Another 1st grader suspended for a toy gun

posted at 4:01 pm on June 7, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

This sad story happens so often these days that it barely qualifies as news, but it needs to be kept in the spotlight because it’s such a perfect image depicting why the anti-gun lobby creates such a pathetic narrative in the eyes of the public. This time it happened in Pennsylvania.

First-grader Darin Simak is a little shy, a little upset and a little confused about why he can’t go back to Martin Elementary in New Kensington, but he knows it’s the result of him bringing a toy gun to school in his backpack Wednesday.

Jennifer Mathabel said her son left his usual backpack in a friend’s car the night before, so he packed another one but missed the toy gun inside.

“So I send my child to school. My child discovers a fake toy gun at about 1:30 p.m. He turns it in to the teacher and he’s sent to the office and suspended,” said Mathabel.

The updates to the story inform us that Darin’s mother sent him to school the next day anyway, rejecting the idea of a suspension. Darin was then held in “in school suspension” until his father showed up to pick him up. One option under discussion was for Darn to actually be expelled from school for the year, but that was later reduced to a two day suspension and Darin will be back in school on Monday. The incident is still on his record, though, with the school admitting no wrong-doing.

Jim Treacher formed the correct, succinct response.

Another day, another cowardly school administrator punishing kids for being kids and then hiding behind a “zero-tolerance” policy.

This got me to thinking about one aspect of these insane school policy stories which doesn’t draw as much attention, and it involves the seemingly unrelated topic of alcohol. It’s fairly common knowledge that in countries where the drinking age is lower (or not regulated) and fewer rules are applied to consumption – such as in Italy – the rates of both binge drinking and alcoholism are lower. The reasons seem obvious, at least to some. When children are allowed to indulge in and learn about supposedly “forbidden” things early in life, the subject in question loses most of its mystery and taboo appeal. But when you put something tantalizing up on a shelf and forbid access to it, the mystery deepens and it becomes irresistible.

The same applies to firearms. Families who teach their children about safe gun handling practices early in life produce better educated, safer kids who aren’t drawn to the mystery like moths to a flame. When you turn guns into forbidden fruit to the extent that they can’t even view a toy image of them, it’s just a larger magnet which settles into the youthful mind. For the kids who grow up in safe shooting and hunting families, it’s just not as big of a deal.

These school policies are self-defeating. Obviously you can’t allow children to just walk into school with an actual gun, and when that happens swift action is required. But these are toys. Kids play with toys. That shouldn’t be a puzzle for school administrators. And by creating an aura of mystery around guns, these rules simply exacerbate the problem.


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Zero tolerance is stupid. And it kills people (gun-free zones).

ladyingray on June 7, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Now imagine the kind of laws these children are going to in turn pass on this nation when they come of age.

What was once considered a slight error of judgement will become a crime against the state. An innocent mistake will bring you 20 years to life.

You know what else this reminds me of.. what they do to children in places like Iran.

Congress needs to intervene.. these policies are evil and the people who enforce them should be put in jail!

JellyToast on June 7, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Speaking of guns, yet more evidence of how the Left gleefully uses tragedy for political gain. From NewsBusters:

In Ugly Divorce, Michael Moore’s Wife Reveals He Was Offered Funding for Another Anti-Gun Film After Newtown

-snip-

…Moore’s wife, Kathleen Glynn, noted that Moore was offered funding for another anti-gun movie about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting just three days after the horror unfolded:

Glynn noted that–in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre–Moore had been offered financing for an anti-gun film. In an e-mail sent three days after the December 2012 shooting, producer Michael Donovan wrote that he was “personally prepared to finance a film” by Moore about the Newtown, Connecticut killings.

Donovan and Moore…shared the 2002 Academy Award for best documentary feature for Bowling for Columbine. While Moore acknowledged receiving Donovan’s e-mail, court records do not include the director’s response to the financing offer.

Link

Wow, a whole 3 days. What took them so long?

Del Dolemonte on June 7, 2014 at 4:17 PM

When you turn guns into forbidden fruit to the extent that they can’t even view a toy image of them, it’s just a larger magnet which settles into the youthful mind.

You mistake what the left is trying to do. They are looking to pull “A Clockwork Orange” routine on the kids (which is child abuse, BTW) and make them physically ill and dizzy if they even hear about … a gun. Of course, these are the same leftists who think that they are sounding “patriotic” when they argue that we have to get people killed and release murderers to get a douchebag deserter (and likely traitor) back “to his family”.

