A couple of second grade students at a Virginia elementary school were recently suspended for two days after violating the school’s “zero tolerance” policy on weapons. The weapons in question? Pencils.
Late last week, seven-year-old Christopher Marshall was taking on the role of a marine and his friend “a bad guy” when their teacher spotted them pointing pencils at each other and pretend shooting.
According to the teacher at the Driver Elementary School in Suffolk, Christopher was heard “making gun noises,” something school officials say violated their policy on weapons.
“A pencil is a weapon when it is pointed at someone in a threatening way and gun noises are made,” Bethanne Bradshaw, a spokesperson for Suffolk Public Schools told WAVY, but Christopher’s father, Paul Marshall, himself a former marine, says the decision absurdly restricts his son’s imagination and thinks the school’s punishment is going too far.
“He’s just being a typical boy. You’re taking away his imagination,” Marshall told reporters.
But as Bradshaw explains it, children nowadays are so frightened of school shootings that it makes sense to reprimand the threatening gesture. “Kids don’t think about ‘Cowboys and Indians’ anymore, they think about drive-by shootings and murders and everything they see on television news every day,” Bradshaw stated.
“There’s gonna be people that are overly sensitive because of what has happened,” Christopher’s father argues, “but you also have to bring what used to be called ‘common sense’ into play.”
It seems to be this same lack of common sense that has schools across the nation overreacting to a number of trivial weapon-related offenses, whether it’s pointing fingers in the shape of a gun and saying “pow,” biting a breakfast tart into a shape that vaguely resembles a gun, bringing a butter knife to school to cut a pear, or simply having a computer background featuring a firearm.
The school spokesperson’s comments also reflect First Lady Michelle Obama’s recent statements that “gun violence” has school kids frightened they’re going to be killed any day, a puzzling remark to make as her own children safely attend private schools protected by at least 11 armed guards.
Of course, in light of frenzied, concerted attempts to restrict gun rights, the demonization in schools of anything dealing with weapons whatsoever should be viewed as fuel for the campaign to brainwash Americans “into thinking about guns in a vastly different way,” as current Attorney General Eric Holder once stated.
Apparently action taken against the boys was minimal as the policy allows up to a ten day suspension.