Once again we see the stupidity of the so-called “zero tolerance” policy in our fetid schools with an 11-year-old boy in Chicago who was suspended for voluntarily turning in a broken toy gun to school officials after he remembered he had it in his coat pocket when he got to school.
Chicago’s Frederick Funston Elementary School recently introduced random pat downs of students entering the school with an eye toward stopping weapons from coming into the classroom. So, when sixth grader Caden Cook was waiting in line to get into the school he remembered he had the broken toy gun in his coat pocket and voluntarily turned it in to school authorities.
Being honest was the student’s big mistake. Instead of school officials just taking the little toy and tossing it in the garbage like a sensible adult would do, the boy’s life was turned upside down from multiple attacks at the hands of school administrators incensed that the child dare to break their foolish, illogical “zero tolerance” policy.
The school not only suspended the boy but demanded that he undergo psychiatric counseling for playing with “weapons.” It’s a toy gun. Every kid plays with toy guns. There is no mental problem in that!
The boy was also subjected to hours of interrogation by school officials without his parents even notified that it was all going on.
A group called the Rutherford Institute has dedicated itself to representing kids in these sorts of absurd cases. RI has put out a statement of support for the student and demanding that the school reverse its abusive treatment of the child.
“This case speaks volumes about what’s wrong with our public schools and public officials: rather than school officials showing they are capable of exercising good judgment, distinguishing between what is and is not a true threat, and preserving safety while steering clear of a lockdown mindset better suited to a prison environment, they instead opted to exhibit poor judgment, embrace heavy handed tactics, and treat a toy gun like a dangerous weapon,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State. “In the process, school officials sent a strong, chilling message to this child and his classmates that they have no rights in the American police state.”
The simple fact is, the boy’s toy gun does not in any way whatever rise to the level of the actions the school perpetrated against him.
In fact, sensible people might rather agree that the boy did the right thing by turning in the toy. And can we again note that this is a damn toy and not a real weapon?
Zero tolerance policies have been falling out of favor all across the country as well they should.
These childish policies are merely an excuse for school administrators to get out of having to make adult decisions about what is going on in their schools. These mindless authorities simple-mindedly point to the “policy,” claim their hands are tied, and escape from having to do any hard decision-making in life.
Zero tolerance policies should be ended. They are bad for kids, bad for education, do nothing to keep the classroom safe, and are actually an impediment to the intellectual and moral growth of our kids.