In November of 2006, a 13-year old middle-school boy in Joliette, Illinois, heard a rumor that a gun (a pellet gun) had been hidden in the boys bathroom trash can,
He and a friend investigated, found the pellet gun, and turned it over to school authorities.
In accordance with the state law, the boy who actually handed the gun to the Assistant Principle was subject to expulsion. The Elementary District School Board, in an act which they probably consider to be one of extreme kindness, instead removed him from his school and recommended Home Schooling.
("... administrators were bound by state law to bring an expulsion recommendation to the board. But the board had several options under state law, including the choice of home schooling or offering a placement in an alternative school.")
The family does not accept this decision, asserting that the boy was doing "the right thing" by giving the gun to a school official.
(The boy who actually brought the gun to school has reportedly been "criminally charged".)
In an age wherein merely drawing a picture involving stick figures shooting a gun, these results are probably no longer surprising. They are, however, still appalling.
State laws, school officials, and Illinois legislatures (not to single out that state ... it happens all over America any more) continue to predate on the "good kids" who do their best to act in good faith to act in accordance to arcane and unjust laws.
A pre-school boy who hugs his teacher is suspended for "inappropriate physical behavior interpreted as sexual contact and/or sexual harassment".
You can hardly imagine an ingenuous situation involving a naive child and a school which does not end in the child being punished ... often egrigiously ... for being a child.
Kim de Tuit (in his earlier incarnation) referred to this phenomenon as "The Pussification of the Western Male". He laid the blame squarely on the round shoulders of the Feminist Movement.
My frustration from this latest outrage inclines me to agree with him. When I first started reading Kim, I didn't agree with him on many subjects. Current events over the past few years have caused me to slowly veer toward acceptance of his viewpoints.
Especially on the subject of Zero Tolerance, and most especially when I read examples in places like this, and this, and ... well, do your own Google search.
What is the value of Zero Tolerance in schools?
Well, since the courts have determined that
UPDATE: December 26, 2006
As proof that this blog is "A Living Document" (not unlike the Constitution of the United States of America, in the view of some over-the-hill SCOTUS members), I've been thinking about this article and would like to add a comment.
It seems to me that the school board in question probably intended the act of 'sentencing' the innocent to Home Schooling as a combination of public ostracizing and sending to Coventry. Read: "That'll show the little punk who's in charge here!"
Given the egregious infliction of Zero Tolerance policies on the innocent, this may well have been the best thing that they could have done for the kid. At least he's no longer subject to punishments inflicted upon him by a mindless bureaucracy. He won't be brainwashed by the nanny state. He is no longer in an environment which insists that all good things comes from The Government and that his parents are incompetent to teach him appropriate values.
I bet there was a Christmas Tree in the front room, right in front of the picture window ... and the school won't allow any Christmas Pageant or other recognition of the religious season. ("Happy Holiday" is not an acceptable for "Merry Christmas!")
Yeah, the kid probably wishes all of his friends would get the same ill treatment.
The thing about freedom is, free people want everybody to be free. The only down side is, you just about have to kick somebody in the shins to break out of lockstep.
Actually, I feel a lot better about this, now.