Sunday, November 01, 2009

The latest zero-tolerance debacle

Jazmine Martin, an 11-year-old schoolgirl in Des Moines, Iowa, has been suspended from her sixth-grade class at Brody Middle School after she brought in a few empty shotgun shells from a Western show in South Dakota (where they were firing blanks, for Pete's sake) in order to show them to her science teacher "because he's into stuff like this.".

Well, the students at Brody can certainly rest easier, knowing that those evil discarded blank shells were found before anyone was somehow hurt by them.

"Principal Randy Gordon said the shells were considered ammunition even though they were empty, and were therefore against school policy."

Come again? A piece of plastic with a bit of brass on the end, unable to cause any kind of harm whatsoever, counts the same as live rounds? That definition just can't be right, and in fact it really isn't:

"A copy of the school policy shows that it specifically bans "live ammunition or bullets" but makes no reference to empty shells or casings. However, the policy says it is not limited to the items specifically listed as being banned." (Emphasis mine)

Under that sort of idiotic overbroad policy, Principal Gordon the Clueless Martinet in theory could decide that, say, a too-large eraser counts as "ammunition" as well, and throw out a poor student who has one of those as well.

Jazmine hopefully will soon be back in the classroom where she belongs, and will then be able to share her hard-earned nightmare lessons in intellectual atrophy, bureaucratic rigidity and reactionary overkill (all in the name of her "safety", of course) with her schoolmates.

Those precepts will probably be the most important things the kids will learn in school that day.


Bike Bubba said...

A policy with unnamed forbidden items sounds like a great way to help the principal and teachers get to know a lot of lawyers.....hopefully the citizenry reacts appropriately.

rls59 said...

I hope this Principal Gordon pays for this girls collage. Now THAT would be "higher learning".