7-Year-Old Student Suspended For Waving Around A 'Gun' Made From A Pastry

from the 'always-be-a-good-boy/don't-ever-play-with-buns' dept

So, it's come to this. Oh, wait. I've already used that opening, back when I thought the pinnacle of guns-n-schools overreaction had been approached, if not actually surmounted. Let's start again.

So, NOW it's come to this. A seven-year-old suspended from school for crudely fashioning his breakfast pastry into a gun-like shape and brandishing it in the most menacing fashion a gun-shaped pastry can be wielded.

A 7-year-old Anne Arundel County boy was suspended for two days for chewing a breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun and saying, “Bang, bang”— an offense the school described as a threat to other students, according to his family.

The pastry “gun” was a rectangular strawberry-filled bar, akin to a Pop-Tart, that the second-grader had tried to nibble into the shape of a mountain Friday morning, but then found it looked more like a gun, said his father, William “B.J.” Welch.
Yes. A Pop Tart knockoff makes a handy makeshift weapon, perhaps explaining why pastries are no longer served in prisons. When I say "it's come to this," it really has, but it's been a long time coming and there's plenty of precedent.
- Feb. 5, 2013 - A ten-year-old Virginia student was suspended for bringing an orange-tipped toy gun on a bus.

- Feb. 1, 2013 - A 9-year-old student was suspended for bringing a 2-inch toy gun on a key fob to school.

- Jan. 29, 2013 - A 5-year-old student could be suspended for crafting a Lego gun during an after-school program. Not only that, but he'd crafted his fingers into a gun mere weeks earlier.

- Jan. 22, 2013 - A 5-year-old is suspended for discussing her Hello Kitty bubble gun, saying, "I'll shoot you, you'll shoot me and we'll all play together."

- Jan. 2, 2013 - A 6-year-old in a Washington D.C. school was suspended for making a gun gesture with his hands.

- August 28, 2012 - A deaf 3-year-old preschooler is asked to change the sign he uses for his name -- Hunter -- which he signs by forming a gun with his hands. Apparently, "saying" his name violates the school's weapon policy.

- Feb. 24, 2012 - A drawing of a gun by a four-year-old resulted in the arrest of her father when he came to pick her up from school. He was detained by police and strip-searched while his children were questioned by social services. The gun his child depicted? A plastic toy that belonged to his kids.
That's just a sampling. There are many more stories like these out there. There are many that are underreported or never reported, where parents just deal with the ridiculous outcome of zero-tolerance policies. For some reason, many schools still labor under the delusion that "zero tolerance" equals "tough, but fair." It's neither, and utilizing zero tolerance policies simply prunes the whole process back to a disfigured stump devoid of logic, perspective or context.

So, a child eats something and starts playing with his food because it resembles something other than the RDA-approved Pop Tart knockoff. And his school responds by twisting its own weapons policy into a parody of itself. The actual wording pertaining to prohibited items, courtesy of Lowering the Bar, reads like this:
Any gun of any kind, loaded or unloaded, operable or inoperable, including any object other than a firearm which is a look-a-like of a gun. This shall include, but is not limited to, pellet gun, paintball gun, stun gun, taser, BB gun, flare gun, nail gun, and air soft gun.
How does this policy apply to the pastry? That's a great question, and Lowering the Bar doesn't have an answer:
Josh's gun was not a firearm, because it was a pastry, and it seems highly unlikely that it qualified as a gun "look-a-like," again because it was a pastry. It certainly is nothing like any of the "look-a-like" items set forth in the list, largely because those items are not pastries.
The school's logic apparently is that if it vaguely resembles a gun and someone is pretending it's a gun, then it's a gun look-a-like. Case closed.

This, in and of itself, would be pathetic enough. But it gets worse. The school sent home a letter regarding the (non) incident, which hilariously offers the assistance of staff counselors for anyone "troubled" by the weaponized pastry.
Dear Parents and Guardians:

I am writing to let you know about an incident that occurred this morning in one of our classrooms and encourage you to discuss this matter with your child in a manner you deem most appropriate.

During breakfast this morning, one of our students used food to make inappropriate gestures that disrupted the class. While no physical threats were made and no one [was] harmed, the student had to be removed from the classroom.

