Saturday, May 13, 2006

I love stories like this, LVIII

Here we have a column from the Pittsburge Tribune-Review describing the expulsion of a 5th grade boy, for brining a squirt gun to school for a class project:
Few would confuse the fluorescent, oversized, green-and-orange plastic toy with a Glock.

Jokari brought the gun to school for inclusion in a memory box he was making. He kept it in his book bag until it was time to work on the project.

Jokari never pointed the unloaded gun at a student or teacher. Even if it had been loaded, even if he had aimed it at a classmate, no one would have been in jeopardy.

"It says 'paintball' on the gun, but it doesn't shoot paintball pellets," Melissa Becker said. "It shoots water soluble paint. It's a kid's toy."

A kid's toy that wouldn't even have ruined anyone's clothes.

The author of the piece, Eric Heyl, makes a good point about the Penn Hills school district's code of conduct:
The district student discipline code bars students from bringing to school weapons, replicas of weapons or any instrument capable of inflicting serious bodily injury.

It's difficult to find any evidence of misconduct by Jokari. Unloaded squirt guns don't cause serious bodily injury.

The code also states, "No disciplinary action should exceed in degree the seriousness of the offense."

District officials need to re-familiarize themselves with that portion of the code. They have violated their policies far more egregiously than the student they expelled.


Jessica Menn said...

Although few would confuse a squirt gun with a glock, we have to remember that we are dealing with public school teachers here.

Steve Erbach said...


Speaking of whom, I have to write about the meeting Janet and I had with Eleanor's teacher, speech pathologist, reading specialist, and school pyschologist on Friday. Later.

Steve Erbach
The Town Crank