North Carolina Middle School Suspends 13-Year-Old Boy For Drawing Stick Figure With Gun

Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 8.20.24 PM We have yet another ridiculous example of school officials applying “zero tolerance” policies against a kid for an innocent page of doodling.  A 13-year-old boy in the seventh grade drew a stick figure holding a gun and another holding two knives and was promptly suspended from Roseboro-Salemburg Middle School.

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 playing with a stick gun or even having Danish in the shape of a gun or using menacing Level 2 finger guns. 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 be 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.

There is no inherent threat in such pictures.  The boy in question is an avid hunter and such pictures are common doodles.  I find it amazing that any teacher would see such a drawing and immediate run to school officials with alarm.

In the end, the most obvious danger is not from such doodles but the environment being created by such zero tolerance policies.  Teachers are no longer willing to deal with such issues with discretion and understanding. Instead they throw these kids into draconian punishment for what appears a strict liability offense.

111 thoughts on “North Carolina Middle School Suspends 13-Year-Old Boy For Drawing Stick Figure With Gun”

  1. 19 million people buy hunting licenses in this country each year. I suppose they are all potential people killers?

  2. Darren – I posted a long, rambling comment about hunting that didn’t show up. I’m not sure if it’s lost in the filter or if my computer hiccuped. If you find it, would you please release it form purgatory? Thanks!

  3. How dare they suspend a boy for a normal part of his development.

    Baby animals play fight. Puppies and kittens engage in mock battles. No one teaches them to do this. It is instinctive preparation for adulthood. We may no longer live in the age of the Smilodon, but instinct still forms the basis of behavior.

    It may cause harm to children to force them to abandon instinctive actions entirely. We shape those instincts into acceptable behavior. Physical play is normal for boys, but they are not allowed to hurt each other and have to obey the common to stop. Not all boys like to play fight. Not all girls instinctively play nurturing games with dolls and tea parties. But there are indeed indisputable trends in behavior.

    There is a strong push to accept everything from homosexuality to transgenderism. Anything you want to do is perfectly acceptable as long as it is not quintessential male or female behavior. Girls cannot be given dollies; they must get Legos and be forced to play engineering games. Boys cannot play their war games; they must be forced to play like girls. I guess they have to sit around in a circle and…talk about their day. No tag because that involves touching another person.

    Children are bearing the brunt of nonsensical zero tolerance policies across the nation. A boy at one of the local schools around here was sent to the principal’s office and got into trouble because another boy fell down and he helped him up. Holding his hand and helping him get up broke the zero tolerance rule of no hands on other people. His mother was furious. There are so many ridiculous examples in my local community that parents are fed up.

    My child draws imaginative pictures of people fighting dinosaurs or aliens battling aliens with their laser blasters. Because schools across CA have similar zero tolerance rules, I have told him that the rule is that he can only draw weapons at home, never at school. Do you have any idea how hard it is to explain this to a child who tells me it’s just a picture and can’t hurt anyone? Or when he tells me that he was told he can’t use his finger to pretend he is shooting lasers on the playground? But Mom! It’s a finger! It doesn’t even look like a gun!

    We need actions that actually make schools safer. Persecuting children, convincing them that normal childhood play is somehow evil or wrong or otherwise giving them psychological hangups most certainly does not make schools safer.

    Firmly securing schools, posting armed security inside at the ready, being alert to red flags, tackling the bullying problem, building character in students, and most importantly, following up on red flags to identify threats keep school safer. There are many red flags that could be acted upon but are not. There may also be other ways in which we can improve our response to clear threats to schools and other targets.

    1. I neglected to add that when schools do not allow kids to doodle whatever they want, then they lose an early warning system.

      There are the typical scribblings of children with battles on paper, and then there are the truly disturbing pictures of violence, or maybe something bad happening at home.

      When you make the school an unsafe place for a child to express what he’s feeling on paper, then you give up an early detection of serious problems and threats either by, or to, a child.

          1. Andrew, your comment sounds a bit weird so maybe you can explain. My comment referred to “they lose an early warning system.” and a bit more.

            1. The school violated his First Amendment rights. As for “early warning system”, I’m sure you as did I doodled at sorts of things at that age.

              1. Despite the effusive coverage of the antigun Parkland kids, school children are not adult citizens and do not enjoy all the rights of full citizenship. Please drop the First Amendment argument. Kids are legally told what they can wear and say, all the time.

