Sunday, March 6, 2011

Prison or School?

Schools are becoming places that are more like prisons than institutions of higher learning. I understand the need to keep kids safe and provide an environment that is appropriate for learning. I also understand the need for common sense, good judgment and protection of individual rights of the students and teachers. When there is a concern for security we need to make sure that we are keeping the kids safe. We also need to make sure that we are not making safety issues out of non-issues.

A young member of a US Olympic shooting team went to school wearing his US Olympic team shirt. It shows a couple of guns on the shirt. He is in violation of the zero tolerance for guns rule at the school. There should be zero tolerance for those who commit crimes of violence or who conspire or attempt to commit crimes of violence against school children. Wearing an Olympic shirt with a gun on it is not a crime and should not be a school offense.

Zero Tolerance is a nice way for all the school administrators to avoid having to make decisions. They simply say, zero tolerance for guns and you are kicked out of school. So as a result, kids in rural areas with their hunting rifles are tossed out of school. Kids with an Olympic tee shirt with guns embroidered on it are tossed out of school. Kids with toy soldiers that have guns are tossed out of school. Kids who make their fingers into a gun shape are tossed out of school. The lack of common sense and good judgment in schools is appalling. These same people grade our kids’ papers and issue their report cards. How can they make these determinations when they don’t know the difference between a man threatening someone with a gun and a kid wearing a tee shirt? Looks like some school administers need some schooling; that’s the view from the Hysterical Right Wing.

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