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Outrage of the Week

Friday, May 10, 2013

This week's outrage falls under the category of, "here we go again."  A couple of seven-year-old Suffolk, Va. boys were recently suspended from school for violating their school's "weapons policy."  Their violation?  Pretending their pencils were guns.

Apparently, the two received the disciplinary action after they pointed their pencils at each other as if they were guns and made "gun noises" while playing in class.

You read that right.  According to Bethanne Bradshaw of the Suffolk Public School system, "A pencil is a weapon when it is pointed at someone in a threatening way and gun noises are made."

Wendy Marshall, the mother of one of the boys, says they were pretending to be in the military and that neither felt threatened.  Still, both were suspended.

There seems to be no end to these cases of "zero-tolerance" policies being applied with zero common sense.  We recently reported on a seven-year-old Baltimore student who was suspended for two days for shaping a breakfast pastry into what his teacher thought looked like a gun.  And then there was the recent case of another first-grader in Maryland who was suspended for holding his fingers in the shape of a gun and saying, "Pow!" while playing at school.  Where does the ridiculousness end?

As we've noted over and over again, we all agree that we want our children to be safe at school, and that reasonable safety measures should be followed.  But we must also exercise good judgment and discretion.  When school administrators continue to allow zero-common sense enforcement of "zero-tolerance" regulations, we've bypassed reasonable and arrived at outrageous.

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