Toy Guns: Schools Taking Zero Tolerance Policies Too Far
I want to preface this blog by saying I get that schools have to set and enforce rules. It's tough to handle so many children in one location. However, common sense seems to be lost in the shuffle. Big time.
Last month, a 5 year old girl was at a school bus stop and told another girl that she was going to shoot her with a Hello Kitty BUBBLE gun. Yes, a gun that shoots bubbles. A school official happened to overhear the threat and searched the child's backpack. the bubble gun wasn't there. The next day, the little girl was interrogated at school and told police were getting involved. She ended up getting a 10 day suspension for issuing a terroristic threat. She is five years old! Get a grip!
And now comes the story of a six year old girl in South Carolina who was expelled for bringing a clear plastic toy air gun (broken) to school for show and tell. She showed it to her teacher, who promptly took her to the office and police were called.
The South Carolina School District involved released this statement: "The presence of a weapon or look alike is not allowed, and we work very closely with law enforcement when an incident of this nature arises. Sumter School District takes any potential threat very seriously."
Are you freakin kidding me?? These are very young children who are doing what kids do: exploring and building an understanding of things around them. Zero tolerance has no place in schools when this cannot be taken into account. It is a complete joke and opens the schools up to lawsuits, which the families of both children are filing. That means the tax payers are paying for educators' lack of judgement.
Those in power (no matter what level) seem to react on a hair trigger. (Yes, I said hair trigger!) Without thinking of all the facts. Being so politically correct that you are that wrong is a bigger problem than children bringing toy guns to school. By far. To me, it's as troubling as the gun control debate itself.
Since these stories hit the news, the Pennsylvania girl's punishment was reduced to 2 days. And the South Carolina girl was readmitted to school. It took public outcry for school officials to open their eyes to reality.
It's a sad commentary that our children are in the care of some people who do not understand in the slightest that these are children not short adults. They are being treated well outside the boundaries of their ages.
It is my opinion that they need to be given back the childhood they are being robbed of.
Afterthought: I did not address parents in this because that is its own blog. Yes, they are responsible as well, but I am not addressing their role in this at this point.