Stop or I'll, um, gee...

Here’s one about a kid who got suspended for wearing a Pepsi shirt on Coke Day:
This is wrong for soooooo many reasons!
The Korn tee-shirt I understand, though. They’re obviously a band that promotes bad spelling :).
(Oh I forgot; no smilies in the pit.)

It means we can bring in the RPG ect just not hand guns. :rolleyes:

Since when are schools supposed to be worried about advertising anyway?

I’m glad I decided not to teach if this is the crap I’d have to put up with. When I was in school 10 years ago if someone wore the wrong kind of t-shirt they had to turn it inside out. and the wrong kind of shirt was somesort of sex/beer/drug shirt, nothing else. I also think we had some sort of gun club but don’t remember anymore. I think had I become a teacher I would have started the Satenism club!

well, I guess that’s what my rant is about. Instead of attempting to figure out a good way to prevent school violence, we have knee jerk reactions like zero tolerance policies which end up:

  1. Not preventing school violence (Michigan’s zero tolerance for weapons policy predates the recent killing of a six year old by another six year old)

  2. Absurd situations like the one linked in the OP which, in turn leads to:
    a. lessening respect for rules and
    b. more and more kids suspended from classes

Where do you draw the line? well, let’s see, with ‘weapons’, the definition used in my correction center days was “any item which by it’s location & use demonstrates that it’s a weapon”. So, for example, a medallion of a gun wouldn’t fit, a chain attaching the wallet to the belt wouldn’t fit - but a chain being held between two hands, twisted around them to allow it’s use as a garrot, would be. The scissors the kid needed for the art project being located in his back pack wouldn’t be, but the same scissors being carried in the front pocket or brandished in his hand could be. the plastic knife in the lunch box with the bagel and cream cheese would be ok, but the same knife sharpened to a point and being used as a dagger wouldn’t be. How’s that?

Far too subjective, I’m afraid. See, when a kid does get hurt, and the lawsuits begin, you’re up shit creek. Why? Because as a teacher/administrator/school board member, you didn’t do enough to stop school violence, and therefore it’s your fault that someone got hurt.
Let me give my example. Some people from the Montgomery County (MD) area might remember the name of Max Miller. He was a schoolmate of mine. In 10th grade, he needed to turn in a paper for his creative writing class; he chose to bring in the first chapter of his prospective autobiography. In it, he compared his own birth via caesarian section to a Friday The 13th movie with the chainsaw weilding maniac (i.e., the doctor) bursting through the flimsy tent walls (i.e., the womb) and dragging out the screaming co-ed (i.e., him, in wailing newborn form). It was a hysterical read.

It also got him suspended.

The creative writing teacher completely misunderstood the gist of his writing and, being completely unfamiliar with the slasher movie genre, felt that Max was actually fantasizing about raping and killing other teens. Even when shown that that wasn’t the case, both she and the principal felt the story was “too violent” (even though it contained nothing you wouldn’t see on a commercial for one of the Ft13th movies, or in that recent Nike ad) and upheld Max’s suspension for his writing project.

Stupid, huh?
And in Columbine, the school system is being sued by parents who feel that the killers’ submissions of violent and charged works for school projects was an ‘obvious’ sign that they were planning something dangerous, and that the school system was liable because they didn’t intervene in some way.
Zero-tolerance is there for a reason. It removes the responsibility of, well, responsibility from the school system by taking away any subjectivity. Remove all guns, suspend all kids who point with their fingers and say “bang!”, expell those who carry small pistol-shaped charms, and the next time some kid shoots up the school, no one can hold you legally responsible- you had a policy, and you enforced it. And in the lawsuit-happy country we are today, many schools and school boards see CYA as the most important thing.

Rock ‘n’ Roll High School forever!

As for not letting shit go down . . . it’s a combination of things, really. One is to stop the practice (that I have seen) of teachers turning a blind eye to students. I’m not saying this happens everywhere - it would be rather foolish and self-destructive for me to do this, as I have friends and relatives who are teachers. I’m just saying it happens and it shouldn’t.

