We’ve definitely seen this sort of thing before. Students being punished for doing the right thing.
Last year, Mark Horne wrote about an incident in Florida where a 15-year-old student on a school bus was able to wrestle a .22 revolver away from a student who appeared as if he was about to shoot another student. Horne wrote that even though the police confirmed to the media that the handgun was loaded, the school still suspended the boy for three days for being “involved in an incident” that involved a weapon. Bear in mind that this 15-year-old boy probably saved another kid’s life. But because he was involved with an incident involving a gun, he got in trouble.
Here’s another case where a student could have saved the life of another and ended up getting suspended for violating the school’s ludicrous “no tolerance” policies regarding weapons. Sixth grader Adrionna Harris had taken a small razor away from a fellow student who was cutting his arm. Here’s Virginia Beach’s WAVY:
Last Thursday at Bayside Middle School [in Virginia Beach, VA], Adrionna Harris took a razor from a student, threw it away, and convinced him what he was doing wasn’t right.
She thought she was doing the right thing, so Friday she told the school administration what happened. The way school officials responded led to a question of if the school’s zero tolerance policy went too far.
Instead of getting praise from the school administration, Adrionna got a 10 day suspension with recommendation for expulsion.
The interesting thing — the only reason Adrionna got suspended was because she admitted what happened. The alleged weapon was thrown away, and it was her word alone that led to her suspension.
What exactly are the school administrators teaching these kids? That no matter what is happening and how little time you have, always tell a teacher. They’d rather these kids tell a teacher and risk having some kid die than have a student do what he knows is the right thing. It’s not “if you see something, do something.” It’s “if you see something, say something.”
Thanks to public outrage regarding this Virginia Beach student, the school has decided to reconsider her suspension and expulsion.