I don’t know why they call them “no tolerance” policies when they obviously don’t apply to everyone. They go to such great lengths to justify suspending a student for eating a pastry in a questionable shape or pointing his finger in a “threatening” way. They’ll tell parents something like:
“Look, we have a no-tolerance policy toward guns and other weapons. Student safety is our top priority, and even the very appearance of a gun is enough to frighten students. Remember, we live in a post-Sandy Hook environment. We must take every measure possible to make sure students feel safe while at school. Pointing a finger in a way that resembles a gun is a disgrace to you, me and the entire Gem State.”
They’ll even suspend a teacher for bringing common household tools to school for show-and-tell. You know, because a toolbox might include things that could be used as weapons. Remember, no tolerance.
These policies don’t at all apply to school administrators if they decide to perform some school exercise for “teaching” purposes. This is what happened in a North Carolina public school:
Eastern Wayne Middle School students were terrified when they were told there was an armed robber in the school with a mask and a handgun Friday. However, they quickly learned it was all part of a school lesson. Nonetheless, some parents are not happy with the exercise and school officials admit it was a bad move. In a letter that was sent home to parents, the school said it was part of an enrichment exercise trying to teach kids to be aware of their surroundings. A school employee dressed up in a ski mask and carrying a fake gun pretended to be a robber. The school system admits – in light of the school shootings making headlines around the country – they should have been more sensitive.
I guess as long as school administrators decide it’s a good idea to use toy guns and ski masks to dress some teacher up as an armed robber, it’s OK, because it’s part of an “enrichment exercise.” So, we should teach kids it’s wrong to point, because it looks like a gun, but teachers can dress up as if they’re going to reenact Sandy Hook, and that’s simply a “teaching exercise.” Got it.