Secondly, there are entirely too many people in this society, and in school particularly, who think there’s some sort of importance automatically attached to people who look good or are athletic, yet don’t attach that importance to academic prowess. There should not be the kind of social stigmata in school (and in general) on those who are not stereotypically normal. I think the best way to teach that is to catch the kids off-guard. I’d explain better but I don’t know how to put it into words.

Thirdly, there needs to be a helluva lot more money poured into education. For example, this year Virginia is putting about 6-10 million dollars more into education. Last year they put in around 550 million. This doesn’t even come close to inflation, and as a result, there’s less money for the same stuff. Considering how many people say that kids are out future, we ought to act like it.

I take the shooting at Columbine as an example of people snapping. Others do things like kill themselves - those kids killed other people. I’m NOT saying they were justified, but when you have people who are paid to teach and keep a watchful eye on kids, and your kids them go and shoot a bunch of their classmates, something wrong with this picture.

As with anything, I think you have to work from the bottom up. Kids need to be able to trust and to trust their teachers, which right now they don’t. Kids need to be able to trust and to trust their classmates. And parents need to be able to trust and to trust that the teachers are doing their job. Which, by the way, they get paid less than babysitters for.

Matt is becoming more and more glad of two things:

  1. He lives in Canada.
  2. He is no longer in high school.

You should probably be happier about 2), matt. I don’t think stupid people with a little bit of power making bad decisions are confined geographically or politically to the US.

I cant blame the schools (well not all the way). I blame stupid parents. When something bad happens, it’s the parents that sue.

Recently my housemate (at UC Santa Cruz) got written up, an act that threatens your houseing contract and can get you kicked out of student houseing) for ALMOST getting in a car with beer in. The procters (security people) saw a car with an unopened six pack in it, and laid in wait for someone to get in. When my housemate, who had no idea there was beer in the car, approuched it with his friend they were apprehended.

Another time my friends was recycling beer bottles left in a parking lot from a party so that he could get his car out without rolling over them. When he was seen carrying a bag of beet bottles, he was “written up”.

But you know what? The moment some stupid kid mangages to kill him or herself with alcohol, the parents will be knocking on the school’s door saying “How could you let this happen? It’s your fault and we demand compensation”. So how can you blame the schools for their rigid policies when they are only to gaurd against rabid parent?

Well no, they’re not. We Canadians elect them over and over.[sub]Sorry Matt…[/sub] However, this sort of thing doesn’t seem to reach the same pitch. Yet. My guess is it’s partially a function of population density, mixed with other factors like general Canadian apathy. We also seem to be slightly less sure that we have The Answer™ for all, and are more hesitant about insisting on its universal implementation Right Now.

We don’t even do good riots. :slight_smile:

However, poke us out of our apathy, and all bets are off! We resent it and will take it out on the irritant.


FWIW, these geniuses also work at airports. As in, they wouldn’t let me past the security point because of my solid metal, 1.5" long, keychain that was molded in the shape of a gun. Now, I’m just, for the sake of unstressing myself, taking this as a sign of respect for the worksmanship - it was a very nice replica - but it really was retarded. It was obviously one piece of metal, with nothing that even resembled a moving part or a projectile spewing orifice. Nor did the rules posted say anything about carrying replicas of weapons - the people were just dumb fucks overstepping what little authority they have.

Of course, as if to add insult to injury, the chain holding this dangerous piece of work broke a couple weeks ago… :frowning:

I live in Flint, MI. The six-year-old that shot his classmate happened in Beecher, which borders Flint.

Flint itself has a very high murder rate, but we’ve never had a school shooting, to my knowledge. Flint was one of the first (if not the very first) to institute police liason officers in the schools. I used to think it was scary. Now I think it’s the greatest.

The elementary school where the shooting occurred didn’t have a liason officer. Why? Because no one ever thought a six-year-old would bring a gun to school. Myself, I can understand that line of reasoning. I think there’s liason officers visiting the elementary schools here now, though. I can understand that line now as well.

The shock wave that ran through this community is still being felt. However, I think that Zero Tolerance is stupid. It results in the ridiculous things already posted here (a not-too-surprising-anymore number of which ocurred here in Michigan). What I am all for is “Low Tolerance Plus Common Freaking Sense, People.”

