There have been numerous documented cases of overly ambitious anti-gun rules leading to draconian punishments for public school students. Instead of realizing that kids enjoy using their imaginations, administrators have imposed bizarre zero-tolerance policies that lead to the suspension – or even expulsion – of children behaving no differently than their counterparts in previous generations.
In just the latest example of this unsettling trend, a 10-year-old boy in Columbus, Ohio received a three-day suspension for engaging in the time-honored tradition of making a ‘gun’ out of his forefinger.
The child was accused of brandishing a “level 2 lookalike firearm.”
Obviously, his father, Paul Entingh, is incensed that Nathan received such a harsh penalty for the apparent infraction of bringing his hand along with him to school.
“He said he was playing,” Entingh said, explaining that he could see the possibility of a punishment “if he brought a plastic gun that looked like a real gun or something, but it was his finger.”
In his understandable defense, the fifth grade student said his classmates “play around like this a lot at my school.”
As for his punishment, Nathan unequivocally stated his belief that “it was dumb.”
He is certainly not alone. Children – especially boys – have engaged in such imaginative play since the earliest days of firearms. Since the public school system has effectively stripped administrators of any common sense, however, these completely innocent acts are now being portrayed as a sign of criminal proclivity.
School district spokesperson Jeff Warner actually described Nathan’s behavior as representing a “kind of execution style” murder.
While this is far from an isolated incident in today’s reactionary public school system, the action against Nathan shows administrators can turn virtually anything into a punishable offense in their purported effort of maintaining safe schools.
Obviously, safety standards are vital; and punishment for legitimate violators will help curb the potential for on-campus violence. Kicking kids out of school for extending a finger, however, only delegitimizes actual violations and further turns public sentiment against the zero-tolerance rules ostensibly passed to keep children safe.
–B. Christopher Agee
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Photo Credit: Michiel1972 at nl.wikipedia (Creative Commons)
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom