Virtually Insane: School Sends Police To Home After Child Shows A Clearly Fake Gun During Online Class

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 (herehere and here and here and here and here). Now this insanity has gone insane after a Colorado school district called police because a 12-year-old boy flashing a clearly toy gun in his own home.  While the teacher told police the orange gun marked “Zombie Killer” was clearly a toy, the police went to the home of Isiah Elliot on a welfare check and the boy who has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities was suspended.  Does that make sense as opposed to a simple call to the parents?

We have been dealing with the insanity of zero tolerance rules for years. 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.

Now the insanity has gone virtual. Rather than change the policy when it shifted to virtual learning, the school just blindly continued to treat kids at home like they were in the classroom.

The school does not see what everyone is upset about. The Grand Mountain school said in a statement: “We follow all school board policies whether we are in-person learning or distance learning. We take the safety of all our students and staff very seriously. Safety is always our number one priority.”

Safety? It was a toy gun in the home of a kid.  They were so concerned for the child that they suspended him.  

90 thoughts on “Virtually Insane: School Sends Police To Home After Child Shows A Clearly Fake Gun During Online Class”

  1. So a kid who doesn’t want to do any lessons can wave a water pistol in front of the viewer and lie in bed all day playing games? Oh, that is so cruel.

  2. I do not agree with the actions of this child……..he shouldn’t have had even a fake gun nearby, nor the response of the parents. But what could have been a “teachable moment,” with an appropriate consequence, instead ended up with the iron fist of the state overreacting and making the situation even worse.

  3. As a result of the pandemic our grandsons are attending virtural classes from their schools. The classes are over by 1:00 p.m. Both grandsons like it. We’ve noticed that the classes move more quickly and they cover more ground each day than before. I think one of the main reasons is that the disruptive students who plague many public schools where parents use the schools as babysitters can be silenced with a mute button rather than a big production of going to the principal’s office. Of course when both parents work, there is no option to allow the children to continue to attend virtual classrooms but it does make the point that a primary, if not the primary, role of schools is to babysit and then as time allows, teach as much as they can. And here, we have very good public school teachers who really care about the students.

  4. Maybe Colorado Springs has a program like the one in Pasco County, FL.

    Also ‘insane’:

    “Pasco’s sheriff created a futuristic program to stop crime before it happens.”

    “It monitors and harasses families across the county.”

    https://projects.tampabay.com/projects/2020/investigations/police-pasco-sheriff-targeted/intelligence-led-policing/

    Excerpt:

    Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco took office in 2011 with a bold plan: to create a cutting-edge intelligence program that could stop crime before it happened.

    What he actually built was a system to continuously monitor and harass Pasco County residents, a Tampa Bay Times investigation has found.

    First the Sheriff’s Office generates lists of people it considers likely to break the law, based on arrest histories, unspecified intelligence and arbitrary decisions by police analysts.

    Then it sends deputies to find and interrogate anyone whose name appears, often without probable cause, a search warrant or evidence of a specific crime.

    They swarm homes in the middle of the night, waking families and embarrassing people in front of their neighbors. They write tickets for missing mailbox numbers and overgrown grass, saddling residents with court dates and fines. They come again and again, making arrests for any reason they can.

    One former deputy described the directive like this: “Make their lives miserable until they move or sue.” …and the article continues.

  5. Imagine if authorities would have somehow discovered the intent of Adam Lanza for Sandy Hook Elementary School, through a frivolous presentation preceding his heinous act.

    Of course, the scenario would have been inconsequential and Adam Lanza would have been an insignificant figure had the massacre not taken place.

    Which leads shall authorities follow up on?

    Which indicators are meaningful?

  6. I am surprised that you expect teachers to have any common sense and behave more appropriately in this case Just look how their have fought not to go back to work

    1. Public education should have been automated, digitized, made virtual and accomplished remotely four decades ago when all other industries began their transitions.

      Many production facilities require no human beings.

      Public school day-care does not require over-qualified union teachers, or the ridiculously high wages teachers demand in order to park Range Rovers and Mercedes Benzes in their parking lots.

      Public school should be refocused and right-sized:

      1. About 20+ years ago I happened to be in a training center for paramedics and first responders. On the wall in a glass display case were pages from a professional industry magazine. The gist of the article is that the primary, almost sole purpose of an ambulance is to transport as quickly and safely as possible, its patient to the nearest hospital. Further, there would be zero or almost zero loss of life if a station wagon or appropriate mini-van with space for a gurney and patient replaced ambulances in service at that time.

        Imagine the potential billions saved if a simply equipped Ford Transit Connect replaced all or most of the ambulances in service right now (possibly with simple, low/moderate cost performance upgrades).

    1. @Mike- Yep. And the school administration should so inform all of the teachers and apologize to the family.

  7. Can some explain the incongruity of the fact that Congress refuses to adequately regulate real guns, yet people go insane about harmless toys? Is the latter a sublimation of the former? In other words, we can’t protect people from guns, but at least we can pretend to protect them from play guns.

