Category Archive 'Zero Tolerance Policies'

31 Aug 2015

But Who Decided That a Swiss Army Knife Was a “Weapon”?

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Swiss-Army-Knife

We have gotten used to reading about these little-kid-expelled-from-school-for-possession-of-a-pocket-knife happening in the suburbs of New England or California, but in Pennsylvania?

Recently a ten-year-old female violinist was expelled from the toney Valley School of Ligonier because the young musician was found to be using a Swiss Army Knife to remove broken strings from her violin bow.

Her parents consequently attempted to enroll her in the public school for their local district, but found her admission jeopardized by the report of her expulsion for “bringing weapons onto school property” from the young lady’s previous school.

All this nincompoopery is connected, in Pennsylvania, to a Safe School Act (passed in 1995, and amended in 1997 and subsequently added to) which in the case of a student expelled due to a weapon or drugs being brought on to school property, obligates other schools to apply the same expulsion. The parents are suing on the basis that these zero tolerance policies have inflicted on their daughter a “defamatory stigma.”

TribLive

Centre Daily Times

The Violin Channel

04 Feb 2011

New Jersey 7-Year-Old Charged For Bringing Toy Gun to School

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More Hoplophobic insanity

NBC Philadelphia:

A 7-year-old child allegedly shot a Nerf-style toy gun in his Hammonton, N.J., school Jan. 18. No one was hurt, but the pint-size softshooter now faces misdemeanor criminal charges.

Hammonton Police began an investigation into the “suspicious activity” at the Hammonton Early Childhood Education Center Jan. 18 after school officials alerted them to the incident.

The “gun” the child brought to school was a $5 toy gun, similar to a Nerf gun, that shoots soft ping pong type balls, according to the school’s superintendent.

Officials also say that there was no evidence of anyone being threatened. The child’s mother told school officials that she didn’t know her son brought the toy to school.

Dr. Dan Blachford, the Hammonton Board of Education superintendent, said the school has a zero tolerance policy.

“We are just very vigilant and we feel that if we draw a very strict line then we have much less worry about someone bringing in something dangerous,” said Blachford. …

Police charged the 7-year-old with possessing an imitation firearm in or on an education institution – a misdemeanor and a minor juvenile offense in New Jersey.

Hat tip to Walter Olson.

30 Dec 2010

In North Carolina, No Less

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A 17-year-old star student in Sanford, North Carolina was searched, then suspended, arrested and charged with a misdemeanor, because she was mistakenly carrying her father’s lunchbox, identical to her own, and his contained a small paring knife which he used to slice his apple.

WRAL story

It is time for the revolution.

America has somehow wound up being run by nincompoops who respond to unique and extraordinary crimes committed by a few individuals (Columbine, 9/11) by awarding themselves unprecedented grants of authority, completely alien to our constitutional and civic traditions, to tyrannize over the entire American population.

Americans are now harassed, electronically strip-searched, and groped at airports, treated like criminals upon entering courthouses and public offices, and children are arrested and thrown out of school for drawings, carrying toys, or for being found in possession of kitchen utensils.

Not so very long ago, high school boys used to participate in target shooting in urban high schools. Rural students would bring deer rifles to school, and keep them in the lockers during class, in order to go hunting at the end of the school day.

Only someone genuinely insane would suppose that Ashley Smithwick really represented a threat to anyone, but an ideological regime pathologically hostile to private possession of arms and fanatically devoted to the principle of a statist monopoly of force has descended upon schools across the United States. Zero tolerance policies are gestural expressions of ideological absolutism. Zero tolerance policies express the viewpoint of officialdom that our pacifistic, hoplophobic values are more important than facts, rationality, or your rights. Nothing whatsoever is as valuable as physical safety and the unchallenged rule of established authority.

Totalitarianism never came to America through foreign invasion, military conquest, or our defeat by foreign enemies. But totalitarianism has arrived here, in our schools, our airports, and our public spaces, entirely domestically. Totalitarianism is already occupying ever-expanding regions of our public lives via the petty tyranny, the habitual cowardice, the overwheening self-importance, the small mindedness,and the contemptible values of our ordinary administrators and minor officials.

This country needs a new litigation center dedicated to combating zero tolerance policies, safety fascism, and TSA-style security policies.

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Update from Bryan Preston via Glenn Reynolds.

The school administrators are issuing misleading press releases, obfuscating the student victim’s status and trying to depict a new-fangled lunch container as a purse. Sleazoids.

12 Sep 2008

Broken Pencil Sharpener Leads to Panic at Hilton Head Elementary School

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Legendary White Crane-style Kung Fu Master Pei Mei, it is said, killed twelve fully-armed Shaolin monks using only the blade from his broken pencil sharpener.

South Carolina Low Country Island Packet has a story indicating that the Zero Common Sense policies associated with America’s bed-wetting, nincompoop haute bourgeoisie have spread even to within a stone’s throw of the US Marine Corps’s recruit training depot at Parris Island.

A 10-year-old Hilton Head Island boy has been suspended from school for having something most students carry in their supply boxes: a pencil sharpener.

The problem was his sharpener had broken, but he decided to use it anyway.

A teacher at Hilton Head Island International Baccalaureate Elementary School noticed the boy had what appeared to be a small razor blade during class on Tuesday, according to a Beaufort County sheriff’s report.

It was obvious that the blade was the metal insert commonly found in a child’s small, plastic pencil sharpener, the deputy noted.

The boy — a fourth-grader described as a well-behaved and good student — cried during the meeting with his mom, the deputy and the school’s assistant principal.

He had no criminal intent in having the blade at school, the sheriff’s report stated, but was suspended for at least two days and could face further disciplinary action.

District spokesman Randy Wall said school administrators are stuck in the precarious position between the district’s zero tolerance policy against having weapons at school and common sense.

“We’re always going to do something to make sure the child understands the seriousness of having something that could potentially harm another student, but we’re going to be reasonable,” he said.

Pious blithering letter to parents from school dated 9/11.

Police report (!). These idiots actually called the police over this!

Principal McAden “clarified” today, defending the school’s insanity and asserting that the child was “not suspended for having a pencil sharpener. He had an exposed blade which created a dangerous setting for the student and other children. The student was suspended for one day for inappropriate behavior in the classroom.”

Dangerous? Maybe a legendary martial artist could do something effective with a weapon of the sort (especially in the Hong Kong cinema), but an elementary school kid is going to do what with a marginally-edged one inch piece of metal?

21 Sep 2007

Prove You’re Over 21!

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The BBC has a story demonstrating that the surrender of common sense to zero tolerance policies in service of therapeutic state paternalism is an international phenomenon.

Supermarket staff refused to sell alcohol to a white-haired 72-year-old man – because he would not confirm he was over 21.

Check-out staff at Morrisons in West Kirby, Wirral, demanded Tony Ralls prove he was old enough to buy his two bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Mr Ralls asked to see the manager who put the wine back on the shelf.

The grandfather-of-three said he had refused to confirm he was over 21 as it was a “stupid question.”

Mr Ralls, a retired insurance firm regional manager, said he expected the store manager to resolve the situation but he was disappointed. …

The pensioner abandoned his shopping on the conveyor belt and left the store – but not before demanding a complaints form and phone number for Morrisons’ headquarters. …

A Morrisons spokesman said: “We take our responsibility with regard to selling alcohol very seriously and all our stores operate the Task 21 scheme, which addresses the difficulties our staff face in being able to determine if a customer is legally old enough to buy alcohol.

“To further limit any element of doubt staff at the West Kirby store are required to ask anyone buying alcohol to confirm that they are over 21.”


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