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Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:57 AM

6 year old boy suspended for making a finger gun with his hand and saying “Pow.”

This country has gone off the rails, I swear.

From Jonathan Turley's blog:

Roscoe R. Nix Elementary School in Montgomery County has joined these ranks by suspending a six-year-old boy for making a finger gun with his hand and saying “Pow.”

Assistant Principal Renee Garraway wrote to the child’s parents about this “serious incident” and said that by using he “threatened to shoot a student.” The letter also reference to a prior incident that the parents say was never conveyed to them.

http://jonathanturley.org/2013/01/03/terror-tots-iii-maryland-student-suspended-for-use-of-finger-gun/#more-58823

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Reply 6 year old boy suspended for making a finger gun with his hand and saying “Pow.” (Original post)
dixiegrrrrl Jan 2013 OP
Coyote_Tan Jan 2013 #1
marions ghost Jan 2013 #2
Dyedinthewoolliberal Jan 2013 #25
Eleanors38 Jan 2013 #31
marions ghost Jan 2013 #32
thucythucy Jan 2013 #33
MKITEM Jan 2013 #35
thucythucy Jan 2013 #86
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #43
Buzz Clik Jan 2013 #3
HereSince1628 Jan 2013 #5
Buzz Clik Jan 2013 #6
Buns_of_Fire Jan 2013 #14
Eleanors38 Jan 2013 #39
SummerSnow Jan 2013 #52
Trillo Jan 2013 #4
99Forever Jan 2013 #7
loli phabay Jan 2013 #11
99Forever Jan 2013 #16
PavePusher Jan 2013 #58
guardian Jan 2013 #65
99Forever Jan 2013 #72
Coyote_Tan Jan 2013 #79
guardian Jan 2013 #81
loli phabay Jan 2013 #8
Kingofalldems Jan 2013 #9
loli phabay Jan 2013 #12
Kingofalldems Jan 2013 #29
HockeyMom Jan 2013 #27
loli phabay Jan 2013 #30
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #45
HappyMe Jan 2013 #10
Coyote_Tan Jan 2013 #22
HappyMe Jan 2013 #26
PavePusher Jan 2013 #59
MKITEM Jan 2013 #13
marions ghost Jan 2013 #20
MKITEM Jan 2013 #28
marions ghost Jan 2013 #44
Odin2005 Jan 2013 #57
marions ghost Jan 2013 #62
Tab Jan 2013 #15
99Forever Jan 2013 #18
SQUEE Jan 2013 #68
99Forever Jan 2013 #70
SQUEE Jan 2013 #73
HappyMe Jan 2013 #19
KittyWampus Jan 2013 #50
HappyMe Jan 2013 #55
KittyWampus Jan 2013 #63
Odin2005 Jan 2013 #17
marions ghost Jan 2013 #21
CBGLuthier Jan 2013 #23
PavePusher Jan 2013 #61
frazzled Jan 2013 #24
slackmaster Jan 2013 #36
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #42
cherokeeprogressive Jan 2013 #34
slackmaster Jan 2013 #38
cherokeeprogressive Jan 2013 #48
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #37
FSogol Jan 2013 #40
slackmaster Jan 2013 #41
sarisataka Jan 2013 #46
marions ghost Jan 2013 #49
sarisataka Jan 2013 #51
marions ghost Jan 2013 #54
sarisataka Jan 2013 #80
bongbong Jan 2013 #83
bhikkhu Jan 2013 #47
mn9driver Jan 2013 #53
Glassunion Jan 2013 #56
Jeff In Milwaukee Jan 2013 #60
cherokeeprogressive Jan 2013 #64
Jeff In Milwaukee Jan 2013 #66
Bucky Jan 2013 #67
Dreamer Tatum Jan 2013 #69
Paladin Jan 2013 #71
JustABozoOnThisBus Jan 2013 #74
Jefferson23 Jan 2013 #75
Enrique Jan 2013 #76
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #77
libdem4life Jan 2013 #78
nadinbrzezinski Jan 2013 #82
Glassunion Jan 2013 #84
Glassunion Jan 2013 #85
lumberjack_jeff Jan 2013 #87

Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:01 AM

1. Stupid stupid stupid...

 

I remember a similar story last year of a deaf boy who had the name of Hunter.

