We have previously followed the suspensions and disciplines of students under zero tolerance guidelines used by teachers to justify zero judgment or responsibility. I have long criticized zero tolerance policies that have resulted in child suspensions and arrests (here, here and here and here and here and here). Now that madness has gone crazy after a school district in Colorado called the police because a 12-year-old boy flashed a toy gun in his own home. While the teacher told the police that the orange gun labeled "Zombie Killer" was clearly a toy, the police went to Isiah Elliot for a social check-up and the boy with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and learning difficulties was suspended. Does that make sense in contrast to a simple phone call to the parents?
We have been dealing with the madness of zero tolerance rules for years. Here's a previous column on the subject (and here). Children have been suspended or expelled for drawing stick figures or wearing military hats or bringing gun-shaped Legos or even Danish in the shape of a gun. Various criminal and disciplinary proceedings have been opened for finger pistols. Despite the public outcry over the completely irrational and abusive application of zero tolerance rules, administrators and teachers continue to apply them blindly. If you don't need to use judgment, you can never be held responsible for a mistake. Conversely, even if public outcry leads to a reversal, teachers and administrators never seem to be punished with the same force if they show no judgment or logic in punishing a child.
Now the madness has become virtual. Instead of changing the guidelines when they switched to virtual learning, the school continued to blindly treat children at home as they would in the classroom.
The school doesn't see what everyone is upset about. Grand Mountain School said in a statement: “We follow all school board guidelines whether we study in person or distance learning. We take the safety of all of our students and employees very seriously. Safety is always our top priority. "
Safety? It was a toy gun in a child's house. They were so concerned about the child that they suspended him.