* * *

As you are aware, the ... Code of Student Conduct and appropriate consequences related to violations of the code are clearly spelled out in the Student Handbook, which was sent home during the first week of school and can be found on our website, www.aacps.org....
If your children express that they are troubled by today's incident, please talk with them and help them share their feelings. Our school counselor is available to meet with any students who have the need to do so next week. In general, please remind them of the importance of making good choices.
Kevin Underhill at LTB adds:
Pretty sure that if your children are "troubled" by another kid biting a pastry into something that looks sort of like a gun and waving said pastry around, you have already failed as a parent.
And I'd add that if you've done even a merely passable job as a parent, the only "feeling" your children might want to "share" is that their school is run by officious asshats, even if they haven't quite developed the vocabulary to say that in so many words. (Don't kid yourselves, parents: they're quite capable of swearing well above their grade level.)

This is the nadir of the education system's zero tolerance weapon policies. Zero tolerance does nothing more than relieve the administrative staff from the possibility of having blood on their hands. No situtation is too ridiculous to be taken seriously -- and punished harshly. Reducing every incident to binary ensures that no school employee can ever be held responsible for overreacting to any perceived "threat," no matter how innocuous. In many ways, the education system is a reflection of our current "homeland security" ecosystem where the endless pursuit of "safety" has become the impetus for thousands of terrible policies, all enforced inflexibly.

There's a way to pull out of this nosedive but it involves many, many people being willing to make judgement calls on the fly and able to face the heat should their judgement falter. Unfortunately for many in the system, the risk is much higher than the reward. For many in these positions, the possibility of being wrong is incapacitating and zero tolerance policies relieve this pressure. Trying to steer the system back towards a greater reliance on common sense won't be easy, but continuing to let it drift in its current direction will do nothing to improve the safety and security of our schools, much less our country.




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  1.  
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    Akari Mizunashi (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 12:11pm

    Rather than craft their fingers into a gun, these kids should start crafting a "bird".

    Schools today are nothing short of prisons. I truly feel sorry for kids today.

     

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    silverscarcat (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 12:20pm

    Pathetic...

    I feel sorry for the kids, I really do.

    Can't use your imagination, can't play make-believe...

    Yeah, that'll help the next generation of creators, won't it?

     

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  3.  
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    RichS (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 1:44pm

    I think we need zero tolerance against the school administrators who are moronic enough to pull this crap. Fire them and ban them from ever working in any school system ever again. Or any position of power for that matter.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:02pm

    Zero tolerance is a fancy way of saying zero thought.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:08pm

    This is the problem with common sense. It's not as common as you think.

     

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    Wally (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:13pm

    "- Jan. 22, 2013 - A 5-year-old is suspended for discussing her Hello Kitty bubble gun, saying, "I'll shoot you, you'll shoot me and we'll all play together."


    This case is particularly disturbing as I remember my Barney The Purple Dinosaur-hating chant/parity from my school days (add "happily" to the end of it). The thing is. It isn't as if the kids learning this really knew what they were doing, nor is it a sign that they will do this in the future.

    As harmless as most of these behaviors seem, we have to remember to tell our children that guns in certain terms are only meant for shooting the bad guy. It doesn't matter what media the kid uses (toy, bubble gun...etc). The idea is there. While it seemingly poses no threat... depending on the tone of the child, and in which context the child said it in, action must be taken.

     

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  7.  
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    AB, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:13pm

    Re:

    If only there were a valid scientific (ie: 'chemically testable') method of determining open-minded intelligence.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:14pm

    Good choices

    "Our school counselor is available to meet with any students who have the need to do so next week. In general, please remind them of the importance of making good choices."

    An excellent idea. Kids, please, talk with with the school counselor to remind them of the importance of making good choices. Like the choice to NOT suspend students for having a pastry with a weird shape. Because apparently, the school is in desperate need of the lesson.

     

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  9.  
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    gorehound (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:14pm

    Re: Pathetic...

    Hello I'm Commander Shepard and I will Destroy you with my Mattock Strawberry filled Pastry Gun !

     

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  10.  
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    markc, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:17pm

    Pastry doesn't kill people, peo-...oh wait, Pastry DOES kill people.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:18pm

    Re:

    Parody?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:19pm

    Sounds like a story about the T.S.A..

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:19pm

    Re:

    Would that or the archers (reverse victory) salute get them suspended?

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:21pm

    Gun shapes

    I can see it now - kids picking up wooden puzzle pieces from the U.S. map puzzle in the class room, and being suspended for waving around Florida, California, Louisiana, Massachusetts, etc.

    OMG, watch what you do with that L-shaped item, don't you know how dangerous the letter L is?

