I’m not fan of so called “zero tolerance” policies for the simple reason zero tolerance usually means zero common sense. Take the case of 8 year old David Morales who was given an assignment a to make a hat for a project at the Tiogue School in Coventry, Rhode Island last week.
David decided to honor the Armed Services and glued plastic Army figures to a camouflage baseball cap, but school officials said the hat ran afoul of their no-weapons policy because the plastic Army figures held tiny guns and banned it!
Good Lord, talk about being stuck on stupid… Plastic Army figures with tiny plastic guns don’t pose a threat to anyone, the simple fact that school officials would ban them demonstrates the stupidity of the policy.
The school’s decision has generated considerable criticism from the community and attracted the attention of the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and Lt. Gen. Reginald Centracchio, the former head of the Rhode Island Nation Guard. Gen. Centracchio presented David with a medal on Friday and met with school officials and asked them to change the policy… Something school officials are now working on:
The superintendent of a Rhode Island school district that banned a second-grader’s homemade hat because it displayed toy soldiers with tiny guns said Saturday he will work to change the policy to allow such apparel.
Ken Di Pietro said in an e-mail to The Associated Press that the no-weapons policy shouldn’t limit student expression, especially when students are depicting “tools of a profession or service,” such as the military or police.
“The event exposed how a policy meant to ensure safe environments for students can become restrictive and can present an image counter to the work of our schools to promote patriotism and democracy,” Di Pietro said.
Gen. Centracchio is right David should be commended for his patriotism and support for our troops and veterans, not punished by anal retentive bureaucrats.
- Whither common sense? – Montrose Daily Press
- School shoots self in the foot – Imperial Valley Press
- Toy soldiers – John Feehery, The Hill