Since school will be ending soon, let’s bid farewell with a collection of some recent “War on Fun” stories from the front lines of education:
School officials “grilled” a kindergartener for bringing his “cowboy-style cap gun” to show a friend. During the two hour interrogation, the culprit peed his pants. In addition to wet underwear, he received a 10-day suspension for “possession of a look-alike gun.”
A 6-year-old Massachusetts student caused “quite a disturbance” on the school bus with his “tiny plastic toy gun.”
Accused of “brandishing a weapon” at school, one 10-year-old in Virginia wound up fingerprinted and photographed by police, then sent before a judge twice. “How can you go from a toy gun to a criminal charge…?” asked Tina Hone, founder of the Coalition of The Silence, a pro-student advocacy group in Northern Virginia.
A Nerf gun which fired foam “bullets” was responsible for the lockdown of two high schools in the Bronx, N.Y.
Drawing “what appeared to be weapons” in a notebook lead to the arrest of one New Jersey high school student.
Another high school student was suspended for using a photo of a gun as his school-issued computer background photo.
And the list goes on…
“Local Student Suspended for Gun Gesture”
“Kindergarten Student Suspended for Pink Bubble Gun Threat in Pennsylvania”
“School Confiscates Third-Grader’s Cupcakes Topped with Toy Soldiers”
“Philadelphia Girl Scolded, Searched for Pulling Out Paper Gun at School”
“Virginia 2nd-Grader Suspended for Pretending His Pencil was a Gun”
“Maryland First-Grader Suspended for Making Gun Gesture with Hand”
“Tamaqua 7th Grader Suspended for Pointing Finger ‘Gun’ at Classmates”
“6-Year-Old Expelled for Bringing Plastic Gun to School”
This last one has a happy ending. After giving “careful thought and consideration for the safety of the school community,” the South Carolina school superintendent allowed the expelled girl to return to class.
A Maryland boy also got some good news…maybe. It depends on your opinion about the pro-gun group the National Rifle Association, who gave 8-year-old Joshua Welch a lifetime membership to their organization. Josh had been suspended earlier in the school year for unintentionally biting his Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun. The NRA, seeing all the media attention the story was getting, thought it was a great idea to honor Josh (though he’s still unsure of exactly what the group is). Along with the membership came a $550 certificate, which the boy handed to his parents “and returned to playing games on a cellphone.”
Another response to the Pop Tart incident came from Maryland Senator J. B. Jennings, who introduced a bill in Congress to try to bring the public school system’s Zero Tolerance polices under control. Readers not familiar with the term “Zero Tolerance” can take a look at the explanation from BAD FOR YOU (lavishly illustrated in the comic below).
While the actual book won’t be out until November, you can see the original BAD FOR YOU map by clicking on “The Book” section above this website’s banner; the map is the first image at top left. Everything listed above has happened after the map was completed.
You can expect more Zero Tolerance roundups in the future.