We have yet another insane application of the “zero tolerance” policies that schools continue to apply despite widespread condemnation. Valley Forge Elementary School is the latest educators to traumatize a harmless child in the name of protecting themselves and their school. The victim this time is a six-year-old girl with Down syndrome who pretended to shoot her teacher with her finger. The teacher apparently went into full alert with the school to protect herself from make believe bullets fired by a toddler from a make believe gun. The police were called and the Margot Gaines now has a police report as a victory for zero tolerance policies nationwide.
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. Various criminal and disciplinary cases were opened for 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 been blamed for any failure. Conversely, even when the public outcry results in a reversal, teachers and administrators never seem punished with the same vigor for showing no judgment or logic in punishing a child.
The latest case happened in November when Margot made the common motion with her fingers. The Tredyffrin-Easttown School District immediately went into high alert and called for a “threat assessment” before Margot moved down teachers with her finger gun.
Her mother explained that her daughter sometimes used such mannerism as a way of expressing anger. Yet, the school district insisted on calling in the police.
The matter is under review but, if history is any measure, no teacher or administrator will be fired or even disciplined. In the zero tolerance world, only children are harmed.
114 thoughts on “Pennsylvania Teachers Call Police On Six-Year-Old Girl Who Pointed Finger Gun In Class”
Zero tolerance rules make zero sense. The rules treat all finger guns the same as if a gang banger stared coldly at you, and menacingly made the sign of shooting you in the head. Little kids pretending their fingers are laser blasters, running and playing, are treated the same.
In this case, the little girl had Downs Syndrome. So not only is she 6, but she’s a little developmentally delayed. People with Downs Syndrome are very sweet, in general. She had no idea that people took this threateningly. In fact, when asked about it, she laughingly told hte principal she shoots mommy and her sibling too. She just picked it up somewhere as a sign of frustration, and probably at the school playground.
Now this harmless little girl has a mark on her record that she threatened to kill her teacher. This is so stupid!
Meanwhile, schools and activists adamantly resist the idea of having armed guards at schools because such protection makes them feel scared. They say they shouldn’t have to live in a world where kids need armed protection. But they don’t say that about actors, banks, recorders offices, airports, awards ceremonies, or anywhere else that enjoys armed protection.
What does calling the police on a 6 year old Downs Syndrome girl do to keep schools safe??? Zero! They should focus their efforts at arranging to have police, or retired military or police guard our schools. In my opinion, schools should be part of police beats or military service.
It just boggles my mind how they won’t secure schools, but they give kids complexes for chewing pastries into pretend guns.
My own son said that recess at his elementary school is excruciatingly boring. He can’t do anything that boys like to do. No tag; because you can’t chase anyone. His friend got benched because he picked up a twig and pretended to be a conductor. My kid and his friends got benched because they were running around pretending to play blasters with, you guessed it, their fingers. These rules are giving boys the idea that there’s something wrong with them if they want to play or do anything but hopscotch, braid each other’s hair, or handball. And handball’s days are numbered because the inflatable ball might hit someone. I guess they are just supposed to sit there or walk, slowly, around.
Karen S – the idea is to “pussyfy” the boys.
Karen S ….Make no mistake, it’s ONLY zero tolerance for anything Conservative.
This is exactly the type of nonsense I have been talking about for a long time now.
Kids today are not even getting the opportunity to be kids, even as young as 6 yo, for the love of God.
Use some common sense teacher….use some common sense police….use some common sense judges in the juv system.
Poor little girl. A six-year old with born with significant cognitive and physical deficits. Victimized by the school’s slavish adherence to an ideologically driven “zero-tolerance policy.” It should be Teacher 101 to accommodate her disability. Instead they call the police because guns bad. Geez.
We can shake our heads about the unfairness of its all, but what wold Alinsky do? This is an obvious violation of her civil and disability rights. A serious lawyer to help set things right. And just as important, to educate the educators about the grave effects of these abuses and prevent others from being victimized in the future. Hit them where it hurts it is the only way to get force change.
