whew! good thing he didn’t go powpowpowpowpow. that would have been full auto and he’d be up on federal charges.

  4. Zero tolerance is nothing more than gun control period. If the Brady Campaign cannot get firearms outlawed they will use other angles including changing the text on the second amendment. I have seen this actual wording: The people shall have the right to keep and bear arms in a state militia.

    DO

  5. The child sholud have flipped him off instead. At least it would not have been a deadly situation according to the school officials.

  6. Everyone is guilty, no? I’m sure bringing a pistol in a holster is a violation of the policy. A hand is but a holstered finger gun just waiting to be drawn.

  7. All parents should seriously consider removing their children from the public school prison system emerging behind the specious zero tolerance policies fallacies being enacted under the guise of “safety” in many areas of the US.

  8. Was that an automatic or semi-automatic finger? An assault finger or just a sporting finger? Does that school require all fingers to be registered?

  9. The solution is to amputate the thumbs of all young boys — then a “finger gun” would just be pointing. This would also have the advantage of making it nearly impossible for them to hold and fire real handguns — or do anything else that requires an opposable thumb — like write, hold eating utensils . . well pretty much anything.

  10. A finger gun! What if that child had accidentally hit another child with his finger while in the despicable act of finger pointing? Would that be considered an assault with a deadly weapon??

  11. Of course they did…. How do they feel about the two hand rubber band gun…. Or turning a slide rule into a rubber band gun…..

  12. Nietzsche is one of my favs, Dredd. He explains a lotta of the pathology here as well.

  13. Part of this is the emasculation of little boys in the school system. They want little boys to act like little girls. The other part of ‘zero tolerance’ is that it makes the administrator’s job easier. They really do not have to make a decision. A robot could do their job and probably better.

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