Tag Archives: EDUCATION

Elementary School Calls Police on Special Needs Kindergartner for Harmless Pointing Gesture

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There has always been ridiculous. But now there is Tredyffrin-Easttown School District ridiculous. READ MORE

cops at school

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

That’s because this Pennsylvania educational board currently tops all-comers in the hotly-contested race for the most counter-productive overreaction to a perceived “threat” from an objectively harmless student.

In this case, the victim was Margot, a 6-year-old kindergartner who has Down Syndrome.

Last November, according to a local CBS news report, “Margot became frustrated and made a gesture that sparked a disciplinary investigation.” The girl’s mother acknowledged that Margot pointed her finger at a teacher and said, “I shoot you.”

While that’s certainly inappropriate behavior, it’s also hardly beyond the pale of a young child who’s experiencing a moment of aggravation.

Notwithstanding Margot’s young age, developmental challenges, and obvious inability to discharge an actual projectile from her bare finger, school officials convened a “threat assessment.”

That process, Margot’s mother told the CBS reporter, determined that “nobody was in harm’s way” and that Margot “didn’t even really know what she was saying.”

Unfortunately, school officials then turned what could have been a teachable moment in the importance of choosing words and gestures carefully into a master’s class on bureaucratic rigidity and ineptitude.

Tredyffrin-Easttown School District policy calls for police to be contacted when a threat assessment is convened.

So school officials called the cops on 6-year-old Margot.

The police would not comment to the CBS reporter on what measures they took in response to the school’s report.

But Margot’s mother is upset that the little girl is now on file with local authorities as having “threatened” a school teacher.

The school district told the CBS affiliate that it had “agreed to review” its “school safety practices” in response to a parent having expressed concerns. But it defended them, insisting “the District worked collaboratively with parents, law enforcement and private safety/mental health agencies and legal consultants to ensure our safety measures reflected considerable input from both our local community and experts in the field of school safety.”

Margot’s mother said in another interview that her meeting with the district’s policy committee left her feeling “disheartened,” as she recognized that the process her daughter was subjected to was “intentional” and had in fact “worked as it was intended to.” “That should really frighten people,” she added.

She has also pointed out the harm these one-size-fits-all policies do to children like her daughter, telling the Washington Post that “nationwide data shows students with disabilities are disproportionately likely to be disciplined.”

Margot’s mother emphasized in a public Facebook statement that she does not blame the teacher or principal for what happened and that they “were merely following a policy in a manner in which they were directed to follow it.”

Her motive for going public after meeting with the district’s policy committee, she explained, “is about educating and informing our community about a policy that needs to change in order to protect all our students.” Her recommendations for reform are outlined in a detailed letter she submitted to the committee.

If this were an isolated incident, it could perhaps be chalked up to good intentions gone awry.

But anti-gun hysteria has grown so acute and pervasive in the public education system that no child is safe from potentially life-long consequences for what has historically been understood to be normal, if immature, behavior. These incidents should be kept in mind as policymakers debate the important issue of school safety.

Fortunately, Margot’s parents appear determined to do whatever is necessary to remove any effect the incident may have left on her record and to ensure other vulnerable students in the Tredyffrin-Easttown School District are spared a similar experience.

We wish the family well in righting a wrong that could have been avoided with a modicum of common sense and good judgment. In the meantime, we grade the district’s efforts at a rational approach to safety an F for FAIL.

 

Campus Carry — Very Safe, Despite Worries from Anti-Gunners

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By: John R. Lott Jr., Ph.D.

My recent op-ed in The Hill newspaper points out that while professors seem to be very concerned about allowing permitted concealed handguns on college campuses, their actions don’t match their rhetoric. While a professor’s resignation at the University of Kansas gets national news attention, for example, only one out of 2,600 faculty members has left his or her post at the school.

In my column, I point out that permit holders across the country have an astoundingly low rate of criminality — even lower than police officers. Permits have been revoked for firearms-related violations at rates of thousandths of one percentage point. Civilian permit holders are less likely than police officers to be convicted of a firearms violation. So, many academics’ worries about the potential for shoot-outs on campuses are overblown, if you just consider the data.

For instance, a Crime Prevention Research Center study shows that from January 1, 2005, through December 31, 2007, the yearly rate of misdemeanors and felonies by full-time police officers was .102 percent. The annual rate for Texas’ concealed-carry permit holders in the year 2015, the year campus carry was signed into law in that state, was .0102 percent, or one-tenth the rate of LE violations.

Also, from January 1, 2005, through December 31, 2007, the yearly rate for firearms violations was .017 percent. The annual rate for Texas’ concealed-carry permit holders in 2015 was .0024 percent.

In the column, I argue the purported danger in campus carry has not materialized, even though campus carry has been in effect in some states for 14 years—it became law in Colorado in 2003 and in Utah in 2004, and has become law in numerous other states since then, including Arkansas and Georgia this year. That’s enough time and enough data to have at least noticed a spike in campus criminality by concealed-carry license holders if it had happened.  —Texas & U.S. Law Shield Contributor Dr. John Lott, Jr.

John R. Lott Jr., Ph.D. is the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and the author most recently of “The War on Guns” (Regnery, 2016).

 

Check out these other great articles from U.S. Law Shield and click here to become a member:

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Student Suspended For “Liking” a Photo of an Airsoft Gun on Instagram

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Seventh-grader Zachary Bowlin last week was given a 10-day suspension from Edgewood Middle School [Ohio] for liking a picture of a gun on the social media site with the caption, “Ready.” Read more…

Source: AOL.com News and FOX19

airsoft gun school suspension

The parents of Zachary Bowlin posted a picture of the intended suspension notice which read, “The reason for the intended suspension is as follows: Liking a post on social media that indicated potential school violence.”

“I liked it, scrolling down Instagram at night about 7, 8 o’clock, I liked it,” Bowlin told FOX19. “The next morning they called me down [to the office] patted me down and checked me for weapons.”

The gun in the photo is reportedly an airsoft gun that shoots plastic pellets.

Instagram airsoft gun

The 13-year-old’s parents were angry about the suspension. “It was 10 days suspension with the possibility of expulsion. I’m like, ‘For liking a gun? Did he make a comment or threat or anything?,'” Bowlin’s father, Marty, told WLWT News in Cincinnati, “And it’s like, ‘No. He just liked a picture.’ I’m like, ‘Well, this can’t happen.'”

The school, however, stands by taking precaution right away. “When you’re dealing with school districts nowadays and there are pictures of guns, regardless of the kind of gun it is, it’s a gun,” Edgewood City Schools Superintendent Russ Fussnecker told WLWT, “I cannot just turn my head and act as if, well, I think it may have been playful and take the chance that something happens,” Fussnecker continued. “I can’t take a chance.”

The suspension was for both Bowlin and the boy who took the photo. Once Fussnecker found out the gun was for pellets, it was revoked. Bowlin can return to school without penalty. The boy who posted the photo is reportedly still under suspension.

Fussnecker told FOX19 in a statement: “Concerning the recent social media posting of a gun with the caption ‘Ready,’ and the liking of this post by another student, the policy at Edgewood City Schools reads as follows:
“The Board has a ‘zero tolerance’ of violent, disruptive, harassing, intimidating, bullying, or any other inappropriate behavior by its students.

Students are also subject to discipline as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct that occurs off school property when the misbehavior adversely affects the educational process.

As the Superintendent of the Edgewood City Schools, I assure you that any social media threat will be taken serious [sic] including those who ‘like’ the post when it potentially endangers the health and safety of students or adversely affects the educational process.”