First Grader Plays A Power Ranger With Imaginary Bow and Arrow . . . Ohio School Suspends Him For Three Days

Joe for websiteWe have another absurd enforcement of the zero tolerance rule at our schools. This one occurred in Cincinnati, Ohio where Principal Joe Crachiolo, (left) at Our Lady of Lourdes School (a Catholic Elementary School) suspended a first grader who was caught playing a Power Ranger and used an imaginary bow and arrow in play. Just to repeat. This was a first grader and an imaginary bow and arrow.

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. Even teeshirts with patriotic or constitutional themes involving guns have been the basis for discipline. 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.

This six-year-old simply pretended to use a bow and arrow and Crachiolo should that it was enough for a suspension. The parents, Matthew and Martha Miele, were understandably shocked but the public outcry did not less the resolve of Crachiolo:

“I have no tolerance for any real, pretend, or imitated violence. The punishment is an out of school suspension.”

How is this for an alternative policy? Let’s declare zero tolerance for educators like Crachiolo who show zero sense or discretion in their positions. Until educators are held responsible for these decisions, we will continue to see children victimized by these decisions. Zero tolerance means zero responsibility or judgment for many teachers. The blind application of these rules will continue so long as the decisions (even when reversed) come with no accountability.

I understand that Crachiolo may be a very good principal and is acting out of a deep-seated belief that this is the right thing, but he is wrong in my view and has punished a child for common play acting. While he believes that he is teaching kids to be non-violent, he is really teaching them to accept arbitrary and senseless authority in my view. This could have been handled with a visit with the parents or a note to home (even if you want to ban such play). In the end, I am doubtful that such actions will change the desire of children to play such games and I also doubt that such games actually contribute to violence. Instead, it contributes to a view that children (and by extension citizens) must yield to such capricious policies of authorities in our society.

What do you think?

Source: KFOR

37 thoughts on “First Grader Plays A Power Ranger With Imaginary Bow and Arrow . . . Ohio School Suspends Him For Three Days”

  1. If this were my kid, I’d take him to Cedar Point, take lots of photos, and send him back to school with a photo album of his fun day off.

  2. This is clearly a first amendment violation, if it is a public school, and it is actionable in court.
    As a private school, that received NO federal funding, they can legally do what they like on this, subject to administrative pressures.

  3. I read this story yesterday and couldn’t believe this was actually true. My son is a 1st grader at a Christian school and he has recently gotten into the Power Rangers. I know for a fact he runs around during recess pretending to do all the martial arts moves with his classmates along with imaginary weapons. He would be homeschooled in a nanosecond if the school chose to discipline this behavior.

    The parents in this story were actually rather calm about the suspension but they had no idea what to tell their son that would make this a “teachable” moment. Perhaps tell him that the people in power over him ALSO have a sinful nature and are as likely to be wrong as he is. Nothing magical comes with power and control, except as it seems the willingness for others to believe their lying eyes.

  4. It is a Cat O Lic school. The weeny in the photo is a cat licker. The remedy is for the parents to take the kid out of the school immediately and put him in a public school or home school the kid. Other parents should do the same thing. The mafia named principal needs to be pistol whipped.

    I wonder if there are any nuns teaching in that school. The nun population has dwindled. When I was a kid back in my prior life as a human there was a nearby Cat O Lic school named Saint John and James. The kids had a song they sang outside of class about their nuns.

    (music to the tune of Glory, Glory Halleluya)
    Glory, Glory Hallaluya! Sister hit me with a ruler.
    I beaned her in her bean with a rotten tangerine.
    And school kept marching on. da da da dunt da!

    In the beauty of her vintage Sister Jane was born across the sea.
    Her mother was a prostitute with tits as big as thee.
    She died to make Jane holy and she died to make Jane free.
    But priests came marching in!

  5. An American Catholic missionary team in Peru Amazon 2013, gets duped and raided by Indian children. The boy in video wants a hat and successfully scores one. They use real bow and arrows too.

    As of July 2015, National Geographic now knows name of perpetrator Indian boy in video. His name is Koka. He gets angry when you say “no”. His day job is to carry deadly 6 foot arrows for the tribe.

  6. Paul C. Schulte – “This is part of the sissifying of our little boys. They want to make little boys into little girls. Well, I am old enough I do not have to put up with this b.s.”

    Paul, you took the words right out of my keyboard. I’m so happy I’m not a kid today for so many reasons.

  7. I’m sorry I have no intention of giving this “principal” the benefit of the doubt because of his alleged good intentions. He is power mad and he gets his jolt of power by suspending children for playing. He lacks judgment, discernment and common sense.

    As to the there’s no accountability because of unions, it’s a Catholic school. As a result it is highly unlikely that this man is a union member. Boards do of education set up these zero tolerance policies generally not unions; however, this case it would appear it is the “brain” child of this principal.

  8. The voters need to tell the school boards the next election they will be thrown out of office if zero-tolerance continues to be celebrated by automaton school administrators and school revenue levies get voted down because the voters do not accept paying taxes that support these types of shenanigans.

    Even if lawsuits are filed against these types of administrators, for civil rights violations, they will dig in their heals and never accept they are wrong because the worst case scenario is the school district’s insurance company will pay out, and nothing will happen to them personally.

