Hello all,

Today’s topic is about will take a brief, glazed over version of the topic of schools and zero tolerance policies.  In many ways, this is an extension of my stranger danger blog post as it regards one specific instance.  Now the concerns of many people all around, especially parents, want to protect children from every possible, conceivable bad or harmful thing on this planet.  One such instance is bringing hand guns to school.  Yes, IF it happens, AND THAT IS A BIG IF, something can happen accidentally or purposefully.  So I can understand the school’s why parents and school officials would implement policies to say “Hey don’t bring guns and weapons to school or we will suspend and/or expel you from school grounds”.  The thing that this comes from is that school that it, like a home, should be a safe place where kids of all ages (preschool to college) to learn, grow, and socialize with each other in a safe, friendly, and welcoming environment and no one here is disputing that.  But there are questions that  lay with the boundaries of this zero tolerance on guns (or weapons) policies.  The question(s) is/are:  How far is to far regarding enforcement of these policies? Where does these boundaries end before such concerns are outrageous and become ridicules?

Here is something that concerns everyone:  What about Columbine?  What about Virgina Tech? Many people think this will happen with any thing resembling guns in schools.  That some how that any thing that resembles weapons will result in the awful images that such tragedies conjure up.  This is something that is the complete opposite of what school can and is about.

My thoughts:  So tell all this to David Morales, an 8 year old of Providence, Rhode Island (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iMXgWX1my2TrMvxt5JNxRShwyzBwD9GD56SO0).  Now this child, David, had met a neighbor who is serving in the military, so he decided out of patriotism (which no one disputes), to glue some plastic shoulders to a hat.  The inspiration came from the army man on a day where he was going to meet a pen pal and decided to glue soldiers holding guns to a camouflage hat to show patriotism.  And this caused such a huge controversy of him having to leave the hat home.  Now certainly this is case where “strict and rigid” enforcement of the zero policy had gone too far and overstepped its boundaries.  They are demonizing this child and sending the wrong message saying if bring certain toys like plastic soldiers to school to play with or show of patriotically in a school setting, you will not bring it on campus, be suspended or expelled.  Now please do not get the wrong impression, I am not arguing for bringing weapons or guns to school, but  I am calling for common sense.  There is a difference between bringing in toys and an actual handgun to school.  Where is the step in logic and reasoning here?  It is an outrageous situation.

Steve

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