    We need to remove the letters F, J, L, and P from the alphabet, lest kids get the wrong idea.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:22pm

    When you ban guns, only pastry chefs will have arms.

     

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    alanbleiweiss (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:23pm

    To whom it may concern,

    upon receiving your letter regarding today's incident at the school, I spoke with my child. When I asked if he was upset by this incident, he said burst out in tears. Clearly this mornings incident caused him unimaginable pain and anguish.

    Eventually I was able to calm him and reassure him that he was safe and I would protect him. And eventually he explained to me that his pain and suffering were over the fact that your school is run by a bunch of maniacal deranged lunatics who go around violently admonishing students and causing mass panic.

    The mere fact that your staff are fully grown adults and our children are tiny physically is enough for me to express outrage over how you treat them. The notion that you would bully them and punish them for their innocence is appalling.

    That you left my child traumatized by your actions is unspeakable.

    So yes please, schedule a session with your counselors ASAP. But instead of my child attending that session, I prefer you require your entire staff be in attendance and forced to look within their soulless hearts over this matter.

    Sincerely WTF

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:28pm

    the shootings that have occurred in schools were horrendous. i am sure that everyone agrees with that and if possible the poor souls that were lost would be brought back. however, to take things to the extremes that they are now being taken is beyond ridiculous. starting this sort of intolerance at so early an age will not prevent anything from happening. in fact, i wouldn't be surprised if it didn't have the opposite effect and affected these youngsters in a completely unintended way, like rejecting authority, maybe?

     

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  18.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Re: Pathetic...

    That kid making the Montreal Metro Counter-Strike maps should now have a delicious idea for a new mod.

     

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  19.  
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    Chris ODonnell (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:34pm

    Eating a pop-tart knock-off is far more dangerous than pretending it is a gun.

     

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  20.  
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    McCrea (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:35pm

    School rules

    In Catechism we were required to shape our pastries into phalluses, but we still weren't allowed to shoot them during class.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:35pm

    Re:

    "While it seemingly poses no threat... depending on the tone of the child, and in which context the child said it in, action must be taken."

    It "seemingly" poses no threat? It's a BUBBLE GUN and the comment came from a FIVE YEAR OLD GIRL - and she was only TALKING about it.

    The comment cannot be taken as a threat. There is no danger to the safety of the students at the school. It is therefore inappropriate to suspend the student.

    In the case of the boy with the pastry, it would only be appropriate to suspend him if his actions were disrupting the class, the teacher told him to stop and he refused, AND he had a history of such behavior. Even if the first two were met, simply sending him to the office and issuing a detention would be plenty - and that would be for disruption, not for a weapons policy violation. He did not violate the weapons policy because he did not have a weapon or a weapon look-alike.

     

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  22.  
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    Chosen Reject (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:38pm

    Re:

    Can we organize a protest where all the parents from that school show up toting pastries? I would so do that if this had happened at my daughter's school.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:39pm

    Re:

    It is more likely to have the opposite result by suppressing the expression of annoyance and anger. Keeping the lid on such emotions often only for so long, and leads to an eventual explosion, which can be extremely violent.

     

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  24.  
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    Watchit (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:45pm

    "Help help! This 7 year old was threatening me with a pastry! I think he means to kill us all!"

     

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  25.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:48pm

    Why are people incapable of using rational thought and common bloody sense when it comes to these issues?

    I despair for humanity, I really do.

     

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  26.  
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    BearGriz72 (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:51pm

    The Failure of Modern Society...

    The key to this whole article lies in two sentences of the last paragraph.
    "There's a way to pull out of this nosedive but it involves many, many people being willing to make judgement calls on the fly and able to face the heat should their judgement falter. Unfortunately for many in the system, the risk is much higher than the reward."
    The problem is today's society is too over bureaucratized and litigious to deal with reasonable people making educated decisions, and *Gasp* an honest mistake. The fact is that almost nobody is willing to take responsibility for their own actions, and tries to "pass the buck", leading in this case to a moronic interpretation of a pointless "zero-tolerance policy".

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Gun shapes

    Also, history class must no longer cover any period where wars were happening, because wars use weapons, and the very MENTION of weapons could traumatize these children forever.

    History class will now consist of taking roll call and then dismissing the class, since there's nothing left to cover.

     

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  28.  
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    Pseudonym, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:53pm

    Oh, you say it's the nadir now, but next month, some four year old will be removed from class for carrying a plastic yoghurt spoon in such a way that it could resemble a butter knife if you squint really hard.

