Dear School District,
I understand that with the increased number of violent acts occurring on school campuses across the country that it has become necessary to enact a zero-tolerance policy in regards to weapons at school. No weapon of any kind is permitted on school grounds. Nothing that even resembles a weapon is permitted on school grounds. I support this policy. In concept.
Last week, our son was threatened with punitive action for possession of a potential weapon. It seems that Beernut, who has some sensory issues, had unfolded a paper clip; an action he often does to help deal with his anxiety. By doing so, he was informed, he was in possession of an item that could be used to inflict bodily harm on classmates and faculty. The substitute teacher, whose knowledge of Autism Spectrum Disorders was rather limited, put the fear of God in young Beernut. Not to mention a bit of confusion.
You see, it was in the very same week that Beernut had earned a trip to the treasure chest at school for meeting the behavioural goals established by the school psychologist. And his selection from the school-endorsed treasure chest? A pair of water pistols.
I am struggling to understand a policy that views a paper clip as a weapon and a water pistol as an appropriate reward for good behaviour.
And if it’s not OK for kids to play with something that resembles a gun in your home, why would you think that it’s OK in mine?
And many thanks to Jack for covering this week’s Haveil Havalim while I was sick with a nasty case of bronchitis.