On to the specific story I perused on Fox News this morning that really chapped my a$$. The Reader's Digest version is that an elementary school in Rhode Island (Providence, not Quahog. Please do not start a letter-writing campaign to mayor Adam West) banned an 8-year old boy from bringing a camoflague trucker's cap to school, because... are you ready for this? It has little plastic Army men glued to it. I am totally not even making this up. When I first read this I thought it was from the Onion.
Here was the assignment: "Christian Morales says her son David was assigned to make a crazy hat for his class at the Tiogue School in Coventry, RI... her son came up with an idea to glue small plastic Army figures to a camoflague hat with an American flag." Well, the principal said the hat was innapropriate because it violated a school ban on weapons and toy weapons. The reason, according to the superintendent of the schools? "We don't advocate having any concept of weapons in the school."
Now, if you read this and don't have school age children yet, or they are long ago out of your house as "adults", you are probably laughing like hell. Don't. I will tell you in some other post, I know for a fact this goes on in many school systems. My son's school district in Georgia (I won't say where) also had equally asinine "zero tolerance policies." One of these aforementioned policies led to his expulsion just two weeks before finishing his junior year. BUT FIRST, the rant.
Are you freaking kidding me? Let me address two things. First, the school has a ban on weapons (rightly so) and toy weapons (probably also a good idea since some toy firearms can look amazingly real). But, stay with me here, these are miniature toy soldiers holding miniature toy weapons, NOT "toy weapons". I mean, is this 8-year old going to somehow melt the toy army guy off of said toy weapon, and brandish the half-inch long toy plastic representation of a M16 rifle against his classmates?? I mean, it is not even a toy weapon! It is a piece of little plastic molded to look like a weapon for a little plastic man! Criminy! Second, this policy covers weapons and "depictions" of weapons. Well, this is one issue of contention for these policies. They are so vaguely worded they can be broadly interpreted. This is as
Now, let me go back to the statement made by the superintendent, that they don't advocate having any concept of weapons at school. This is
If you ride this Crazy Train of flawed logic further to another station, in reality anything can be used as a weapon. Ask a prison inmate, they'll tell you! Even something as innocuous as a pillow can be a weapon if used in the wrong manner. Look, I can agree children need to be educated in an environment that is deemed safe enough, by rational people and plain old common sense, to where their lives are not in danger and know the administrators and faculty are looking out for their safety. But these zero-tolerance policies that hamstring those same folks into making utterly ludicrous decisions that defy good sense is not the answer.
* "precious snowflakes" will appear again in a future post... count on it.