The ASL symbol for that , supposedly, is the same finger gun and he also got in trouble.

The stupid just seeps from the pores of these schools.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:03 AM

2. The country's gone off the rails definitely

but not because of this. What do you do? The school has to do something. What if he brings his parents gun to school next time? That may be far-fetched, but it has to be ZERO tolerance for guns or play acting guns. After a period of compliance, they can eliminate the incident from his records, but I say the school is in the right to give him a day out.

What do we expect in a gun-laden culture? How can anything change if it's OK to point guns or even pretend to? Problem is, it's not fantasy now. It's all too real.

Teach kids that guns pointed at people is UNacceptable--how else do you do it? It might be better to actually teach them as a group that this is not acceptable in school, so they can be fairly warned (we don't know if this was done in this case).

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:33 AM

25. maybe the teacher

waits until after class, takes the boy aside and tries explaining to him why they don't like that kind of thing? Give him a chance to aborb the new information first and see what happens?

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Response to Dyedinthewoolliberal (Reply #25)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:44 AM

31. Such a reasonable approach is not tolerated in this Scarlet Letter time.

We are moving into a drug-war-type, zero-tolerance approach. This society is highly punishment oriented, even for liberals.

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Response to Dyedinthewoolliberal (Reply #25)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:45 AM

32. Probably they tried that

but with kids these days you have to reinforce it. Adults blabbing at them one-on-one--ie. acting like parents--can be the least effective way to go. And suspensions get the attention of the parents.

I do advocate warning the kids as a group in a place reserved for serious discussion, like the assembly hall--that this will not be tolerated. Give them fair warning and stress the reasons why. Alert the parents to this warning from the school.

We don't know what happened in this case.

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Response to Dyedinthewoolliberal (Reply #25)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:46 AM

33. And what if "what happens" is that the kid comes back with a gun

and actually shoots somebody? I have little doubt, in that case, that many of the same people who are now lambasting this teacher and the school would be saying, "Why did they ignore the obvious warning signs? How could they be so negligent?" and the school would be sued and the teacher disgraced.

I'm not saying this was the best response, but given recent events I can see how people might over react in this way. Given the widespread availability of firearms, any mistake in evaluating a threat, no matter how innocuous, could turn out to be lethal.

It must really suck sometimes, to be a teacher nowadays.



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Response to thucythucy (Reply #33)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:48 AM

35. That could apply to anything

 

you never know what might set somebody off. Scold little Johnny for chewing gum, next day he come back with a .357 The next thing is going to be teachers teaching behind bullet proof glass.

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Response to MKITEM (Reply #35)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 07:45 PM

86. Absolutely true.

With hundreds of millions of lethal weapons sloshing around in our society, we now can no longer be certain--ever--that the most innocuous interaction might not turn deadly. And it could happen anywhere--even in a kindergarten class.

I was pulling out of a parking lot today, after pumping air into my tires at a gas station. This guy in another car thought I was trying to cut ahead of him for gas. I could see him go ballistic, absolutely red in the face, until he realized I wasn't trying to cut.

Don't think I didn't wonder, while watching him go apeshit, if he didn't have a gun. Thanks to the NRA, we all have to worry about that now, don't we?

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Response to Dyedinthewoolliberal (Reply #25)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:56 AM

43. Unfortunately the teacher is probably required to report it

and will be disciplined if she doesn't.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:04 AM

3. "The right to bear arms shall not be denied." And, fingers are on the end of our arms.

Am I right?

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:05 AM

5. It says NOTHING about FINGERS! or PALMS!

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:06 AM

6. Supreme Court, here we come!

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:15 AM

14. "When fingers are outlawed..." nt

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Response to Buns_of_Fire (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:51 AM

39. Maybe he really asked the teacher to pull it.

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Response to Buns_of_Fire (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:40 PM

52. Here comes the National Finger Ban

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:05 AM

4. Any canine trainer realizes that positive reinforcement is required to elicit a behavior,

and that too much negative reinforcement, particularly extreme, ruins the animal. We read many reports of drug shakedowns in schools, kids lying on the floor prone as police have their way, other kids arrested for doodling, having their shirt untucked, etc., to say nothing of well-deserved punishments. This story is another one.

