Kindergartner EXPELLED for making a gun with his hands

This is pretty bizarre.

"He didn't know did they talk to him about it what actions were taken to tell him this isn't allowed," Lorena Hurtado, Manuel's mother. . . .

Manuel's mom doesn't see anything wrong with her son putting his hands like this and shooting down at the ground. She doesn't think it poses an immediate threat to the school or Manuel's classmates. We took the issue to School District employees and asked them about their policy.

"When students are at school they should be concerned about learning….safety shouldn't be a concern at school, we have a zero tolerance policy," said Dr. John Irion, from the Yakima School District. . . .

"A five-year-old shouldn't be held to the same policy as a 12th grader...he is in kindergarten," said Hurtado.

Lorena Hurtado is appealing the expulsion and wants to try to clear her son's record. She says she doesn't want her five-year-old to be labeled as a troublemaker.

I don't understand the statement: "A five-year-old shouldn't be held to the same policy as a 12th grader...he is in kindergarten." This is a crazy rule for even a 12th grader. Death threats might be one thing, but playfully going "bang" should not be a punishable offense.

Thanks to Gus Cotey for the link.



Blogger Paul Gordon said...

I think this demonstrates the appeal of "zero tolerance"; thinking is hard for some people and such a policy removes all need.

3/06/2010 1:38 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

So the district has a "zero tolerance" policy. Against what, exactly? Pointing at the ground with your thumb raised? Onomatopoeia? Harmless play? The simple fact is that most so-called policies still require someone to exercise judgment: judgment that the pot-metal pistol play piece in a Monopoly game is a "weapon", judgment that a 5 year-old pointing his finger at the ground constitutes a "threat", judgment that a drawing of a crucifix is evidence of some severe psychiatric trouble. The unfortunate fact is that these rules do little more than enable administrators who are either severely neurotic or just love to demonstrate their power over others. The reality is that the pieces in the game of Clue don't constitute an arsenal requiring a call to 911; saying "Bang!" doesn't constitute a threat, per se; and nobody can point to language in any policy that requires an official to throw common sense out the window.

3/06/2010 9:01 PM  

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