For some time now I’ve been documenting what can only be described as an epidemic of lunacy infecting school principals and teachers throughout the nation. Those interested in tracking the spread of the infection might visit my PJ Media article from March, or this SMM article from February that is very similar to the first example that follows. So let’s put on our moon suits and respirators and examine the first patient.
A kindergartner who brought a cowboy-style cap gun onto his Calvert County [Maryland] school bus was suspended for 10 days after showing a friend the orange-tipped toy, which he had tucked inside his backpack on his way to school, according to his family and a lawyer.
The child was questioned for more than two hours before his mother was called, she said, adding that he uncharacteristically wet his pants during the episode. The boy is 5 — ‘all bugs and frogs and cowboys,” his mother said.
‘I have no problem that he had a consequence to his behavior,’ said the mother, who asked that her name be withheld to protect her son’s privacy.
‘What I have a problem with is the severity,’ she said, and the way it was handled.
The family’s attorney appealed the suspension late Thursday, asking that the action be reversed and the child’s record be expunged.
Surely there’s more to this story. Surely the tiny terrorist was threatening horrific violence? Not so much:
In Calvert County, the trouble began Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. on a 10-minute bus ride to school.
According to the family, the boy’s friend had brought a water gun on the bus a day earlier. On Wednesday, unbeknown to his parents, the boy stowed his cap gun — from Frontier Town near Ocean City — inside his backpack as he left for school.
He told his mother after the incident that he had ‘really, really’ wanted to show his friend.
The mother was called by the principal at 10:50 a.m. and was told that her son had the cap gun and pretended to shoot someone on the bus. She said that both the kindergartner and his first-grade sister, sitting nearby on the bus, disputed that account.
The mother said the principal told her that if the cap gun had been loaded with caps, it would have been deemed an explosive and police would have been called in.
The child’s disciplinary referral said he was being suspended for possession of a look-alike gun.
If the cap gun was loaded, it would have been “deemed an explosive and police would have been called in.” Think about that gentle readers. If the cap gun was loaded. The cap gun. Loaded with–caps. Caps. If the youngster had a firecracker, what then? Call out a NEST (Nuclear Emergency Support Team) team?
Obviously this kid’s mother is some kind of anti-school lunatic. Not so much:
The child’s mother is a high school teacher in Calvert who said she strongly supports the school system and loves the teachers at her son’s school. She and her husband, who coaches youth sports, are active community volunteers.
For the family, a major concern is the long period the 5-year-old was questioned without parental guidance or support. His sister was questioned, too, she said.
‘The school was quite obviously taking it very seriously, and he’s 5 years old,’ she said. ‘Why were we not immediately contacted?
Well obviously because the tiny terrorist could be a part of an enormous cap gun running ring. The principal obviously had to question him to determine the extent of his terrorist involvement so that any future cap gun shipments could be interdicted, particularly if they were loaded. The potential for mild banging noises that might cause the innocent to say “o– a cap gun,” boggles the mind, or at least the minds of the school officials involved. And his six year old sister could easily be the ringleader of this gun and explosive running gang. It’s always the ones you least expect. How old was this kid again?
The family’s attorney, Robin Ficker, said that the age of the child is important and that the incident could have been used as a teachable moment.
‘Kids play cowboys and Indians,’ he said. ‘They play cops and robbers. You’re talking about a little 5-year-old here.
Thank goodness school officials near our nation’s capitol are so vigilant. You can’t be too careful when you’re talking about loaded cap guns, which as everyone knows are the preferred weapons of terrorists everywhere… What’s that? They’re not? Oh. And fortunately, just a short time later, the anti-terror forces of the Calvert County Schools once again swung into action, this time, premptively. From WMAL.com:
The father of a middle schooler in Calvert County, Md. says his 11-year-old son was suspended for 10 days for merely talking about guns on the bus ride home.
Bruce Henkelman of Huntingtown says his son, a sixth grader at Northern Middle School in Owings, was talking with friends about the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre when the bus driver hauled him back to school to be questioned by the principal, Darrel Prioleau.
‘The principal told me that with what happened at Sandy Hook if you say the word ‘gun’ in my school you are going to get suspended for 10 days,’ Henkelman said in an interview with WMAL.com.
Well, obviously the 11 year-old terrorist–probably in cahoots with the 5 year old cap gun runner–must have said something pretty terrible to warrant a ten day suspension. Not so much:
He said, I wish I had a gun to protect everyone. He wanted to defeat the bad guys. That’s the context of what he said,’ Henkelman said. ‘He wanted to be the hero.’
The boy was questioned by the principal and a sheriff’s deputy, who also wanted to search the family home without a warrant, Henkelman said. ‘He started asking me questions about if I have firearms, and [the deputy said] he’s going to have to search my house. Search my house? I just wanted to know what happened.’
No search was performed, and the deputy left Henkelman’s home after the father answered questions in a four-page questionnaire issued by the Sheriff’s Office.
And now, let’s take a visit to the Department of Understatement, ACLU of Maryland chapter:
Based on information about Henkelman’s case provided by WMAL.com, the ACLU of Maryland said the suspension, later reduced to one day, was a poor choice by school administrators.
‘It’s appropriate for school officials to investigate when there is a concern about student safety. But based on what’s been described to us, once the school official concluded that all the young man wanted to do was to be safe at school and that he posed no risk to anyone, the suspension was really inappropriate,’ said Sonya Kumar, an ACLU staff attorney.
‘The school should have been assuring him that they were going to take steps to keep all students safe, not punishing him,’ she added.
So obviously this 11 year-old is a hardened terrorist. And this Henkelman is probably a real troublemaker too, maybe even a cap gun manufacturer! Not so much:
Henkelman said the incident happened last December right before students were sent home for winter break, but he did not feel compelled to take his story to the public until he learned that a 5-year-old Calvert County boy was suspended for bringing a toy cap gun on a school bus.
‘[My son] was very scared at the fact that he was interviewed by the principal and a sheriff’s deputy alone. He didn’t know where I was,’ Henkelman said.
Helpful General Rule Of Life: When the ACLU agrees with rational people on any issue even remotely involving the Second Amendment or guns, you know something is really, really wrong.
Let’s review: an eleven year-old boy, while riding on a school bus, was talking about having a gun to protect people. He didn’t have a gun, not even an unloaded cap gun with an orange tip. He didn’t threaten anyone. And a school principal, an adult, thought this grounds for a ten-day school suspension? And a sheriff’s deputy, an adult, thought this sufficient grounds for a warrantless search of the child’s parent’s home? And he had a four-page questionnaire relating to this topic he demanded the parent fill out? That Sheriff’s Office must have terrible trouble with juveniles expressing the desire for guns to protect those they love, I mean, why else would they have a four page questionnaire covering that topic? And this incident was so serious–“with what happened at Sandy Hook if you say the word ‘gun’ in my school you are going to get suspended for 10 days,”–the punishment was reduced to one day.
In this case–and this is rare–I’ll let the ACLU make the point:
Across the board, we are concerned about practices where we have these sort of knee-jerk reactions without really stopping to think and use our common sense about whether what a kid is doing or saying actually presents any sort of concern for the safety and well-being of others,’ Kumar said.
Perhaps in our soon-to-come politically correct future, reactionary terrorists like cowboys will be replaced by more appropriate heroes of the state, and instead of playing “cowboys and Indians,” children will play “principals and sheriff’s deputies with four-page questionnaires.”