In what seems to be yet another manifestation of a national epidemic of lunacy affecting educators, an outbreak occurred in Tan Valley, Arizona where Poston Butte High School freshman Daniel McClaine, Jr. was suspended for three days for violating a school weapon policy.  And what was the offense of this freshman domestic terrorist?  Did he threaten others with a handgun?  Brandish an “assault weapon?”  Bring a broken, clear plastic Airsoft gun to show and tell?  Perhaps he waved about a knife in the lunch room with butter still on it?  Point his finger at someone while maniacally intoning “bang?”

Oh no.  The dangerous criminal did something infinitely worse.  The Daily Caller noted:  

…Daniel McClaine, Jr., a freshman at Poston Butte High School in Tan Valley, Arizona, made the mistake of setting a picture of a gun as the desktop background on his school-issued computer.

The picture shows an AK-47 lying on a flag, reports KNXV-TV. The gun isn’t his, McClaine assured the ABC affiliate in Phoenix. He found it on the Internet and liked it, partly because he is interested in serving in the military after graduation.

That’s right, gentle readers.  He had a photo of a gun, a two-dimensional image of a firearm, installed as wallpaper on a laptop computer.

District policy states that students cannot use school-issued laptops to send or display ‘offensive messages or pictures,’ explains KNXV. Students also cannot use them to produce, retrieve, send or forward images that are considered ‘harassing, threatening or illegal.’

It’s not clear who determines what is ‘offensive’ or ‘threatening,’ or the basis upon which the determination was made in this case.

I would rather not contemplate the sort of mentality that would find a mere photograph of a firearm offensive, harassing, threatening or illegal; too depressing.

McClaine maintained that he read the guidelines but did not think that a picture of a gun could threaten or offend anyone.

Well, certainly no one sane…

This gun wallpaper does not show anything that’s violent. It’s not showing anybody getting shot in any way,’ the suspended freshman told the station. ‘It’s just a picture of a gun. It’s nothing — nobody getting shot, nobody getting it pointed at them. It’s nothing.

Daniel McClaine, Sr. also appears to be among the ranks of the non-sanity challenged:

He should have got a warning,” Daniel McClaine, Sr. told KNXV. “He shouldn’t have ever been suspended. Not for something so frivolous.

Dana Hawman, Florence Unified School District spokesman demonstrated…well, you decide:

Although we cannot specifically discuss student discipline, we can certainly agree that violence in schools is a sensitive and timely issue.  Students, parents and staff are on edge, and the daily news delivers more reasons for caution. All of us must work together to protect our kids and to cultivate an environment that is conducive to learning.

Right.  And “working together” consists of banishing photographs of firearms and anything else the ludicrously squeamish might find upsetting.  One wonders if a photo of a food processor might be too much for such timid souls.  They have sharp, whirling blades, after all.

Fortunately, there is a happy ending:

After McClaine’s father contacted the local press, Florence Unified School District officials suddenly decided that the younger McClaine could return to school on Monday.

Interesting how people like this tend to suddenly develop a conscience when exposed to sufficient public scorn.

And in Colorado, where elementary level educators may be “internalizing” recent legislation that legalized marijuana, a seven year old domestic terrorist is facing suspension from school because he…I’ll let Fox News explain: 

A Colorado second-grader may be suspended from his elementary school after he disobeyed a key rule of no weapons, real or imaginary, when he tossed an imaginary grenade Friday during recess and went, ‘pshhh,’ to indicate that the imaginary device detonated, KDVR.com reported.

Surely there must be extenuating circumstances.  No doubt the terroristic tot was throwing the imaginary grenade at other students who were quaking in imaginary terror, or perhaps he was stuffing it down the imaginary bloomers of an imaginary teacher?  Perhaps he said “pshhh” really loudly or in a particularly horrifying and threatening manner?

Alex Watkins, 7, who attends Mary Blair Elementary in Loveland, said he was playing the game ‘Rescue the World.’ He plays the role of a heroic soldier out to rid the world of an evil threat.

His duties led him to throw the imaginary grenade into a box he pretended contained evil forces. He said he didn’t make any threats and was playing by himself.

The school is obviously working hard to ensure that its students are safe from the most stupefying nonexistent threats, and actually has a rule that prohibits such imaginary weapons.  No information on whether they have done anything to address actual, tangible threats is available.

Alex’s mother is also apparently in possession of her faculties and is living in the real, rather than the imaginary world inhabited by Mary Blair Elementary educators:

Honestly, I don’t think the rule is very realistic for kids this age. I think that when a child is trying to save the world, I don’t think he should be punished for it.

Well yes.  I mean, would you suspend the Avengers for saving the world?  Surely not.  Hulk, smash!

Demonstrating far more common sense and rationality than any adult involved–other than his mother–Alex said he can’t believe he was “dispended.”

Unfortunately, I–and I’m sure you, gentle readers–can.

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