                That being said, the school’s reaction is ignorant and stupid at best.

  4. I derived much enjoyment in my grade school years during the middle 1950s drawing pictures of planes dropping bombs and stick figures with guns…automatic machine guns were cool…I think watching Victory at Sea had an effect. We all played with cap guns and pretended to shoot each other…perhaps some brilliant bureaucrat could draw a conclusion for me…

  5. The only thing to learn from this incident and others like it is that perhaps the public schools are no longer fit to teach children. The grown-ups have become non-thinking automatons and reactive to stimuli based on a fixed set of rules rather than their ability to clearly think. Maybe school teachers are addicted to the cr-p being published by the MSM and therefore limit their actions to what the potential headline might be.

    1. Allan – part of the problem is that teachers no longer have complete control of their classroom. The principal dictates how these things are to be handled and the policy manual dictates what is to be done. The teacher was probably just following the policy manual.

      1. Guidelines have replaced common sense. That is why I said, ” limit their actions to what the potential headline might be.”. Guidelines written by bureaucracies all too frequently represent reactive policies.

  6. How many of the schools that have had these mass casualty events were located in gang-infested neighborhoods?

    1. Just about none. Tract suburbs, exurbs, small towns, rural areas. There have been a scatter over many decades in core cities, but not necessarily in the more disagreeable portions thereof. There was a private college shot up in Oakland about 6 years ago; the perpetrator was an ethnic Korean who’d once been enrolled at the school, not a geto local. There was another in Stockton, California in 1989, what section of town I do not know; the perp had a record. There was one in Chicago in 1988; not sure of the neighborhood. There was one in San Diego in 1996. There was one in Tucson in 2002; again, don’t know what part of town. The one in San Diego and in Tucson were on college campuses.


    You’ll notice the Superintendent of Schools received all of his tertiary education in teachers’ colleges. He’s trained to manage students, kinda sorta. He’s not trained to teach them the substance of much of anything.

  8. Where did he write the doodles? Was it on a classroom wall? An outhouse wall? An outdoor wall of the school? On a piece of paper which could be moved off campus?
    The teacher needs to be shot with an assault rifle and so should the principal. The principal is no pal.

    Teacher, Teacher, I declare: We can see your underwear!

  9. You have two problems:

    1. The compliance people. That’s the school district’s GC. A lawyer. You own it.

    2. Dumb as dirt. The administrators have Ed.D. degrees, just like “Dr. Jill Biden”.

  10. This weirds me so much. Growing up in the early 70’s me and me older brothers were very much influenced by the still somewhat fresh WWII movies. We loved them and played war all the time outside. Dad would never buy us a toy gun, but he would tell us if you wanted to use the shop to mack some, go ahead. So me and my brother mass produced a bunch of cool wooden rifles ( I wish I had thought to save one of them). Those guns and a bunch of black walnuts as grenades equaled hours of fun for us. Plus we got the skill of making stuff.

    In elementary school, when bored, I would take a sheet of paper and make two opposing cliffs. One with a star on it and one with a swastika. Then I would draw elaborate gun setups with tunnels and such. This all lead up to a war between the two cliffs. The star always won. Hate to think what would happen to a kid doing this today showing good vs. evil.

  11. In a Constitutional Democratic Republic – where the voters self-govern within constitutional legal boundaries – it’s vitally important to legally challenge any government official, including educators, that try to indoctrinate our children with unAmerican values like “authoritarianism, totalitarianism and arbitrary unwritten rules” (as found in foreign regimes).

    Our children will be the next generation of voters that must “self-govern” ruling over our elected government officials. Our children shouldn’t be indoctrinated to embrace authoritarianism. The child’s parents should iniate a “constitutional lawsuit” lawsuit today to create a deterrent against other lawless educators.

    1. andrewworkshop – his suspension will be over before FIRE can get to the front door of the school.

    2. Good point. But one thing might be getting overlooked. Schools have confidentiality laws which sometimes permit parts of incidents to be revealed but not others. We might not be getting the full story here.

  12. The boy’s instructor should have made this a teachable moment for her pupil: And from then on, he will correctly draw the assault rifle’s magazine curving forward.

    1. Actually, that would not be a bad idea to both evaluate the child’s mindset while at the same time teaching the child and perhaps others how things work.