The left is totally insane. On top of that, they are nasty pr!cks, too, with not one shred of redeeming qualities to them. There is no living with them for decent people. We need a national divorce to be rid of these vermin. Let them burn by themselves in the hell they are intent of building.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 7, 2014 at 4:20 PM

I am just waiting for Elizabeth Warren and Libby Freordie to demand that all of these criminals be shipped off to the reindoctrination camps where they deserve to rot!

Oh my, I got into that a bit too much – am I turning into a “progressive”? It was jolly good fun.

ladyingray on June 7, 2014 at 4:07 PM

These are the true criminals. But I digress ….

Chuck Ef on June 7, 2014 at 4:20 PM

The principals in these schools are usually lib functionaries with no principals but to keep the superintendent with no principals happy.

Sherman1864 on June 7, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Last two “principles”.

Sherman1864 on June 7, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Dismantle the public schools. Privatize education. The public school system is a brainwashing tool use on our children. The systems make our children weak, dumb, and slaves to the government.

jdun on June 7, 2014 at 4:22 PM

I’m from Western Pa. New Ken was founded on natural resources. One of which is it’s beautiful hunting lands. What happened to you? You vote dim, whether you should or not. What a bunch of fools. The only problem is, my family and myself, have to deal with your idiocy. Thanks a bunch, JAGOFFS!

LastRonin on June 7, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Weeeeellllll, let’s take care of the important stuff…..like children bringing toy guns to school. Meanwhile, back in reality there are 5 terrorists recently loosed by our goon in the W.H. who are vowing to take up their war on America where they left off.

Yeah, this kid-thing is much more important. To the safety of our world. \

avagreen on June 7, 2014 at 4:26 PM

Congress needs to intervene.. these policies are evil and the people who enforce them should be put in jail!

JellyToast on June 7, 2014 at 4:12 PM

You think Congress is the solution to this stupidity? They’ll just make the problem worse.

Bitter Clinger on June 7, 2014 at 4:32 PM

all these kids getting treated like this are male. blatant sex discrimination.

jlw on June 7, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Seems reasonable.

John the Libertarian on June 7, 2014 at 4:37 PM

…if they found a condom or pot in his back pack?

KOOLAID2 on June 7, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Why do filthy democrats hate children.

bbinfl on June 7, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Dismantle the public schools. Privatize education. The public school system is a brainwashing tool use on our children. The systems make our children weak, dumb, and slaves to the government.

jdun on June 7, 2014 at 4:22 PM

While generally a fantastic idea, it is unattainable because of many states having incorporated “right to education” in their state constitutions. It would still be nice to get rid of a bunch of good-for-nothing bureaucrats in the Dept of Ed, of course.

Rix on June 7, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Nobody feels threatened by the toy gun. Nobody feels threatened by a picture of a gun drawn by a child, or by a pop-tart gnawed into the likeness of a gun, or by a child pointing a finger and saying “bang.” Someone feeling threatened, or safety in any form in not the issue they are promoting.

The idea is to sensitize children to the idea of a gun, to have them afraid of even thinking about the image of a gun, to create an attitude of thought crime regarding guns. The idea is to brainwash the kids, so when the fascists come for all the guns someday, there will be no resistence. Playing the long game.

iurockhead on June 7, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Wow, a whole 3 days. What took them so long?

Del Dolemonte on June 7, 2014 at 4:17 PM

I expect they shut it down when they found that Adam Lanza was a homosexual pederast.

Newtown Killer: Man/Boy Love, Pedophile Info On His PC

Democratics wouldn’t want to offend an important part of their base.

slickwillie2001 on June 7, 2014 at 4:58 PM

Nobody feels threatened by the toy gun. Nobody feels threatened by a picture of a gun drawn by a child, or by a pop-tart gnawed into the likeness of a gun, or by a child pointing a finger and saying “bang.” Someone feeling threatened, or safety in any form in not the issue they are promoting.

The idea is to sensitize children to the idea of a gun, to have them afraid of even thinking about the image of a gun, to create an attitude of thought crime regarding guns. The idea is to brainwash the kids, so when the fascists come for all the guns someday, there will be no resistence. Playing the long game.

iurockhead on June 7, 2014 at 4:54 PM

This is the liberal hive-mind at work. If the NRA was smart (and there is some doubt about this), then they would establish a legal defense fund to challenge these suspensions and other punishments at every opportunity. Make it painful to these school administrators, even if the court challenge ultimately loses. This is playing the long game, too.

capricorn on June 7, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Zero tolerance is stupid. And it kills people (gun-free zones).

ladyingray on June 7, 2014 at 4:07 PM

No it is not. It is the most effective thing the left has ever come up with. The left has made substantial gains using zero tolerance. In two or three generations people will fear firearms so much that they will beg to have them banned.

