Student’s Laptop Wallpaper Results in Suspension

Paranoia is running so high in America’s public schools that teachers and administrators are looking for violent killers under every piece of paper and laptop computer.

Ever since Sandy Hook, kids across America are being suspended for the horrible vicious crime of being kids.  We’re hearing more and more reports of overreacting educational professionals who spend their careers trying to teach kids not to overreact.

  • We’ve heard of a 6 year old boy that got suspended for playing cops and robbers and then pointing his finger at another kid and saying ‘pow’.
  • A 5 year old girl is suspended to telling another girl that she would shoot them both with her Hello Kitty Bubble Gun.
  • Then there is the case of the 5 year old preschooler who made a gun out of Legos and then acted like he was shooting the other students.  School officials believed the incident posed a threat and told parents that the boy would be suspended if it happened again.
  • A Bronx school was put on lockdown for an hour after a student reported that another student had a gun.  After a thorough search, they discovered he was armed with the ever deadly Nerf gun.
  • There’s also the case of officials telling a 3 year old deaf boy to change the sign for his name because it looks too much like a gun.  His name is Hunter.

Now it seems the paranoia has hit a new level of including pictures, which we all know are deadly and can kill in an instant when revealed, or so you would assume from the reaction of school officials in Florence, Arizona.  Daniel McClaine Jr., a high school freshman has aspirations of the joining the military after graduating from high school.  Consequently, he is interested in many things that are military oriented, including guns.  The wallpaper image on his school issued laptop is of an AK-47 lying on a flag.

When a teacher at Poston Butte High School saw the image, McClaine was turned in to the school authorities this past Friday, who summarily told him that he was being suspended for 3 days due to having a threatening and offensive image on his computer.  The school has a policy that prohibits students from accessing, copying, creating or sending any images that might be deemed illegal, threatening or harassing.

McClaine tried to explain that he had read the policy but saw nothing threatening, offensive or harassing in his wallpaper choice.  He explained the gun isn’t his and said:

“This gun wallpaper does not show anything that’s violent. It’s not showing anybody getting shot in any way. It’s just a picture of a gun. It’s nothing — nobody getting shot, nobody getting it pointed at them, it’s nothing.”

The suspension soon made the local news, where McClaine’s father said:

“To me it’s ridiculous. Three days for a picture? It wasn’t like he was standing in front of the school holding the gun.  He should have got a warning. He shouldn’t have ever been suspended. Not for something so frivolous.”

Evidently, the school officials must have realized how foolish they were, because the three day suspension was lifted and McClaine was told he could return to school on Monday.  Teachers and other faculty are supposed to set examples of how to act responsibly for the kids they are entrusted with, but lately, they have been acting worse than the kids they are suspending.

I think it’s time for educators to grow up, stop panicking and act like adults for a change.