Thursday, December 14, 2006
Schoolboy Turns in Found 'Weapon', Gets Suspended For Effort
In school we tell our children that guns are bad. We tell them to be good little children and turn in those bad, evil guns to a parent, a policeman or a teacher. We tell them to do the supposed responsible thing. Be an upstanding citizen and take that evil gun out of circulation so that someone else won't kill half the city, runs the logic.
So, a young boy at Troy Middle School near Joliet, Illinois follows this sage advice and what is his reward?
He is kicked out of school for following his indoctrination.
On November 15th, 13-year-old student Ryan Morgan was expelled from school in supposed compliance with the idiotic "zero tolerance" policy against weapons with the school district claiming that young Ryan had "possession of a gun".
Sounds menacing, doesn't it? A gun! Imagine that?
Well, maybe it isn't so ominous after all because this "gun" turned out to be a mere toy pellet gun that Ryan and a friend found hidden in the boy's bathroom. It seems that Ryan had heard a rumor that this "gun" had been hidden there so he and his little friend went there to do the "right" thing and retrieve it to hand it in to the office.
As a reward for his diligent efforts to be a good, responsible citizen the school recommended that Ryan be expelled for a year. A slap in the face for performing what he has been told is his civic duty.
Later, this supposed policy that the district's lawyer, John M. Izzo, said held the district "bound by state law to bring an expulsion recommendation" against this poor, dutiful child was upheld by the school board. Consequently, honest little Ryan is to be thrown out of school for his offense.
Superintendent Larry Wiers said that "purposeful possession of weapons is one of the most serious offenses a student can commit and requires close consideration by the administration."
Yes, little Ryan, even if you are trying to do the "right" thing, turning in a gun found laying about the place, you are to be punished.
Wait, it gets worse.
As mentioned, this penalty is supposed to leave young Ryan expelled for a full year. Of course, the school board really does "care" about education, you know? We know this because they say so, you see. So, instead of leaving him expelled and sans educational opportunity they are going to pay for a year of home schooling.
Not only is Ryan being punished for trying to fulfill what he is told is his duty, but now so are the taxpayers who will have to pay double for this young man to be educated. With property taxes already paying for his education once at the school, it will now be doubled for his home schooling.
Lawyer Izzo earnestly announced that "it would be in the best interest of the student and the school to continue provide this student with educational opportunities through home bound study." But, what is "in the best interest" of the taxpayers who are being forced to pay double for this kid who was only trying to be helpful, Mr. Izzo?
So, what is it, school administrators? Are we teaching our children to do the "right" thing and turn in found weapons to the school administration to take them off the street, or are we teaching children that to get involved in any way is tantamount to pulling that trigger on themselves? Are we teaching our children that taking a gun out of circulation is important or are we teaching our children that school administrators cannot be trusted?
It would seem the later in both cases.
The lessons here are disheartening. The Troy Elementary School District just taught young Ryan Morgan that if he sees something wrong going on that he'd darn well better turn and walk away, stay out of it, don't get involved. Because if he does, we have taught him that HE will be the one in trouble. See a kid waving a weapon? Pretend you see nothing. Hear a kid getting beaten? Close your ears lest it be imagined you were involved. Happen to come across a rape in progress. He sees nothing. A break in? What break in? And, what would happen if Ryan someday hears two terrorists talking about their next target? Heck, it isn't any of Ryan's business. Move along nothing to see here, little Ryan.
So much for civic mindedness.
So much for doing the "right" thing.
So much for good administration of our schools.
As Heard on WBAL
-Warner Todd Huston was a guest on the Bruce Elliot show, WBAL Boston, on January 4th, 2007 discussing this topic.