It seems rather incredulous that a star and smiley face on a test is expected to be a compensating reward in the face of such highly-leveraged punishments. When viewed this way, it certainly seems that teenage rebellion is an engineered phenomenon, a natural outgrowth of a system composed primarily of punishment and the fear of punishment.

Where are the equivalent-strength rewards?

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:07 AM

7. Zero tolerance..

... means zero tolerance. No gunz, no gunz play. Stop whining and pay attention.

The worm has turned.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:11 AM

11. so no more common sense. all this does is piss people off and then laugh at the idiots calling for

 

Stuff like this.

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Response to loli phabay (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:16 AM

16. Piffle.

The gun psycho culture needs to be gone, at every level. Zero tolerance is zero tolerance.

Deal with it.

The worm has turned.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:04 PM

58. The only worm here is in your head. n/t

 

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:16 PM

65. zero tolerance = zero brains

 

Zero tolerance rules are put in place by small minded, insecure, moronic, whining, control freaks.

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Response to guardian (Reply #65)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 02:24 PM

72. Nonsense.

Multiple mass shootings of our people, now including babies, equals STFU and follow the rules. This is on gun freaks, NO ONE else is to blame. I don't give a fat rat's ass how many names you call me. String together a thousand juvenile jewels, if that makes your "badass" feel better.




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Response to 99Forever (Reply #72)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 03:09 PM

79. Are you claiming that a 6 year old is a gun freak?

 

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #72)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 03:19 PM

81. OMG!!!

 

I feel threatened by the below sign. I just wet my little self. It looks too much like a gun! And the word 'exit' could be a metaphor for death. This business should be shut down immediately. Zero tolerance rules.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:07 AM

8. so glad i left montgomery county and moved to va

 

I swear the crazy is strong in mont county. Absolutely no common sense.

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Response to loli phabay (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:10 AM

9. Yeah I remember another DUer who did the same thing.

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Response to Kingofalldems (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:12 AM

12. smart people then. i was only there for a year or so before i moved.

 

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Response to loli phabay (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:39 AM

29. So what is so bad about Mont. County?

Too liberal?

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Response to loli phabay (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:37 AM

27. They cannot do this in Florida schools either

Florida is hardly a staunch gun controls state. If the little boys in Pre-K made guns out of their legos and pointed them at another child, they were reprimanded and the legos taken away. Once a boy brought a toy gun into class, and it was taken away from him, and his parents were called in. I don't know of any case where the child was suspended though.

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Response to HockeyMom (Reply #27)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:42 AM

30. common sense would seem to dictate that talking to the kid or advising the parents

 

Is a better way than having some sort of zero tolerance and suspension. Context should matter as well in regards to what the kid was actually doing.

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Response to HockeyMom (Reply #27)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:57 AM

45. It's against the law where I teach.

And teachers who don't report it are disciplined.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:10 AM

10. I don't see anything

wrong with sending the kid home and having his parents explain why this is wrong. Especially so close on the heels of Newtown.

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Response to HappyMe (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:25 AM

22. That implies there is something wrong with it...

 

Nothing wrong with boys playing war or cops and robbers or whatever...

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Response to Coyote_Tan (Reply #22)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:34 AM

26. No, there isn't anything wrong

with playing cops & robbers. I just don't think it's the thing for the kid to do (in school) so close after the recent tragedy. Maybe the kid scared the snot out of some other little kid or something.
If they start telling kids what they can and can't do outside of school, then that's a huge problem.

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Response to HappyMe (Reply #26)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:05 PM

59. Thought-police are O.K. in school, eh?

 

Got it.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:13 AM

13. Probably 100% of children have done this

 

at some time or another.

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Response to MKITEM (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:20 AM

20. Right, and they can do it at home

--but not at school, like a LOT of other behaviors. Sorry but there are several teachers in my family who deal with these problems on a daily basis. I'm on their side in this. It sends the right message.

This is not a big hardship.


