4th Grader Suspended for bringing shell casing to school

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Re: 4th Grader Suspended for bringing shell casing to school

Postby Walter Joyce on Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:58 am

meeks wrote:
You realize that you just flamed me, as I am a resident of Massachusetts.

there's no judgement here, friend
*snicker...Massachussets...* :P
(kinda the pot calling the kettle black as I'm Canadian...)


Not sure I grasp what you are trying to say there, care to clarify? It seems like you are agreeing on something but I'm not sure what. Either I'm obtuse or the internet has a damper on effective communication sometimes.
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Re: 4th Grader Suspended for bringing shell casing to school

Postby Steve James on Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:19 am

Did they explain how the child got the casing? Did he find it outside or did he bring it from home? To me, if it came from home, then the child's parents should be investigated. If the child can find casings lying around, why not live shells.

Otoh, I do agree that, these days, schools sometimes adhere to rules without thinking about them. Of course, the reason for this particular rule --about weapons and equipment-- is the result of students using weapons in schools, not because schools are "anti-gun" or loony. They're going overboard and becoming super-controlling because of guns, violence aond loons.

I also think that the school is taking into account the parents of the rest of students. If I had a fourth grader and he came home saying "Daddy, a boy brought a bullet to school", I'd take it seriously. I would go to the school to find out what happened. So, although the suspension seems like an overreaction, I can understand it.
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Re: 4th Grader Suspended for bringing shell casing to school

Postby Dmitri on Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:40 am

Steve James wrote:If the child can find casings lying around, why not live shells.

...and why not? What would be wrong with that?

If I had a fourth grader and he came home saying "Daddy, a boy brought a bullet to school", I'd take it seriously. I would go to the school to find out what happened. So, although the suspension seems like an overreaction, I can understand it.

Why, what would be the problem in that case?
I honestly don't understand what's the big deal here... :-/
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Re: 4th Grader Suspended for bringing shell casing to school

Postby Steve James on Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:02 am

Dmitri wrote:
Steve James wrote:If the child can find casings lying around, why not live shells.

...and why not? What would be wrong with that?

If I had a fourth grader and he came home saying "Daddy, a boy brought a bullet to school", I'd take it seriously. I would go to the school to find out what happened. So, although the suspension seems like an overreaction, I can understand it.

Why, what would be the problem in that case?
I honestly don't understand what's the big deal here... :-/



What's wrong with having live shells lying around? Well, it's just basic gun safety. Shells and weapons should be stored, locked, safely and out of the reach of children. People who are careless about shells are careless and untrustworthy. If the child could get a shell, at home, then there's something wrong.

If your son/daughter's schoolmate (10) brought some ammunition to your house saying that they are all over his house, what would you say? Would you be curious? Or, turn it around, suppose a parent called you and said that your child had brought some ammunition into their home, would you say "I honestly don't understand the big deal" then? To me, that attitude would be a/the problem.
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Re: 4th Grader Suspended for bringing shell casing to school

Postby Walter Joyce on Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:21 am

The shell was taken from the Memorial Day celebration the day before and it was a spent shell.

If I had to speculate I would suggest that the school has a zero tolerance policy for guns and anything gun related. The hard toting gunslingers here may take objection to that, but my bet is that the lawyers from the school district advised the zero tolerance policy to protect the school from potential liability.

Do I think the action taken was overkill?

Yes.

Am I capable of finding the possible reasoning behind it and then the response from the school is less startling. The student was sitting alone outside at recess and playing with the empty shell.

Zero tolerance is zero tolerance, and it does help to limit liability.

My question for those wondering why there is a problem with restricting access to guns and ammunition is this.

What is the justification for a grade school student bring guns or ammunition to school in the first place?

And they call liberals knee-jerk.
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Re: 4th Grader Suspended for bringing shell casing to school

Postby MikeC on Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:25 am

Steve James wrote:Did they explain how the child got the casing? Did he find it outside or did he bring it from home? To me, if it came from home, then the child's parents should be investigated. If the child can find casings lying around, why not live shells.


If you read the article it explains that the child was given two empty shells by a Memorial Day vet as souvenirs. He gave one to his grandfather and kept one for himself. And he was looking at it by himself in the cafeteria.

I also think that the school is taking into account the parents of the rest of students. If I had a fourth grader and he came home saying "Daddy, a boy brought a bullet to school", I'd take it seriously. I would go to the school to find out what happened. So, although the suspension seems like an overreaction, I can understand it.


Well, I just can't imagine suspending a fourth grader for bringing an empty shell casing souvenir to school. For five days nonetheless??

But as Walter had so poignantly pointed out before, we don't have the whole story...so there may be more foul play afoot.
::)

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Re: 4th Grader Suspended for bringing shell casing to school

Postby Darthwing Teorist on Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:33 am

Steve James wrote:

What's wrong with having live shells lying around? Well, it's just basic gun safety. Shells and weapons should be stored, locked, safely and out of the reach of children. People who are careless about shells are careless and untrustworthy. If the child could get a shell, at home, then there's something wrong.




