Fetid Chicago Schools: 11-Year-Old Suspended for Broken Toy Gun

Once again we see the stupidity of the so-called “zero tolerance” policy in our fetid schools with an 11-year-old boy in Chicago who was suspended for voluntarily turning in a broken toy gun to school officials after he remembered he had it in his coat pocket when he got to school.

Chicago’s Frederick Funston Elementary School recently introduced random pat downs of students entering the school with an eye toward stopping weapons from coming into the classroom. So, when sixth grader Caden Cook was waiting in line to get into the school he remembered he had the broken toy gun in his coat pocket and voluntarily turned it in to school authorities.

Being honest was the student’s big mistake. Instead of school officials just taking the little toy and tossing it in the garbage like a sensible adult would do, the boy’s life was turned upside down from multiple attacks at the hands of school administrators incensed that the child dare to break their foolish, illogical “zero tolerance” policy.

The school not only suspended the boy but demanded that he undergo psychiatric counseling for playing with “weapons.” It’s a toy gun. Every kid plays with toy guns. There is no mental problem in that!

The boy was also subjected to hours of interrogation by school officials without his parents even notified that it was all going on.

A group called the Rutherford Institute has dedicated itself to representing kids in these sorts of absurd cases. RI has put out a statement of support for the student and demanding that the school reverse its abusive treatment of the child.

“This case speaks volumes about what’s wrong with our public schools and public officials: rather than school officials showing they are capable of exercising good judgment, distinguishing between what is and is not a true threat, and preserving safety while steering clear of a lockdown mindset better suited to a prison environment, they instead opted to exhibit poor judgment, embrace heavy handed tactics, and treat a toy gun like a dangerous weapon,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State. “In the process, school officials sent a strong, chilling message to this child and his classmates that they have no rights in the American police state.”

The simple fact is, the boy’s toy gun does not in any way whatever rise to the level of the actions the school perpetrated against him.

In fact, sensible people might rather agree that the boy did the right thing by turning in the toy. And can we again note that this is a damn toy and not a real weapon?

Zero tolerance policies have been falling out of favor all across the country as well they should.

These childish policies are merely an excuse for school administrators to get out of having to make adult decisions about what is going on in their schools. These mindless authorities simple-mindedly point to the “policy,” claim their hands are tied, and escape from having to do any hard decision-making in life.

Zero tolerance policies should be ended. They are bad for kids, bad for education, do nothing to keep the classroom safe, and are actually an impediment to the intellectual and moral growth of our kids.

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  • Sky__Captain

    Zero tolerance policies are great for school administrators as the policies require zero intelligent to execute.

    Damn straight the policies need terminated, as do the positions of the administrators at the Frederick Funston Elementary School.
    And if the ACLU were really concerned with American civil rights, they’d be all over this too.

  • Lawrence Westlake

    That headline is an insult to fetid. That aside, treating as fact and thereby relying upon an advocacy statement by the likes of the Rutherford Institute is analogous to a leftist relying upon a Sierra Club statement as “fact” in support of a screed against an industrial business. FYI, Cochise, the Rutherford Institute and its ilk have a specific agenda. They’re not an unbiased source of info. The other irony here is that “zero tolerance” policies are a lot like litmus tests and loyalty oaths: all the bastion of the dim witted.

    • CapitalistInfidel

      Please explain the “specific agenda” that the Rutherford Institute has. And what makes their involvement “biased.”

      • jim_m

        They believe in liberty, therefore Larry finds them suspect.

  • jim_m

    These zero tolerance rules are not about guns, drugs or anything else that has a zero T rule associated with it. These rules are about blind, unquestioning obedience to authority under any and all circumstances. Teach children to obey stupid, arbitrary rules when they are young and they are easier to control when they get older.

    These rules are at the center of leftist indoctrination. Don’t think for yourself, just do what the authorities tell you.

  • 914

    We know who needs to undergo the psychiatric evaluation here. And it’s not the child.

  • LiberalNightmare

    This is social engineering.

    If little Timmy learns in grade school that guns are bad, big Timmy grows up to gleefully vote his rights away.

    It really is all about the children.

  • Vagabond661

    What ever happened to the gun control moron who carried his to a school? Did he get the same treatment? If not, then this school’s staff should be called out for bullying. Let them try that with an adult.