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Response to marions ghost (Reply #20)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:39 AM

28. How many elementary school kids play cops and robbers

 

on the school playground? They should be disciplined for this? Please.

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Response to MKITEM (Reply #28)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:57 AM

44. As I said

I think the kids and their parents should get fair warning that games of guns and killing are not for school--before disciplinary measures are carried out. Most kids can understand the reasons for it. Many will comply and even be in favor of it.

Kids can play whatever they want after school. It's not a lot to ask in light of the violence in this society. More than likely they're not "playing cops and robbers" anyway--this isn't the 50's--it's not Beever and Wally anymore. They're playing Rambo. They're playing First Person Shooter. They're playing Kill Osama.

Not. In. School.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #44)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:00 PM

57. I sure hope you are not a parent.

Or else your kids are going to grow up to hate you, and for good reason. moralistic pearl-clutchers are never good parents.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #57)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:07 PM

62. I must've had a good argument...

judging by the insults. Got to the heart of it, didn't I?

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:16 AM

15. Only in 2013

Otherwise every single boy from 1930 to 1990 would have been suspended in grade school and we would never had made it this far.

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Response to Tab (Reply #15)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:18 AM

18. That was then...

... this is now.

Zero tolerance is zero tolerance.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #18)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:58 PM

68. good to see you got the worm to stop turning...

and oddly, many of us grew up around guns, respectful of them, familiar and comfortable with shooting. Definitely not running around in pants wetting terror of a child's gesture terrified that it is just the first sign, soon he will be slaughtering the innocents.
Our teachers and principals hunted with us, and it wasn't unknown for a rifle or 2 to be in the principals office during deer season, and somehow miraculously those evil wood and steel death machines couldn't work their hypnotic siren call of murder on the weak, and we all went home safe.
Zero tolerance is the last refuse for non critical thinkers and those unable to make a decision and face up to it.

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Response to SQUEE (Reply #68)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 02:17 PM

70. Save it for the next...

... NRA support group. Frankly, what you did as a kid means squat.

Zero tolerance is zero tolerance.

Don't like it?

Tough.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #70)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 02:32 PM

73. NRA...

giggles, I like you.

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Response to Tab (Reply #15)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:19 AM

19. Well, this is true.

My sons and their friends used to play cops & robbers with their friends. I think people are a little bit sensitive right now because of the recent tragedy.

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Response to HappyMe (Reply #19)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:05 PM

50. Or maybe we might be ready to end the culture of violence which starts in childhood.

As a cultural anthropologist I can assure you that not every culture that has or does exist includes imaginary gun play as a normal part of childhood development.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #50)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:46 PM

55. Good grief!

And replace it with the Culture of Telling Everyone How to Raise Their Kids - Subsection: Policing Your Child's Play.

Not every kid that plays cops & robbers does it all the damn time. Not every kid that plays this way grows up to be a violent maniac.

How about people stop over scheduling every minute of the kid's time. How about people put their damn smart phones down and actually speak (oh horrors!) to one another. Grab a book and read to the kid, toss a ball around in the yard. People seem to have lost their ability to achieve balance in their lives.

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Response to HappyMe (Reply #55)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:08 PM

63. Violence is a cultural issue. So we either collectively decide to promote peace or accept

the current, very dysfunctional norm that not only tolerates but encourages violence.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:17 AM

17. This is just idiotic.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #17)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:22 AM

21. Yep Idiocracy

but what do you expect in light of the push back against reasonable gun control?

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:26 AM

23. Gee, what could be disturbing about that?



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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #23)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:07 PM

61. Using fiction in support of idiotic fucktardery? Yeah, that'll learn 'em.... n/t

 

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:30 AM

24. I say "good"

Lots of things are not allowed in school classrooms: chewing gum, taunting other children, etc.

I see no reason why an antisocial gesture such as simulating a shooting should be tolerated. We wouldn't tolerate a child giving the finger (shooting the bird) to the teacher or another child. I remember that when my children were that age, bringing any kind of "violent" toy to show and tell was prohibited. If we don't teach young children that violence in any form, even imaginary, is unacceptable in the educational environment, then we're failing to teach them proper social values.

