Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Outrage(s) of the Week

Friday, October 4, 2013

Regular readers know that we report with great frequency on a veritable parade of ridiculous cases involving over-zealous school officials and their over-the-top enforcement of "zero-tolerance" rules.  Well, here we go again. 

This week, we have not one, but four outrageous incidents of ridiculously enforced zero-tolerance policies to report.  So, depending on your perspective, either the bar you hoped would not go any lower has dropped yet another peg, or--alternatively--the "asinine enforcement index" has now reached a new high.

Our first case involves a California high school student who was confronted by Canyon High School officials and told to change her NRA T-shirt because the officials deemed the shirt a violation the school's dress code, which forbids offensive, violent or divisive clothing.

According to a CBS Los Angeles story, Sophomore Haley Bullwinkle wore her NRA shirt to school last month, and ended up in the principal's office.  "They were treating me like I was a criminal," she said, noting that school officials would not allow her to wear the shirt "because it promoted gun violence."

The NRA shirt was given to her by her father and features images of a deer, the American flag and the silhouette of a hunter.  Written on the shirt are the words "National Rifle Association of America: Protecting America's Traditions Since 1871."

According to a Los Angeles Times article, when Haley's parents wrote to the school's principal, suggesting that administrators had infringed on their daughter's constitutional rights, Principal Kimberly Fricker responded by sending the parents the school's policy on clothing that "depicts violence."

According to the policy, that includes " anything that is divisive or offensive to a staff member."  It also states: "The administration reserves the right to restrict any clothing or accessories that in our judgment detracts from the educational environment of Canyon High School."

Civil rights attorney Chuck Michel, who has been working with the Bullwinkle family on the case, said, "If they're going to try to characterize this shirt as depicting violence, then this policy is overboard.  School officials can't write themselves a policy that gives them unfettered discretion."

The Orange Unified School District apparently agrees, as they have subsequently released a statement saying that Principal Fricker has now concluded that the shirt didn't promote violence, and that Haley "will be permitted to wear the shirt."  (Please see our related story here.)

The article also noted that this was not the first time Bullwinkle has worn the shirt to school.  Michel said he's not sure why the shirt caught school administrator's attention this time, but believes it may be connected to the national debate on gun rights.

In the second case, 12-year-old Joseph Lyssikatos of Coventry, Rhode Island, was suspended from Shawn Feinstein Middle School for three days, and forced to miss testing for his advanced math class, after violating the school's "anti-weapons policy."   According to a New York Daily News article, his "weapon" was a toy key chain--slightly larger than a quarter--that was shaped like a gun.  The seventh grader had won the key chain at an arcade.  Unfortunately for him, the dangerous "weapon" fell out of his back pack and was picked up by a classmate who showed it to others.    

Joseph was also banned from a school trip at the end of the month.  The classmate who displayed the key chain after it fell out of Joseph's backpack received no disciplinary action.

As reported in the Daily Caller, our third case involves a Cobb County, Georgia high school senior who faces felony weapons charges for bringing fishing gear to school.  Not in school; to school.  More specifically, in a tackle box, in his car, in the parking lot.

Cody Chitwood, an avid fisherman and 17-year-old student at Lassiter High School, was charged with the felony of bringing weapons into a school zone after police found fishing knives in a tackle box in his car.  Police found the fishing knives while performing a random sweep of cars in the parking lot.

According to the article, if the district attorney decides to prosecute, Chitwood could face 2-10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

"It's pretty ridiculous," said Chitwood.  "I have an attorney and I'm hoping to get the felony dropped so I can still get in the Air Force."

Our final case (for now) involves an 8-year-old Florida boy who was suspended from school for using his finger as a pretend gun while playing with his friends. 

According to a Fox News article, Jordan Bennett was suspended for a day after administrators at Harmony Community School said the hand gesture was an act of violence.

The article reports that Jordan's mother is concerned that the suspension and disciplinary record may cause her son to be unfairly labeled as violent.

"He had nothing in his hand.  It was a finger gun, a pretend gun," Bonnie Bennett said. "He didn't threaten violence.  He didn't utter words that were inappropriate.  He made a sound and used his fingers and that was it."

