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Thursday, May 09, 2013

Zero-tolerance out of control: Pencil leads to boy's suspension, while Eagle Scout hit with felony

I'll be damned if (Lord willing) I get blessed with children and I put them in a government-run school.

They're not here yet.  But I already love them too much than to subject them to the insanity of a modern public school.  And few things exemplify that madness more than do zero-tolerance policies.

(Hey, I ran for school board once.  It can't be said that I never tried to make the public schools better.  But things won't going to get better until more people get up the gumption to tell the bureaucrats "ENOUGH!")

Two stories demonstrating my point.  The first is about seven-year old Christopher Marshall of Suffolk, Virginia.  He was suspended from his elementary school last week per a policy of "zero tolerance".

What was his crime?  Pointing a pencil as if were a gun at another student and making "bang! bang!" noises with it.

Yeah, you read that right.  That's all that little Christopher was doing.

From the story at WAVY.com...
Seven-year-old Christopher Marshall says he was playing with another student in class Friday, when the teacher at Driver Elementary asked them to stop pointing pencils at each other.

"When I asked him about it, he said, 'Well I was being a Marine and the other guy was being a bad guy,'" said Paul Marshall, the boy's father. "It's as simple as that."

Christopher's father was a Marine for many years. He thinks school leaders overreacted.

"A pencil is a weapon when it is pointed at someone in a threatening way and gun noises are made," said Bethanne Bradshaw, a spokesperson for Suffolk Public Schools.

The Suffolk school system has a "zero tolerance policy" when it comes to weapons. And, Bradshaw admits, that policy has tightened up in recent years because of widely publicized school shootings.

"Some children would consider it threatening, who are scared about shootings in schools or shootings in the community," said Bradshaw. "Kids don't think about 'Cowboys and Indians' anymore, they think about drive-by shootings and murders and everything they see on television news every day."
And then there is the tale of Eagle Scout, honor student, devout Christian and model young man Cole Withrow from Princeton, a small town near Raleigh here in North Carolina.  Cole had been skeet shooting and accidentally left his shotgun in his vehicle when he came to school late last month.  Cole realized his error and sought to do the right thing: he went to the office and called his mom to come and take the gun out and away from the campus.  Unfortunately one of the staff at Princeton High School overheard the call and alerted the police.

Cole Withrow, Princeton High School, guns, zero tolerance, expelled, arrested, felony
Cole Withrow with his sister Hannah Walker
Cole was arrested on felony charges and expelled.  He will not walk with his classmates at graduation in a few weeks.  All for trying to do the right thing in the matter.  For trying to do what his faith and his vows as a Boy Scout would have him to do.

Cole will be allowed to graduate, just not from his own school.  His family is fighting for Cole's right to be with his classmates.

But at least his troubles caught the attention of Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University.  Cole Withrow has been offered a scholarship to attend the college.  Harding University has also extended a similar offer to Cole.

Is it paranoia?  Is it laziness?  Is it intentional conditioning of the kids on the part of the public school educators and administrators?  For whatever reason it is, this kind of thing has gone on... and continues to go on... for far too long.

"Zero-tolerance"?  More like "zero common sense".


Lee Shelton said...

Jesus said to "render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's" (Matt. 22:21). It's sad that so many Christians seem to think he was referring to their children. That's why we homeschool.