A Pennsylvania fifth grader named Johnny Jones was suspended for shooting an imaginary bow and arrow at a fellow classmate who initiated the fight by “shooting” Jones with his folder. The 5th grader had faced expulsion, but was instead given a one-day suspension. This will remain on his permanent record unless the Rutherford Institute, whom Jones’s parents retained to represent their son, can convince school officials to remove it.
In a letter to the school Superintendent, Douglas McKusick with the Rutherford Institute summarized the incident:
As we understand the facts of Johnny’s case, during the week of October 14th, Johnny asked his teacher for a pencil during class. He walked to the front of the classroom to retrieve the pencil, and during his walk back to his seat, a classmate and friend of Johnny’s held his folder like an imaginary gun and “shot” at Johnny. Johnny playfully used his hands to draw the bowstrings on a completely imaginary “bow” and “shot” an arrow back at the friend. The two children laughed.
Seeing this, another girl in the class reported to the teacher that the boys were shooting at each other. The teacher took both Johnny and the other boy into the hall and lectured them about disruption. This is exactly where the story should end.
Instead, however, the teacher sent an email to Johnny’s mother, Beverly Jones, alerting her to the seriousness of the violation because the children were using “firearms” in their horseplay, noting that Johnny was issued a referral to the Principal. Principal John Horton contacted Ms. Jones soon thereafter and asserted that Johnny’s behavior was a serious offense that could result in expulsion, although Mr. Horton offered to “merely” require that Johnny serve a one-day in-office suspension.
When Ms. Jones asked Mr. Horton what policy Johnny had violated, Mr. Horton replied that Johnny had “made a threat” to another student using a “replica or representation of a firearm,” through his use of an imaginary bow and arrow…
In no way was Johnny’s bow and arrow a violation of the school’s policy to prohibit replicas of weapons, because it didn’t exist. It was imaginary. Immaterial. It was all in his head.
But it doesn’t matter. What Johnny was really guilty of was committing a thoughtcrime. Schools are systematically trying to purge students’ (especially boys’) minds of the idea of defense weapons. Don’t even think about guns or even bows and arrows. It’s all part of their brainwashing campaign to make children scared to death of guns and believe that guns and other weapons are inherently evil. If they believe they are evil from the time of their youth, then when they grow up, they won’t even want to have any kind of weapon. And there won’t be much of a need for gun confiscation if not many people have guns. By then, the problem would have “worked itself out.”