I need to preface this post with two comments. First, I am a strong supporter of gun control. Second, school administrators and teachers often are in a no win situation when it comes to policies and procedures. But the fact some wacko people get ahold of guns and start shooting in schools, theaters, malls, etc., seems to have pushed us over the edge.
Here’s some news stories just from the last month:
- Elementary school students in Washington were suspended last week for bringing Nerf guns to school — with their teacher’s permission.
- A second grader in Virginia was suspended for two days for pretending his pencil was a gun while playing with his friend in class.
- An 11-year-old boy in Maryland was suspended for 10 days for talking about guns on a school bus ride home.
- As I noted in this month’s first Weekend Edition, a Maryland kindergartner was suspended for bringing a cap gun on a school bus.
- Another kindergartner, this one in Massachusetts, got in trouble for bringing a Lego gun the size of a quarter on the school bus.
Of course, the cause célèbre stems back to March when a Maryland school (what is it with Maryland?) suspended a second grader who chewed his Pop Tart into the shape of a gun. As I say, I don’t think we do enough as a nation to control weapons whose purpose largely is to hurt, maim and kill others. But plainly we have moved from common sense to hysteria.
Guns don’t belong in schools or on school buses, regardless of who possesses them. But some rule of reason has to be applied in each circumstance. These situations aren’t effective enforcement of rules and policies. Instead, they squander teaching opportunities.
Knowledge counts but common sense matters.
LouAnne Johnson, Dangerous Minds