This is sick. Schools should have in loco parentis
(in the place of a parent) responsibilities while kids are at school. But when no actual harm is done and the parents don't disapprove of a reasonable act, the school is waaaaay overstepping its bounds to the point of indoctrinating kids against parents' wishes.
Source: School suspends boy for sketching gun
Aug. 22, 2007 06:34 AM
Chandler school officials have suspended a 13-year-old boy for sketching a picture that resembled a gun, saying it posed a threat to classmates.
But parents of the Payne Junior High School student said the drawing was a harmless doodle of a fake laser, and school officials overreacted.
"I just can't believe that there wasn't another way to resolve this," said Paula Mosteller, the boy's mother. "He's so upset. The school made him feel like he committed a crime. They are doing more damage than good."
The Mostellers said the drawing did not show blood, bullets, injuries, or target any human. They said it was just a drawing that resembled a gun.
But Payne Junior High administrators thought the sketch was enough of a threat and gave the boy a five-day suspension, later reduced to three days.
Chandler district spokesman Terry Locke said the sketch was "absolutely considered a threat," and threatening words or pictures are punishable.
The school did not contact police and did not provide counseling or an evaluate the boy to determine if he intended the drawing as a threat.
School officials issued the suspension Monday afternoon. They notified the student's father, Ben Mosteller. He met with school officials and persuaded them to shorten his son's suspension from 5 days to 3.
Ben Mosteller said that when he came to the school to discuss his son's punishment, school officials mentioned the seriousness of the issue and talked about the massacre at Colorado's Columbine High School - the site where two teenagers shot and killed 12 students and injured 24 others in 1999.
The Mostellers said the Columbine reference was extreme and offensive.
They have contacted the district's governing board about the incident involving their son.