  13. The idea is to make little girls out of little boys. If he had drawn a pussy hat on his stick figure he would have gotten a gold star.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. It amazes me what is happening to the boys of this country. All of this anti-bullying crap is not helping either.

      1. Jim22 – the problem is the anti-bullying is being used against the victims, not to help them.

  14. I always thought of doodling as an expression of boredom while awaiting for something resembling teaching to begin. About half the classes. Some never began. About one fourth the classes. But that was university. As for high school …. the only parts that had a point could be taught in two years flat with the next two years devoted to what is now the new high school … junior college … and the point of junior college to bring one up to the level needed for University studies …but since that is mostly indoctrinated rioting… what is the point. I encouraged my offspring to GED out at 15 and she did JC and then went on to a bachelor degree by the time her friends were graduating high school.. some of the comments were.. :Wow the students want to learn and the teachers want to teach and there is NO time for doodling. .

  15. I would be somewhat concerned about the environment the boy is around at home? “He’s just expressing himself.” Two days off isn’t so draconian. If the boy in a couple years is involved in a mass shooting, his father will be confounded. “We never had any signs!”

    1. Exactly. Professor Turley has told us that “The boy in question is an avid hunter.” It is assumed that is meant to say, “The boy in question is an avid killer”, Obviously killers prefer to say that they are only looking for victims when they mean they intend to kill their victims. If killing animals is acceptable, then why not just say, “I enjoy killing.”

      1. SInce you hate hunters, where did your food come from? That aside, this is a violation of the boy’s First Amendment right to free expression plain and simple.

      2. A hunter who witnesses the results of their actions scares me hell of a lot less then the kid who is on adhd meds playing violent video games 8 hours a day.

      3. ‘If killing animals is acceptable, then why not just say, “I enjoy killing.”’

        That’s a dishonest leap of faith on your part. At the very best. Anyway, it would be interesting to know how many “hunter types” are incarcerated for gun violence. I come from a rural, hunting-oriented family. I would venture to say they have more respect for humanity and life in general than most of the SJW lot. My “killer” relatives include, healthcare professionals, engineers, school teachers, school principals… etc. They farm, they treat their animals with respect. They also argue that hunting is morally more acceptable way to provide food than the mass-extermination meat industry. They haven’t shot too many folks as of late.

        1. “That’s a dishonest leap of faith on your part. ”

          Whoever said Chris’s hyperbole made sense or was honest. I never wanted to hunt, but my friends that did never shot an animal and let it suffer. They never just left the body, rather they used every part of the animal. I think contrary to what Chris believes hunting might make many individuals more respectful concerning the lives of others.

    2. Does it not occur to you who is likely to be the target of school discipline for “unapproved subject of doodle” if teachers and administrators are allowed to get away with such shenanigans?

      1. The “likely targets” will be no less subject to inequitable suspensions and expulsions and introduction to the school to prison pipeline by enforcement of a school or county-wide rule regarding guns.
        I’d like to improve their odds of being the victim. Now arming teachers, that will dramatically increase the odds of the “likely targets” being shot by teachers “in fear for their life.”

        1. “No less subject”, forsooth! That’s one way to put it. A more honest way would be to admit it would make them more subject to inequitable discipline. Arbitrary and capricious authority doesn’t get wielded more equally by making it more arbitrary or capricious. You want to increase the chances of students of color being victimized? But what does that have to do with arming teachers?

            1. No, it increases the anxiety-level of obstreperous young men and induces them to hold their tongues and mind their p’s and q’s when they’d rather not. And that’s your real concern.

              1. Yes, that’s exactly it. I was concerned that children might not have the opportunity to be rude as opposed to being concerned about their lives.
                Your theory suggests that the children will behave better if they are afraid of being shot Wonderful!

            2. I don’t know what type of people live in your community so I can’t judge what you say. If I felt my community was that way I would move. In the communities I am accustomed to guns have reduced violent entry’s into one’s homes. I think unless we are talking about police officers or trained security guards such a decision should be discussed by the community involved.

              I wonder how things are working out in Chicago and Baltimore. Those cities and cities like them seem very low on our priorities when they would be my first concern.

              1. There are already studies demonstrating inequity in suspensions and expulsions of students of color for the same offenses. Teachers that have guns are more likely to use them than people that don’t.
                Teachers harbor predispositions just as we all do. If the standard for a teacher is the same as for a police officer that as long as they were “in fear for their life” it’s okay to blow someone away. More students of color are going to get shot.
                It’s no consolation that teachers will also shoot each other more when traditional means of settling disputes just won’t do. Principals will be at risk too. Many teachers are walking around just this side of postal workers when it comes to frustration and resentment.

