Student Points Finger Like Gun, Gets Suspended Under Zero Tolerance Rules

from the zero-intelligence dept

If one were looking to find a singular, widespread example of the American people's abdication of common sense, the best of the available examples would have to be zero tolerance policies in schools. Think about it for a moment. Here we have a population consisting entirely of incomplete members of society, those that are still undergoing the learning and growth required to become fully functional members of our union. To treat that still-learning population with any measure of "zero tolerance" is antithetical in the extreme. These are the very people you would expect to make mistakes, to lack a full understanding of their surroundings and situations. They're the people in our culture most in need of tolerant learning opportunities, rather than the iron fist of bullshit justice.

Take the story reader kenichi tanaka writes us about, in which a youngster making the universal gun-symbol with one hand has ended up suspended from school. Keep in mind that Nathan Entingh is ten years old, was playing around with one of his friends, and that roughly every kid on the planet everywhere has done this exact same damned thing.

"He was pointing it at a friend's head and he said 'boom.' The kid didn't see it. No other kids saw it. But the teacher saw it," he said. "It wasn't threatening. It wasn't hostile. It was a 10-year-old kid playing."

The next morning Paul Entingh escorted his son Nathan to the principal's office, where they met with Devonshire Alternative Elementary School Principal Patricia Price.

"She said if it happened again the suspension would be longer, if not permanent," said Entingh, who also received a letter explaining the reason for Nathan's suspension as a "level 2 look alike firearm."
A level 2 look alike firearm? What the sweet hell does that mean? I'm just saying, I can make up nonsense levels about stuff, too, such as the policy on display here is a level 30 kind of stupid, with no save rolls for intelligence.

Look, I think the American people have been pretty patient with this kind of BS, but enough is enough. To take a common pantomime like this and use it to suspend a confused ten year old for three days from his place of education doesn't make a lick of sense. Worse, what could have been a learning moment about why we might not want to see kids doing that kind of thing in school was instead turned into a learning moment about the injustice of zero tolerance laws. Well done all around, Ohio educational system!
When asked what has Nathan learned from this incident, Entingh paused, then scoffed: "He's learned never to make his fingers like a gun a school again. I don't know if you consider that a life lesson."
In other words, no reason or context was taught, only uninformed respect for the power of authority. Yup, sounds about right.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 3:34pm

    If it were me...

    Who was the parent, I would have done the same symbol to the principal.

    Seriously, who the hell got hurt?

    This is 4Kids level of stupidity!

    "Stop or we'll shoot you with our invisible guns!"

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      David, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 3:35am

      Re: If it were me...

      I'd rather have pointed the middle barrel of my level 2 lookalike rifle skywards to avoid frightening the principal unnecessarily.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 3:54am

      Re: If it were me...

      I don't think so.

      4Kids would have censored it out.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      Ninja (profile), Mar 11th, 2014 @ 4:04am

      Re: If it were me...

      When asked what has Nathan learned from this incident, Entingh paused, then scoffed: "He's learned never to make his fingers like a gun a school again. I don't know if you consider that a life lesson."

      You are not dealing with functioning adults. If you were, as I said in a reply to another reader this wouldn't have escalated. His dad is a functioning adult. He just need to take it to the courts for a full win.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 10:33am

      Re: If it were me...

      Tell the kid he needs to bring a real gun to protect himself from all the finger guns at school and watch as the NRA leaps to support him.

       

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

  •  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 4:33pm

    Zero tolerance policies = Zero thought required

    Still, at least the gorram police weren't called to deal with the 'dangerous individual' this time, that's some progress at least! /s

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      MrWilson, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 8:42pm

      Re: Zero tolerance policies = Zero thought required

      I'm hoping to read a story in the near future in which some overly officious principal calls 911 because a student points their finger like a gun and the officer who responds arrests the principal for abusing 911.

      This makes me feel so old (when I'm not, relatively) to have to say that when I was this kid's age, if I had done the same thing (and my friends and I did, probably about everyday), my teacher would have told me to get back to my schoolwork or wait until it was recess to play war games.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 4:01am

        Re: Re: Zero tolerance policies = Zero thought required

         

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

      •  
        identicon
        David, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 4:09am

        Re: Re: Zero tolerance policies = Zero thought required

        I'm hoping to read a story in the near future in which some overly officious principal calls 911 because a student points their finger like a gun and the officer who responds arrests the principal for abusing 911.