True. My brother burned himself slightly but he could have lost an eye, from placing a soldiering iron in some gunpowder that my dad kept in one of his cabinets.
И ам тхе террор тхат флапс ин тхе нигхт! И ам тхе црамп тхат руинс ёур форм! И ам... ДАРКWИНГ ДУЦК!
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Re: 4th Grader Suspended for bringing shell casing to school

Postby Steve James on Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:35 am

I agree; the suspension may have been excessive. However, If the child found the casing in the street and brought it to the teacher, that's one thing. If he brought it in to show to his friends, then some form of punishment is appropriate. That's not because empty shells are dangerous, it's a reprimand to the child. No, I don't think that the child should be drawn and quartered or banned from all public buildings or put in shackles for his actions --but taking away his psp and tv for a week might be appropriate. Instead, this will be turned into a gun-control v. gun-rights issue, when at best it's about gun safety.
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Re: 4th Grader Suspended for bringing shell casing to school

Postby Steve James on Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:46 am

Sorry, I didn't read the original article. I was responding to the responses to the issue. All the teacher/authorities had to go on was a child playing with an empty shell in the school. It's their responsibility to be concerned. After the situation is explained, then they may reverse or amend their decision. But, I don't see this as some "they" are blah, blah, blah because they're liberal, etc., etc., etc.

What should the school have done? Nothing? Contact the parents? (Why, if nothing was wrong?) Give gun safety classes? (Not a bad idea, imho). Would suspension for 1 day have been acceptable, or would sending the child home be too much? What's the solution, apart from eliminating public education in MA?
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Re: 4th Grader Suspended for bringing shell casing to school

Postby Dmitri on Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:48 am

Steve, fair enough -- I wasn't talking about live ammo, and didn't realize you were. Empty shells are not a problem whatsoever though.


Hi Walter,
Walter Joyce wrote:Zero tolerance is zero tolerance, and it does help to limit liability.

That's true, but my main concern is about how the kids are being controlled and borderline-oppressed through these measures, which (to me) is immeasurably more important a cause than potential liability defense for the school. The entire generation is being screwed. True liberals (since that word has been brought up) should be able to appreciate the importance of this, being against oppression in general.

What is the justification for a grade school student bring guns or ammunition to school in the first place?

IMHO "justification" is not the best choice of words here... If someone brings a gun (even unloaded) or live ammo to any public place as a "toy" and brandishes it for any reason other than direct self-defense, there is clearly a problem. When it's a kid, it's a HUGE problem. But the way to deal with these problems IMO is by not "forbidding" it, but by educating people about guns, ammunition, etc. It is parents' responsibility to educate themselves and their children about guns, even if (like in my case, personally) they don't really like shooting or enjoy it as their pastime. Guns have been a part of people's lives long enough, and they are NOT going away -- so everyone needs to get off their butt and take responsibility to learn about them, instead of relying solely on law enforcement (which is usually way too late.) I realize that it won't ever happen, that it's impossible to make all parent responsible people, but neither is it possible to solve this with "zero-tolerance" crap. It does a LOT more bad than good, esp. in the long run.
And no kid who was properly educated about guns would EVER play with one casually, and would likely tell his idiot friend(s) to cut it off and or would walk away if they don't (or if he's younger/is in a minority/has no influence/etc.)

So I think the time effort and tax money would be MUCH better spent if they were directed at proper education, like field trips to a shooting range at public schools, etc. instead of suspending little girls for pencil sharpeners.

Just my humble opinion; YMMV of course.
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Re: 4th Grader Suspended for bringing shell casing to school

Postby Michael on Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:21 am

The article says that it was not a casing from a live shell, but implies it was from a blank or other shell that was never "live". I'm not sure if this is a hair we can split without more information. Maybe some of those with experience know about ceremonial usage where they are not simple blanks, or something?

I have very little tolerance for zero tolerance policies. How about some kind of inquiry with the kid and parent before the final report is finished and decision is made? If this kind of problem is so severe that an automatic suspension is required, a final determination with a hearing could still provide a measure of fairness to those involved and possibly keep something minor in context or off of the poor boy's "official record." Heaven knows he's doomed now to wearing scarlet letters instead of letter jackets.

I'm against taking the human element out of judgments made by humans. If there are rules or laws, certainly enforce them, but at the final stage, consideration should be given for the full circumstances. This also applies to mandatory minimum sentences, a related topic, IMO.

I mean, ten years later and an ipso facto Title IV regulation gets passed that no "firearms offenders" will be granted Pell Grants or Stafford Loans, the kid can't get into college, he buys a gun, robs a bank, etc.
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Re: 4th Grader Suspended for bringing shell casing to school

Postby Steve James on Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:42 am

Well, my point was that a teacher/school official should not be expected to tell whether a round is live or spent. It's easy for those who are comfortable around guns to say that this or that is safe. But, people who are not familiar with guns can not make those kind of discriminations. Moreover, it is basic gun safety that they should not. I would give my grandson a spent round; but I would tell him that he'd get in big trouble if he took it to school.

I agree about zero tolerance programs. Every case is different --but, even when it comes to zero tolerance. "No AK47s in the cafeteria" would seem reasonable, though.
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Re: 4th Grader Suspended for bringing shell casing to school

Postby Michael on Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:46 am

Yeah, I agree about not expecting teachers or school staff to know the details of what kind of casing it was.
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Re: 4th Grader Suspended for bringing shell casing to school

Postby dragontigerpalm on Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:55 am

While as Walter said "zero tolerance is zero tolerance, and it does help to limit liability", the draconian application of laws and rules is the shield of the weak minded and mean spirited.
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Re: 4th Grader Suspended for bringing shell casing to school

Postby dragontigerpalm on Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:08 am

Additionally, the teacher and school official gave up the opportunity (if they were even capable) of being and behaving like teachers. They could just as easily have asked the student about the shell casing and then explained why in today's world such souveniers are deemed inappropriate in schools. Lesson given and lesson learned would have been a much better outcome.
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