Ever since the shootings of Aurora and Sandy Hook, schools and citizens have given new meaning to the term “Zero-tolerance” by issuing suspensions, expulsions, and even arrests numbering higher then those who died in those horrific tragedies.
While these intolerable policies are enforced to “protect” the students from guns; we should be asking how can we protect children from these policies? After all these students below are just some that have been bludgeoned by the heavy hands of the zero-tolerance policy; whether the damage is physical, emotional, or a mix somewhere in between each individual has had their fair share of bruises to show for it.
First there is, David “Cole” Withrow who is a known eagle scout and upstanding student of Princeton high school.
Withrows transgression: Driving to school and forgeting he had his shotgun in his truck and after realizing such he called his mother with school staff in ear shot. Unfortunately when he asked his mother to come retrieve the gun for him, they were listening into every word.
His punishment: He was promptly arrested and charged with bringing a gun onto school grounds; a felony. Keep in mind that if he is convicted or pleads guilty to the felony he will never be able to vote let alone own a gun again. I can think of other students whom I rather not vote instead, but I can think of only a few people I’d trust more with a gun than an eagle scout. Obviously the officer who made the charge lacked this common sense.
Many may defend these policies, saying “He did bring a gun on campus”. I won’t even address such intolerance. I will however further the case against these policies by telling the story of a second grader Josh Welch.
What horrendous act did Josh commit? He was trying to chew a pop tart into the shape of a mountain, but to others the pop-tart resembled the shape of a gun so they suspended him. Okay so having a gun shaped pop-tart on campus is debatable but its not like they are attacking the kids civil rights or anything like that. Wrong again. Is not free speech a civil right?
Jared Marcum (left) decided to express himself by wearing a pro-NRA t-shirt with a gun depicted on it and he was arrested because his shirt “disrupted the educational process” and “for obstructing an officer” because he refused to stop talking. Last I checked, we have the right to remain silent but the government may not compel us to be.
My guess is someone might make the argument, “well it was on campus and a school has a responsibility to regulate student speech while they are on campus”. Alright well what about free speech off campus? at your own home? on your facebook page?
Justin Carter posted a tactless facebook status as a joke, he said “I think Ima shoot up a kindergarten / And watch the blood of the innocent rain down/ And eat the beating heart of one of them. JK”. He reportedly posted that status due to being bullied at school. Now his attorney says hes beings bullied in jail and has even recieved a concussion all of this over one FB post regarding gun violence.
Below is a video depicting a parent of one of the slain children from Newtown, in the video he resounds the common sense message of Reagan. I can’t think of a better person to have point out that guns aren’t the problem.
I will close this post by reciting a quote I feel is appropriate and I will say that it is a shame children aadhere to it better than adults; “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”– Benjamin Frankin