                1. You mean you think that teachers will shoot black kids when the black kids physically attack them? But not shoot white kids who physically attack them??? Hmmm. But maybe teachers having a gun could result in lower combat pay for them??? Plus, maybe some of the kids need to be shot???

                  Combat pay won’t work to attract teachers to poor schools

                  Beset by the retirement of veteran teachers and the flight of younger faculty, schools in poor neighborhoods across the country are increasingly turning to combat pay to recruit and retain replacements. But the controversial strategy will not produce the 700,000 teachers they need in the next decade. The bleak outlook has particular relevance for California, where every year 10 percent of teachers in schools serving poor students transfer to other schools. The most recent evidence comes from Dallas, which had only 65 takers for its offer of $6,000 annual bonuses to lure teachers to the city’s hard-to-staff schools. Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas attributed the disappointing results to the amount tendered. They estimated that bonuses would have to equal 45 percent of base pay to attract the number of teachers required. If they are correct, the amount would come to an average of $20,000 for mid-career teachers.


                  Squeeky Fromm
                  Girl Reporter

                  1. I meant some teachers will shoot kids that they imagine might attack them. Students will get shot for all the reasons other people get shot. Kids of color will get shot more assuming teachers exhibit the same sort of biases they already have.

                    1. Biases? Hmmm. I know there have been some studies that say there is a racial bias in school discipline, but then again, there is a reason why teachers are being offered combat pay to teach in inner city schools.

                      My personal experience has been that black kids tend to behave far worse than white kids, particularly as the percentage of black kids goes up. And, we haven’t seen hordes of white kids trashing the local WalMarts:


                      Squeeky Fromm
                      Girl Reporter

                    2. How hard do you think it would be for me to find hordes of white kids trashing something? Of course, different terminology is used when those boisterous white kids do something as opposed to black thugs.
                      You’ve already shared your biases based on your experiences and your trigger finger might be a bit quicker with a black kid based on your expectations.

                    3. Kids are kids whether black or white. What distinguishes them is their upbringing at home. That is where the problem lies and that is why so many kids die before their 25th birthday. You are stuck in the racism of the 1950’s at which time the minority under discussion was showing great strides in education and the workplace something you seem to forget or not recognize at all.

                      The most damaging thing to the minority you are concerned about is its reliance on political power instead of education and jobs. Your type of attitude perpetuates the continuous damage that destroys the lives of these children.

                    4. Allen, he’s not the least bit concerned with actual problems in inner city slums that might be addressed through public policy and has made that all but explicit. If you were charitable, you’d call it irrational risk assessment.

                    5. “Allen, he’s not the least bit concerned with actual problems in inner city slums…”

                      NII, this is a reality that I find difficulty shaking off. I would think he would be concerned and willing to buck all political systems to save the lives of kids that if correctly nurtured would end up in mainstream America.

                    6. Enigma:

                      Why do you always force us down to these little narrow columns??? Is that from Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals???

                      Anyway, where all this unsupported Black Resentment is leading, and a good reason for semi-automatic assault rifles for law-abiding white people!

                      BRIDGEPORT – Harding High School was put in lockdown Wednesday after police said a school employee threatened to go on a killing spree.

                      Carl Lemon, 63, an in-school suspension coordinator, was charged with second-degree threatening and breach of peace and was later released on $5,000 bond.

                      Police said shortly after noon officers were dispatched to the high school for a threatening situation.

                      The school’s principal, Dane Brown, told officer that Lemon had made threatening statements to another teacher.

                      Police said Lemon stated that he hates white people and couldn’t wait “for the panthers to give the OK and a revolution begins because he will execute every white man he gets his hands on.”


                      Better Connecticut than the Red States!

                      Squeeky Fromm
                      Girl Reporter

                    7. Squeeky – he took The Black Panther to heart. This does not bode well. He may be the very tip of the spear.

                    8. Not forcing you anywhere. Arm teachers and more people will get shot. Not active shooters but students attending the schools. There is already more than one instance of teachers accidentally shooting themselves.
                      I’m glad you acknowledged there are studies showing bias towards students of color. Thay will play out in student deaths.