Dr. Frank Enstine on June 7, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Nobody feels threatened by the toy gun. Nobody feels threatened by a picture of a gun drawn by a child, or by a pop-tart gnawed into the likeness of a gun, or by a child pointing a finger and saying “bang.” Someone feeling threatened, or safety in any form in not the issue they are promoting.

The idea is to sensitize children to the idea of a gun, to have them afraid of even thinking about the image of a gun, to create an attitude of thought crime regarding guns. The idea is to brainwash the kids, so when the fascists come for all the guns someday, there will be no resistance. Playing the long game.

iurockhead on June 7, 2014 at 4:54 PM

+1,000,000. Exactly what I thought when I saw this story.

This is the liberal hive-mind at work. If the NRA was smart (and there is some doubt about this), then they would establish a legal defense fund to challenge these suspensions and other punishments at every opportunity. Make it painful to these school administrators, even if the court challenge ultimately loses. This is playing the long game, too.

capricorn on June 7, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Great idea.

PatriotGal2257 on June 7, 2014 at 5:37 PM

I work in a charity that feeds thousands in Mindanao, Philippines. Yesterday, amongst a crowd of over 2000, I saw a child–a little girl–who was holding a 16 inch toy M-16.
No one rebuked her or her mom.
Probably no one besides me even noticed.

This is on an island where Muslim terrorists kill people every week.

We understand the difference between a toy & a threat.

Apparently many over there don’t.

itsnotaboutme on June 7, 2014 at 5:37 PM

First-grader Darin Simak is a little shy, a little upset and a little confused about why he can’t go back to Martin Elementary in New Kensington, but he knows it’s the result of him bringing a toy gun to school in his backpack Wednesday.

Jennifer Mathabel said her son left his usual backpack in a friend’s car the night before, so he packed another one but missed the toy gun inside.

“So I send my child to school. My child discovers a fake toy gun at about 1:30 p.m. He turns it in to the teacher and he’s sent to the office and suspended,” said Mathabel.

 
Now tell us what you learned from this for next time, Darin.

rogerb on June 7, 2014 at 5:39 PM

LastRonin on June 7, 2014 at 4:24 PM

I’m from western PA, too, and I know a little about New Kensington. It’s been a Dem stronghold since forever, owing to the presence of industrial unions and major-league political cronyism (and the Mafia up until the 80s). Alcoa and other corporations pulled out of the city decades ago because of problems with the unions, with the predictable results of the downtown becoming an urban wasteland.

The school district administration is rife with the same political cronyism that the city government has become famous for, and as such, they deserve every bit of derision and scorn they get from outside the area. I know they probably can’t be shamed, but it will definitely get around that they’re idiots.

PatriotGal2257 on June 7, 2014 at 5:55 PM

There is a clear moral distinction between bringing a real gun to school with the intent to harm and accidentally bringing a toy gun to school.. and then turning it in to the teacher.

But the lesson they are teaching.. I should say inflicting.. upon innocent children is that intent does not matter. And that the object.. in this case, a gun.. is so evil that not even a scribble drawing or a chewed pop tart that might even resemble the gun can be tolerated… in the hands of anyone except the state!

Now the other dirty secret that I have stated in the past.. and this is in PA so it is what it is.. zero tolerance only applies to innocent people without any mental disabilities.

I worked in a school district for a year and personally pried scissors out of the hands of a student who was threatening to cut all of our heads off ..students included.. and he was not thrown out or suspended. This student had attacked other students and teachers a hundred times. The school was helpless. Why? Because he had a “personality disorder” and his violence was a symptom of that disorder and the responsibility of the school was to accommodate that student!

If you have a MH disorder.. it is a “get out of jail free” card! Zero tolerance will not apply to you.

JellyToast on June 7, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Now the other dirty secret that I have stated in the past.. and this is in PA so it is what it is.. zero tolerance only applies to innocent people without any mental disabilities.

JellyToast on June 7, 2014 at 5:59 PM

This should be front and center every time one of these stories comes up, in every forum, everywhere.

PatriotGal2257 on June 7, 2014 at 6:05 PM

You think Congress is the solution to this stupidity? They’ll just make the problem worse.

Bitter Clinger on June 7, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Actually, they already did once. Remember the federal gun-free school zones? Yeah, the one that we finally found a Constitutionalist judge to strike down? Yeah, they are guaranteed to make it worse.

GWB on June 7, 2014 at 6:48 PM

1. Reason #6841 to homeschool your kids: The teacher, and school administrators, know the difference between a real weapon and a toy, pop tart or artist rendering.

