Over the past few years, we’ve heard a number of ridiculous reasons that kids have been sent home and often suspended from school.
There have been far too many kids being sent home and usually suspended for playing like they have a gun. Pointing fingers, pencils or simply saying ‘pow’ or ‘bang’ has gotten many a student an early trip home. One girl was sent home and suspended for threatening to shoot another student with her toy Hello Kitty Bubble gun when they got home.
One 13 year old student was just twirling his pencil on his fingers, but when another student who had been bullying him for some time shouted that he was making gun motions and that he should be sent to juvie, he was sent home, suspended and order to have a psychological exam.
There was the second grade boy who chewed off part of his Pop Tart to look like a mountain but when the teacher thought it looked more like a gun, he was sent home and suspended.
And there was 17 year old high school senior Cody Chitwood who was not only sent home from school and suspended, but had felony charges filed against him because he had his fishing tackle in his car on campus. He had gone fishing recently and forget that he left his gear and tackle box in his car. His fishing knives, of which there were four, were discovered when a police canine unit detected the scent of fireworks, prompting the search of his car. Cody was charged with felony weapons possession on a school campus which would ruin his chances of becoming an Air Force officer. A month later, the district attorney allowed Cody to enter a diversion program at which time the charges against him were finally dropped.
Let me add these ridiculous reasons to the list of absurdities that prove that our public educators have lost all sense of reason.
I’ll start with Malachi Wilson, a five year old boy in Seminole, Texas, that was very excited about his first day in kindergarten. When he got to school, he was immediately sent home because of the horrendous crime of having long hair. April Wilson, Malachi’s mother tried to explain to the school that they were part of the Navajo Nation and that long hair was important to their religion. Only after officials with the Navajo Nation contacted the school was Malachi allowed to return, but not after missing his first day and dashing his enthusiasm for school into the ground.
An Oklahoma school had a dress code that required students to wear black shoes. One poor five year old student didn’t own any black shoes, so his mother used a black marker to cover over his red and white sneakers. When he got to school, the teacher noticed a tiny bit of red and white that hadn’t been covered up and the student was sent home in the back of a police car for violating the dress code. The school said it used the police to teach the student and other students a lesson of how important the dress code was.
I believe in school rules and dress codes, but educators have to have some common sense when applying those rules. But zero tolerance policies have removed common sense from the public school system. They strive to teach students to think and reason and to be tolerant of others, yet they have become so intolerant to any minor or innocent infraction of their zero tolerance policies that they are teaching students a double standard. No wonder so many students have little to no respect for authority.