        Well, "zero tolerance" certainly take hold not just when a weapon or weapon lookalike gets actually pointed at a victim. It should be enough to carry one to school.

        So how long before a student will get arrested because he brought two level 2 lookalike firearms (namely, his hands) to school?

        Of course, the actually dangerous body part is a brain, but sightings of those have become rare in the U.S.A.

         

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

  •  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 4:38pm

    And once again the people wonder why we don't have Zero Tolerance for Zero Tolerance policies, and some talking head will list all of the mythical dangers that will suddenly become all to real if we don't have these.

    This teaches children to accept the unacceptable, that just because someone has power you have to respect and listen to them no matter what, it is the rule. Children like this grow up to believe the lies media tells them, and accept what the government does to them to balance the budget while giving handouts to corporations.

    This needs to end, if you care about your kids make them stop... unless you want your child to listen to the lies they tell about why your arm was broken while you were in the nursing home without question.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 4:44pm

    An easy way to stop this sort of crap would be to get all the students to do the same thing. Let's see the school try to suspend or expel every single student. If they were stupid enough to try, the parents would be out for blood and the politicians would quickly abolish that law.

    Never underestimate the effects of widespread civil disobedience.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      That One Guy (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 4:49pm

      Re:

      I believe you severely overestimate their rationality and sanity, and especially their ability to admit to being wrong, more likely they'd call in the national guard and/or the FBI to deal with the 'massive outbreak of terrorism threatening the school'.

      Mind you, would make for a very public protest against the idiocy that is 'zero tolerance', so that alone would probably be worth it.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      David, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 4:54pm

      Re:

      It's not a law. It's a policy. However, I think this would be a great example of a non-violent civil disobedience action that should be taken by the students.

      Then we can bring the Principal to the School Board and ask him what he's learned from the incident.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      Alien Rebel (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 8:01pm

      Re:

      "An easy way to stop this sort of crap would be to get all the students to do the same thing."

      I like it; though a foolish doubling down by the so-called adults would of course be a distinct possibility.

      The nice thing about this idea is that while morons can easily disregard the opinions of other adults (a big reason they're morons more than likely), there's no escaping the humiliation when even children recognize what dopes they are. I can't imagine many things inflicting more hurt to the ego than a school full of kids snickering, "that's the stoopid teacher!!!" And then with fingers drawn, blast away- "Pew, . . Pew-Pew!!!"

       

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

      •  
        icon
        Ninja (profile), Mar 11th, 2014 @ 4:01am

        Re: Re:

        Adults? I don't see any functioning adult in this story. If they were full grown adults the thing wouldn't have escalated. Starting with the teacher who would chuckle and let it go.

         

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

        •  
          icon
          Alien Rebel (profile), Mar 11th, 2014 @ 10:56am

          Re: Re: Re:

          FYI- I did write "so called adults."

          Anyhow, I grew up watching lots of John Wayne war movies, and drew plenty of graphic battle scenes during class-time. One of my teachers did get to see my notebook, chock-full of violence and gore. (Leaky, smeary red ballpoint pens made for some awesome blood!) She just commented that I had talent.

          If I was a kid now I'd be doing hard time.

           

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

    •  
      icon
      John85851 (profile), Mar 11th, 2014 @ 2:16pm

      Re:

      I agree. What would happen if every student in this teacher's class made the gun symbol with their hands? Would he/ she send all of them to the principal? Would the school really suspect all 20-30 kids in the class?

      I also agree that it's past time that policy-makers learn the difference between the threat of a real gun and the non-threat of fingers, pop tarts, and whatever else.

       

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

  •  
    icon
    kenichi tanaka (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 4:51pm

    When I submitted the article to Techdirt, I actually couldn't believe the audacity of the teacher in this incident. Rather than turn this into a teaching moment by trying to educate the student and trying to explain to him why it was wrong to do what he did, he gets suspended instead.

    It doesn't do any good to penalize a student for doing nothing wrong and the "teacher" obviously forgot what being a "teacher" is about. You're supposed to educate your students. Explaining to them what is right from what is wrong.

    Instead, this teacher made the wrong decision and the student was suspended. Last time I checked, bullets don't magically shoot from your fingers.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Zos (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 6:33pm

      Re:

      my kids go to this school, my kindergartner was given an in school detention for the same offense two weeks ago.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      nasch (profile), Mar 11th, 2014 @ 11:17am

      Re:

      Instead, this teacher made the wrong decision and the student was suspended.