    Actually, scratch that thought. I shouldn't give them ideas.

     

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  29.  
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    DH's Love Child (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:54pm

    Re: School rules

    OMG!! You owe me a cleaning on my computer screen!

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 2:54pm

    God, what has happened to our country?

     

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  31.  
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    SMobius (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 3:00pm

    surplus to requirements

    On a positive note. In this age of austerity, this story shows us a way to identify where we can make cost savings on staff salaries without adversely affecting the quality of education.

     

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  32.  
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    ShellMG, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 3:04pm

    Wait until next Christmas, when CBS or whatever network shows "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" gets out their PC knives. They'll have to carve out the water pistol that squirts grape jelly. Too much like a pastry, dontchaknow.

    I'm glad my kids are finally out of K-12. I'd have to homeschool them to prevent these nutjobs from dumbing them down.

     

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  33.  
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    Angel (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 3:06pm

    My children are all older now, but if I was to have another there is no way in Hell It would ever see the inside of a public school in the U.S. To much politics, and not enough learning.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 3:07pm

    Re:

    Next year:

    A 6 year old student was suspended Tuesday for carrying a copy of the school's weapons policy. The student in question was apparently supposed to give the policy to his parents, but left it in his bag. where it was found by the teacher on the second day of school.

    "We sent this home with the students on the first day of school, but it was a clear violation of the policy to bring it back", said the school's principal. "The policy states that anything that may function as a weapon may not be brought to school. Not only does the document mention 'weapons', which could cause other students who only glimpse that word to think it is a threat, but the policy itself may be considered a weapon. Indeed, it has been used many times to beat our students into submission."

    "The lack of any true danger, and the fact that we gave it to him in the first place, is no excuse", he said. "We couldn't call it zero tolerance if we showed tolerance."

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 3:08pm

    Face it the human race is screwed...brought to you by libertards and do gooders.
    Its every man for themselves now…

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 3:09pm

    Oh no, calories, run away from the calories

    Some people need a perpective adjustment

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 3:17pm

    The US Education system is just preparing children for their lives of growing up in the US Penal system.

     

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  38.  
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    alanbleiweiss (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 3:20pm

    Re: The Failure of Modern Society...

    case in point - California elder care facility that let a woman die because it's against policy for staff to perform emergency first aid. Even though the 911 caller was a nurse. Trained in CPR.

    Even in this scenario, the California good Samaritan law protecting such acts isn't enough to stop people from basing decisions on fear of litigation. Even when someone could die as a result.

    That's how screwed this world has become.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 3:24pm

    Re:

    You can not fire union employes for being stupid. They can only be fired for cause, ie a criminal offense.

     

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  40.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 3:26pm

    Re:

    If Deadpool has taught us anything...

    It's a freaking Super Power!

     

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  41.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 3:30pm

    Re:

    "God, what has happened to our country?"

    9/11 when the terrorists won. They don't have to do anything anymore, we'll destroy ourselves and be happy for it.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 3:32pm

    Video Evidence that Pastry is Dangerous

    The Swedish Chef can attest to the dangers of pasty

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0aT03K0Pm0

     

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  43.  
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    Hambone, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Re:

    Serenity now.

    Insanity later.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 3:40pm

    I think the kids pretty much didn't care if some boy from the class was waving around a pastry saying "bang bang". But I would think it was more troubling for them that he was picked up by an adult and not seen for 2 days after.
    For kids to learn from their mistakes, they need to know what that mistake is and even as an adult, I still can't fathom the mistake so how the heck could they?

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 3:41pm

    I just had to say, Bravo! Succinct and devastating.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 3:55pm

    Re: Re:

    Yep, whoever was behind 9/11 surely got everything they desired out of it.

     

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  47.  
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    Eric Holder, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 3:57pm

    Dear Senator Paul

    As members of this Administration have previously indicated, the U.S. government has not eaten its pastries into the shapes of weaponized drones and has no intention of doing so. As a policy matter, moreover, we reject the use of eating pastries into the shape of drones when law enforcement authorities in this country have the established right to eat their pastries into the shape of guns. We have a long history of using gun shaped pastries to incapacitate individuals located in our country who pose a threat to the United States and its interests abroad. Hundreds of individuals have been shocked and awed by our existing policies on gun-shaped pastries.

