School's "Duty" to Treat Student as
Terrorist for Holding a Pencil Wrong?



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By Kurt Hofmann, April 8th 2014
JPFO writer contributor, © 2014.

Image Oleg Volk

In the American public school system, the confluence of shrieking, irrational terror of firearms on the one hand, and "zero tolerance" (remember when "teach tolerance" was a "progressive" mantra?) on the other, has led to what appears to be a "race to the bottom." Schools are seemingly in competition for the most ludicrously over the top overreaction to the most innocuous behavior that might be seen as making even an oblique reference to guns.

A comprehensive list of examples might be long enough to break the Internet, but JPFO contributor Nicki Kenyon compiled a short list of some of the "highlights" in her article about proposed Florida legislation that would restore some measure of sanity to the situation in that state:

The fact that such legislation is actually needed is an embarrassment to anyone who values and engages in rational thinking and common sense, but given the number of times children have been disciplined for such "malfaisance" as bringing toy figurines that sported tiny little guns to school, suspended for bringing a utensil to school that contained a spoon-fork-knife combination to eat their lunch, booted out for pretending a chicken nugget was a gun during play, and even prevented from using sign language to say the name "Hunter," because it looks too much like a gun . . .

In light of all that, one might be forgiven for thinking that the situation cannot get any more ridiculously, outrageously, unforgivably insane than it already has been. Unfortunately, one would be wrong.

Seventh-grader Ethan Chaplin, of Glen Meadow Middle School, in Vernon, New Jersey, discovered that the hard way, when he held a pencil in a manner that another student described as "making gun motions" (whatever that means). The dangerous young "pencilslinger" was suspended from school and subjected to a humiliating five-hour ordeal of a physical and psychological evaluation:

"The child was stripped, had to give blood samples (which caused him to pass out) and urine samples for of all things drug testing," Michael [Ethan's father] said. "Then four hours later a social worker spoke to him for five minutes and cleared him. Then an actual doctor came in and said the state was 100 percent incorrect in their procedure and this would not get him back in school."

Yep, apparently evaluating whether or not he is truly a threat is impossible if he is permitted to keep his clothes on. Also, holding a pencil in an unapproved manner is evidently grounds for suspicion of drug abuse.

And yep, after all that, the commissars are still not satisfied that he can be trusted to return to school without going on a deadly pencil rampage. What's more, Ethan claims that the student who alleged "gun motions" on Ethan's part did so in order to get him in trouble, because of a personal grudge of his own.

Incredibly, we have yet to get to perhaps the most ridiculous aspect of this sordid affair. Superintendent Charles Maranzano defended the school's actions, because, "We never know what's percolating in the minds of children." And--get this--"when they demonstrate behaviors that raise red flags, we must do our duty."

See, it's their duty to treat a child as a terrorist, leave him naked, bleeding, and unconscious (I exaggerate only slightly), because of the way he held a pencil. It's enough to prompt one to check to see if the article is satire--Superintendent Maranzano, with his "we must do our duty," sounds like an almost cartoonish parody of Orwellian collectivism.

Maranzano, and and other government officials who share his attitude, could stand to learn something from Thomas Jefferson about "duty" :

"When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty."

If their usurpations prompt we the people to do our duty, we are not likely to confine ourselves to using pencils to do it.

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