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
NRA-ILA Backed Lawsuit Filed Challenging Oregon Measure 114

Thursday, December 1, 2022

NRA-ILA Backed Lawsuit Filed Challenging Oregon Measure 114

Today an NRA-backed lawsuit was filed challenging Ballot Measure 114, which voters passed by a slim margin last month. Measure 114 creates a falsely labeled “permit to purchase” a firearm requirement and bans standard capacity magazines, which it ...

Recent ATF Action Shows Need for Suppressor Reform

News  

Monday, March 14, 2022

Recent ATF Action Shows Need for Suppressor Reform

As we reported last week, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) denied approximately 850 Form 1 applications for prospective makers of suppressors on February 28. These denials were apparently made due to ...

NY AG James Sends Threatening Letter to Ammunition Sellers

News  

Monday, November 21, 2022

NY AG James Sends Threatening Letter to Ammunition Sellers

In a move that surprised absolutely nobody, anti-gun New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) announced last week that she would expand her assault on the Second Amendment by targeting ammunition sellers. AG James claimed, ...

Colorado: Broomfield City Moves to Adopt Gun Control Package to Diminish Second Amendment Rights!

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Colorado: Broomfield City Moves to Adopt Gun Control Package to Diminish Second Amendment Rights!

Earlier this week, Broomfield City Council advanced a gun control package to impose on law-abiding citizens.  The second reading will be held in January.  In truth, none of the slew of regulations will stop criminals ...

Maryland: Montgomery County Passes Carry Restrictions

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Maryland: Montgomery County Passes Carry Restrictions

Maryland’s most anti-gun county has continued its tantrum, lashing out against lawful carry in the only way it thinks it can. Yesterday, the Montgomery County Council voted unanimously to pass Bill 21-22E, to remove the exemption ...

Public Lands Lawsuit Settled—All Lands Remain Open to Hunting

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Public Lands Lawsuit Settled—All Lands Remain Open to Hunting

In 2020, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expanded hunting and fishing opportunities on more than 2.3 million acres of land. That decision was challenged in federal court, and the NRA, Safari Club International, Sportsmen’s ...

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

News  

Friday, April 1, 2022

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

Half the country will now enjoy the freedom to carry a handgun for self-defense without a permit from the state thanks to the tireless efforts of men and women of the National Rifle Association. 

Ohio: Emergency Powers Bill Advances to House Floor

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Ohio: Emergency Powers Bill Advances to House Floor

Today, the House Government Oversight committee voted 8-5 to pass Senate Bill 185, to guarantee that Second Amendment rights remain protected during emergencies. It will now go to the House floor for further consideration.

DOJ Releases Biden Gun Confiscation Order Legislation

News  

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

DOJ Releases Biden Gun Confiscation Order Legislation

DOJ has made clear that Garland’s selective definition of “civil rights” has no room for the Second Amendment...

Hawaii: Honolulu Seeks to Severely Restrict Carry

Monday, November 28, 2022

Hawaii: Honolulu Seeks to Severely Restrict Carry

Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 29th, the Honolulu City Council will hear an ordinance to prohibit citizens from exercising their right-to-carry in many places. This is an attempt to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court’s NYSRPA v. Bruen ...

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.