    The question you have posed is therefore entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur, and one we hope no President will ever have to confront. It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to eat their pastries into the shape of drones. For example, the President could conceivably have no choice but to authorize the military to eat their pastries in this manner if necessary to protect
    the homeland in the circumstances of a catastrophic attack like the ones suffered on December 7, 1941, and September 11, 2001.

    Were such an emergency to arise, I would examine the particular facts and circumstances before advising the President on the scope of his available pastry-eating options.

    Sincerely,
    Eric H. Holder, Jr.
    Attorney General

     

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  48.  
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    Rekrul, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 4:11pm

    I don't have kids, but if I did and something like this happened to one of them, I'd go through their history books with a fine tooth comb, and if I found even a single image of a gun, I'd demand that the school staff be arrested under the same zero-tolerance rules that they apply to students.

     

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  49.  
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    alanbleiweiss (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 4:43pm

    TSA Announcement:

    Recently, we changed our policy regarding banned items on airplanes, to now permit certain knives, baseball bats, and hockey sticks as carry-on items. Our intent was to help speed up the check-in security process at our nation's airports.

    In light of recent backlash on this change in policy, we have decided to further amend our policies to no longer permit pastries on airplanes. The potential threat they pose is far too great to permit.

    While knives, bats, and hockey sticks may be wielded in a way that feels threatening, we believe anyone carrying a knife, bat or hockey stick is clearly doing so with no intent of ill-will. As such, we are moving forward with allowing these items onto planes.

     

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  50.  
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    jacques of france, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 4:45pm

    I don't wanna live on this planet anymore

    Poor kids. Traumatized when they did nothing wrong.
    I hope those wicked administrations will pay someday, big time!

     

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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 4:52pm

    It's a major brain infection!

    Given the complete lunacy that seems to be sweeping the world about this sort of cruft, and combined with the total idiocy of our "elected" officials, I can only surmise that there is a global pandemic of some sort of madness-inducing brain disease that has infected the majority of the Earth's population! Time for the CDC to do some serious investigating...

     

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  52.  
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    skye, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 4:54pm

    Re:

    "like rejecting authority, maybe?"

    Let's hope so; ... because their parents are sure wusses.

     

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  53.  
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    Michael Vilain, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 4:55pm

    What if the entire school...

    all did the pastry thing and setup a 'firing squad' with the teachers screaming "Die bitch die!"

    In 13 years, that'd get him promoted to PFC.

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 4:57pm

    Re:

    FWIW, I think they still ban baseball bats.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 5:04pm

    Re:

    Maybe they don't? Any school system insane enough to suspend kids for brandishing gun-shaped food might be insane enough to whitewash their history books.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 5:45pm

    Call the newspaper!

    We'd better publish his name, address, and any other information in the public record about this kid in the newspaper now. After all, if he didn't want it to be in the newspaper, he shouldn't have become a legal citizen.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
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    Greevar (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 5:52pm

    Re:

    Run for your lives!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    My-7-cents-worth (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 7:35pm

    Torn paper is dangerous too!

    You missed the January incident where a 5th grader was reprimanded for pulling a piece of paper out of her pocket that had a corner torn out of it so that it resembled a gun. A fellow student reported that she had the piece of paper, so she was searched. The school official yelled at the girl, threatened to call the police and told her she could be arrested. Her classmates called her a murderer. That sounds like bullying to me - what happened to THAT 'zero tolerance' policy?


    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/grader-hassled-bringing-paper-gun-class-article-1.12456 47

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 7:39pm

    This just in! Seven year old student murders 90 classmates with a Pop-Tart cannon, Fruit Roll-Up chainsaw, and a Chocolate yum yum buck knife.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 7:45pm

    I wonder how these kids will grow up with such a f. up upbringing.

    I fear they will grow to become just like the idiot adults that supervised them.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 7:46pm

    Re: Pathetic...

    Perhaps if the little bugger had bothered to take the time to read and understand the code that's clearly spelled out in the Student Handbook (which, by the way, "was sent home during the first week of school," and which presumably prohibits acts of make-believe that make administrators uncomfortable), this unfortunate mess could have been avoided in the first place, and school officials would not now be in the regrettable position of having to (try to) save face by inventing preposterous after-the-fact interpretations of school code on the fly. (A job best left to experts.) I bet he won't make the same mistake when he's eight years old -- after this experience, he will read the code (particularly the between-the-lines sections concerning overreactions to unexpected stimuli by unimaginative adults who were never children themselves), and he will abide by it, as written.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 9:13pm

    Re: [Twixt the lines]

    Dear Parents and Guardians:

    [Translation: Hail Mary, full of grace... Hail Mary, full of grace...]


