New threat: Talking about Nerf guns

It’s bad enough when little kids are kicked out of school for bubble shooters, cap guns, gun-shaped pastry and Lego guns, etc. In Washington state, a 6-year-old was suspended for talking about the Nerf guns his family had bought on a recent trip. A classmate told the teacher that Noah had a gun with him. Even when it was clear he did not, he was suspended for a “threat.”

(Mike) Aguirre said he and his wife were told their son was suspended for talking about guns at school, and because the girl who reported him felt her “health and safety were threatened” when they were called to the school last week. Officials said the issue is addressed in the district’s discipline handbook in the section on student rights and responsibilities.

But Aguirre said there’s no provision that students are prohibited from talking about guns at school, nor did the district provide evidence that the boy threatened to harm a student.

After meeting with the parents, district officials downgraded Noah’s suspension to a “disruption.”

Via Legal Insurrection, which also links to the many recent cases of zero tolerance for common sense.

Persecuting boys for being boys is “a kind of quasi-religious fanaticism,” writes Glenn Harlan Reynolds in USA Today. “I think it’s about the administrative class — which runs the schools with as little input from parents as possible — doing its best to exterminate the very idea of guns. It’s some sort of wacky moral-purity crusade.”

‘Fresh Prince’ song triggers lockdown

When a student’s voice mail song was misheard as “shooting people outside the school” instead of “shooting some b-ball,” every school in Beaver County, Pennsylvania went on lockdown for 20 minutes, reports The Times. The lyrics come from the theme song of the 1990s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

An eye doctor’s receptionist misheard the song when she called a high school student about an appointment. She called the school to report the “threat.” The school called the police. That set off a countywide lockdown.

The student was found in the school guidance office, “swarmed by officers” and taken into custody. He played them the song, which really did refer to “b-ball” and was released.

District Attorney Anthony Berosh said “authorities decided not to charge Clawson in the incident.” Charge him with what?

In a statement to parents, Ambridge Area Superintendent Erv Weischedel said, “The procedures in place were efficient and quickly implemented and proved to be successful.”  So locking down every school in the county because a kid in one school allegedly likes a song with suggestive lyrics is district policy.

The parents have “consulted an attorney about their options.”

5-year-old suspended for bubble shooting ‘threat’

5-year-old kindergarten girl was suspended for “terroristic threats” for saying she’d shoot a friend and herself with a pink Hello Kitty bubble gun. The Pennsylvania girl, who didn’t bring the bubble shooter to school, made the comment while waiting for the school bus. She was questioned for three hours by school officials without her mother’s knowledge.

After a psychologist confirmed she isn’t a would-be terrorist, the 10-day suspension was reduced to two days for “a threat to harm others.” The Hello Kitty “gun” shoots soap bubbles, so potentially she could have gotten her friend wet.

Safe or stupid?

Since the horror of the Sandy Hook shootings, Americans are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stupidity Syndrome, writes Lenore Skenazy on CNN.

Folks in the throes of PTSS are so traumatized by a tragic event that they immediately demand something – ANYTHING – be done to prevent it from ever occurring again. Even if the chances of it happening are one in a million. Even if the “preventative measures” proposed are wacky, wasteful, ridiculous – or worse.

One of her readers at Free-Range Kids reported that the local school created a new rule for its first-grade Christmas concert:  Parents had to hand in their car keys to the office before entering the auditorium.

Because guns don’t kill people … people with car keys kill people?

Another reader said a day care center has asked parents to slam the door on other parents entering behind them, so that everyone has to enter the security code.

Expect a fellow parent to hold the door open for you just because you’re standing there with a baby in one arm and a briefcase in the other? No way! This is a safe community, and a safe community treats all people, even the ones cradling their own children, as potential psycho-killers!

It’s the mindset that created the TSA. Treat everyone like a homicidal maniac. And never ever use your common sense.

A jogger running by a Kentucky school triggered a lockdown. “Seriously…six or seven different police and fire departments, including ambulances, EMS teams, and K9 units were called out, surrounding neighborhoods were searched, the school was put on lockdown, and everyone just shrugs it off as an unplanned practice drill?”

Student suspended for Sandy Hook poem

A San Francisco high school senior was suspended — and could be expelled — for writing a poem about the Sandy Hook massacre. “I know why he pulled the trigger,” wrote Courtni Webb, 17, in a notebook. She thinks gunman Adam Lanza felt isolated and unloved.

Webb goes to the Life Learning Academy, a small charter school for “troubled” students, including those with arrest records. It has a “zero tolerance” policy against violence, which school administrators say the poem violated. A letter to Courtni’s mother said the poem “contained deeply concerning, and threatening language.”

Here’s part of the poem:

They wanna hold me back
I run but still they still attack
My innocence, I won’t get back
I used to smile
They took my kindness for weakness
The silence the world will never get
I understand the killing in Conecticut
I know why he pulled the trigger
The government is a shame
Society never wants to take the blame
Society puts these thoughts in our head
Misery loves company
If I can’t be loved no one can

Writing about violence isn’t the same as wanting to commit violence, says Courtni.

The poem doesn’t read like a threat to me.

 

Boy arrested for doodling, tinkering

A 16-year-old New Jersey boy was arrested for having chemicals at home that could have been used to make a bomb but weren’t, reports the Press of Atlantic City. He also had electronic parts at home that weren’t being used to make a bomb. Police Chief Pat Moran said, “There was no indication he was making a bomb, or using a bomb or detonating a bomb.”

Nonetheless, high school junior was charged with possession of an explosive device and booked into Harborfields Detention Center. Later — it’s not clear how much later — charges were dropped, reports Salon. After all, he didn’t actually possess an explosive device. My house has chemicals that probably could be mixed to create a bomb. And we’ve got lots of electronic parts. I’m sure my husband is capable of building a bomb. All that stops him is a lack of homicidal intent. And, fortunately, he’s completed high school.

The Cedar Creek High School student’s teacher had reported him for doodling what might have been weapons in a notebook. The boy’s mother said he’d drawn a flaming glove. That’s why the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is publicizing the case, reports Reason‘s Hit & Run. Apparently, flaming gloves are a common comic book fantasy.

A former Boy Scout, her son  “volunteers to help senior citizens,” said the mother.

She says his passion for collecting old stuff, taking it apart and rebuilding things lead to this arrest.

“He takes the parts and he builds things with them. Good things,” she explained.

That’s probably why he attends Cedar Creek, a magnet school with an engineering focus and a stress on hands-on learning.
School officials said the student hadn’t made threats and wasn’t in conflict with anyone, but the superintendent praised the teacher for reporting the doodler to police. Post-Newtown hysteria will be with us for awhile.

Gossiping is also a criminal offense these days. The Press also reports:

A 15-year-old girl was arrested at Mainland Regional High School and charged with false public alarm after she allegedly sent a text message to a friend stating that she had heard a rumor that there would be a shooting at the school on Friday.

If she’d heard such a rumor, as opposed to making it up herself, wouldn’t she have a public duty to pass it on? After all, the Cedar Creek teacher who turned in the doodling student wasn’t arrested for “false public alarm.”

Stress + hysteria + teenage girls = epidemic

The Mystery of 18 Twitching Teenagers in Le Roy can be explained by teenage girls expressing stress in physical ways (“conversion disorder”) and mass hysteria, suggests a New York Times Magazine story.  The epidemic started with high-status girls and spread to the less popular. A search for environmental toxins — ones that affect only adolescent girls — fueled the panic.