COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A central Ohio principal says she suspended a 10-year-old boy from school for three days for pretending his finger was a gun and pointing it at another student's head.Apparently this principal endorses a very strict reading of the Second Amendment, where the right to bear arms is protected, but the right to bear fingers is not.
To be fair, I shouldn't only mock the principal for this nonsense. She was following her district's "zero tolerance" policy regarding "pretend gun play." Yes, there's an app for that.
Look, I get that people are concerned about gun violence, especially in our schools, but adopting policies of militant stupidity that prevent kids from being kids isn't the answer.
Unfortunately, this isn't an isolated incident. The article mentions other examples, including a similar policy that was cited last year when a Maryland school suspended a 7-year-old boy who had chewed a Pop-Tart into a gun shape. It's unclear whether the yummy pastry was loaded, or whether the boy had obtained it legally.
It's easy to laugh this stuff off and chalk it up to good intentions gone awry. But it's far from clear that good intentions are behind these policies. It is clear, however, that some serious consequences result from them. Kids lose instruction time. Tax payer dollars are wasted. Good kids end up with permanent marks on their records suggesting that they are prone to violence, sexual harassment, and other offenses. These are heavy consequences for a 6-year-old to bear, for doing nothing 6-year-olds haven't been doing for centuries.
A toxic culture also emerges as a result of this nonsense. Educators -- nearly all of them Leftists -- get quite drunk on their power to militate for their causes. Don't like guns? Punish a 7-year-old for the way he eats. Think men are predators? Punish a 6-year-old for kissing a classmate's hand, even if she welcomes it. Don't like America? Ban the American flag while allowing flags of other countries to stay.
It's insidious. It's also dangerous. Such a culture becomes so rigid and controlling that not only are kids not allowed to be kids, but adults stop being adults as well:
A Minnesota public high school was so committed to obeying its fire drill policy to the exact letter of the law that it forced a female student–dressed only in a swimsuit, and sopping wet–to stand outside in the freezing cold for ten minutes. As a result, she suffered frostbite.
Administrators wouldn’t let the student retrieve her clothes, sit in a car or wait inside another building...