Ohio 7th Grader Suspended for 'Liking' Photo of Toy Gun on Instagram


Zero-tolerance rules regarding firearms were supposed to be about keeping our children safe. In theory, at least, they would make sure potential school shooters were removed from the campus quickly, before they had the chance to hurt anyone. In practice, however, they’re something very different.


Time and time again, we hear about zero-tolerance rules being used in situations where they’re completely uncalled for. The most recent case is one where a child has been suspended for something that had absolutely nothing to do with the school. From The Daily Wire:

The campaign against guns has reached such a fever pitch that an Ohio seventh-grader was suspended from school for 10 days for simply “liking” a  photo of an airsoft gun on Instagram.

Zachary Bowlin saw the photo, which was succinctly captioned, “Ready.” He “liked” the photo, prompting Edgewood Middle School to suspend him.

The boy said, “I don’t think I did anything wrong. The next morning, they called me down and, like, patted me down and checked me for weapons. Then, they told me I was getting expelled or suspended or whatever.”

The school sent a note to Zachary’s parents stating the reason he was suspended was “liking a post on social media that indicated potential school violence.” His father, Martin Bowlin, snapped, “I was livid. He never shared, he never commented, never made a threatening post … [he] just liked it.” He added, “My wife called and said he’d been pulled in to the office, and he was being suspended because he liked a picture on Instagram that his friend posted of a weapon, of an airsoft gun. It was 10 days suspension with the possibility of expulsion. I’m like, ‘For liking a gun? Did he make a comment or threat or anything?’ And it’s like, ‘No. He just liked a picture.’ I’m like, ‘Well, this can’t happen.’’”


Luckily, in this case, the suspension was lifted after the parents spoke with the school. However, it never should have happened in the first place.

In this case, it was a toy, but so what?

There is no law against children using firearms under adult supervision. There are no laws against children looking at firearms on the internet. There’s nothing wrong with children having an interest in firearms in general.

It’s bad enough that schools have decided to punish students for what they do on social media, but at least most of that is cyber bullying. This was nothing of the sort. No threats, no bullying, just a harmless “like” of a photo of a tool that is highly demonized.

Frankly, it sounds like some school administrators need a hobby.



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