I have posted several times on how America is a cowardocracy at almost every level of society and government. But I never realized how long its reach had grown. The Reason blog reports that a student was suspended who did not have a bb gun on school grounds.
As you probably know, I think “gun free zones” at schools are disastrous. They are invitations to psychotic killers to feel free to commit mass murder because no one will be able to shoot back.
But now I have to admit that such zones embody a virtue, even if they are stupid and destructive. At least they tell you where you are not allowed to have a gun.
This week a school decided to take that away. Even if your “gun” (or Idaho-shaped pop tart or whatever) is somewhere else, they can still bust you. Or so they thought.
[A] parent in Iowa saw the BB gun in a car that wasn’t even parked on school grounds. Via the NBC affiliate in Waterloo, Iowa:
Dubuque Community School District director of school and community relations Mike Cyze said in a press release a parent noticed the BB pistol in the student’s car and called police, who responded, located the student and confiscated the BB gun.
Cyze said there was never a threat to students or staff because the BB gun never left the student’s car until police arrived and confiscated it.
“This incident is an important reminder that the school district and area law enforcement do not take the presence of these weapons lightly,” Dubuque Senior High School principal Dan Johnson said to parents in an e-mail and voicemail that went out to all Dubuque Senior High School families this morning.
The school suspended the student even though there was no threat and the toy gun wasn’t found on campus because, according to a district spokesperson, “there was a significant disruption to the learning environment and having the student on campus would have continued that disruption throughout the day.” The suspension, the spokesperson said, could be followed by more “disciplinary action” after an investigation is completed.
Notice that the school claimed that they had the right to punish someone for a legal toy that he did not even have on school property. If this was permitted to stand, what would keep a school punishing a student for having access to a real firearm (or even only a toy) at the home?
I don’t see any difference. If they can bust you for a “weapon” in your car off their property then why not at your house?
I can understand why the police followed up on the report, but once it was discovered that it was only a bb pistol, why didn’t they just thank everyone, including the student, for their cooperation, and forget about it? The student was no more responsible for “disrupting the learning environment” than the complaining parent or the police.
The good news is that on Friday the school said there would be no punishment and that the suspension on Wednesday was only part of the procedure of the investigation. It would not be part of the student’s disciplinary record.
So, sometimes, common sense does win.