                    9. enigma – ideally you never have to use the gun against your students. It should be for invaders of the school, not classroom discipline.

                    10. That would be ideal. Protecting against intruders is one main reason people keep guns in their homes, they’re just so terribly handy though when somebody pisses you off. How many people have been killed by their spouse, parent, or friend with a gun bought for protection? What magic bullet will keep the same thing from happening in schools?

                    11. Did you ever happen to see the movie, “187” starring Samuel L Jackson? He became a vigilante and started killing students in a Charles Bronson, “Death Wish” kind of flick.

                    12. enigma – nope, missed that one. Was it any good. If he killed Spike Lee I’m up for it. 😉

                    13. Probably likable only if you’re a Samual L Jackson fan. He did do some films strictly for the money. I’m thinking, Deep Blue Sea and Lakeview Terrace offhand.

                    14. enigma – my library just got on a black film kick so I got School Daze, Introducing Dorothy Dandrige, The Story of Josephine Baker, Bingo Long, and have some others on order. 😉 Bingo Long still holds up, School Daze is best to see all those power actors when they were young. Still, hate the ending.

                    15. Paul, we are dealing with a fixed mindset here.

                      Enigma feels the presence of a gun means the teacher will shoot the gun.
                      Paul feels the presence of a gun means less of a threat from another from outside of the classroom.

                      Look at the two different perspectives and think about them. I went to a shooting range once and despite the fact that everyone was holding a loaded gun in their hands, no one was shot. To me, that means a gun in one’s hand doesn’t mean it will be shot. Therefore, I have to consider why Enigma feels the teacher will shoot the gun at a student. We have plenty of pencils in the classroom. How come teachers aren’t stabbing students in the throat with pencils?

                      I am not taking sides on this issue rather trying to have people express what they really are saying.

                    16. @PaulCS

                      True dat! Although, I think he wasn’t talking about Wakanda type of panther.


                      However, I didn’t say I believe the studies. Because, bias is not necessarily a bad thing. When one group of people do savage, violent, and criminal things a whole lot more than other groups, then the “bias” is survival technique.

                      Squeeky Fromm
                      Girl Reporter

                    17. You are biased to view “savage, violent, and criminal things” through rose-colored glasses when it’s certain people doing them.
                      White people with opioid addictions are a whole lot better than black people on crack. It is impossible to label someone white as a domestic terrorist, that label is reserved for people of color. Rioters overturning cars and throwing Molotov cocktails after a football game are exuberant youth when white. White gunmen are mentally unstable while black ones are pathologically violent.
                      BTW, when was the last time you saw an actual panther (not from Wakanda) except on TV. For me, it was the 70’s and they were giving out food.

                    18. Enigma writes, “BTW, when was the last time you saw an actual panther (not from Wakanda) except on TV. For me, it was the 70’s and they were giving out food.”

                      Memories, oh sweet memories.

                      from Wikipedia, just late 1969. I didn’t want to cover more than a couple of months or the list would be a bit long.

                      April to mid-June 1968: Cleaver is in jail.
                      Mid-July 1968: Huey Newton’s murder trial commences. Panthers hold “Free Huey” rallies outside the courthouse daily.
                      August 5, 1968: Three Panthers were killed in a gun battle with police at a Los Angeles gas station.[80]
                      Early September 1968: Newton is convicted of manslaughter.
                      Late September 1968: days before he is due to return to prison to serve out a rape conviction, Cleaver flees to Cuba and later Algeria.
                      October 5, 1968: a Panther is killed in a gunfight with police in Los Angeles.[80]
                      November 1968: the BPP finds numerous supporters, establishing relationships with the Peace and Freedom Party and SNCC. Monetary contributions are flowing in, and BPP leadership begins embezzling donated funds.[81]

                    19. enigma – the MOVE people were so nuts that nobody in the community came to their defense.

                    20. Actually, many people came to their defense which is why the police commissioner resigned. While it probably had more to do with the 65 homes that were destroyed in the police bombing and the five children killed. People did get angry.

                    21. Those days in Philly, the police force were in total control and the mayor at the time feared for his life, from the police. The police were what Frank Rizzo wanted, quite a legacy.

                    22. Paul, the MOVE folk had a philosophy of anarcho-primitivism. That is their problem, though the violence and racism is another discussion. The underlying political nature of this nation is that of a Constitutional Republic. People with other ideas need to learn and abide by that system or leave the country.