  8. Growing up in Canada, Nova Scotia as an elementary student, us boys wore our six guns out sometimes all the time. Hats, and boots if parents were rich. We knew they were toys. Our parents knew they were toys. The teachers told us not to wear them to school. If we did, we were told to put them on a table in the back and not to bring them in again, or it was a talk with the parents. Throughout this, there is the governance of judgement and understanding. I am sure this was the case in the 50s and 60s in the US. The problem does not lie with the kids playing with guns. Kids playing with guns do not grow up and become killers. The problem is with real guns and the perversion of the 2nd amendment. Back in the 50s and 60s in the US and Canada it was not unusual for a home to have a rifle, shotgun, and sometimes a had gun for protection and/or hunting. People got killed. There were accidents. In the 60s outside of Edmonton some friends of mine went hunting one Saturday morning and one kid tried playing the ‘Rifleman’ spinning a shotgun. It went off and the other friend was killed. This had nothing to do with rights and protection but everything to do with a lack of education. There were incidents like this in the US, Canada, Europe on a regular basis.

    The problem with the reality of the proliferation of guns in the US and Canada is the perverse allowance under the banner of this or that right; rights that simply do not exist outside of the bought and paid for declarations of momentary political and judicial bent. The primary rights under the 2nd amendment as claimed by gun enthusiasts simply do not exist. This takes us into a condition of polarized extremes. Therein lies the problem. The further to the extreme of those demanding to be able to carry weapons around on the street, into government buildings, to demonstrations, stalking people, etc the further to the other extreme these weapons will be demonized. Travon Martin wasn’t killed because Zimmerman had no chance. Martin was killed because Zimmerman had the right to augment his self righteousness with a 45. Idiot militia, masked and armed to the teeth intimidating people inside government buildings, at demonstrations, etc are only there because of their own offsetting of feelings of insignificance. ‘I’m gonna show em.’ is the credo of this perversity. One extreme causes the other, a kid with a toy is associated with this madness. The police should be rounding up the idiot militia, not visiting kids at home. Step back and take a clear look at this uniquely American virus.

    1. Where I live, a friendly local LEO, age IIRC late 40s-early 50s, told me a couple years ago that when he grew up here, all local HSs had firing ranges where students would learn weapon safety and become better shooters. About a year ago at the local indoor range, a guy and his friends were practicing with a fully automatic rifle. I’ve seen visitors from other countries, Asia in particular, visiting the range to rent and shoot a weapon. It takes a bit of time on the computer answering questions for your first visit. I could sense their joy, anticipation, and nervousness, like they were going to see a real Santa Claus in the flesh as a child. The mere thought of shooting a weapon is probably unheard of in their home country, outside of military and police members.

    2. “…Martin was killed because Zimmerman had the right to augment his self righteousness with a 45. …”

      Prosecution called medical witnesses who testified under cross examination that Trayvon Martin Obama would have killed Zimmerman if Trayvon had continued with Trayvon’s felonious banging of Zimmerman’s head against the concrete (or pavement). Trayvon’s legs straddled Zimmerman’s hips in classic cage fight style.

      So you’re saying those medical witnesses lied? If not, exactly what did Zimmerman do to deserve Trayvon killing Zimmerman, instead of Trayvon making the Darwin Award finals?

  9. What Thomas Sowell said a generation ago: MEd screen out the more intelligent as they cannot be bothered with the humbug. Then a Scott Adams process takes place within schools where the least capable teachers transfer to school administration. That’s behind stories like this (and about the vice principal in Spencerport, NY).

  10. Gun manufacturers make guns in all kinds of colors, even pink. So not everyone would know it’s a fake. Hell, Trump supporters look and listen to a fake everyday and still can’t tell the difference, of what’s real or BS. And when the BS is very clear, they still believe it’s real.

  11. The schools need to reopen and get the teachers out of their nighties and back in the classrooms with the kids.

      1. “It’s the [election], stupid!”

        – James Carville
        _____________

        “The China Flu, 2020” was requested of China by the communists (liberals, progressives, socialist, democrats, RINOs) in America to stop the Trump juggernaut which was on an inexorable path to an historic landslide victory in November by the force of its exploding economy, law and order plank, international relations and totally corrupt and incompetent opponents.

        “The China Flu, 2020” is yet another “fake news” “hoax” designed by communists (liberals, progressives, socialist, democrats, RINOs) to impede a tremendously successful President, who, incidentally, is still chugging away!

  12. Protestors need to go to the teacher’s house, the principal s house and the superintendent s home, and demand to see TOYS!

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  14. Suspending him from that corrupt, nuthouse school may have been the only good thing they did for that boy.

    1. Absolutely! There is a silver lining in this story:

      Dani and Curtis Elliott told FOX31 their son could return to Grand Mountain School on Friday, Sept. 4, but they intend to transfer him to a charter or private school instead.

  15. I do not agree with this action. The school should have handled this privately. Someone from the school should have gone to the parents and talked with them. It could have been reported to the police so they could monitor what they believed to be appropriate and that would have covered the school had something further developed. But the actions taken are just further examples of the lack of common sense educators in this country have today. And why people a losing faith in the educatin system.

  16. The school district needs to be “suspended”. No students should be accepted at any college after they graduate. Call the superintendent Chairman Mao.

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