Reportedly, school district officials said their code of conduct prohibits students from playing with "invisible" guns.   

These four cases--and there will be more--serve as the latest reminder of the pitfalls encountered when "zero-tolerance" rules are applied without exercising sound judgment or basic common sense.  As we note time after time, all of us agree that we want our children to be safe at school, and that reasonable safety measures should be followed.  But this continued unreasonable, zero-common-sense enforcement of "zero tolerance" policies not only encroaches on our freedom, but places an extreme and unfair burden on innocent children and their families.  It also undermines the authority of school personnel by making them appear arbitrary and persecutory.  It is truly outrageous, and needs to stop.

TRENDING NOW
Illinois: Committee Passes Bill to Allow Local Infringement of Second Amendment

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Illinois: Committee Passes Bill to Allow Local Infringement of Second Amendment

The Illinois state Senate could vote on legislation to allow localities to infringe upon Second Amendment rights as early as today.  Senate Bill 2314 was moved to third reading after it had passed the Senate ...

Unfriendly Skies: Delta CEO Claims Bashing NRA Members is Good Business

News  

Friday, April 13, 2018

Unfriendly Skies: Delta CEO Claims Bashing NRA Members is Good Business

In the wake of the Parkland, Florida, murders, there has been an unusual amount of anti-gun and anti-NRA commentary by private corporations with plenty of problems of their own.   In February, Delta announced it was ending a ...

Pennsylvania: Semi-Auto Ban Legislation to be Introduced

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Pennsylvania: Semi-Auto Ban Legislation to be Introduced

This week, Senator Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny) started circulating a co-sponsorship memorandum soliciting members of the Pennsylvania state Senate to support a proposal to ban commonly owned semi-automatic firearms and standard capacity magazines in Pennsylvania.  Please ...

UK Officials Continue to Push Knife/Gun/Cleaning Products Control

News  

Friday, April 13, 2018

UK Officials Continue to Push Knife/Gun/Cleaning Products Control

The UK’s descent into absurdity continued this week as officials announced new efforts to crack down on knives and other potentially dangerous objects. The renewed interest in banning sharp objects stems from a recent spate of killings in London. ...

Illinois: Committees to Hear Gun Control

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Illinois: Committees to Hear Gun Control

Today, the Illinois state House Judiciary-Criminal Committee will be considering a floor amendment that was added to House Bill 1470 to ration the exercise of Second Amendment rights. In addition, the state Senate Judiciary Committee will consider bills that would ...

New Jersey: Senate Committee Approves Gun Control Bills

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

New Jersey: Senate Committee Approves Gun Control Bills

On Monday, the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee approved several gun control bills during a hearing that stretched over five hours. 

Washington: Seattle to Consider Legislation to Make Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Washington: Seattle to Consider Legislation to Make Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Councilmember M. Lorena González have announced their intention to introduce legislation to impose a one-size-fits-all method of storing firearms as well as punishing victims of theft by requiring reporting of lost or ...

Bailed-out Banks Launch Coordinated Attack on Law-abiding Gun Owners

News  

Friday, April 13, 2018

Bailed-out Banks Launch Coordinated Attack on Law-abiding Gun Owners

There is growing evidence that some of America’s financial elite want to create a world in which America’s public policy decisions emanate from corporate boardrooms in Manhattan rather than from citizens and their elected officials.  ...

NRA backs Challenge to Vermont Magazine Ban

News  

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

NRA backs Challenge to Vermont Magazine Ban

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today announced support for a lawsuit brought by Vermont citizens, sporting-goods stores, and shooting clubs to challenge the state¹s recent ban on many of the most ...

Trial Judge Mocks the Late Justice Scalia While Upholding Expansive Gun Ban

Second Amendment  

News  

Friday, April 13, 2018

Trial Judge Mocks the Late Justice Scalia While Upholding Expansive Gun Ban

Gun owners have seen many outrageous instances of courts dismissing the importance, if not the very existence, of the individual right to keep and bear arms. But Judge William G. Young of the U.S. District ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.