    I am writing to let you know about an incident that occurred this morning in one of our classrooms and encourage you to discuss this matter with your child in a manner you deem most appropriate.

    [Translation: Due to the increasingly public nature of this big-time oopsie on our part, I'm compelled by my hopes for continued employment to attempt to perform some major post-facto damage control, which I know that nobody will buy, but I'm going to do it anyway, because I really don't want you to find out about this fuck-up from the evening news, or from a lawyer. Therefore: I hereby encourage you (Please! From the bottom of my little heart!) to try to find some way to explain what went down in school today in a way that won't cause your pre-teen child to naturally assume that we're total morons.]


    During breakfast this morning, one of our students used food to make inappropriate gestures that disrupted the class.

    [Translation: One of our employees went a little funny in the head this morning, and went off on a child who was, as children are wont to do, playing with his food in a rude manner during breakfast. By the time a more stable individual could take control of the situation, things had gone too far, and hit the fan.]


    While no physical threats were made and no one [was] harmed, the student had to be removed from the classroom.

    [Translation: By the time a sane person arrived on the scene to take charge, our bridges had been burned all the way to the waterline, and something had to be done in order to save face, so we pretended that the little punk was actually guilty of some sort of major infraction of The Code, which is intolerable because The Code says so. Consequentially, we made a show of force by dragging the perp out of the classroom as if he were some two-bit hood.]

    * * *

    As you are aware, the ... Code of Student Conduct and appropriate consequences related to violations of the code are clearly spelled out in the Student Handbook, which was sent home during the first week of school and can be found on our website, www.aacps.org....

    [Translation: The Code of Student Conduct and appropriate consequences related to violations of the code are clearly spelled out in the Student Handbook, and do not in any way, either implicitly or explicitly, prohibit playing with one's food. So we're jumping up and down over here and waving our hands and fainting all over the place, in the hopes that nobody who reads this load of crap actually tries to find any scripture prohibiting playing with one's food in that Most Holy of Codes. Because there isn't any such. Please don't notice or tell anyone.]


    If your children express that they are troubled by today's incident, please talk with them and help them share their feelings. Our school counselor is available to meet with any students who have the need to do so next week. In general, please remind them of the importance of making good choices.

    [Translation: If your children are sharp enough to realize that our damage control strategy is a total load of horse-hockey, and express utter contempt for such transparent attempts at manipulation, please (please, with big, sad puppy eyes) try to explain away our incompetence and restore their faith in lowest-common-denominator because-I-say-so adult fascism. If your children think that you, too, are full of it, you are a failure as a parent, and must surrender your children to our indoctrination center (which will be open for business beginning week) for attitude adjustment. God willing, we will prevail, in peace and freedom from fear, and in true health, through the purity and essence of our natural fluids.]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    icon
    ch (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 9:49pm

    zero tolerance

    Isn't zero tolerance actually tolerance of zero's?

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Cowherd, Mar 8th, 2013 @ 1:29am

    Such obviously batshit insane people shouldn't be allowed near children. That includes both the people who come up with these moronic rules and the ones implementing them.

    In my book, "It's policy" is just a fancy way of saying "But it was his idea" and should evoke the standard response: "If policy told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 8th, 2013 @ 2:34am

    Re: Re: Pathetic...

    +funny

    Now our kids must be lawyers. I fear for the future.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2013 @ 3:22am

    Re: Re:

    the archers salute might, but not because of the weapon issue. IIRC, it means f*** off, and THAT might get you into trouble. OTOH, I used it all the time at school, and was never punished for it, so...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2013 @ 3:37am

    Re: Re: Re:

    sadly, this is increasingly true. Guerrilla warfare, which terrorism is a form of (terrorism is guerrilla warfare aimed at civilians rather than the military) works primarily by making people too scared of attack to be able to do anything- arguably, the fact that people are able to be held for years w/o charge in cases where they are a suspected terrorist means the terrorists won. ( fortunately, in the UK, there IS a time limit still ( 28 days, IIRC)

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2013 @ 3:45am

    Re:

    tbh, I can sort of see the point of not allowing hockey sticks or baseball bats ( and the knives should be obvious) since neither have non-violent uses on a plane. ( there is no room on your average plane for a game of hockey or baseball)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2013 @ 3:50am

