Insanity.

You know you’re insane when you hear imaginary voices in your head.

You know you’re REALLY insane if you hear imaginary voices in someone else’s head.

So who’s insane in this situation?

On Wednesday, the Rutherford Institute announced it has come to the defense of a 10-year-old boy who was suspended under a school zero tolerance policy for shooting an imaginary “arrow” at a fellow classmate, using nothing more than his hands and his imagination.

Additionally, Rutherford Institute says the student has been threatened with expulsion for his make-believe actions, which were a response to another student “shooting” an imaginary gun at him:

“Johnny Jones, a fifth grader at South Eastern Middle School, was suspended for a day and threatened with expulsion under the school’s weapons policy after playfully using his hands to draw the bowstrings on a pretend ‘bow’ and ‘shoot’ an arrow at a classmate who had held his folder like an imaginary gun and ‘shot’ at Johnny.

There might — in some attenuated sense — be some nearly legitimate reasons to suspend children for this sort of activity. Maybe it’s a school dedicated to pacifism or something. Maybe there are other circumstances that could bear on the situation.

But I can think of no circumstance where a zero tolerance weapons policy is applicable here — if that is indeed what motivated the suspension in the first place. (It seems likely, but it’s not entirely clear, at least from what I’ve read.)


Another article
on the incident, which took place some months ago, gives this little gem:

A girl in the class reported the exchange to the teacher, who pulled the boys out of the classroom to reprimand them for the disruption.

You have to wonder where this girl, if the report is true, learned that reporting other kids for playing make-believe soldier or make-believe Hunger Games or whatever was the thing to do.

Someone taught her that, either explicitly or by example.