ACLU, where are you when we need you? Advocating for the progressive path blazed by Icelanders who have nearly eliminated the burdens imposed by Down’s syndrome kids through the miracle of selective abortion. Or eugenics, or something.
If the crazy libs want to remove all guns then that means we must amputate the little girls hand
“crazy libs” and crazy repugs…
the country is full of them
Educators are the problem
OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN WARNED ALL OF YOU “NOT TO HARM HIS LITTLE ONES”..OR you would pay dear and be sent to hell for it,NOW lets hope everyone involved in this crap recieves what the FATHER SAID,AND SENDS you all to HELL…you deserve worse ,but the LAKE OF FIRE would be OK with me….
Fire all teachers and public workers who are AWOL. Decertify all unions. Unions are criminal usurpers of power. Corrupt communist elected officials facilitate them by ceding their power. The power is the people’s. The power of the people is transferred to elected officials. Unions cannot legally or constitutionally usurp the power of the people or elected officials. Aberrations, such as this teacher’s acts, are a function of illegal and unconstitutional power of teachers/public worker unions which they have illegally usurped from elected officials.
The most important component in the education process is the mind of the student. The burden is on the student and his family. Public schools emphasize propaganda and indoctrination with minimal emphasis on the Three R’s. Kids graduate school unable to get a job but well-versed in “Enviro-Wackism.” Teachers unions don’t make minds – if they’re competent, they may train them. Lincoln home-studied by the fireside. Bill Gates was a drop-out. Education is good – the Walmart version, not that of Lamborghini.
Good lord, it keeps getting worse and worse. Vote school choice or home school your child, pay attention to what is being taught in schools and by whom.
As a parent and concerned citizen do what must be done to rid our nation of these subversive mind controlling people in all public schools.
Shout it loud and clear whether by voice, written word, phone, whatever you can do to stop the madness.
Bernie Sanders said on record that there would be no more school choice were he to be elected. He’s a union guy, and the teachers union wants no more competition.
My child was once punished at school under a zero tolerance policy when he and his friends used their pencils as pretend magic wands to engage in wizard dueling like Harry Potter.
Ugh. That’s awful. So much for creativity. They treat natural juvenile male behavior like they are punching each other in the face. My kid has gotten in trouble for things like that, too. He’s beginning to dislike being at school. He doesn’t get the freedom to blow off energy at recess.
There are behavioral differences between boys and girls that are well established in the scientific literature. As long as they are not hurting themselves or others there is nothing wrong with that.
I hear these stories of when my father was young, and all 6 of his brothers, my 6 uncles. They were known by the local police. Some of them did get in trouble as kids and teens, and some of them did have to do community service, write 20 page essays, but none of them were kicked out of school, thrown in jail, etc.
I think the dad/my grandfather did have to buy the country club a new golf cart after they ran it into a lake off a bridge for fun….yep. This was in the 50’s and 60’s.
Now, one small issue in school, and the police are called in, the school wants to suspend, or worse.
Speaking of which, I think this is about right, this judge has it right. Painting with a toothbrush, walking 30 miles for stiffing a cab drives….
And I don’t mean for this poor little girl, this situation is just absurd….and the zero tolerance policy needs to be extinguished.
But for older children, yeah, maybe some community service, for being a doofus….
Thank god she was stopped before she could combine both hands into an assault pretend gun dumb asses
Good lord, justamom! How infuriating…..and confusing for your child, who no doubt has a classmate the yells obscenities at teachers and is never reprimanded…….at least that’s what my grandsons experience!
Was the entire neighbourhood on lockdown just to be safe? Did she have a permit for the finger gun? No American needs to possess a finger gun. But honestly, these teachers are insane. If I was the officer called, I would admonish the teacher for wasting police resources. That teacher is clueless and should be fired. Has to be a Democrat.
Good thing our external enemies can’t see any of this…oh wait.
Star Wars Cantina – your avatar name is awesome.
Get these Mentally Defective LibTurd “Teachers” Away from OUR Kids…in any way Necessary !
I’m betting it was a vice principal who made the call.
Point a song at the teacher.
Liberty…….Indeed!…How about a couple of verses of “I Shot the Sheriff”? 🎵🎶
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