Public school zero-tolerance policies are sometimes taken to extremes. This isn't in dispute. It's simply hilarious to watch. Political correctness is the emperor's new clothing.
So if a fifth-grade boy at Cornerstone at Pedregal School in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, wishes to glorify the military at his school's promotion ceremony, and every student is granted the opportunity to decorate a mortarboard cap with personal expression of his goals and dreams, what on earth is wrong with decorating his cap with U. S. military symbols and plastic army men? Apparently, a lot:
On Thursday, before the ceremony, one boy was told he couldn't participate unless he agreed to clip off the tips of the plastic guns carried by the minuscule GIs on his cap. Ten others complied with the order before the event.
Leonard, a first-year principal, didn't respond to several requests for comment, deferring to district administrators, who said the toys with miniature rifles and grenades violated a zero-tolerance weapons policy.
Leonard "directed students not place images of weapons on student-created mortarboards to be used in the promotion ceremony," according to a district statement. "The district fully supports her decision to comply with school rules and practices. In addition, practically all fifth-grade parents understood and accepted this decision and, in some cases, modified the student mortarboards, sans the weapon images."
In enforcing the decision, the district cited its Safe Schools policy and the federal Gun Free Schools Act of 1994, a federal law designed to remove firearms from schools.
The policy, however, is a little vague:
A copy of the district's Safe Schools policy obtained by the Daily Breeze includes no mention of toy army men. Students found to be "possessing, selling or otherwise furnishing a firearm" are expelled for one year, the policy states.
Weapons are also mentioned in the board's "weapons and dangerous instruments" policy that allows only authorized law enforcement or security personnel to possess "weapons, imitation firearms or dangerous instruments of any kind" on school grounds.
You will note in the picture above that the young fellow complied with the school policy by cutting off the hands of his toy soldiers...but then bandaged them with gauze and fake blood. Good for him!