First let me post some actual stories from news sources which relate to ridiculous “zero gun tolerance” rules implemented in schools across our country.
1. Nebraska, a 3-year-old-deaf boy has been told by his school district to change the way he signs his name because the gesture resembles shooting a gun.
3-Year-Old Deaf Boy, Told By Preschool To Change Way He Signs His Name
The Huffington Post | By Ron Dicker
08/28/2012 12:25 pm Updated: 10/04/2012 9:12 am
2. Maryland First Grader Suspended for Pointing Finger in Shape of Gun
abcnews.go.com › US for pretending his fingers were scissors and then a gun. After the third incident , he was suspended, according to the letter, obtained by WJLA …
Jan 3, 2013
3. Maryland Parents Furious After Boys Suspended For Using Fingers As Guns
TALBOT COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Is it child’s play or a serious threat of gun violence? For the second time in less than a month, a Maryland child is kicked out of school for using his finger in the shape of a gun.
January 15, 2013 11:23 PM
4. Pennsylvania girl, 5, suspended for talk of ‘shooting’ a Hello Kitty ‘bubble gun’
From Meridith Edwards, CNN A Pennsylvania school suspends a kindergarten girl for making a “terroristic threat”. Her lawyer says she playfully talked of “shooting” a Hello Kitty bubble gun with friends. The school later reduces the suspension, but still finds she made a “threat to harm others
Tue January 22, 2013 updated 10:49 AM EST
5. Philadelphia Fifth-grader reprimanded for bringing paper ‘gun’ to school
By Mike Krumboltz, Yahoo! News | The Lookout –
Wed, Jan 23, 2013
6. Colorado Boy, 7, suspended for throwing imaginary grenade, playing a game of ‘rescue the world,’ he tossed an imaginary grenade into a box. Because of the school’s ‘no real or play fighting’ rule, the boy was kicked out of school for an undisclosed period of time.
BY ADAM EDELMAN / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS,
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2013, 6:24 PM
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/boy-7-suspended-throwing-imaginary-grenade-article-1.1256200#ixzz2V6TSMKU1
7. Florida Student Suspended After Disarming Teen Who Had Gun On The School Bus, Officials Say (VIDEO) The Huffington Post | By Cavan Sieczkowski
03/05/2013 2:30 pm EST
8. Maryland Student Suspended For Pop-Tart Gun, Josh Welch, Files Appeal With Maryland County School System
The Baltimore Sun | By Joe Burris
03/18/2013 8:00 am EDT | Updated: 03/19/2013 3:13 pm EDT
9. Massachusetts Boy, 5, suspended for bringing plastic toy gun to school
March 22, 2013 FoxNews.com
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/03/22/boy-5-suspended-for-bringing-plastic-toy-gun-to-school/#ixzz2V6WFoUMI
10. DO ZERO TOLERANCE POLICIES FOR WEAPONS AT SCHOOLS DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD IN PRACTICE? Christopher Santarelli, The Blaze.
On Monday, a North Carolina high school senior, honor student and Eagle Scout realized as he pulled into the school parking lot that he had his skeet shooting rifle in his car. He went inside the school to call his mom to come pick it up and take it home. But the school found out and David “Cole” Withrow was arrested just weeks before his graduation.
May. 2, 2013 10:00pm
11. Zero tolerance: Virginia 2nd-grader suspended for pretending his pencil was a gun.
He was suspended from Driver Elementary School in Suffolk, Va. for two days after pretending to be a Marine shooting at a ‘bad guy’ played by a friend, who was also suspended.
BY MICHAEL WALSH / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013, 2:58 PM
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/va-7-year-old-suspended-gun-play-article-1.1337342#ixzz2V6PpZ6Sw
12. Massachusetts 6-YEAR-OLD GIVEN DETENTION, FORCED TO APOLOGIZE AFTER BRINGING THIS SERIOUSLY TINY PLASTIC GUN ON SCHOOL BUS
May. 29, 2013 1:20am Jason Howerton, The Blaze
13. Maryland 5yo Kindergartener interrogated over Cowboy style cap gun until he pees his pants, then suspended 10 days from school in Calvert County
The Daily Caller –
Fri, May 31, 2013
14. FLORENCE, AZ – A high school student in Florence said he has been suspended because of a picture of a gun. By: Corey Rangel
Read more: http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region_central_southern_az/florence/florence-student-suspended-over-picture-of-gun#ixzz2V6fPQ99R
And seriously the list goes on and on over irrational zero gun tolerance guidelines. For hundreds of years kids have been playing out scenarios with guns, from cowboys and Indians, cops and robbers, and acting like soldiers/army men and these boys grew up without becoming psychopathic homicidal blood thirsty killers!
Contrary to my title I do not actually think “zero gun tolerance” needs to be eradicated, however it certainly needs a massive overhaul. This rule that every and any type or image of a gun or any explosive device is cause for disciplinary action is moronic. How about a realistic set of rules and guidelines which would outline: Disciplinary action for any gun that has the ability to fire a projectile, any material used in making gun powder or explosives, bullets(live or spent). In a situation where a student brings a firearm to school or a extension of school(field trips, buses, away games, etc) and another student may attempt in disarming the student(added because this incident did occur in Fla), the student who was disarming would only be disciplined after statements were taken from witnesses and reviewed to determine whether the student was truly acting for the safety of all present.
Additionally, other exceptions need to be considered. Like the boy who was arrested after realizing he left his rifle in his truck and called his mom to come pick it up. No consideration was given for a young man who tried to do the right thing after he realized the mistake. Same thing for the boy who disarmed the gun toting student. In both these instances they tried to do the right thing and both were penalized. So what would be the lesson learned here?
Well for the first case it shows “never” to talk around a school official, that creates distrust. Secondly it shows to either disregard the rules and try to hide the rifle or to get in your vehicle and leave school premises without authorization. And though you may get in trouble for ditching school you won’t get arrested!(not yet anyway)
The second incident is far more tragic in its potential outcome, which is why I’m sure the boy felt compelled to intervene in the first place. And the lesson learned there is… Let the guy shoot people. Because if you instill this fear of penalization for being even remotely involved in a gun incident, more people will get shot and less people will help!
So people do you want your children and grandchildren to be freaking out at the sight of a gun for fear they will be ostracized and penalized by their educators? Remember these are the people who care for your child 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 10 months a year for 13 years of their most formidable years. If we don’t take a stand now and beat down this policy to a more realistic policy our children may not have the tenacity to strike a fly!