Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

by
Rick Moran

Bio

June 5, 2013 - 4:22 pm

I didn’t think it could get any worse after the pop tart gun incident.

I was wrong:

The father of a middle schooler in Calvert County, Md. says his 11-year-old son was suspended for 10 days for merely talking about guns on the bus ride home.

Bruce Henkelman of Huntingtown says his son, a sixth grader at Northern Middle School in Owings, was talking with friends about the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre when the bus driver hauled him back to school to be questioned by the principal, Darrel Prioleau.

“The principal told me that with what happened at Sandy Hook if you say the word ‘gun’ in my school you are going to get suspended for 10 days,” Henkelman said in an interview with WMAL.com.

So what did the boy say? According to his father, he neither threatened nor bullied anyone.

“He said, I wish I had a gun to protect everyone. He wanted to defeat the bad guys. That’s the context of what he said,” Henkelman said. “He wanted to be the hero.”

The boy was questioned by the principal and a sheriff’s deputy, who also wanted to search the family home without a warrant, Henkelman said. “He started asking me questions about if I have firearms, and [the deputy said] he’s going to have to search my house. Search my house? I just wanted to know what happened.”

No search was performed, and the deputy left Henkelman’s home after the father answered questions in a four-page questionnaire issued by the Sheriff’s Office.

Principal Darrel Prioleau did not respond to calls and emails seeking comment. Robin Welsh, the deputy superintendent of Calvert County Schools, said federal privacy rules prohibited her from commenting on a specific case, but she said students are not suspended without cause.

“There has to be some violation within the code of conduct that would trigger some type of consequence or intervention,” said Welsh, who said the county school system does not have a zero tolerance policy.

Based on information about Henkelman’s case provided by WMAL.com, the ACLU of Maryland said the suspension, later reduced to one day, was a poor choice by school administrators.

We can all appreciate the heightened sensitivity to the possibility of tragedy following incidents like Sandy Hook. But this is nuts.

The family of the boy got a twofer; a clear violation of the boy’s free speech rights and a threatened search without a warrant. What’s next, a trip to Gitmo?

When are citizens going to start taking action against school authorities who abuse their position to bully little kids? If you live in Owings, Maryland, you might consider attending the next meeting of the school board and ask them what they’re drinking or smoking that makes them act like insane hysterics when it comes to guns.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
No way would I subject my kids to the gulag the public school system has become. I don't care what I had to give up, my kids were home schooled, and later, sent to a private school where traditional American values and beliefs were taught. My wife and I both stayed heavily involved in their education and did not delegate any aspect of their young lives to the state.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Driver - fired, principal - fired, deputy - fired.

Child made principal of the school. Problem solved.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (12)
All Comments   (12)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
"a sheriff’s deputy, who also wanted to search the family home without a warrant"

Name names and sue.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree that these zero-brain school administrators (and teachers, and bus drivers) should be pursued legally for their actions.

But what really drives tyrants nuts is public ridicule. They take themselves so very seriously, and can't stand it when the little people laugh at them.

Kids understand this intuitively... and I look forward to seeing where the kids take this next. What happens when a boy named "Gunther" starts capitalizing the first three letters of his name (or underlining them, or writing them in a slightly different style)? What happens when when three friends, whose last names begin with G, U, and N, label their backpacks accordingly and make a point of sitting together? What happens when we begin the War of Euphemisms? ("You can't say 'gun' in my school." "Okay, then, I'll say something else. My friends and I are going to the range after school to shoot our boomsticks." "No, I just decided you can't say that either." "How about bang-bangs? Nug? Capital Ell? Florida? Can I now not say 'Florida' in school?")

G ranted, there are many ways to protest.
U ltimately the schools must realize that they're being ridiculous.
N o doubt the students themselves can get the point across.
S ome of their homework might bear some creative hidden messages...

7= 3+4.

"Growing increasingly desperate, the thief began to RIFLE through the files. Finally, he found the page he had TARGETed - a list of BULLET points. This was it -- he had it all now, lock, STOCK, and BARREL. He began smilinG UNwittingly. Suddenly the police burst in, screamed 'Drop it!', and took aim with their high-capacity XXXXXX slingshots and heavy-caliber XXXXX powder puffs. 'Don't SHOOT! I'm UNARMED!', said the paraplegic pilferer."
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Way back when I was in high school, there was a fight after a basketball game and the fight was blamed on the "heckling" of a player on the visiting team. So the school banned the "Airball! Airball!" chant... So we students resorted to "MMMMMball! MMMMMball!" So the administration said NOTHING could be said by students during free throws.

So the PARENTS started chanting "Airball! Airball!"

All petty rules have "violations" that adhere to the letter but leave the petty rulemaker's spirit angry and frustrated.

(Then there was the time in college when the administration tried to ban students from putting anything "misleading" online...)
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I just thought about the word gun, does that mean I get to leave work on a paid adminstrative leave (AKA, vacation) until the investigation is finished
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
The bottom line is teachers have become wither too lazy or too paranoid to exercise any judgment. We can lay part of the blame on ambulance-chasing type lawyers, but if the two major unions would stand up for common sense and letting teachers make decisions based on reason instead of half-assed zero tolerance policies, they could get that done.

School board members are not blameless. They pass these half witted policies instead of demanding their administrators and teachers do their jobs.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm going to call the SWAT team to storm English Lit classes if they read "Red Badge of Courage", "For Whom the Bell Tolls" or "Farewell to Arms".
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
No way would I subject my kids to the gulag the public school system has become. I don't care what I had to give up, my kids were home schooled, and later, sent to a private school where traditional American values and beliefs were taught. My wife and I both stayed heavily involved in their education and did not delegate any aspect of their young lives to the state.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Driver - fired, principal - fired, deputy - fired.

Child made principal of the school. Problem solved.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
When the bus driver took the kid back to school, wasn't that kidnapping? The parent should insist he be charged with it, and that will put the kibosh on such nonsense.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Guns guns guns guns guns guns guns guns guns.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
And I want to search your house without a warrent or probable cause
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh you are soooooo suspended.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All