Suspension was perhaps a bit over the top if this was a first violation; but I suspect this was probably part of a history.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #24)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:48 AM

36. What's your position on kids who spoil portraits by making fake bunny ears with their fingers?

 

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Response to frazzled (Reply #24)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:55 AM

42. Way to be politically correct... n/t

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:47 AM

34. This kid has a history.

The last time he did this he said "pow pow" thereby simulating a semi-automatic weapon.

He is also rumored to have said "I'm hunting wabbits" and kids who hurt animals always grow up to hurt people with guns.

I say stop him before this gets any worse.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #34)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:49 AM

38. You mean he's a FUDD?

 

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #38)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:55 AM

48. That kind of porn is worthy of expulsion from school

As a poster up thread so aptly stated; the turning worm gets the bird, or something like that. I'm not so sure what it means, but worms are suddenly way more important than they used to be.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:48 AM

37. Sounds like we have an overly authoritarian principal who enjoys tormenting the kids.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:53 AM

40. Wouldn't be a problem is the teacher was armed or if the other kids had fingers too.

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Response to FSogol (Reply #40)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:54 AM

41. There should certainly be a limit of 10 fingers per child

 

Including thumbs.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:06 AM

46. Zero Tolerance=Zero Thinking

It is merely a policy for administrators to hide behind and drop a pre-set punishment on any of a variety of actions which may fall under a loosely defined prohibition. It absolves them from actually looking at any individual act to deem what, if any, threat or harm there may have been and taking action to positively correct the child and educate the group.

They would rather do a one-size-fits-all that does not take the child into consideration at all rather than face a lawsuit later. If parents complain they sit back and will say 'zero tolerance'; in the old days it would have included blowing cigar smoke.

This situation- a six year old i.e. first grade or kindergarten, says pow with a finger gun. I'll bet a happy meal the child does not know the name Newtown nor can find Connecticut on the map. Maybe he heard of children shot at school but likely has little understanding. Now the administration could have taken this opportunity to speak to the child and the class as a whole about violence, including bullying. Ten minutes max or you loose their attention anyway. It would have been a learning experience for the entire class and added a drop in the bucket to 'violence is bad, guns are very dangerous'. Instead the whole class has been taught, don't let the teacher know what you are doing. "Hey Jonny, why weren't you in school yesterday? I don't know, I just did this and said pow... the principle thinks I'm going to kill somebody. That's stupid, let's go play Battleship"

And if we are really so afraid a six year old will bring a .357 to school and kill everyone for being spoken to about an inappropriate action, then we have truly lost ourselves and failed as a country. We should put multiple armed guards in schools while we ask the UK if they will take us back; if not them, maybe North Korea.

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Response to sarisataka (Reply #46)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:00 PM

49. Ridiculous

You sure do underestimate these school teachers & administrators you know nothing about....

I agree with you in connecting this kind of incident to bullying.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #49)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:20 PM

51. But I do know...

my wife has worked as a behavioral specialist in public schools. She quit exactly because of the zero tolerance mentality. Many teachers and even some principles would like to have some input to judge incidents on their merits. They are crippled by district policies which have their hands tied. What is best for the child is not ever taken into account; the policy is to be followed to the letter.

Unfortunately the same policies protect bullying as the child who resists faces the same punishments as those who initiate. The bullied kids learn it is best to quietly accept the torture to avoid being punished on top of victimized. Too often in later years all of their pent up pain and anger is released in a rush, often accompanied with extreme violence.

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Response to sarisataka (Reply #51)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:46 PM

54. Your wife

quit on the grounds that there was a policy of zero tolerance for bullying and/or simulation of death by gun?

I'm not getting something about that argument.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #54)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 03:17 PM

80. I wasn't clear

It was the policy that treated the victim of bullying exactly the same as the bully. It does not matter if you start the fight or just try and protect yourself, you viewed the same.

As for threats or simulated violence, it was the illusion of action. If a child tells another I'm going to kill you, suspend them and send a note home. No follow up, problem solved. No effort made to determine if they are threatening the school as a whole, a conflict between the students that is building or trash talking the recess dodge ball game. Zero tolerance was appeased so there is no problem...

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #54)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 03:21 PM

83. Get used to it

 

> I'm not getting something about that argument.

