“I shot an arrow into the air/It fell to earth, I knew not where/For, so swiftly it flew, the sight/Could not follow it in its flight.”
I’m sorry but that Longfellow poem now falls under educational zero tolerance guidelines for describing a weapon being used. All children have already been put into kneeling position and told that they might be killed at any moment.
Johnny Jones, a fifth grader at South Eastern Middle School, was suspended for a day and threatened with expulsion under the school’s weapons policy after playfully using his hands to draw the bowstrings on a pretend “bow” and “shoot” an arrow at a classmate who had held his folder like an imaginary gun and “shot” at Johnny.
The incident took place the week of October 14th, when fifth grader Johnny Jones asked his teacher for a pencil during class. Jones walked to the front of the classroom to retrieve the pencil, and during his walk back to his seat, a classmate and friend of Johnny’s held his folder like an imaginary gun and “shot” at Johnny.
Johnny playfully used his hands to draw the bowstrings on a completely imaginary “bow” and “shot” an arrow back. Seeing this, another girl in the class reported to the teacher that the boys were shooting at each other. The teacher took both Johnny and the other boy into the hall and lectured them about disruption.
The teacher then contacted Johnny’s mother, Beverly Jones, alerting her to the “seriousness” of the violation because the children were using “firearms” in their horseplay, and informing her that the matter had been referred to the Principal.
Principal John Horton contacted Ms. Jones soon thereafter in order to inform her that Johnny’s behavior was a serious offense that could result in expulsion under the school’s weapons policy. Horton characterized Johnny’s transgression as “making a threat” to another student using a “replica or representation of a firearm” through the use of an imaginary bow and arrow.
Horton doesn’t actually know what a firearm is. But sadly there’s no zero tolerance policy for grievous ignorance or incompetence by educational personnel.
According to the South Eastern School District’s Zero Tolerance policy for “Weapons, Ammunition and other Hazardous Items,” the district prohibits the possession of “weapons,” defined as including any “knife, cutting instrument, cutting tool, nunchaku, firearm, shotgun, rifle and any other tool, instrument or implement capable of inflicting serious bodily injury.” The Student Code further prohibits any “replica” or “look-alike” weapon, and requires that the school Principal immediately contact the appropriate police department, complete an incident report to file with the school Superintendent, and begin the process of mandatory expulsion immediately
In the year 2013, for the first time in human history, imaginary weapons were outlawed. It’s quite a milestone.
Southeastern looks like a cheerful place. Its motto is “Providing progressive education to strengthen the global community.”
Providing Progressive Education to Strengthen the Global Community. We demonstrate mutual trust and collaborate to champion respect and responsibility on a local, national and global level. We recognize and nurture the value and unique abilities of all individuals as we demonstrate respect for the beliefs and ideas of one another.
So basically just the kind of place you would expect to ban imaginary bows and arrows.
“Long, long afterward, in an oak/I found the arrow, still unbroke/And the song, from beginning to end/I found again in the heart of a friend.”