      The teacher wasn't allowed to make a decision. That's how Zero Tolerance works.

       

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

      •  
        icon
        FarSide (profile), Mar 17th, 2014 @ 10:33am

        Re: Re:

        I call "bullshit" on this.

        I have a number of acquaintances who teach and they say the same thing - they HAVE to report it.

        Here's how it works: teacher sees it, immediately turns away and pretends she didn't see it. Then... nothing else happens.

        Teachers are just as guilty as the admins for hiding behind the whole 'I have no choice" crap.

        My wife's friend said she heard a kid make some joke about his dad "beating him if he did that" - she said she knew it was obviously just a joke. And yet... she reported it anyway. Because she "had" to.

        No brains. No judgement. No backbone.

         

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

  •  
    icon
    Andrew F (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 4:52pm

    Ironically, if he used his middle finger instead of his index finger, he would only have gotten detention.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 4:54pm

    This is why I'm not a parent. The second some principal told me my son was expelled for a finger gun, I'd show them my own dual middle-finger guns.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Ricebowl (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 4:58pm

    Confusion

    In other words, no reason or context was taught, only uninformed respect for the power of authority. Yup, sounds about right.

    I don't that's 'respect' that was taught, though it might well be 'contempt.'

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 7:52pm

      Re: Confusion

      That is the problem. Many of these people who seek positions of authority simply do not understand what the word "respect" actually means. the word describes something that is earned, not given or demanded. What they call respect is what everyone else calls reverence as in worship. It is no wonder they have problems with children.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 8:31am

        Re: Re: Confusion

        What they call respect is servility, as they are the masters.

         

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 9:09am

        Re: Re: Confusion

        I know I've seen some major levels of cognitive dissonance in my own school experience. They say that respect is earn not given and then in the next sentence demand respect. Fuck you with the wide end of a garden rake.

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Brazenly Anonymous, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 11:12am

          Re: Re: Re: Confusion

          Those two are not inherently contradictory. They can be harmonized if one merely assumes that respect is an objective measure, in which case they are demanding the respect they've earned.

          That that assumption is deeply flawed must be pointed out if those demanding respect are to understand their error. Otherwise, those they don't think are worthy of respect will be dismissed as not being aware of the need to earn it, leading to arguments with each side accusing the other of entitlement while demanding respect for themselves.

           

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 5:13pm

          Re: Re: Re: Confusion

          You talkin to me man?
          You talkin ta me?

           

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

      •  
        icon
        btrussell (profile), Mar 13th, 2014 @ 1:21am

        Re: Re: Confusion

        "the word describes something that is earned, not given or demanded."

        I disagree. Unless it can be earned just by being born a human being.

        Do you walk around all day without any respect for anyone unless they have specifically earned it? You sound like my mother in-law.

        I am going to teach her that I can demand respect as well. One phone call to the police is all it will take to prove it.

         

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

        •  
          icon
          The Wanderer (profile), Mar 15th, 2014 @ 12:58pm

          Re: Re: Re: Confusion

          Respect indeed must be earned, and no, it cannot be earned just by being born a human being.

          Everyone deserves courtesy until they show they don't deserve it, but no one deserves respect until they show they do deserve it.

          More than that: Just because you've earned the respect of one person, that doesn't mean you've earned the respect of anyone else. If you want to be respected by multiple people, you have to earn the respect of each of those people individually - and each person's criteria and/or thresholds for what they consider worthy of respect can be different.

          I suspect this is a disagreement about what the word "respect" actually means, but unfortunately, in this case I don't have a good attempt at a definition of what I understand it to mean. If anyone wants to offer one, I can try to explain what I disagree with about it, and we might be able to narrow down our positions by going back and forth that way...

           

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

  •  
    identicon
    avideogameplayer, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 5:24pm

    And they wonder why kids bring in REAL guns...

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 5:24pm

    This is an over level 9000 look alike bullshit.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 5:25pm

    Sometimes the kid who does this sort of stuff actually has a massive history of issues.

    Having worked in schools and seen this behavior, many times it is just kids joking around, but I have also seen VERY troubled kids who have histories of violence, theft, bullying, assault, etc... make these sort of motions and it usually gives administration finally an excuse to get the kid out of their school and usually into some type of school that can deal with their emotional problems.