    Re: Torn paper is dangerous too!

    don't make me laugh- anti-bullying policies have never been enforced, except against the victims- I was bullied at school, frequently in front of teachers- guess what happened when i did similar things back? yup, detention or threatened worse.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2013 @ 3:51am

    Re: Re: Torn paper is dangerous too!

    oh, and just to clarify- I mean self-defence, not bullying the bullies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
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    special-interesting (profile), Mar 8th, 2013 @ 4:14am

    Re: Re: [Twixt the lines]

    Thanks for the lighter side its a grim subject. On the other hand (having some glimpse into normal human reactions) its (your translation) probably closer to the truth than what we might think.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    icon
    special-interesting (profile), Mar 8th, 2013 @ 4:32am

    Fair warning: A back when I was a snot wiping brat story...

    From 3rd grade and on it was the easy going laid back environment that encouraged actual study and left to the parents things like sex ed or test preparation skills. The doors were not locked during school hours and neither were most of the classrooms when they weren't in use and we all carried pocket knives.

    Thats right. Sharp little boy scout knives or the like. They were quite the tool of a developing technological society with many legitimate uses making our lives easier and better. We actually used them when we needed to cut a paper or whittle a pencil (remember the pencil?) or often for the art class project using Popsicle stick, toothpicks or whatever medium the school or your parents could afford and that was really all we used them for.

    The police NEVER came to the school and even fights were handled internally. When there was a fight the little tools NEVER came out of the pockets even of the losing side. No one even considered it as a weapon at all. NEVER were there trips to the hospital except for such like sports injury. It was explains to us that if we ever did such we would get into 'real trouble' of which none of us wanted ever. (the real police really would be called) Such maturity of my experience makes me wonder the inner fortitude of the latest generation(s?).

    It seems to me that a zero tolerance policy equates to a zero brain usage policy. Whats next? Just making the peace sign would be mimicking a pair of scissors thus getting thrown out for representing the shape of a sharp object. Going “bang, bang” with your hand is a no problem kind of thing. A non event. Go ahead and play cops and robbers. What about a great light-saber battle with some rolled up paper or tubes... Who cares???!!!

    I like the mention of teaching in history class above. (anonymous^2, rekrul) That war is a very,very BAD thing is only learned by reading unedited text, pictures and other media. Its best taught by a grade school teacher who fought in WW2 and can tell of the bloody pointless battles wasting immense resources for insignificant piles of rock deemed of strategic value. Not being able to mention the word “gun” in class or make a classic shooting gesture removes a part of language. It is a censoring of the most blatant kind.

    I think the last generation(s?) have lost the not to complicated moral insurance question: “If we are chained to the bed wont it be safer for us?” Such an overreaction and lack of trust for the next generation is so Orwellian... (and so damaging) (Lost the 911 war didn't we? WE are the terrorist now... to ourselves.)

    It is more likely that school safety as a whole is reduced by such incompetent behavior on the part of the adults. I mean really. Overreacting like that is just the same as throwing a mega tantrum in a baby like manner. What kind of example is that?

    Been kinda watching this stuff but every time it beaks my heart to see some young child caught up in stupid adult games. I hope every incident results in a multi million lawsuit and the school officials involved lose jobs.

    Heres my zero tolerance policy: Bus driver, teacher, officials and admin... pafft. One strike. Youuuuur out!

     

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  73.  
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    RyanNerd (profile), Mar 8th, 2013 @ 5:21am

    It would be funny if this were satire

    Since when has situations worthy of The Onion become reality? When satire becomes real life we should know that a line has been crossed that should have NEVER been crossed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Mar 8th, 2013 @ 5:31am

    Re:

    "tell our children that guns in certain terms are only meant for shooting the bad guy"

    um, except for one teensy weensy detail:
    according to Big Bother, WE 99% ARE the 'bad guys'...
    guess that means we should all shoot ourselves ? ? ?
    (it would save Big Bother the trouble...)

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

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  75.  
    icon
    art guerrilla (profile), Mar 8th, 2013 @ 5:37am

    Re: Re: Re:

    'whoever' indeed...

    as 'our' (sic) country devolves further and further into orwellian despair, it is difficult not to consider -realistically- whether nine one one was emperor bush the second's reichstag fire...

    looking at it from *that* perspective, it makes a certain perverted 'sense'...

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2013 @ 6:18am

    Re: Re: Pathetic...