Gun-lovers make stuff up to support their "right" to have massacre-machines.

Another example: A graph from a Gallup poll showing that "40% of Dems own a gun!". That graph was/is posted repeatedly on gun threads on DU. But if you look at the poll data at the Gallup website, only 28% of Dems owned a gun. The 40% figure was households having a Democrat living in it.

You'll get used to it if you read posts from Delicate Flowers.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:09 AM

47. I wasn't there, and I don't know the kid, so wouldn't judge

I can imagine ways that it would be harmless, and I can imagine scenarios where suspension would be justified to change a pattern of behavior.

Kids play around a lot, which is just fine, but not everything's playing. Even at 6 there's plenty of violence and intimidation between kids, and you can't just say its always fine because they're "just kids".

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:43 PM

53. Sad, useless and silly.

Kids have done finger gun play for as long as there have been guns. Mass shootings, not so much.

The problem lies elsewhere.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:57 PM

56. Well... To the school's credit "hands and feet" do kill more people each year than rifles.

Last edited Thu Jan 3, 2013, 04:49 PM - Edit history (1)

At least evolution has limited the capacity of a semi-automatic finger gun to 10 fingers.

This kid should have been arrested like that other student. Of course that student was 8 and should have been tried as an adult. Not sure if a 6 year old can be tried as an adult, but I would try hard to get that kid tried that way.

The good news people, is that the 6 year old went "POW" in stead of "Pew", thus we know that the kid did not use one of those deadly assassin's silencers.

They should also take away crayons, there only purpose is to depict violent images.

We should also take away the baseball team's bats. Those are weapons only good for clubbing people to death.

Kool-Aid, should be banned, being that it's a controlled substance and all.

Audio recorders should also be banned. You must absorb everything during the initial lecture. You cannot go around violating wire tap laws.

What does zero tolerance teach children? Some hard but true lessons in life: Life is Not Fair, Distrust Adults, Doing the Right Thing Isn't Necessarily the Right Thing, Distrust Authority, and The Police are Not Your Friend.

A civil community can flourish when people can rely on law to leverage justice as best it can. Laws, at their best, provide protection and predictability, those essential qualities for progress and ordered liberty. When the objective of those laws stray away from justice in the form of zero tolerance, both concepts are tarnished. It is then that law is no longer the protector, but has instead become the oppressor. Justice is then tainted into becoming a rationalization or dismissed outright as having no substance.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:05 PM

60. You can have my fingers when you....uh....pry them from my cold dead hand?

This is a little much.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #60)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:11 PM

64. Ban all handguns! n/t

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #64)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:45 PM

66. Squirrel!! n/t

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:50 PM

67. It was almost certainly more complicated than that.

People always fall for these stories. As a classroom teacher, I can assure you that when you hear about a kid being punished for some seemingly frivolous reason, the "frivolous reason" inevitably turns out to be a last straw offense from a kid exhibiting a pattern of misbehavior and who has continued to test the limits of appropriate classroom behavior.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 02:07 PM

69. Clearly compensating for a small penis. Wonder if he rides a Hummer trike. nt

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 02:18 PM

71. Gun Enthusiasts, Your Whining About This Rings A Little Hollow.


The basis for such overreaching measures like this one is your longtime support of free-and-easy gun trafficking, and its tragic results. You and your movement have given this country the finger for decades, so don't get snarky about finger-threatening in schools.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 02:45 PM

74. This is "gateway" play

today, it's pointing a finger and saying "pow".

tomorrow, it'll be blowing straw wrappers and sticking them to the cafeteria ceiling.

got to nip this behavior in the bud.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 02:49 PM

75. Zero tolerance equals zero thinking. We do dumb so well in the U.S. these days. n/t

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 02:55 PM

76. what's crazy to me

is that a boy's one-day suspension is a subject of national discussion.

And by the way, in stories like this, the way it is initially reported is often not the whole story.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 02:59 PM

77. I'm glad so many people think this is FUNNY

Laugh all you want, but finger guns have unlimited capacity and fire as fast as you can move your finger.