    99% of kids are good who make mistakes, 1% are little Dahmers who would just as soon shoot you as go to detention.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      That One Guy (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 5:50pm

      Re: Sometimes the kid who does this sort of stuff actually has a massive history of issues.

      So treat the 99% the same as the 1%, makes perfect sense, and best of all, no critical thinking required! /s

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 5:53pm

      Re: Sometimes the kid who does this sort of stuff actually has a massive history of issues.

      So instead of punishing the 1% for things that are actually unacceptable, lets punish everyone for arbitrary bullshit reasons. Fucking brilliant strategy, captain!

       

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

    •  
      icon
      martyburns (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 7:30pm

      Re: Sometimes the kid who does this sort of stuff actually has a massive history of issues.

      1% are little Dahmers

      So deal to these goddamn kids in a fitting manner but don't suspend your common sense for/or the other 99%.

      #justathought

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Reality bites, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 9:26am

      Re: Communists like you should be deported

      Punishing everyone for the sins of the few.... Commie losers should always pay the price for their stupidity and ignorance.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Pragmatic, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 6:29am

        Re: Re: Communists like you should be deported

        Wait, what? Communists?

        There is a communist party in America, but they don't get much airplay and therefore few votes.

        Unless you're trying to make "communist" into a catch-all insult the way some people use "gay."

        While getting the kid out of their school and into some type of school that can deal with their emotional problems sounds like a good idea in principle, the anecdotal evidence suggests that these are normal kids who have fallen foul of an over-zealous disciplinary regime.

        I'd be interested to learn where "those school that can deal with their emotional problems" are, as they're not widely reported on. Do they even exist?

         

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

    •  
      identicon
      Brazenly Anonymous, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 11:21am

      Re: Sometimes the kid who does this sort of stuff actually has a massive history of issues.

      99% of kids are good who make mistakes, 1% are little Dahmers who would just as soon shoot you as go to detention.


      So your solution is to undermine the principal of having rules so you can apply your subjective judgment and dish out punishment to the students you don't like. Do you not see the problem here?

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Mike Dee, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 5:41pm

    I'm mom old news.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 5:52pm

    Confused

    As I read the first paragraph I was thinking this was about the faculty.

    "Think about it for a moment. Here we have a population consisting entirely of incomplete members of society, those that are still undergoing the learning and growth required to become fully functional members of our union."

    After all, they have never left school.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Applesauce, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 5:53pm

    Obedience Training

    This policy functioned as intended. The goal is to teach automatic, unthinking obedience to whatever stupid rule the authorities have in place. Lesson learned. The system works!

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Zos (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 6:30pm

    i'll be damned, my kids school made techdirt.
    about two weeks ago my kindergartener got in trouble for precisely the same thing, sent to the in school detention room. I'm pissed, and pretty much have no avenue of doing anything about it, since the zero tolerance bullshit is mandated from much higher than local level.

    best i can do is go get thrown out of a school board meeting.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Zos (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 6:34pm

      Re:

      the school doesn't have so much as a facebook page, believe me, I've looked.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 10:09am

      Re:

      This is what you get when you have a state run monopoly on education: teachers and administrators that answer to the bureaucrats above them and their zero tolerance policies not the parents they supposedly serve.

       

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

      •  
        icon
        John Fenderson (profile), Mar 11th, 2014 @ 10:18am

        Re: Re:

        I'm not sure how being state run factors into this. The exact same thing is true in private for-profit schools as well.

         

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 5:23pm

        Re: Re:

        " state run monopoly on education"

        I'm not sure where you get this tidbit, but you are wrong.
        There are plenty of alternatives to public schools if they do not meet your needs. Have you tried attending school board meetings, PTA meetings or gone to parent teacher conferences?

        Yeah - I didn't think so.

         

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

  •  
    icon
    kenichi tanaka (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 6:32pm

    Applesauce, policies like this is what created situations where teachers no longer educate their students. Instead, they demand that parents put their children on Prozac and other narcotics because they don't know how to deal with kids.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Blaine (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 6:36pm

    Come Get Me

    I'm turning the imaginary aiming knob on my imaginary ICBM and aiming it towards Devonshire Alternative Elementary School Principal Patricia Price.

    Now I'm pushing the imaginary launch button.