                    23. “I’ll start you out slow, you’re not ready to hear about the Ocoee Massacre or Black Wall Street ”

                      Ocoee Massacre 1920
                      Black Wall Street 1921

                      Enigma, those were the highlights of your remarks. Those incidents are terrible and not to be forgotten, EVER. I had talked about the 1950’s and you are holding onto history back in the 1920’s. Let me start you out slow. Slavery was an abomination. Racism should not be permitted in the public square and for the most part, it isn’t. Personal bias is part of human nature and something that cannot be totally eliminated. Since it is personal you shouldn’t be involved.

                      Prior to the 1960’s black families were relatively intact (like white families), religion was important, the number of graduates with advanced degrees was growing fast, economically the gap between blacks and whites was narrowing. Things were rapidly improving.

                      I don’t even like comparing black and white because we are all Americans and to me, there isn’t any significant difference between the colors. It’s painful to me to watch people like you create this color difference instead of letting it disappear. Too many children that so happen to have more melanin are dying in the streets for no good reason.

                      I believe people like you are the cause of the racial divide. Some on this list that you probably feel are racists I believe have no racist tendencies, but they do have strong survivalist tendencies and considering what we are seeing today such tendencies are justifiable. Look at what Jessie Jackson said a long time back, “There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps… then turn around and see somebody white and feel relieved.”

                      That was from one that stirs up racism. I’ve seen it close up and I’ve seen it in the terms of death. It is not pretty. Rioting blacks don’t enhance the lives of the children that wish to get an education, a job, get married, have kids and educate their own. You are promoting all that Bullsh!t.

                    24. “Prior to the 1960’s black families were relatively intact ”

                      What exact time frame are you imagining? That’s the kind of statement when you’ve been given bad information and keep repeating it. Thanks for your black history lesson as told by you.

                    25. I wrote: “Prior to the 1960’s black families were relatively intact ”

                      Enigma responded: “What exact time frame are you imagining? That’s the kind of statement when you’ve been given bad information and keep repeating it. Thanks for your black history lesson as told by you.”

                      My sentence tells you the time frame, before 1960. I don’t think anyone is interested in what happened at the time of the cave man rather what happened over the last century. I don’t know why you think it is bad information as I have seen this in numerous places including from Thomas Sowell who has quoted directly from government statistics in his books, speeches, editorials and elsewhere.

                      By the way, this isn’t a “black history lesson”. It’s an American history lesson. Once again you strive to divide rather than unite Americans.

                    26. Before 1960 goes back to B.C. You certainly didn’t mean during slavery when those intact families were split apart and sold off at will. Even afterward, black families were in peril because of Jim Crow, lynchings and more. I still await your specific answer, unless of course you don’t have one.

                    27. “Before 1960 goes back to B.C. You certainly didn’t mean during slavery ”

                      Of course not. To think so would be an exercise in stupidity.

                      I had said: “Prior to the 1960’s black families were relatively intact (like white families), religion was important, the number of graduates with advanced degrees was growing fast, economically the gap between blacks and whites was narrowing. Things were rapidly improving.” I think that is pretty self-explanatory to the educated since the 60’s was the decade of the Great Society and a dividing point in history. Some might say it was time for the Democrats to realize that instead of utilizing Jim Crow laws they could treat blacks extra nice and gain power in that fashion. Considering how badly the Democrats acted towards blacks I can understand why while feeling so guilty they decided to play a different tune. It was only later when history was forgotten Democrats tried to blame everyone else and started the game of white guilt to perpetuate racist sentiments.

                      Yes, all those things mentioned above were getting better despite Jim Crow laws and despite the efforts of some to feed racism and feed off of it as if they were immune to racism when they were the racists.

                    28. I think the best comparison what was happening before the War on Poverty and afterward. I am interested in the narrowing of the gaps between black and white before and the widening of the gaps between black and white after. Start at the War on Poverty and look in both directions.

                      As mentioned this video is something we all should see. It has twist.

                    29. Enigma, After I finished writing to you I found this in my email. It is right on target for this discussion and I think everyone should listen to it.

                    30. you’re not ready to hear about the Ocoee Massacre

                      It was nearly a century ago. Being nearly a century ago, nothing can be done about it now. The death toll was about 13 weeks worth of Baltimore’s regular mayhem. I’d like to address the public order situation in Baltimore, which is something one can do something about (but which you’ll never be ‘ready’ to discuss).

