The week in bannings: Hugs, homemade treats, awards ceremonies, and Axe

posted at 3:21 pm on March 20, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

Glenn Reynolds wondered in his USA Today column last week: Are public schools getting more insane? Pointing to the Pop-Tart gun case, the suspension of a little boy for playing cops and robbers, and the charging of a 5-year-old girl with making “terroristic threats” with a pink bubble gun, he says:

And that’s the problem with all of these cases. Our justification for putting massive amounts of taxpayer money into public schools is that they’re supposed to teach critical thinking. But stories like these — and they’re legion — suggest that the very people who are supposed to be teaching our kids how to think are largely incapable of critical thought themselves.

A Pop Tart gun, a finger gun, or a toy gun — even a pink one that shoots, gasp!, soap bubbles! — isn’t any danger to anyone. Nor is playing with toy guns a sign that a kid is mentally ill or dangerous. It’s a sign that a kid is a kid.

When schools and teachers react hysterically to such non-threats, they’re telling us one of two things: Either that they lack the ability to respond realistically to events or that they recognize that there’s not any sort of threat, but deliberately overreact in order to stigmatize even the idea of guns. The first is educational malpractice; the second is educational malpractice mixed with abuse of power. Neither inspires confidence in the educational system in which they appear.

Time for another round of stories from ban-happy bureaucrats. They never run dry.

Axe is banned in a Pennsylvania high school:

A Pennsylvania high school wants its students to cut back on the body spray.

Freedom High School in Bethlehem says one of its students was recently hospitalized for exposure to Axe Body Spray. Now, officials are asking students to stop using it as a cologne or fragrance while attending the school.

While I, as a sentient human being, am personally offended by Axe fragrances, I also do not have the right not to have my senses offended. I’m guessing the Axe allergy is rather rare and doesn’t require a blanket ban.

In Massachusetts, a principal fears an honors awards ceremony will hurt the feelings of those not earning honors:

A Massachusetts principal has been criticized for canceling his school’s Honors Night, saying it could be ‘devastating’ to the students who worked hard, but fell short of the grades.

MyFoxBoston.com reports that David Fabrizio, principal of Ipswich Middle School, notified parents last week of his plan to eliminate the event.

“The Honors Night, which can be a great sense of pride for the recipients’ families, can also be devastating to a child who has worked extremely hard in a difficult class but who, despite growth, has not been able to maintain a high grade-point average,” Fabrizio penned in his first letter to parents, the station reported.

Fabrizio also said he decided to make the change because academic success can be influenced by the amount of support a student receives at home and not all students receive the same level of emotional and academic support at home.

In Maryland, hugs, homemade treats bite the dust while parental involvement is severely restricted.

New rules for visitors to St. Mary’s County public elementary schools ban hugs and homemade food to anyone other than a parent’s own child.

The guidelines, which are now in effect, limit the activities of some volunteers, school officials said, but are needed to ensure a safe environment.

A committee of several parents and principals from elementary schools in St. Mary’s County met four times last fall to review and recommend new best practices for schools to follow…

The new guidelines limit lunchtime and recess visits, ban handing out birthday invitations at school and prohibit visits during the school day by younger siblings.

“We think it’s the right balance between safety and parental involvement,” said Kelly Hall, executive director of elementary schools and Title I.

She said that elementary principals had reported many issues related to school visitors.

“At the same time, parents were expressing some concerns,” Hall said.

Parents should not approach teachers for a conference while visiting, according to the rules. Those meetings should be scheduled ahead of time.

Siblings of students are not allowed to visit the school with the parent during the school day. It was unclear this week if exceptions would be made for student performances where parents and others are invited.

And, then there’s this, from bureaucrats who have moved beyond local public schools into child services. A Facebook photo of an 11-year-old with a legally owned rifle prompted an anonymous phone call to a child protective services hotline and allegedly, a home visit by law enforcement officials without warrants:

The young man in the photo is the 11-yr-old son of Shawn Moore. The gun is a .22 rifle, a copy of the AR-15, but a 22 caliber. The photo was posted on Facebook by a proud father. That Facebook posting apparently triggered an anonymous call to New Jersey’s Department of Youth and Family Services (DYFS). On Friday night, March 15th, two representatives from the state’s social services office (along with four local police officers) came to the Moore home and demanded to see the family’s firearms.

