A 7 year old in New Jersey got suspended from school because he drew a picture of himself shooting his friend with a squirt gun. The school has a zero tolerance policy for guns. At least it was only a one-day suspension but still, aren't there bigger problems schools need to be focusing on.
Why not explain to the kid why people are concerned, warn him that he'll be punished if he does it again, and make him write an essay to demonstrate that he understands. Like the mother said, "What 7-year-old do you know that's not fascinated by guns and bombs and everything? ... Especially a boy."
The story also cited a case where 4 kindergarteners were suspended for 4 days after they played cops and robbers, using their fingers as guns. I remember reading another case where a teenager was suspended because the school found a butter knife in the back of his pickup. The knife fell out of a box of things the kid's mother had asked him to drop off at the Goodwill.
In the days of zero tolerance, maybe schools should stop assigning science projects:
When she dropped the package off yesterday morning at Florence Township High School, the woman explained to school officials that her son needed the white pellets it contained for his science project.
All was fine until she mentioned that her son had urged her to be careful because the pellets could explode if dropped. Police said that prompted school officials to immediately lock down the school and call out township police, area hazardous materials teams, and the state police's bomb squad.
The alleged weapons of mass destruction? Those little white plastic pellets used in stuffed animals. They might explode as in spill all over the place if the bag is dropped.
And that's not the worst of it. The 16 year old student was arrested and charged with causing false public alarm, disorderly conduct, and causing or risking widespread injury or damage
Here's a case where a British school had what I consider an appropriate response to a problem. A 4 year old white boy spat on a 10 year old black boy. The older boy thought it was a racist attack, so the school investigated and now they're getting blasted for it by the press and 4 year old's parents. The head teacher explained:
"When a child makes an allegation of any kind, whether it's bullying, racism, or general unhappiness, we investigate by talking to them. We couldn't dismiss this.
"A nursery nurse spoke to Rocky and I spoke to the older boy. We talked to them about what happened and why it might have happened. That's what an investigation is in a primary school.
"In this case, a little boy did think something had happened and felt he had been singled out. But after investigating, I decided this was not the case – it was just naughty behaviour."
Now here's something I have zero tolerance for. A guy in Pennsylvania told a judge he kicked his girlfriend's 2 year old son across the room and punched him because, "I'm not a morning person." The most shocking line in the story:
Three days later, Arreola was alone and caring for the boy when Arreola punched the boy twice to keep him awake ...
WTF? The mother saw the guy kick her son and left him alone with the kid three days later.