2. I think that part of this has do with trying to strip the boy out of our boys. Boys can’t act like boys in school, they must be medicated and told not to play dodgeball, war games, cowboys or other little boy activities.

kringeesmom on June 7, 2014 at 7:15 PM

When I was in kindergarten we had 2 Davey Crocket log cabins on the playground and there was a large barrel near the door with a variety of wooden rifles and swords. We had a blast and I remember it to this day. No one died and don’t even remember anyone getting hurt. As I got older we graduated to playing war in the surrounding woods. I even had a battery powered machine gun on a tripod. We all turned out normal. No serial killers or perv’s in the bunch. We were too exhausted to cut up in class so we LEARNED. Dumbass progressives!

faol on June 7, 2014 at 7:23 PM

It’s the global warming.

Galtian on June 7, 2014 at 7:46 PM

When my son was little, we gave him a jigsaw puzzle of the USA, with each state as a separate piece. He used Florida and Oklahoma as guns.

Geography is dangerous!

SkyePuppy on June 7, 2014 at 7:59 PM

This sad story happens so often these days…

Oh it does not, Jazz.
Though I have no doubt you’re sure it does.
Such is life in the echo chamber.

verbaluce on June 7, 2014 at 8:12 PM

There were a dozen toy guns at the school the other day. They were props for the 4th grade play.

bbhack on June 7, 2014 at 8:14 PM

Kids used to (and I’m sure in some sane conservative areas still do) bring their hunting rifles to school, leave them in the truck, and hunt after school.

Othniel on June 7, 2014 at 8:28 PM

“One option under discussion was for Darn to actually be expelled from school for the year…”

It’s the best thing that could happen to him. I have never for one moment regretted dropping out of high school, other than wishing I had dropped out at the junior high level instead. American public schools are nightmare factories and nothing more.

jbspry on June 7, 2014 at 8:29 PM

When I was in kindergarten we had 2 Davey Crocket log cabins on the playground and there was a large barrel near the door with a variety of wooden rifles and swords. We had a blast and I remember it to this day. No one died and don’t even remember anyone getting hurt. As I got older we graduated to playing war in the surrounding woods. I even had a battery powered machine gun on a tripod. We all turned out normal. No serial killers or perv’s in the bunch. We were too exhausted to cut up in class so we LEARNED. Dumbass progressives!

faol on June 7, 2014 at 7:23 PM

No, you became a conservative. Clearly, this must be nipped in the bud.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 7, 2014 at 8:56 PM

My school had a rifle range in the basement. Student brought their guns to school for hunter safety class. I also remember a student bringing a muzzle loader gun for show and tell.

All zero tolerance has done is increase school violence. It’s just like child services..ever since they passed the law creating child protective services all that has done is increase child abuse.

JellyToast on June 7, 2014 at 9:43 PM

This sad story happens so often these days…

 
Oh it does not, Jazz.
Though I have no doubt you’re sure it does.
Such is life in the echo chamber.
 
verbaluce on June 7, 2014 at 8:12 PM

 
+1. Mass shootings are probably the only thing that happens less frequently.

rogerb on June 7, 2014 at 9:45 PM

verbaluce on June 7, 2014 at 8:12 PM

+1. Mass shootings are probably the only thing that happens less frequently.

rogerb on June 7, 2014 at 9:45 PM

Notice the troll doesn’t have a problem with the bureaucratic overreach, just that we’re exhibiting the gall to talk about it when it happens.

CurtZHP on June 7, 2014 at 10:52 PM

If you send your child to the public school system, you cede a good deal of control and influence in their life to others. Frankly, the whining from people who have given up a huge chunk of their basic parental responsibility in life (that of rearing a child to adulthood) is old. You have options. Make use of them. You’re not a victim of the public system. Stop playing one.

Additionally, zero tolerance policies are mentally deficient (politically correct speak for ‘retarded’), but they are exactly what we as a society deserve. When school officials attempt to exercise judgment in disciplinary situations they face helicoptering parental complaints and threats of lawsuits. Don’t want zero tolerance policies at your local school? Support your local school staff when they exercise sound, but potentially disagreeable in your view, judgment regarding discipline. Of course, who would want to do that? Thus, zero tolerance policies.

So, to sum up the tl;dr post: Stop complaining and take charge of your life and your child’s through the exercise of options beyond the public school, and don’t expect any better than a lawsuit-proof approach to discipline because that’s all society allows these folks.