    One of these days perhaps administrators will realize the big storm they get themselves into by pulling stunts like this, and consequently they get flamed by the internet and become headline news in the U.S. But as stupid as they are it will take unfortunately a generation for it to sink in.

  9. What do I think?

    I think that this is an example of what America has become, rather than what it wants to be.

    The reasons are deep seated and dysfunctional. There is a Constitution which is revered despite its contradictory content and impossibility to put into practice. This has led to a violent society, mirrored by a national paranoia. A very different America than that envisaged in the Constitution by the Founding Fathers.

    So it is hardly surprising that there are increasingly “politically correct” backlashes from all quarters with a departure from common sense. In this posting it is teachers.

    Real Freedom can only work in the presence of collective responsibility. This is missing in American Culture based on individual freedom and American Society is disintegrating as a consequence. It is a Me not We Culture and this does not work.

    The action of the teacher is just one example – a snapshot of what happens in this social meltdown.

    The solution to the problem is very complex and requires Americans to understand what is happening to their society. There is little evidence that this capability can be realised at the moment.

    But until Americans start to think about why really crazy things happen in characteristically in America, and accept there is a problem with common sense values, you aren’t going to get anywhere in solving this problem.

    The cost of failure will be devastating.

  10. I was in grammar school shortly after our Korean “Police Action”. When recess ended the teachers played “medic” as us boys were usually bloodied casualties from the rock/pine-cone grenades and stick weapons of war… boys being boys and simply acting out the major issues of the day. We wore our battle scars with pride. Looking back it was good training for the real deal, going off to Vietnam where some of those playground combat skills may have even saved lives, we learned very young how to “duck!”

    Funny thing is that my “violent” generation has rarely gone into schools, malls, or movie theaters to kill each other en mass like our homogonized/medicated society is capable of doing today. I also recall that legal action was a dirty word in a lawyer-less town and society was governed by the “Golden Rule”… what happened to that?

    This story is a travesty, but the guys covering his ass just as all of us would/will do in this sick, decaying culture we call “America”. As a democratic republic this is obviously what we wanted for ourselves or we would NOT be in this mess, we have governed ourselves here. The answer is quite simple…we’ve made our bed now we’re having to lay in… pleasant dreams!

  11. This is part of the sissifying of our little boys. They want to make little boys into little girls. Well, I am old enough I do not have to put up with this b.s.

  12. Karen

    This is a Catholic school. Parents send their children by choice. I’m not sure, but I don’t think there is a teacher’s union involved.

  13. “How is this for an alternative policy? Let declare zero tolerance for educators like Crachiolo who show zero sense or discretion in their positions. Until educators are held responsible for these decisions, we will continue to see children victimized by these decisions. Zero tolerance means zero responsibility or judgment for many teachers. The blind application of these rules will continue so long as the decisions (even when reversed) come with no accountability.”

    Hear, hear! But because of the design of the union system of tenure, there is no accountability.

    That is one aspect I enjoy about Charter schools. Parents send their kids there by choice. And if a school behaves irrationally, or targets innocent children like this, they can face consequences like parents taking their kids elsewhere.

    If parents had a choice, and they knew that their normal boys were going to be suspended because of a zero tolerance policy against imaginary weapons, then they could vote with their feet. And losing students translates to lost revenue. Only then would there be consequences for their actions.

    Plus, I think they should sue the district for traumatizing their kid.

  14. This is absurd, and injurious to the students affected.

    Anecdotally, my son’s kindergarten class gave presentations on what career they wanted to have when they grew up. My friend is married to a marine, and her son wants to be a marine when he grows up. She was actually very concerned about how her little boy’s presentation would be received, because he’d drawn a gun on his poster, and was going to talk about becoming a soldier and protecting people. And that was ridiculous. She and her son were both so proud of her husband, and yet because of all this foolishness in the public school system, she was really worried that her son would get into trouble if he talked about wanting to be a soldier when he grows up.

    Luckily, our kids are in a charter school, and it turns out the teacher’s son is a marine. So no problem.

    When she talked to the teacher about her concern about the school’s position on imaginary gun play, the teacher rationally pointed out that is literally impossible to prevent boys from playing war games. They’ll use their fingers as guns, turn twigs into guns, or swords, or whatever. It’s instinctive. Give a boy a Barbie, and he’ll turn her into a soldier. And there’s nothing wrong with natural, instinctive play as long as no one’s getting hurt. Little girls all get together and chatter, and little boys play like puppies and invent imaginary battles.

    Schools should not take the joy out of childhood, and it’s wrong to make boys think that normal play is wrong.

  15. I also agree with you J.T., he may be acting out of a deep-seated belief against violence. Upon reflection, I take back my large child comment. But this was still a terrible decision from someone whose day job is educating children. Isn’t part of education teaching discretion?

  16. Here’s a scenario for this miscreant ….. a kind of Judo….use the power of the aggressor against the same.

    This is is an act of violence and aggression upon a child. Power abused inflicting mental harm (even physical if the child exhibits trauma – physical symptoms.).

    If a verbal threat can be deemed assault, then why shouldn’t this injustice be prosecuted as assault on a minor? Expulsion is a physical act as well.

    Imagine Pandora’s Box

  17. Chinggis say all students in school should shoot imaginary arrow at this teacher then boil teacher in imaginary oil. Then sing John Lennon song “Imagine”.

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