                    31. You would be wrong about my willingness to discuss anything. I have found that those discussions tend to involve more telling than listening but I’m always open.
                      As far as the Ocoee Massacre, Black Wall Street and other massacres, which of those were taught in your school? I live in the same County as Ocoee (Orange Co., FL) and it is not taught, or mentioned. That part of history is whitewashed so it never has to be addressed.
                      As far as the death toll, who knows what count you are working with. The Orlando Sentinel at the time described a race riot and the headline mentioned, “Two Whites Killed.” Somewhere else in the story they suggested 37 black people were killed but the true number may be as high as 500. I submit that’s worth remembering.

                    32. What exact time frame are you imagining? That’s the kind of statement when you’ve been given bad information and keep repeating it.

                      What are you complaining about? See Thomas Sowell’s work. In 1960, a slightly higher share of black children lived in two-parent families than was the case in 1900. Also in 1960, about 85% of all black children were born to married couples. See the writings of Wm. Tucker. It was common at the time for mothers of illegitimate children to find a man to marry within a few years. See, for example, Jesse Jackson, whose birth-father was already married to someone else but whose mother was able to find someone else. Adoption was much more common then. A mother attempting to raise a child stem-to-stern without a husband was quite peculiar prior to 1960. Not rare, but atypical.

                  2. which of those were taught in your school? I

                    I had two American history survey texts. Survey texts. Secondary school history deals properly with coarse features of the historical narrative, not with local history unless, perhaps, it’s your local history. You might if some incident were emblematic of a general pattern, but that one wasn’t. And I grew up in New York, not in northern Florida. Did the history faculty where I attended make the right selections? Not always, but leaving out the Ocoee massacre was not an error of theirs. Whenever you invest time in a topic, there’s some other topic you’re not covering.

                2. enigma – so what you are saying is that if an armed teacher “fears for his life” from a student and pulls his gun and fires, it is most likely going to be a black student?

                    1. enigma – I have had black students protect me from white students and white students from each other. Students is students, they aren’t a mob. It is really interesting who has your back sometimes. 😉

    3. I am more than somewhat concerned about the environment this boy is being taught in that he has no right of self-expression. As Darren said, this is a teachable moment and his artwork is not technically correct. If in a couple of years his school is involved in a mass shooting, it will likely be because the shooter knows this school has been well-prepared to be victims. Because there will be all sorts of signs like This Is A Gun-Free Campus!

      1. “about the environment this boy is being taught in”

        Has doodling of this nature been associated with violence in the future? If so, then according to jim22’s account of his doodling skills he should have been a mass murderer, but apparently wasn’t. Doodling can expose what the child might be thinking, so it’s not bad to ask the child about the doodle for it can also reveal previously unknown talents. Unfortunately, we focus only on guns and nothing else. That leaves us blind to everything else that can point to severe problems.

        1. Of course, how else would I know he had the magazine in backwards?

          What could he hunt? Whatever his state approves him a permit to hunt.

            1. Good for you. You recognize the need for guidance (training) in the proper use of firearms.

    4. Enigma – do you have any kids?

      Because my kid, and his friends, ALL draw pictures of people with weapons, some of them guns, some of them laser blasters, or Jedi swords. I’ve told him he can only draw battles at home, not at school.

      Any kid who watches any of the Star Wars animated series or live action movies are going to have or draw Jedi battles and blasters. My son also has a few foam light sabers that he adores playing with his friends.

      The kid comes from a hunting family. Of course he would know what a real rifle looks like. My son has never seen any of our rifles in person, and he’s not allowed to watch violent movies, and yet he has drawn battles with long guns.

      If drawing a picture with a weapon on it is considered indicative of a future mass shooting then literally every single boy child is going to be locked up.

      Let’s identify real red flags.

      1. Olly – I do have kids but they’re all grown with kids of their own. The ones over 5 have seen superhero movies with violence, one of the girls has Wonder Woman bracelets, they’ve had foam weapons, no fake guns of any kind to my knowledge. Other than with a parent they don’t get to watch many movies, not on the Disney Channel and can only watch “kids stuff” on YouTube.
        I submit that most teenagers can gain access to a gun in the home as has been proven many times in school shootings. I would consider drawing guns and knives something to have a conversation about and try to determine whether an issue may be present. I imagine if these rules about bringing guns, play guns, images of guns exist. They made it a point to tell the kids (or parents) and it was ignored. For all the “Rule of Law” proponents, sometimes you have to obey laws you don’t like. Two days isn’t a particularly harsh penalty, maybe he’ll even be a hero at school but he’ll understand there is a penalty for breaking the rules.