According to Moore’s lawyer, Evan Nappen (an attorney with considerable expertise in NJ’s very strict gun laws), the situation was “outrageous.”

Beware of your Facebook photos and pastry sculptures, people. It’s a dangerous world out there. You never know when you’ll run into a cloud of Axe.

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I work in retail. If I were to complain-I could lose my job. Customer is ALWAYS right!///

annoyinglittletwerp on March 20, 2013 at 9:05 PM

I can see your problem. It’s just incredibly rude on a basic level to do that to others . Someone like that you hope they leave quickly.

kim roy on March 21, 2013 at 12:27 AM

1. Remain silent.

2. Consent to nothing.

3. Demand an attorney.

4. See Items 1 through 3, supra.

Never ever talk to cops or let them into your house without a warrant. There is absolutely no positive outcome for you if you fail to take this advice no matter how innocent your are. Go to YouTube and search “Don’t Talk to Police” there are several videos with attorneys and police officers, explaining how even innocently taking police can result in a devastatingly negative outcome for you. Remember, police officer’s job is not catching criminals, it’s making arrests. A prosecutor’s job is not convicting criminals, it’s getting convictions. That is how you advance in pay grade in both these professions.

Wallythedog on March 21, 2013 at 1:18 AM

The signs outside the schools are just going to have to get bigger to accommodate the Drug Free-Gun Free-Hug Free-Axe Free zone signs.

tballard on March 21, 2013 at 1:24 AM

The signs outside the schools are just going to have to get bigger to accommodate the Drug Free-Gun Free-Hug Free-Axe Free zone signs.

tballard on March 21, 2013 at 1:24 AM

wasn’t there a Hugs not Drugs campaign back in the day?

22044 on March 21, 2013 at 1:47 AM

My Alma mater. The boy and his mother on the local news right now,

“Sob, this product is killing my son!” They’re home schooling until a “cure” can be found.

FineasFinn on March 21, 2013 at 7:38 AM

The school district in St. Mary’s must have copied those new rules from the Maryland Dept of Corrections. They’ll probably add the strip searches next year to prevent smuggling of twinkies.
The principle in Ipswich has that equal outcomes thingy down pat, and just taught the students that working hard has no rewards. He needs to learn that those honors students will get a better outcome when they get into the business world.

Kissmygrits on March 21, 2013 at 8:22 AM

so some assclown bans an academic award ceremony cuz the “losers” will be hurt?

Do they have organized sports teams at that school? what about the bench warmers? what about the ones who wanted to play but weren’t good enough?

I know more adults with “issues” from not making the team than from not being valedictorian….

They going to ban sports? Jus sayin…

SwabJockey on March 21, 2013 at 8:52 AM

We rely on stealth as a lifestyle in my house

unclesmrgol on March 20, 2013 at 7:42 PM

?!?!?

goflyers on March 20, 2013 at 10:08 PM

Much different story. (though, see below)

Even if they didn’t know, wouldn’t that be simple assault?

cptacek on March 20, 2013 at 11:54 PM

Yes. If they were smart they would take that route.

Why aren’t the parents of this kid suing

PatriotGal2257 on March 20, 2013 at 10:53 PM

Hmmm, if this post:

FineasFinn on March 21, 2013 at 7:38 AM

is any indication, it’s because the mother thinks like a liberal, too.

GWB on March 21, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Fabrizio also said he decided to make the change because academic success can be influenced by the amount of support a student receives at home and not all students receive the same level of emotional and academic support at home.

I’m sure that this a$$clown “educator” doesn’t even realize the satient point he just made. Now, from where does academic success stem? I can’t hear you.

NOMOBO on March 21, 2013 at 11:36 AM

But will they ban students from wearing their pants so that they are practically hanging off their rear ends?

pilamaye on March 20, 2013 at 3:44 PM

I heard they do that to give their boyfriends easy access.

