Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The State of Maryland Cracks Down on Unloaded Cap Guns

The following post is from my friend, and Washington Times Writer Pete Parisi:

"The Calvert County kindergartner who was suspended last week for brandishing an unloaded cap gun on a school bus was allowed to return to his Lusby, Md., elementary school Monday.

The 5-year-old, who was not identified in news accounts at his mother’s request, was initially suspended for 10 days after the Wednesday incident. Perhaps because of the well-deserved public ridicule the initial decision drew, his “sentence” on Friday was commuted to time served. Score one for common sense, a commodity all too uncommon in the face of inflexible school “zero tolerance” policies in such matters.

Still, his suspension was one day longer than the one Josh Welsh, an 8-year-old student at Park Elementary School in Anne Arundel County, Md., received in early March for chewing a Pop Tart into the shape of a gun, then uttering a pair of four-letter profanities, “Bang, bang.” To underscore the ludicrousness of the supposed offense, a group of Republicans in Anne Arundel chipped in last week to buy Josh a lifetime National Rifle Association membership.

From the two Suffolk County, Va., second-graders who were suspended for two days in early May for pointing pencils at one another and making gun noises while playing a Marine and a “bad guy,” to the deaf Nebraska 3-year-old tot who found himself in his preschool’s cross hairs last August for signing his name with a hand gesture that resembles a gun, it’s clear that school administrators need to get a (pistol) grip and recognize that boys will be boys at recess. Sometimes, even girls will be boys: A 5-year-old Mount Carmel, Pa., girl was suspended from kindergarten Jan. 10 for telling a friend she was going to shoot her with a pink Hello Kitty soap-bubble gun.

These rigid “zero tolerance” policies on play guns and gun play, in which no one is hurt, are of a piece with mindless school bans on playing tag and dodgeball as too violent. It’s hard to believe that at least some of the baby boomers and Generation X’ers — at least the males among them — who now run the public schools didn’t themselves grow up playing with cap guns, water pistols and toy soldiers, in which case they’d know firsthand there’s no causal connection between playing with toy guns and subsequent real-life gun violence.

That young boys still play cowboys and Indians (thankfully not yet renamed Cowpersons and Native Americans) or cops and robbers show that two generations of feminist zealots’ efforts to raise androgynous boys and girls have happily failed. That has no doubt disappointed feminist mothers who refused to allow their sons to play with toy guns, and it surprised the editors of Time magazine, whose Jan. 20, 1992, cover story asked “Why Are Men and Women Different?” The subtitle of that article — which featured a cover photo of a young boy, perhaps 5 years old, flexing a bicep as an amused young girl looks on — was “It isn’t just upbringing. New studies show they are born that way.” Who knew?

The most outrageous part of the Calvert County case wasn’t the overreaction or the suspension, but rather how the mother of the young “perp” was not notified for more than two hours after the incident, during which time the boy was “questioned,” presumably without being properly Mirandized. The school nonetheless insists that it handled the incident appropriately. It didn’t, and the family’s request that the incident be expunged from his school record should be granted unconditionally and without delay."

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