Anything, anything, can be used as a weapon, including pencils, pens, and books. You can’t ban those from the schools. You can limit some forms of expression when it comes to clothing (hey, making a kid dress halfway decently during schools hours only prepares them for life in the real world, IMHO–I can’t wear my “51% Sweetheart, 49% Bitch” t-shirt to work, you know), but a Korn t-shirt that says nothing else besides Korn–well, I’m not seeing a problem there.

Re the OP:

No one here has mentioned why things got so out of whack. Guns.

Just observing that the society seems to be contorting itself more and more radically to accommodate the right to bear arms. Indoctrinating the schools and the kids with an almost siege mentality to protect themselves from the possible implications of that right (and it’s trickle down effect: Fear) is a curious notion for an outsider.

I believe plastic knives are allowed with children’s lunch boxes everywhere else in the world.

And yes, I’ll go away and mind my own business now.

Yeah, you’re right. Let’s ban all the handguns, so we can experience a sharp increase in crime and a significant rise in handgun deaths too…

Eh, but this is the Pit, not GD, so: “putz.”

“My son was stopped upon boarding a plane from Kenya to London and relieved of a ceremonial Masai spear. Four security guards accompanied him to the front desk where he was required to check it through with his luggage. I had to wonder when was the last time Great Britain was attacked by spear.” - Erma Bombeck, When You Look Like Your Passport Photo, It’s Time To Go Home

Hmmm, Maxyour fist link (in para 3) reports an overall drop in crime (but violent crime was, indeed, up) and the second link states 42 deaths by hand guns in year 1999-2000. When numbers are small, it only takes one drug war to knock them out of whack. As was the case here, except it was two drug wars.

Anyway, it’s a fight to the death with plastic picnic-ware.


Matt Closest I can come up with is Albert Speer, architect of Nazi Germany’s war production.

Hope that helps.


snort. An overall drop of 0.2 percent, when you count non-violent crimes. You think banning handguns had something to do with the decrease in auto theft?

And the second link also calls the number a “seven-year high”. We’re all aware that the murder rate in Britain is lower than the U.S.'s to begin with, but a rate on the rise (no matter what your starting point) is A Bad Thing.

Dammit, we’re not supposed to be debating in here. Call me a monkeyfucker or something.

So apparently if someone had just mentioned to the Columbine shooters beforehand that they might get suspended if they bring a replica of a gun or a plastic knife to school, they would have been deterred and given up the whole “slaughter everyone” idea. I had no idea it was that simple. Why, all we have to do then is to just tell people that they should all be nice to eachother and all the problems will go away.

The people who are running around shooting eachother up are messed up…If you take away their guns they’re going to use knives. If you take away their knives they’re going to use pencils. If you take away their pencils they’re going to use house keys. If someone wants to kill a person, they’re going to find a way to do it, even if they might get detention for it (heh). The parents should be watching their kids and pointing out that no, it’s NOT a good idea to go out and kill someone who insults you, instead of running around suing schools left and right for not controlling their kids for them.

I’ve played Mortal Kombat, I’ve played Dungeons & Dragons, I’ve played Doom, I’ve listened to rock music, I’ve watched violent movies…and yet, I haven’t killed anyone. Why? Because I was taught as a kid that I shouldn’t be doing it and that games/movies with violence are just that, games/movies, not real life.

“No fighting, even in self defense.” Whahahaha…Tell that to me when I’m paralyzed from the neck down after being beaten on by a group of people because I don’t defend myself. At least I wouldn’t get detention, heh…

  • Tsugumo (tweety-bird chain, heh…got to love people)

I don’t know, Max. IMHO, the increase is drug dealers shooting drug dealers so it’s a moot point, at best.

You talkin’ to me, you talkin’ to me?

<----reaches into Tupperware pudding basin and launches a slightly mouldy spotted dick, clumping Max the Improbable betwixt the eyes—>
OK, I’m out of here before UncleBeer and the gun posse show up.

iampunha is becoming more and more glad of three things:

  1. He knows people who know more than just about any other person there is. This board is better than the encyclopedia.

  2. He is not dependent on a portable weapon for personal safety, unless you count his hands and feet.

  3. He is no longer in high school.