Therefore you can’t ban that because it would discriminate against teh gey.

agmartin on March 21, 2013 at 12:08 PM

If they banned Axe here, the middle school boys would riot.

It seems now like a right of passage. Puberty starts to hit and they’re all bathing in the stuff. You deal with it by explaining to the kids to tone it down, not by banning. My son got the message when he sprayed enough on himself once where I could smell him from two floors away. A little goes a long way! LOL

People are definitely idiots. You don’t ban things, you TEACH. This should, in theory, be right up the alley of SCHOOLS.

Then again, the far left doesn’t know how to do anything in life without a policy or a law. They’re paralyzed by the concept of common sense or a measured adult response.

Talk, teach, encourage, explain. They’re not stupid, they’ll listen.

GeeWhiz on March 21, 2013 at 1:48 PM

GWB on March 21, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Just came back to the thread after last night.

You nailed it — the parents are likely liberals themselves, and thus are too stupid to realize that what happened to their son was simple assault (maybe among other charges), but that they likely think was just a “misunderstanding.”

PatriotGal2257 on March 21, 2013 at 3:15 PM

No offense to the quoted author in the original piece, but a regular 5.56mm AR15 is also a 22 caliber, albeit .223 instead of plain old .22 – yes the centerfire .223/5.56mm is more powerful, but end of day, is still just a “big” .22 caliber projectile. Usually 55 grams or less. (Or more if sound suppression is in use and you need to slow the bullet to subsonic speeds…)

GuitarSlinger on March 21, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Massachussetts school principal Fabrizio is a feckless fumble-fingered fascist schmuck. I can’t say it any plainer than that without involving a bunch of four-letter words.

It’s clear that if he had his way, nobody would get graded and everybody would get assembly-line shoved out the door with a high-school diploma that says “PARTICIPANT”

He needs to know that…

LIFE

ISN’T

FAIR

When the hell is this country going to pull its head out of its a$$ and put the adults back in charge? Liberalism is a pathological DISEASE.

CatchAll on March 21, 2013 at 10:53 PM

While I, as a sentient human being, am personally offended by Axe fragrances . . .

Please. You should be so lucky.

Axe on March 22, 2013 at 9:49 PM

No offense to the quoted author in the original piece, but a regular 5.56mm AR15 is also a 22 caliber, albeit .223 instead of plain old .22 – yes the centerfire .223/5.56mm is more powerful, but end of day, is still just a “big” .22 caliber projectile. Usually 55 grams or less. (Or more if sound suppression is in use and you need to slow the bullet to subsonic speeds…)

GuitarSlinger on March 21, 2013 at 4:40 PM

The .22LR is typically a 40gr round traveling at 1000 fps. It carries maybe 150-200 J of KE, and tends to neither fragment, nor go very deep. It is a firearm, and it can kill you, if you’re not careful, but developed, literally, to be safe to shoot in indoor shooting ranges.

The .223 Remington is a 63-70+gr round with a typical muzzle velocity of 3,000 fps, and tends to carry 1,200 to 1,300 J of KE. It tends to go very deep and fragment readily, leaving recipients in a very big world of hurt.

YouTube has many videos of ballistic gel tests with both of these rounds. They are not the same.

I am trying to figure out why you would silence a 5.56. You lop off enough velocity that the thing is subsonic, and it is going to behave like a big .22LR, which I could only really see being effective against squirrels or other small varmints. Without its completely absurd velocity it’s not going do much.

Voyager on March 24, 2013 at 10:50 AM

wasn’t there a Hugs not Drugs campaign back in the day?

22044 on March 21, 2013 at 1:47 AM

-
Way to sum it all up… Congrats on hitting the bulls-eye so succinctly.
-
Liberalism is a mental disease… One of the results of their attempts at leadership is schizophrenic slogans/laws/regulations… And Global Cooling, becoming Global Warming, Becoming Global Climate Change is just the tip of the ice burg.
-

RalphyBoy on March 25, 2013 at 1:51 PM

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