    Do I need to have my Dad bring me in for a meeting now?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 6:45pm

    "level 2 look alike firearm."
    would that put bananas in the look alike firearm department.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    DogBreath, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 6:49pm

    You think that's bad,,,

    Good thing he didn't have a rubber band in between his thumb and index finger or he would have been suspended for a "loaded level 2 look alike firearm".

    We should just paint all of our childrens fingertips orange so the morons in charge don't call out the SWAT teams to "deal with the problem" and get them "accidentally shot" because "their fingers could be guns".

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 2:33am

      Re: You think that's bad,,,

      I tracked down the "Behavior Guide" for the Columbus School District, and it says that possession of a "look-alike firearm" is a Level 2 offense, placing it on the same level as bullying, sexual misconduct, and theft. It turns out that a look-alike firearm is defined as:
      Any item that resembles a firearm but does not have the explosive characteristics of a firearm but may use a spring loaded device or air pressure by which to
      propel an object or substance (i.e., toy guns, cap guns, bb guns and pellet
      guns).

      One could technically claim that a rubber band gun that resembled a firearm was a violation of this rule; a finger sans rubber band is not.

      Curiously enough, the guide suggests that the preferred behaviors include impulse control, considering the feelings of others, and demonstrating positive social skills. None of these behaviors were exhibited by Ms. Price.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 7:04pm

    A little forward thinking and they could lop off all newborns index fingers, this would stymie any future out breaks from those damn disobedient children.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 7:20pm

    It's the same as abstinence education.

    "Let's pretend it doesn't exist."

    Great way to learn.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Doug (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 7:35pm

    "Age appropriate"

    When I was a new dad, I learned this phrase from all kinds of educators: "age appropriate". The punishment should fit the action, and be age appropriate. Any school employee who can't apply that to this situation is no educator, just a bureaucrat. We want educators leading our schools, not bureaucrats!

     

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

  •  
    icon
    scotts13 (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 7:42pm

    The lesson learned

    Is that the authorities are capricious and irrational, but can nonetheless mess you up. Not quite the way to garner respect, eh?

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Doug (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 7:44pm

    Other punishments

    Seriously, let's just take a face value that this (fake gun pointing) is something the faculty had been trying to stop, and had asked repeatedly that the kids stop doing it. (Ignoring the obvious possibility that story is just a cover story to make the actions seem less idiotic.)

    So, the fact that the kid did it again does merit some kind of consequence. How about any of these?

    - Write an essay on why the student thinks the teachers care about this so much.

    - Write an essay on why fake gun play is disconcerting given the way guns are portrayed in the news and popular culture.

    - Do some time doing make-work (cleaning up the playground, cleaning the classroom, washing dishes).

    - Sit down with the teacher and parent and discuss what happened and why they don't like it.

    - Do extra homework.

    - Write sentences, "I will not make others think bullets can come out of my fingers. I will not make others ..."

    - Miss recess.

    So many options!

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Doug (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 7:55pm

    {Greater than Zero}-Tolerance

    The school doesn't seem to understand the concept of zero. (I sympathize; I didn't believe in negative numbers until 4th grade!)

    They invoked the zero-tolerance policy, but they admit this wasn't the first one. The district spokesman said, "Price 'has been warning the students for some weeks'...". And then said that Nathan's "was the first incident after Price gave 'her final notice last week.'"

    So, OK, everyone's been doing it for weeks and they get warning after warning, none of which stick. Then the principal says, "OK, last warning." And then a 10-year-old doesn't believe them. Shocking!

    This is quite the example of bad parenting. First, demonstrate that your warnings don't mean anything. Then when you secretly reach your breaking point, over-react!

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    RD, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 9:07pm

    Level 2 Look-Alike Firearm

    "A level 2 look alike firearm? What the sweet hell does that mean?"

    It means the same thing as "semi-automatic weapon" and "assault rifle" and "high-capacity magazine:"

    It's the boogeyman that will come to KILL YOU IN YOUR SLEEP, so you better be terrified by the terminology, for the children!

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 9:11pm

    Zero tolerance: an indoctrination into the world of bigotry, hatred and overzealous enforcement - the very definition of intolerance.