        1. It was I who asked if you had kids. Did your kids never draw any pictures of battles with guns or blasters or swords? Did you have any boys? Are any of your grandkids boys? You said they never had fake weapons but does that mean no squirt guns? A foam weapon IS a type of fake weapon, even if it is not a fake gun.

          “I would consider drawing guns and knives something to have a conversation about and try to determine whether an issue may be present.” I agree with you that content can sometimes warrant further investigation. For example, if a child draws something really disturbing, where you are concerned about some abuse at home or other serious problem. By definition, this would require subjective reasoning rather than zero tolerance.

          I also agree that there may be rules at schools that you don’t like, but have to follow. I’ve explained the rules to my kid, but all of the boys are constantly getting into trouble with any kind of play they try to do. They cannot pretend they are Velociraptors chasing each other. They cannot pretend they are Jedi. They cannot pretend their fingers are laser blasters. They cannot play tag, because no hands on other kids. They cannot do anything except swing on the swingset, which is where all the girls are, or play on the crowded jungle gym. No running around. I guess they can walk fast, and Prancercize is probably acceptable. They get a brief period of time where they are not allowed to get energy out, and then they have to go back inside and sit still all day, not squirming, for hours. Zero tolerance rules are not only poorly thought out, without benefit, but they may be injurious to children.

          1. Also, the thing about the rule of law is that in a republic, if you don’t like the law, you have an opportunity to change it. We are required by law to send our children to school or homeschool. Since we are forced to participate in the education system, we should have some say on the rules. Otherwise, it’s bureaucratic tyranny.

          2. I agree that zero tolerance rules can be onerous and there should always be room for common sense.
            I don’t believe my kids ever filled a page with guns and knives, particularly in the days following a mass school shooting. I wouldn’t have given this kid a pass. Maybe I’d have just called the parents in but it looks like I’d have been greatly disappointed in the result.

            1. I’m glad we agree about zero tolerance rules.

              If you look up the original drawing, the rest of his picture had a “magic man” with a magic staff, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, a souped up monster truck, and a tall building with an archer. He was in the center. My concern is with the spelling errors.

              In my son’s math app that the school requires him to play to practice math skills, his character battles magical creatures. He throws fireballs and ice rays and who knows what else at mythical creatures. Then a math problem flashes up. He has to correctly answer the problem to advance.

              Now, this picture that the boy drew reminds me of a video game or other fantasy play. There are figures from different TV shows, possibly fighting each other or preparing to fight an outside force. Or maybe he was drawing things that he liked – monster trucks, Ninja turtles, Warlocks, hunting with his family, and I don’t know, is the archer part of some game the kids play now? His was the only gun that I saw.

              Now, if he drew a picture of him shooting up a school or some other disturbing image, by all means, refer him to a counselor.

  16. Prof. Turley has written variations of this column several times. How many other columns have we read decrying stupidity in our educators?

    But the stupidity continues – seemingly without any reduction. The level of invincibility in their stupidity breeds increasing contempt in normal people.

    I regret the decline in civility in our national discourse, but how can you have discourse with bureaucratic idiots like these? Worse, they are immoral; they will sacrifice any number of young people to bureaucratically protect themselves.

    1. Steve,

      This is what you get when you have a govt. monopoly running the school system. It’s kind of ironic that they can pounce so quickly on a kid drawing a picture, but a known troubled kid in FL can fly under the radar.

      1. “It’s kind of ironic that they can pounce so quickly on a kid drawing a picture, but a known troubled kid in FL can fly under the radar.”

        Indeed. A big relief from me when the Great Mills incident was professionally diffused. I do have to point out a couple of things. Great Mills is one of the many red areas of my blue state, maybe that explains this departments professional ideals compared the situation in FL. But even in this “bluest of blue,” you can see the sharp divide. The megalopolis makes a stark statement. Interesting to see where the gerrymanding case goes on this as well.

        Another point, (not trying to hijack the post…), but that successful engagement sure did fall out of the news really quickly. Hmmmmm.

        But man, those stick figures with guns… run for your lives!! Evacuate!!

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