Back to summer!!!!

xNavigator on June 8, 2014 at 12:30 AM

This sad story happens so often these days…

Oh it does not, Jazz.
Though I have no doubt you’re sure it does.
Such is life in the echo chamber.

verbaluce on June 7, 2014 at 8:12 PM

Obviously “often” is a relative term.
If you don’t like idiotic abuse of power, then it does happen too “often.”
If you like it, then “it does not” happen often enough.

itsnotaboutme on June 8, 2014 at 5:04 AM

If you send your child to the public school system, you cede a good deal of control and influence in their life to others. Frankly, the whining from people who have given up a huge chunk of their basic parental responsibility in life (that of rearing a child to adulthood) is old. You have options. Make use of them. You’re not a victim of the public system. Stop playing one.

Additionally, zero tolerance policies are mentally deficient (politically correct speak for ‘retarded’), but they are exactly what we as a society deserve. When school officials attempt to exercise judgment in disciplinary situations they face helicoptering parental complaints and threats of lawsuits. Don’t want zero tolerance policies at your local school? Support your local school staff when they exercise sound, but potentially disagreeable in your view, judgment regarding discipline. Of course, who would want to do that? Thus, zero tolerance policies.

So, to sum up the tl;dr post: Stop complaining and take charge of your life and your child’s through the exercise of options beyond the public school, and don’t expect any better than a lawsuit-proof approach to discipline because that’s all society allows these folks.

Back to summer!!!!

xNavigator on June 8, 2014 at 12:30 AM

This is the first post I can ever recall seeing from xNavigator… but I like this guy already.

I think I got a pretty good education from the public school system, but I’m pretty certain that a couple years after I left, it all went to hell. Just the stuff I read online and the crap on the local news… what the hell happened…?

When I was in the 10th grade, a good friend worked at the local gun range. After school, he went to work loading clays and sweeping brass until the range closed. And he was a competitive skeet shooter as well, and practiced his own skills on the job, and got tips and tutoring from good shooters all the time… and it was not unusual for this guy to come to school with 3 pump shotguns and 400 shotgun shells in his trunk, to take to work after school. Somehow, it wasn’t a big deal back then… what has changed?

I have carried a knife since I was 10 years old. I have always had a pocketknife of some sort next to wherever my wallet and change and keys are. I actually carry two nowadays… but back in the tenth grade, I carried a 4 inch Buck folder in my back pocket, right next to my wallet, every single day. Somehow, it wasn’t a big deal back then… what has changed?

Schools have changed. I drive a taxi these days to pay the bills… the money is damned good, but the job still sucks. As much as I hate this job sometimes, I will sit in that car 18 hours a day for the rest of my life to see that my child is not polluted by the public school system.

PointnClick on June 8, 2014 at 5:16 AM

But it was a real toy gun!

Shy Guy on June 8, 2014 at 7:50 AM

I will share a humorous and highly cherished memory from my childhood.

I was raised a Catholic, and was sent to St. Monica’s School from grades 1 through 3.

In grade 3, I was sent home because my hands were dirty. (In Vermont, a boy with clean hands was regarded as an effete homosexual by all but the clergy…specifically, the nuns). My father was so fed up with having to deal with this BS prissy Nun nonsense, he flew into a rage and, grabbing me by the shoulder, threw me into the family vehicle and we tore off to St. Monica’s to have a tight word with Mother Superior.

“I have more important things to do with my time than make excuses why a seven year-old boy has dirt under his fingernails! I am fed up with your G**d**m Ca**ol*c Bu*l*hi*!! I’m finished with you idiots!”

And then, rather on-the-spot, I was enrolled in the public school, where, apparently, all the boys were conspicuously filthy. And the local Diocese never again received a contribution from our family.

I wholeheartedly applaud all who home-school.

If I had kids, I would home-school. I know it would be a sacrifice, but kids are worth it.

Nuns are stupid.

thejackal on June 8, 2014 at 8:20 AM

Suspending a kid for a toy gun who turned it in after he discovered the oversight? Eleventy! Welcome to the new liberal utopia.

Then again, the liberal disease otherwise known as zealous stupidity has always run very deep in our public schools.

Luthier on June 9, 2014 at 9:35 AM

When my son was 12 years old I bought a 9mm S&W police and mil pistol. I sat him down and taught him gun safety. Making sure the gun was safe I gave it to him and said to “handle it as much as you want as long as you want right now to get it out of your system. Because after today you will never treat it as other then loaded again even if it is not.”
And it stuck. He has never given the gun a second thought as a play thing and will carry it as a side arm when hunting with his uncles. (though he wants a 45 cal 1911 to go with his M-1 Garand got when he was 17) to take into the woods instead.

mechkiller_k on June 9, 2014 at 9:45 AM