    Heh

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Wally (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 9:39pm

    I will point out that the school involved is being investigated by the Ohio BOE over the matter. In my state, being Ohio, each school makes their own policies...but rules concerning guns and how to handle gun situations are universal in Ohio...The principle of that school based the suspension as a Level 2 Gun Lookalike...which by Ohio Board of Education standards, is anything that looks real enough to be used in a threatening manner...The school Nathan went to...fucked up royal.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      That One Guy (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 9:51pm

      Re:

      'looks real enough to be used in a threatening manner'

      A pointed finger is supposed to look enough like an actual gun to be considered 'threatening'... the school official is either a coward of the highest order, or desperately trying to justify a completely insane and idiotic action.

       

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

      •  
        icon
        Wally (profile), Mar 10th, 2014 @ 10:02pm

        Re: Re:

        Never did I defend the school's descision...they were the ones interpreting Ohio BOE guidelines incorrectly.

         

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

        •  
          icon
          That One Guy (profile), Mar 11th, 2014 @ 3:35am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Oh no worries, my scorn and disgust isn't aimed at you, rather it's all focused on the morons in this story, who have demonstrated a complete and utter lack of critical thinking ability, and instead rely on 'guidelines' and 'rules' that are completely incapable of being applied proportionally, instead treating the lightest offense as heavy as the worst.

           

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 9:59pm

    I can see having a policy against pretending to shoot someone's head with your fingers. But it should result in a detention at worst.

    A suspension means the kid isn't learning. It should only be used when there's a good reason.

    And fingers are not a "gun lookalike". Tell me, what type of gun did it look like?

     

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

    •  
      icon
      art guerrilla (profile), Mar 11th, 2014 @ 8:09am

      Re:

      "I can see having a policy against pretending to shoot someone's head with your fingers. But it should result in a detention at worst." ANON @ 9:59

      thus demonstrating that YOU are part of the problem, skippy, something that should result in a lynching, at worst...

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 9:00am

        Re: Re:

        That's uncalled for, guerrilla. I think there should be punishment, but only of the kid being "shot" reports it. Otherwise they should stick with "Don't do that, that's not nice".

         

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2014 @ 10:39pm

    The land of the enslaved.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 12:58am

    This is what ADHD drugs are for, chemically enforced authority cloaked in a made up disease

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      David, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 8:08am

      Re:

      Actually, you'd be surprised. You seem to assume that ADHD medication would be somewhat akin to tranquilizers. It's actually more like amphethamines/speed (works on the same kind of receptors and in the same direction but with a different mechanism, sort of like pushing on one side of the door rather than pulling on the other, so it's somewhat better controllable). If we are actually talking about genuine ADHD rather than incompetent parenting syndrome, the actually working medication is pretty much opposite than what one would think it would be.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 2:17am

    Pink Floyds Another Brick In the Wall seems very appropriate now. How about all the parents surround the school with boom boxes and play it loudly in protest.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 2:19am

    2 cool 4 school

    Hey kids! If you don't want to go to school any more, just point your fingers like a gun!

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Kronomex, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 2:59am

    For fucks sake, how much more of this shit house political correctness are we going to have to put up with before somebody wakes up? Thank Grud (Judge Dredd readers will know what I mean) the kid didn't decide to bring out a two hand imitation of a machine gun or bow and arrow, he'd have spent the rest of his life in prison.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 4:06am

    This is the real lesson of modern public school

    only uninformed respect for the power of authority

    Public school is abysmal on so many levels. It is really about people control anymore. If you want a real eye opener, look for the quotes by the people 50 and 100 years ago who were over public school in this country. It was never about teaching. This is why there are so many people home schooling now.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 5:17am

      Re: This is the real lesson of modern public school

      You imply this is unique to public schools, it is not.

      Private schools are not devoid of overzealous authoritarian self righteous idiots and neither are home schoolers.

      Given the average knowledge and experience of the general public, I doubt home schooling is a reasonable alternative for everyone.

      Declaring all schools are bad and need to be replaced because of several stories is a knee jerk reaction. The overall percentage remains low and can be addressed if school boards would allow it.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 10:15am

        Re: Re: This is the real lesson of modern public school

        The difference is that if education were a market where multiple schools competed for students there would actually be an incentive to make sure the parents were on board with disciplinary actions rather than a single, over-ridding objective of staying in the good graces of the bureaucrat above you.

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 5:37pm

          Re: Re: Re: This is the real lesson of modern public school

          For profit schooling is a very bad idea and there would be little to no competition. It would be rife with corruption, price gouging and mandatory contract terms and conditions. So, exactly what incentive would a for profit school have to include the parent in their disciplinary decisions?

