Feb 19 2014

11-Year-Old Suspended for Turning in Broken Toy Gun


Overzealous Zero Tolerance policies continue to sweep across the nation, with gun-crime champion Chicago committing the most recent and ridiculous display.

The Rutherford Institute has come to the defense of an 11-year-old boy who turned in a broken, non-firing toy gun to school officials. He had forgotten that the toy was in his jacket pocket. Children at Fredrick Funston Elementary School are subject to pat down searches each morning before school, and sixth grader Caden Cook was afraid of getting in trouble. So, in an effort to follow the school’s anti-gun rules, he told a security guard and attempted to voluntarily turn it. Instead of praise, found punishment.

The boy was suspended for violating the school’s weapons policy. He was also intimidated, insulted, interrogated, threatened with criminal charges, and ordered to attend counseling, all by school officials. No parent was present for any of these events. When the child’s mother was finally called and informed of the incident, she was berated for allowing her child to play with toy guns. Rutherford is petitioning to have the suspension rescinded and all mentions of the incident removed from the child’s student record. The Vice Principal Timothy Daly maintains that the sixth grader must undergo a psychiatric evaluation before being allowed to return.

The incident occurred on January 31; the school’s pat-down procedure was introduced at the beginning of this school year. The process includes children being separated from backpacks and other belongings, random selection for additional pat down searches, and metal detector screenings. Students’ bags are also searched.

In a letter to Chicago schools, Rutherford cites Section 4-13 of the city’s student conduct code. The code specifically states that, on order to violate a school’s weapons policy, a student must exhibit “serious disruptive behavior.” In keeping with the code’s own guidelines, Cook’s behavior cannot be considered seriously disruptive. Further, the toy does not meet the school’s requirements to be considered a dangerous weapon.

Caden’s mother has removed both of her children from the city’s public school system in order to homeschool them.

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    […] – 16:27 Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. An 11 year old student is punished for trying to conform to the rules.http://thelibertydoll.com/2014/02/19/11-year-old-suspended-turning-broken-toy-gun-2/ […]

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