A pencil is not generally considered a weapon. It can be used as a weapon, of course, but so can almost anything. I’m sure I could find a way to use the flash drive here on my desk as a weapon. It could make a nasty eye gouger. If I hold it up and say “pew pew” to an armed burglar, he’ll kill me after he stops laughing at me.
Even if a pencil is intended to be used as a weapon, it cannot fire a projectile. Someone should tell that to the raging idiots at a Suffolk, VA school.
A Suffolk school suspended a second grader for pointing a pencil at another student and making gun noises. Seven-year-old Christopher Marshall says he was playing with another student in class Friday, when the teacher at Driver Elementary asked them to stop pointing pencils at each other.
“When I asked him about it, he said, ‘Well I was being a Marine and the other guy was being a bad guy,’” said Paul Marshall, the boy’s father. “It’s as simple as that.”
Christopher’s father was a Marine for many years. He thinks school leaders overreacted.
“A pencil is a weapon when it is pointed at someone in a threatening way and gun noises are made,” said Bethanne Bradshaw, a spokesperson for Suffolk Public Schools.
No, it isn’t. A pencil is a weapon if it’s used to stab or slash, or write words to make it mightier than the sword. It cannot fire like a gun. Saying “pew pew” does make instantly turn a pencil into an AR-15.
The Suffolk school system has a “zero tolerance policy” when it comes to weapons.
But, again, it wasn’t a weapon as the boy used it. It. Was. A. Toy.
And, Bradshaw admits, that policy has tightened up in recent years because of widely publicized school shootings.
“Some children would consider it threatening, who are scared about shootings in schools or shootings in the community,” said Bradshaw. “Kids don’t think about ‘Cowboys and Indians’ anymore, they think about drive-by shootings and murders and everything they see on television news every day.”
Adults think about shootings. Kids play Call of Duty (yes, some play it way too young) and they think about good guys and bad guys all the time. They thought about good guys and bad guys in this very case. It’s how kids, especially boys, are wired. Shooter games are, essentially, high-tech versions of the “guns” and “cops and robbers” and “cowboys and Indians” that kids used to play in their yards. And actually, some kids do still go to the park and play “cops and robbers.” I’ve seen it with my own two eyes. And it was not alarming in the least.
Everyone involved in suspending Christopher Marshall, who reportedly has good grades and has never been in trouble before, should be fired and banned from ever having a position in education again for the rest of their lives. They’re just too dumb to be capable of educating anyone.