Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News Second Amendment

“Zero Tolerance” Policies and the Making of a Preschool Pariah

Friday, March 31, 2017

“Zero Tolerance” Policies and the Making of a Preschool Pariah

The “Three Rs” used to stand for reading, writing, and arithmetic. Now, with zero-tolerance policies that ignore facts and logic, it’s reading, writing, and ridiculous. 

Caitlin Miller, aged five, of Hoke County, North Carolina was suspended from kindergarten after making shooting motions with a stick during a recess game of “Kings and Queens” (Caitlin was the royal security detail). Citing the need to provide “a safe and orderly environment for learning,” the school uses a zero-tolerance policy for “assaults, threats or harassment from any student.” The suspension letter from the assistant principal advises that Caitlin was being punished for “turning a stick into a gun and threatening to shoot and kill other students.”

This episode follows a report of disciplinary action earlier in March against four-year-old preschooler Hunter Crowe.  Hunter was suspended for seven days because – according to Jackson’s mom – staff alleged he brought a “shotgun bullet” into the preschool. Closer examination indicated the offending item was, in fact, an empty .22 shell casing, which Hunter picked up after a weekend with his grandfather, a police officer, learning gun safety. Hunter didn’t threaten or hurt anyone, but simply brought the spent casing along as something to share with his friends. The preschool, however, apparently views this (and Hunter’s use of other toys as “pretend” guns) as a sign of a troubled or degenerate personality.

The preschool director’s letter explains that Hunter had already been told that “guns, hunting, etc., are not subjects that are to be discussed at school,” and that the punishment is intended as a “learning experience” that will lead to a “new outlook and understanding about these issues and the safety of his fellow classmates.” Hunter’s mother says she was warned that if Hunter’s “enthusiasm for guns continued, he’d be permanently expelled.” (What next? A demand that Hunter change his name because it is associated with the “oppression of the environment”?) 

Both Caitlin and Hunter are hurt and confused about why they are being banished from school. For adults, the reason is fairly obvious. As we’ve noted previously, these incidents represent a larger trend in schools from kindergarten to high school and beyond to marginalize lawful firearms and firearm use as abnormal by prohibiting speech about guns, drawing pictures of guns, wearing clothing depicting guns (even entirely fictional guns), pointing a “finger gun,” chewing food into maybe-gun shapes, and other benign behavior. In an ad released last year, one group suggested that ordinary activities like reading a gun magazine or looking at a firearm-related video were among the sinister giveaways of an incipient mass murderer.

The ostensible reasons given for these blanket prohibitions are safety and the need for a secure learning environment, yet rules like these can’t legitimately be justified on safety grounds.

Unfortunately, enforcing such ridiculous restrictions has real and disproportionate consequences for good kids. Besides the immediate impact of a “corrective action” like suspension, these students face being stigmatized as “disruptive” or problem students with “behavioral issues” once these infractions are noted in their school records. In one case, a five-year-old kindergartner who pointed a crayon while making “pew pew” sounds was required to sign a “school safety contract” promising that she would not commit suicide or kill others, and had to respond to a “suicide/homicide assessment” questionnaire, with school officials recommending that the child see a psychiatrist. Such actions also have the potential to bring parents within the ambit of government oversight and investigation – Hunter Crowe’s mother was apparently told that in addition to the suspension, preschool officials would be notifying the state Department of Children and Family Services. 

Educators pride themselves on valuing diversity, promoting inclusivity, and fostering the freedom of students to think imaginatively and creatively. Incidents like these, though, suggest that this tolerance extends only to students with views that conform to political and social ideals about firearms that educators endorse as desirable and “correct.” And we grade that as “Fail.”

TRENDING NOW
SCOTUS Reverses and Remands Two NRA-ILA Backed Magazine Cases

News  

Thursday, June 30, 2022

SCOTUS Reverses and Remands Two NRA-ILA Backed Magazine Cases

One week after our landmark victory in NYSRPA v. Bruen, the Supreme Court issued orders in two other NRA-ILA backed cases. Those cases, ANJRPC v. Bruck and Duncan v. Bonta, challenge New Jersey and California laws that ban magazines capable ...

The Dominoes Begin to Fall: NJ Amends Permit Rules After Bruen

News  

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

The Dominoes Begin to Fall: NJ Amends Permit Rules After Bruen

New Jersey’s acting Attorney General, Matthew J. Platkin, issued a directive “clarifying requirements for carrying firearms in public” a day after the historic ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in New York State Rifle & Pistol Assoc. v. ...

California Leaks Personal Data of Carry Permit Holders

News  

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

California Leaks Personal Data of Carry Permit Holders

On Monday June 27, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced the launch of the California Department of Justice (DOJ)’s Firearms Dashboard Portal. The data tool was designed to give granular firearm transaction and Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) permit ...

NRA Wins Supreme Court Case, NYSRPA v. Bruen

News  

Second Amendment  

Thursday, June 23, 2022

NRA Wins Supreme Court Case, NYSRPA v. Bruen

The National Rifle Association (NRA) welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen. The Court affirmed that the right to bear arms does not stop at a person’s front door. This is the most ...

Supreme Court Gets it Right, Congress Gets it Wrong

Friday, June 24, 2022

Supreme Court Gets it Right, Congress Gets it Wrong

On Thursday, SCOTUS released a historic decision in the NYSRPA v. Bruen case when they found the Second Amendment protects the right of law-abiding Americans to carry a firearm outside of the home. Despite the hysteria from ...

Delaware: Gun & Mag Bans Going to Gov. Carney

Friday, June 17, 2022

Delaware: Gun & Mag Bans Going to Gov. Carney

Last night, the House passed Senate Bill 6, to ban many standard capacity magazines in common use, sending it to Governor John Carney’s desk. The Senate passed House Bill 450, to ban many commonly-owned firearms, and ...

Delaware: General Assembly Passes Bills for Age Discrimination & Lawsuits Against Firearm Industry

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Delaware: General Assembly Passes Bills for Age Discrimination & Lawsuits Against Firearm Industry

Yesterday, the House voted 23-18 to pass Senate Bill 302 and the Senate voted 14-7 to pass House Bill 451. HB 451 then went back to the House, which voted 25-15 to concur. These two ...

Delaware: Senate Executive Committee Passes All Anti-Gun Bills

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Delaware: Senate Executive Committee Passes All Anti-Gun Bills

Today, the Senate Executive Committee passed all of the anti-gun bills before them. Yesterday, the House passed House Bill 423 by a vote of 40-0 and House Bill 451 by a vote of 27-13.

California: Legislature Passes and Newsom Signs Anti-Gun Bills

Friday, July 1, 2022

California: Legislature Passes and Newsom Signs Anti-Gun Bills

The California Legislature starts their Summer recess today, but not before a busy week full of defiant action against the recent Supreme Court victory in the NRA case of NYSRPA v. Bruen. The legislature passed several anti-gun ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

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.