This child needs decades of intensive therapy at a reeducation camp, and a month in the stocks would do the parents some good.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 03:06 PM

78. I don't agree. Imagine if he had mimicked a sexual act and used an "appropriate" word. Hey,

he sees it on television all the time, too. Also we do not really know the context...if two kids were fighting or arguing or taunting...that's where bullying starts. (a six year old is not a "tot"...that stands for toddler...this child is the age to be reading)

Or, if he had brought his Roy Rogers toy pistol for sharing and did same? All species' young "play act" to be like the adults around them and sadly, many still exist in the Wild, Wild West. Schools are a part of the socialization process and Zero guns and Zero gun play is a part of that.

Question: At what age does this become "inappropriate"?

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 03:19 PM

82. So we suspend a boy for playing

but we do nothing much about actual gun laws?

Yup, idiocracy.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #82)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 04:48 PM

84. What's also stupid is that a lot of these cases of Zero Tolerance stem from a Federal Gun law.

The federal Gun-Free Schools Act.

In order to receive federal financial assistance under the ESEA, each state must have in effect a policy by October 20, 1995 that requires local education agencies (LEAs) to expel for a minimum of one year any student who brings a weapon to school. The chief administrative officer of the school district has the power to modify the expulsion requirement on a case-by-case basis.

The problem is the school boards expanded on the word "weapon" from a firearm (under the federal definition) to any weapon, or something that is deemed a weapon. Then insituted zero tolerance in enforcement.

The term weapon refers in the Gun-Free Schools Act to a firearm and is defined by federal law (Section 921 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code) as “…(A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; (C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer, of (D) any destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm.” This definition, it must be noted, also does not include knives. However, schools may enact broader policies if they desire.


Rather than creating a scheme under which educators can make well-reasoned decisions based upon individualized circumstances, the one-size-fits-all statutory model contributes to travesties like this.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 05:25 PM

85. These “activities” are not acts of violence. They are behaviors.

I'm speaking from my own perspective. Looking back at when I was a boy.

Boys don’t just play with guns, finger guns, stick guns, paper guns, water guns, there has to be a reason why, which I will elaborate on.

One question I would like to ask of those who do not allow or want children playing toy(finger, paper, etc)-guns, playing war, cops and robbers, etc… Is why are you doing that? Do these games somehow corrupt our young boys? Do you view these toys as encouraging aggressive behavior and violent attitudes? Do you see them as reinforcing gender stereotypes, with boys playing with guns or swords and girls playing with dolls or cooking sets?

To those questions I would add more questions. When was the last time you really, REALLY watched a group of boys playing some form of war? For those of you who did it as a young child, I would like you to think back. In all the war games we played, how much energy was expressed in the bloody carnage and the death and destruction? How important was the “gun”? Now ask yourself how much of the focus of these games was on the drama? The Oscar nominated, over-elaborate death scenes, of the hero tossing himself on the live grenade, or taking an arrow to the chest so that others may live? How many times did you hear the statement "Go on without me!" or "Save yourselves!"? How often did they go on without you? How often did they save themselves? How much of the game revolved around children, using their imaginations to model notions of courage and sacrifice? Were we just trying to experience the emotions at the extremes of human conduct: facing and overcoming fear to remain faithful to our fellow soldiers, cowboys, Indians, pirates, etc? How much of this pretend war was simply just the timeless theme of the struggle between good and evil in the face of overwhelming odds and certain death? Looking back now, I realize that we were not playing war, we were playing hero.

Everyone by the end of the day had at minimum, 4 purple hearts, a bronze star, and a company commendation. How many times during the playing of this war, were our toy guns pointed at each other? I can vividly remember where a group of 8 of us took on an imaginary army of no less than 500 enemies. How many times in playing can you remember pulling a comrade from the battlefield, to give them medical attention so that they could get back in the war? Again we were just playing hero.

But what happens when we suppress these behaviors in young boys? In today’s day and age, we are suppressing “natural” behaviors inherent in boys. We stopped keeping scores at little league games so our little snowflakes don’t know the horrors of losing. Everybody is a winner. We don’t allow kids to play tag in school. Because God forbid little Johnny has to know what it is like to be “out”. Hell, in some schools running is forbidden on the playground.