           

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

          •  
            icon
            nasch (profile), Mar 12th, 2014 @ 7:35am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: This is the real lesson of modern public school

            For profit schooling is a very bad idea and there would be little to no competition.

            It doesn't have to be for profit for there to be competition. Just because a school is private doesn't mean it's for profit.

             

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

  •  
    identicon
    Richard Lalonde, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 5:20am

    Zero Tolerance = Zero Thinking

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    John Cressman, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 5:36am

    That's what you get...

    That's what you get from a corrupt, union-driven education system. It's true. My dad was a teacher and I teach at two colleges.

    The unions have totally removed any common sense from schools when you literally have to molest a child or shoot one if you're a teacher or administrator to get fired.

    There are NO real performance reviews and while there ARE some good teachers who care, there are far more teachers who just want to pound their philosophy and "morality" into the children they "teach".

     

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

    •  
      icon
      T Teshima (profile), Mar 11th, 2014 @ 3:21pm

      Re: That's what you get...

      WTF do unions have to do with this story? Stay on the topic

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 5:40pm

        Re: Re: That's what you get...

        well, you see ... unions contribute money to the democrats and republicans want to "starve the beast", so they attack unions like rabid dogs.

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Pragmatic, Mar 13th, 2014 @ 6:37am

          Re: Re: Re: That's what you get...

          Thanks for pointing out that "the beast" means "Democrats" to them. Am I the only one who gets sick of the constant renaming of things to fit a partisan agenda?

          Mr. Cressman, unions don't set policy for education and running schools. This issue is probably due to fear of lawsuits, as Techdirt readers have pointed out on similar stories.

           

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

  •  
    identicon
    Dan Tobias, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 6:05am

    The excellent webcomic Bad Machinery by John Allison put it:

    http://scarygoround.com/index.php?date=20130717

    "Sorry, but if we investigated every 11-year-old pretending his arm was a gun... we'd never get anything else done."

    And this is in the UK, where they're much stricter with REAL guns than in the US. (But in the strip, the kid in question turned out to be a time-traveler who was actually worthy of investigation... but that's the comics for you.)

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 6:24am

    How do the teachers use their ipads or phones without their "level 2 look alike firearm".

    If I were a student....i would be totally scared, accidentally walking into the teachers lounge and seeing all of those weapons.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 6:29am

    The punishment should fit the crime. Therefore, anyone who brings a finger gun to school shall be put in finger jail. The cop will spread his fingers so they appear as jail bars, then look at the kid through them.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 8:04am

    Lack of imagination

    The child should be spoken to, though not about violating any bullshit policy. The finger pistol is just lame and lacks imagination. Aren't there enough action movies and comics out there to give good ideas to kids?

    Nathan could have used his palm and shot plasma beams at his target. He could have made a magical casting movement, and flung magic missiles at his target. Or touched his temples and blasted his opponent with a telepathic choke. Call in an orbital cannon blast?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Time Traveller, Mar 11th, 2014 @ 11:09am

    Similar thing happened here in 2024. Fortunately, the kid missed the other kids head with his finger gun and the other kid is receiving counseling for the trauma. We charged finger gun kid as an adult with assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder, otherwise he would likely come back with two finger guns and massacre the whole school. He's now serving two consecutive life sentences without parole.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Dan G Difino, Mar 17th, 2014 @ 10:09am

    Suspension

    If I had been suspended by the administration of that school for using my finger as if it were a gun, I would never step onto those school grounds ever again.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      nasch (profile), Mar 17th, 2014 @ 10:35am

      Re: Suspension

      If I had been suspended by the administration of that school for using my finger as if it were a gun, I would never step onto those school grounds ever again.

      Yeah, because 10 year olds get to make that decision.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Brian, Nov 6th, 2014 @ 6:06am

    If pointing your finger at someone qualifies as a "level 2 firearm," then what even comprises a level 1?

     

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

    •  
      icon
      nasch (profile), Nov 6th, 2014 @ 10:07am

      Re:

      If pointing your finger at someone qualifies as a "level 2 firearm," then what even comprises a level 1?

      Assuming level 1 is most severe, then what could be level 3? Drawing a picture of a gun? Sadly students have been suspended for that, too.

       

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Advertisement
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Techdirt Reading List
Advertisement
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Support Techdirt - Get Great Stuff!

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.