Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lego Guns are Lethal

Although this article doesn't give the school's rationale for nearly suspending a boy for bringing in Lego gun, on the surface it sounds like the perfect argument against Zero Tolerance. It's a non-issue, because the kid didn't actually end up facing any disciplinary actions (as far as we know), but in this day in age, that's more like saying the kid got lucky.

It takes a leap of faith to believe anyone would lack so much common sense as to go as far as suspending the kid over simply bringing the two-inch toy in... now if he was going around pointing it at other students and saying "bang you're dead" or something, then we'd have some reason to go on, but this article seems to go out of its way to present him as a typical kid who became a victim of circumstances, and I have no doubts that he's anything but.

In any likelihood, the parents are probably even more to blame for bringing this to the attention of the press over this momentary lack of common sense on the school's part. It seems to have been quickly corrected. Who's really making this an issue here? And if you still believe sanity exists in this world, you could argue that maybe he was causing such a disturbance that such a move was necessary for another reason entirely, but that would take some faith in the sanity of Zero Tolerance.

All I can say is, suspending and expelling all the little Lego gun carriers in the country isn't going to stop school shooters.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ban Dictionaries Over Sex Term?

So perhaps my last post on the difference between delusional threats and actual threats to kids was a bit vague. One only has to look around to find concrete examples of delusional threats that have even whole school systems up in arms.

Take for example this chestnut. A school system has decided to ban the Meriam-Wesbster's Collegiate Dictionary 10th Ed. from all of it's schools based on the complaint of one parent whose child came across the word "oral sex." Rather than teach the child what it is and let that be that, all the books have to be carried away to protect the kids from the unquestionable harm that can only result when a pair of eighth-grade eyes stumble onto words adults haven't deemed suitable for them to be gazing upon.

The cold, clinical--totally non-provocative definition went a little something like this: "oral stimulation of the genital." And that's not all, apparently, Assistant Superintendent Karen Valdes found a number of other words in the dictionary that are not "age appropriate." It seems, so-called "age appropriateness" has become a new reason to censor information.

Isn't it funny that the very same dictionary that houses such words as "rape" and "murder" is being banned because of a word like "oral sex?" Seriously, what does "age appropriate words" even mean? If you're going on sheer grotesqueness as the reason for the ban, you could probably come up with worse than "oral sex." But that's the fickle adult mind for you.

Update: common sense reigned in and the ban has been lifted.