Suppressing these behaviors is just a small piece in a bigger puzzle. The outcome of which is that our young boys are being setup for failure. Not only are we suppressing their inherent behaviors by not letting our young boys play and express themselves in ways they feel are natural, we are basically telling them that how they feel is “wrong”. We give them the impression that they are somehow lesser people because we demonize their behavior. So not only are we suppressing them at school, we are also suppressing them at home and on the playground. So basically, nowhere is it ok for boys to just be boys.

So what are the outcomes?

“Boys get expelled from preschool at four times the rates of girls. They are prescribed the lion's share of ADHD medication, they get most of the C's and D's in middle school, and they drop out of high school more than girls. Currently, only 43% of undergraduates in the United States are men. Let boys be boys by simply letting them engage in the aggressive fantasies that come to them naturally.
We might see them as doing something potentially dangerous. But actually what they're doing is playing around with ideas of courage and valor, good versus evil, and teamwork. These are ideas we want to inculcate in our culture. - Peg Tyre “The trouble with boys”

Let's examine the way our child rearing and our schools have evolved in the last 10 years. Then ask ourselves this challenging question: could some of those changes we have embraced in our families, our communities and our schools be driving our sons crazy?
Instead of unstructured free play, parents now schedule their kids' time from dawn till dusk (and sometimes beyond.) By age 4, an ever-increasing number of children are enrolled in preschool. There, instead of learning to get along with other kids, hold a crayon and play Duck, Duck, Goose, children barely out of diapers are asked to fill out work sheets, learn computation or study Mandarin. The drumbeat for early academics gets even louder when they enter "real" school. Veteran teachers will tell you that first graders are now routinely expected to master a curriculum that, only 15 years ago, would have been considered appropriate for second, even third graders. The way we teach children has changed, too. In many communities, elementary schools have become test-prep factories—where standardized testing begins in kindergarten and "teaching to the test" is considered a virtue. At the same time, recess is being pushed aside in order to provide extra time for reading and math drills. So is history and opportunities for hands-on activities—like science labs and art. Active play is increasingly frowned on—some schools have even banned recess and tag. In the wake of school shootings like the tragedy at Virginia Tech, kids who stretch out a pointer finger, bend their thumb and shout "pow!" are regarded with suspicion and not a little fear.
Our expectations for our children have been ramped up but the psychological and physical development of our children has remained about the same. Some kids are thriving in the changing world. But many aren't. What parents and teachers see—and what this government study now shows—is that the ones who can't handle it are disproportionately boys.
But when nearly one in five boys has such serious behavioral and emotional issues that their parents are talking it over with their pediatrician, you can bet we are facing a problem that requires a more fundamental change in our society than medication or weekly therapy. Let's take a moment, before the school year gets any farther underway, and ask ourselves whether we are raising and educating our boys in a way that respects their natural development. And if we are not, let's figure out how we can bring our family life and our schools back into line.

Peg Tyre: Newsweek, Sept. 8, 2008


I know this entire rant was focused on boys, as that is the perspective I see things from. Growing up, we did play the same games with girls, however I cannot see from, nor speak for their perspective. I don't know if these games are/were frightening or uncomfortable to girls, and would be interested in knowing. My wife said that she never really played war type games growing up. Her "disturbing" behavior was playing mad scientist and would Frankenstien (swap body parts) all of her toys. Now that's messed up.

But just remember, we are/were just boys. We enjoy using our imagination. We enjoy expressing ourselves. We do it differently from girls. Don’t demonize us for just being ourselves, use our imaginations and foster them. Don’t suppress them. Men are not bad, nor are we the root of all evil. We are close, but not the root. Teach them, lead them, help and guide them to become true gentlemen, don't supress them. If something in their actions bother you, put down the damned smartphone for two seconds and ask them why they are doing what they are doing. Then (and this is the hard part), listen to what they have to say, you may be surpised at the answer.

Thank you… I’m gonna go outside and build a fort and kick on the easy bake oven for some brownies. I hear the aliens are invading earth tonight and I have 2 deadly finger guns loaded and ready.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 07:49 PM

87. Equipped at age 6 with a full-auto finger, I'd still be in jail. n/t

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