Ooo...look....another school kept safe by Zero Tolerance!
PA 1st-Grader Accidentally Brings Toy Gun To School, Turns It In, Gets Suspended
So...a summary. Kid leaves his normal back-pack at a friends house. His mom runs into his room in the morning, grabs another back-pack, throws his lunch in it, and sends him off to school. After lunch, kid notices that he has a toy gun in his bag, and knowing that that is not right, he goes and shows it to his teacher. The teacher responds by sending the honest young man to the office, who respond by suspending him.
The lesson learned here? If you have done something wrong, and you self-identify, the punishment is going to be the same as if you try to get away with it, and get caught.
Now, I suspect around here I am preaching to the choir about my disgust of zero tolerance rules....but on my facebook when I shared this story, I actually had a few people attempt to defend this action. Oh...it's for their own safety!
What if there was a dangerous situation and the police responded overzealously?
It's in the rules! The teacher HAD to report it! I hate this one...I don't want to play the 'I was just following orders' card but...yeah. There is NO ONE that I know who follows ALL the rules ALL the time. This was a chance for the teacher to buck up and reward this kid for coming forward on his own by showing some common sense and putting the toy in his/her desk. Is there a risk involved with that? Oh yeah...I'm sure of the teacher was caught not following the procedures, the teacher would risk punishment all the way up to termination. I also suspect that when THAT story made it the paper, the teacher would be very fondly thought of by most normal folks, and wouldn't be unemployed long.
It's just...grrrrrrrr. I even had one friend point out that another story said this is not this kids first offense. He was suspended twice before...once for bullying, once for teasing. According to his father(not an unbiased source, but still...) the precious suspensions were for 'getting in an argument with a friend and pushing him' and then 'teasing on a school bus'.
And I think that might make me even more angry/disappointed than the initial story. Back when I was a kid(get off my lawn!) I'm pretty sure I was involved in those type of situations on a monthly, if not weekly, basis. Never once was I suspended for them. Hell...I did a lot worse than that and I was never given detention, let alone suspension. This kid shouldn't have been suspended once, let alone three times!
This seems like a good time to once again count my blessings that we home school. Stories like this might not be the reason we home school, but it is a pleasant benefit.