What is it about Pennsylvania and Maryland these days? Has every educator in those states gone stark, raving mad? So it would appear. From Fox News we learn:
“The School District of Philadelphia is defending its decision to scold and search an elementary school student who pulled out a paper gun in class.
A district spokesman said the school acted swiftly and appropriately when 5th grade student Melody Valentin allegedly told classmates she had a handgun on her, MyFoxPhilly.com reported.
Melody and her mother, Dianna Kelly, deny she ever used the word ‘handgun.”
Well thank goodness the educators involved acted so promptly to protect students from what appears to be the dangerous threat of a potentially nasty paper cut. Those things can get infected, you know:
“According to Kelly, Melody realized she had the paper gun with her and put it on her desk while preparing to throw it away. Melody’s grandfather, a marine specializing in firearms reportedly gave it to her the day before.
A classmate spotted the piece of paper and contacted administrators.”
A paper gun? A depiction of a firearm, on paper? She wasn’t waving it around and shouting about shooting people? She didn’t even point it–a paper depiction of a firearm–at anyone?
“He yelled at me and said I shouldn’t have brought the gun to school and I kept telling him it was a paper gun but he wouldn’t listen,’ Melody told MyFoxPhilly.com.”
According to the Washington Times, the educator reaction was even more out of the bounds of reason and rationality:
“Melody’s mother, Dianna Kelly, said her daughter’s classmates at D. Newlin Fell School had taunted her child, calling her a ‘murderer.”
Fox 29 reports the young girl was berated in front of the class, threatened with the police being called and searched while the other children watched.
Ms. Kelly said her daughter has since been suffering from nightmares.
‘Why did he threaten my daughter?’ Ms. Kelly asked during an interview with The Daily Mail. ‘Why did he stand over my daughter and tell her that he should call the cops on her? Why did he try to scare her?”
That’s a good question Mrs. Kelly. Back at Fox, the school district responds:
“Fernando Gallard, a school district spokesman told MyFoxPhilly.com the district acted within its guidelines in responding to the situation, and cited another case where a handgun was recently found in a backpack in another school.”
Let’s travel quickly back to the Washington Times for a bit of perspective on these tiny terrorists:
“Tensions have been high since the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, Conn., with many instances since where students are punished for carrying objects or making gestures that are shaped like guns.
Just last week, a Pennsylvania girl was suspended from kindergarten after she told another girl she was going to shoot her with her Hello Kitty toy gun.
A 6-year-old boy was suspended from his school in Silver Spring, Md., on Jan. 3 for pointing his finger at another student and saying ‘pow.”
I trust the Philadelphia school district will now pour over all of its textbooks, and particularly history texts, so that when a student inadvertently opens a page to a depiction of a gun (the Revolutionary War, WWI, WWII, etc.) everyone in that school will not have to immediately duck and cover and go to code red! Why the destruction a depiction of a gun could cause is…is…is…unimaginable, particularly if rendered in color or on card stock!
I trust I need not go into great detail about precisely why this sort of behavior on the part of adults is irredeemably stupid and abusive? And of course, there has to be a sad postscript:
“Kelly has kept Melody out of school to avoid harassment and said she will now have her home schooled.”
At least Philadelphia schools are now protected from the paper gun scourge. Everyone can feel safe, and after all, aren’t feelings what really matter?