    ...a $5.00 add-on to the Citadel Pastry Chef DLC available exclusively on OriginTM.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    icon
    Some Other AC (profile), Mar 8th, 2013 @ 7:03am

    Re:

    Again with the ignorant and inane attacks on one side of our fecked up political/social system.

    The cause for this clearly falls back onto both sides of the spectrum. The current overreach in all facets of life were started and are being upheld by both ends.

    Corruption and Stupidity have no boundaries(or limits unfortunately). Please keep trollish crap like this to yourself. I does nothing to further the intelligent discussion. And yes the parody statements above are still intelligent as they clearly took rational thought to create.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2013 @ 9:08am

    Re: A technical solution to a social problem that works.

    Well clearly since zero thought is involved with Zero Tolerance policies we can obtain massive increases in efficiency through automation. Simply put together a simple rules based expert system to be a principal and school administrator. The human part can be replaced with a minimum wage drop-out ironically enough.

    It is a win-win approach. Either the prospect of being replaced by a computer gets them to not be complete morons or we save lots of money while achieving the same quality!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    icon
    Brent (profile), Mar 8th, 2013 @ 9:10am

    Did no one else f*cking watch the movie "V for Vendetta"? Even the Guy Fawkes masks have become a reality for f*cks sake.

    The 'good' news is we already know what to expect in the near future......

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    identicon
    OLD JARHEAD, Mar 8th, 2013 @ 10:53am

    I can quickly prove there is no such thing as "zero tolerance." Suppose little Johnnie brings a gun to score to settle a score. A teacher spys the weapon and takes it away from Johnnie--is the teacher then fired for having a gun in school since having a gun is against the rules? Of course not common sense is applied and the teacher is praised as a hero, except that is what happened to a 16 year old on a bus recently. What a mess. Did you note air gun is in the list--how does a contractor work at the school? What about those deadly staple guns and glue guns?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Mar 8th, 2013 @ 11:12am

    Re:

    > I think we need zero tolerance against the
    > school administrators who are moronic enough
    > to pull this crap. Fire them and ban them from
    > ever working in any school system ever again.

    Unfortunately it's easier to squeeze a diamond out of your asshole than it is to fire any school teacher or administrator these days. The unions have made sure of that.

    In L.A. last year, a teacher was caught feeding cookies frosted with his own semen to the kids in his class and they could't even fire him for that. Sure, he was arrested and indicted, but the school district still had to offer him a *bonus* to resign voluntarily because they couldn't fire him per union rules.

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2013 @ 12:29pm

    Added awfulness

    You missed mentioning that the boy now has a reference in his permanent record to him wielding a gun:

    'Welch asked the school principal Monday to strike references to guns from his son’s records. The principal looked into the idea but said it could not be done, he said.'

    Unbelievable.

     

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  83.  
    identicon
    Dave, Mar 8th, 2013 @ 12:45pm

    Bang, you're NOT dead.

    This is bloody stupid, including the so-called "counselling" letter sent to parents. Here in the UK, we played cowboys and indians when I was a kid, "shooting" and "killing" everybody in sight, but I seem to recall that everyone actually got up to fight another day with just maybe a scratch or two. Never have I heard of anything so infantile. Makes the teachers look like complete idiots.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2013 @ 1:50pm

    "During breakfast this morning, one of our students used food to make inappropriate gestures that disrupted the class."

    If I received a letter making such a statement, the LAST thing I would imagine is that a student chewed a pastry to resemble a gun and pretended to use it as such.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    identicon
    Shannon, Mar 8th, 2013 @ 7:40pm

    Re: Pathetic...

    I hear you. I'm an art student now, and if it hadn't been for my teachers and mom encouraging me to create and use my imagination, I would not be who I am today. I'm only 23, but the school system has changed from when I left it. The next generation will be so stifled and robotic, it won't be remotely funny. Anyone ever seen THX1138? We're creating it with these kids now by not letting them simply be goofballs and learn and create and have stupid games with their food!

     

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  86.  
    icon
    totalz (profile), Mar 12th, 2013 @ 1:51am

    Kids will love it!

    A new get-out-of-prison(school) card!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    identicon
    greatguncases, May 3rd, 2013 @ 3:34am

    SHOTGUN CASES

    I think this story on Child,But it important for parents also.So please read this article.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
    identicon
    Logoped-sofia, Jun 12th, 2013 @ 9:20am

    Children's stress

    Children's attitude towards life is developed in very early age. Speech pathology also plays a role - for example Логопед София

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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