Schools are extremely sensitive to gun violence, which continues to be a hot button topic in America. Schools around the nation are standing on the front line on the fight for stricter gun control regulations. However, has society’s fishing expedition gone too far and pushed too many accepted boundaries? You can judge, as highlighted below are “offenses” that were committed by students, earning them harsh punishments.
- Gun Computer Background – In February 2013, an Arizona high school freshman was suspended from school after teachers discovered his computer background was a flag with an Ak-47 lying atop. The school was able to suspend the freshman under the ruling that “displaying offensive images” was a zero tolerance policy, especially on a school issued laptop computer.
- Replica Gun – We’re not talking a full-size replica, but one barely bigger than a quarter. The school bus driver had the 10-year-old child arrested and the child was subsequently charged with “brandishing a weapon.” Local authorities scoffed at the overreaction and the child was never put on trial.
- Gun Shaped Paper – A fifth grade student had in her possession a piece of paper that was similar to a capital “L,” yet school officials said it was too similar to a gun. Not only was she verbally reprimanded, but also she was physically searched.
- Army Men – Remember the green army men toys from your childhood? A child decorated cupcakes with these relics and the school confiscated them for being “too violent.” The principal of the school released a statement: “Living in a democratic society entails respect for opposing opinions. In the climate of recent events in schools we walk a delicate balance in teaching non-violence in our buildings and trying to ensure a safe, peaceful atmosphere.” According to the child’s mother, the army men were compared to mass murders.
In a society worried about political correctness and offending others, have we swung the pendulum too far? Are schools taking once accepted policies and using irrational methods to determine what is indeed a threat or offense to students? When did childhood become centered on political correctness, instead of focusing on the carefree days of playing, letting imaginations roam wild and exploring youth?
In the face of gun violence, society should take a long look at how overreacting can have a direct impact on children. These aforementioned children – especially the replica gun, gun shaped paper and Army men students – were chastised and likely scarred from their experiences with school officials and authorities. Instead of knee-jerk emotional reactions, society should consider a better approach to effectively addressing gun control issues.
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