Saturday, February 27, 2010

Very Serious About Safety

We stopped by the library on Thursday, not realizing it was toddler story-time, and saw a familiar face - Wyatt's 4th grade teacher, from public school.  That was his last year in public school, and she was going on maternity leave soon after.  We had a friendly, if brief, visit and I was glad I'd made a point of talking with her (and Tate's teacher) at the end of that school year, letting them know that our decision to homeschool had nothing to do with them personally, that the boys had had a good year, etc.  

But it did remind me of a funny incident...

The 4th and 5th graders earned fake money for things like turning their work in on time and good behavior.  Then they would have "Economy Hour" a couple of times a year.  The kids were encouraged to either set up some kind of carnival booth or have something to sell - not go buy things to sell, but something they had made, or sometimes things they didn't want (used Legos, hotwheels, etc.)  So Wyatt decided to draw pictures and sell his art.  He drew three different scenes, made photocopies, and off he went.

He had drawn:
1.  A western scene with a train passing in the distance and the sun setting behind it.
2.  A speedway scene with cars racing around a track and a huge, fiery multi-car crash.
3.  A WWII submarine being hit by a torpedo.

Which is when I got the phone call from the teacher.  She had confiscated all his submarine pictures because...

they violated the school weapon's policy.

No kidding.  She was completely serious.  She was protecting the student body from danger.

I had a difficult time not laughing.

But I did begin to wonder... how are kids going to study history, which is full of violence and war?  What about literature?  Shakespeare's Macbeth, all bloody hands and daggers.  Current events?  Nope, can't touch those either.

And what about boys being boys?  I don't suppose they're going to be allowed to pick up sticks and play sword-fighting at recess.  Or pretend to save the world from invasion by aliens, with their imaginary laser-blasters.

But a glimmer of hope crossed my mind that day, as I congratulated her on her pregnancy.  She might, she just might have a boy.  So when I met her at the library this week, I looked around quickly, to see which little person was with her.... a girl.  *sigh*  And that's all well and good and lovely and all that.  And I congratulated her again.

But I was thinking...

I hope she has another one.
And I hope it's a boy.
And I hope he climbs trees, and gets dirty, and chews his toast into a gun and ka-POWS her across the breakfast table.


Felicity said...

yup! You just can't stop boys being boys!

leah said...

Tell me about it! Matt runs around yelling "BAM!" (big blaster), "fwipfwipfwip" (laser gun), and "PFFFZZZZ" (super laser gun).

And we don't own a gun at all. He only watches innocuous cartoons. He's just a boy, and boys play differently than girls!

Our friends with little girls think the boys are "unruly" and "aggressive." LOL. Even Nolan runs around yelling "bip bip bip!" and "kapow" to get his brother back.

Anyway- take a gander at this story:

Some public schools have gone CRAZY!

Q said...


Herding Grasshoppers said...

Leah... that's NUTS!

Here's another one,

Boy Reprimanded for Lego Toy

leah said...

Wow- I really think the schools have gone nuts. There was a case in California (I think it was California) where a child was suspended over a box of Tic Tac mints, because the bus driver thought they looked too similar to pills... I'll have to find that story. Ridiculous.

The "zero tolerance" policies have to end- any policy that doesn't allow for common sense and a fair review of the incident is a bad policy.

Ritsumei said...

What a mess. I doubt that the folks making these policies have ever raised a boy. In the teacher's defense, if she didn't do anything SHE might have gotten in trouble, it may have been some school board do-gooder or an over-zealous principal at the root of the problem. I suspect that there are plenty of teachers that know it's ridiculous, but whose hands are tied.

Still. Just one more reason to homeschool, chucked on the pile.

Tina Marie said...

I am just now getting around to reading this post. One of my friends is a foster/adoptive parent. Her husband works for the police department and is the guy that goes in when CPS needs to investigate and remove a child...or return a child who has been abducted (which he has done on many occasions).

One of their sons, was a senior in high school...a model student, active in his youth group, blah blah blah. During a random car search, they found Air Soft guns, you know, the ones with the big orange tip signifying they are toys, in the trunk of his car. He had them there because their family currently had very young foster children in the home and he was keeping them locked up from them.

He was expelled and forced to finish his SENIOR year at alternative school, thanks to the zero tolerance policy.

Herding Grasshoppers said...


That is INSANE.

There is no logic. No rhyme nor reason to it.