  • Paul Hooson

    Schools have always unfortunately been unfair in some way. I went to Catholic schools until 5th grade, and teachers used to punish kids for merely dropping a pencil in class from their desk or punish kids if they talked during lunch, but then allowed all sorts of bullying and fist fighting on the playground, and did nothing. – I resisted fighting until when five kids pulled a bully routine one day, but finally got tired of it, so with one punch to head, nearly killed one of the kids on the playground. Needless to say, when his mother and an ambulance had to come, the nuns took fighting a lot more seriously on the playground after this violent reaction from me. I’m glad the other kids got the message from me that day, otherwise I would have had to break their heads open with a metal back chair in class if they continued to screw with me. I had a real violent and abusive childhood at home, so I had a lot of anger and rage inside I took to school each day – But, the whole stink was the end of my Catholic school days. Not so bad because I had a Presbyterian minister as my teacher in public school, who got me interested in weight lifting which I pursued for many years. Weight lifting was good for me emotionally.
    The school environments have never been totally fair to students. Students have been punished unfairly for many years. This zero tolerance toy gun madness is just the latest of this sort of school bullshit.

    • Vagabond661

      I hope she survived the beating.

      • Paul Hooson

        No, it was an Irish boy. I’m Irish too, so it pained me to have to fight with one of my own kind. – But, the term “fighting Irish” has a lot of truth to it. – Irish are successful in American society, but not always the most gentle of any known group. It has to be a cultural thing with us or something.

        • Vagabond661

          No worries. I was just yanking yer chain by saying it was a girl.

          • Paul Hooson

            I know, I’m a very good sport always, and I like to joke a lot myself. – But violence such as fighting in Catholic schools I attended was a very serious issue. The public schools were much better at controlling fighting. The Catholic school I attended only took playground fights seriously after I nearly killed a kid with one punch to the head, after I resisted fighting and tried to “turn the other cheek” and be like Christ for too long.

  • Alpha_Male

    I don’t think blaming the administrators and teachers is the answer here. My sister, who teaches French in a large public school, told me there are 2 words, Fairness and Bullying, that drive all discipline in public education.

    These 2 words, thrown about like the accusations of “witch” during the Salem trials, drive the current crop of No Tolerance policies and frustrate teachers and administrators as much as they do the general public.

    The abject fear of litigation means that the Straight A honor student, who forgot he had his pain meds in his pocket for his broken arm, has to suffer the same consequences as the delinquent with a discipline file as thick as a NYC phone book, after all it wouldn’t be “fair” if he wasn’t.

    Fear that a decision made by some teacher or principal could lead to a lawsuit that could be financially devastating to the district and thus the taxpayers of said district, has led most central offices to take away the decision making process from the local school authority.

    I tend to think she’s probably right in her assessment and whether it’s correct or not whose to say? I would just ask, if you see the problem, other than pointing it out and complaining, what is the solution?

    • Vagabond661

      The solution would be get it out of the government and union hands.

      • Alpha_Male

        Well Texas, like most Southern states, is right to work, thus there is no true union presence. Teachers are contracted yearly and can have their contracts non renewed for a variety of reasons. Only district superintendents are given multi-year contracts thus teachers and administrators are under heavy pressure to tow the line.
        This is not a recommendation for unions, almost all competent teachers are renewed and unions have shown to be corrupt and adept at keeping the worst in position, this is just to point out that this crap occurs regardless of the urban/rural, red state/ blue state divide.

        The problem is not with the people in the building but with our over litigious society. What is it, over 80% of the worlds lawyers reside and practice in the U.S? Almost all of our politicians are lawyers and as they say, the very first thing you must abandon as you enter the doors of law school is “common sense.” Mayhap this could be the reason we see all this mess?

        • Vagabond661

          You just don’t hear this crap coming from private schools. Are they not afraid of getting sued?

          • Alpha_Male

            Good question, one I asked myself, and the answer was simple, they don’t take state or federal funds and thus are not subject to the same rules and restrictions.

            Private and Parochial schools can take and dismiss anyone they like, they don’t have to take special needs, dyslexic, blind, deaf or any student that falls under ADA. They don’t worry about title IX, title I or the other assorted laws passed during the years.

            Parents who enroll their children sign iron clad agreements that discipline and administrative decisions are the purveyance of the school itself, there is little to no room for lawyers to go fishing for a pay day. That’s why Paul’s nuns can throw the book at a kid for talking during class but let fighting on the playground occur, it’s their decision.

          • warnertoddhuston

            You are looking in the wrong place on this one, a little bit. The zero tolerance idea was a nationalized push that started in Congress and went out as a requirement based on getting federal $$. That has been mitigated a bit since, but it was a from-the-top idea, not as much a local idea and it has little to do with the unions and more to do with administrators trying to avoid responsibility and lawsuits.

          • Alpha_Male

            LOL…I think we’re saying the same thing. A monolithic, statist, government creates a one size fits all solution to a perceived problem.

            Through the use of threats of fund withholding, financial ruin and possible loss of freedom a government wrests control of an institution designed to be controlled locally.
            With an army of sharks they soon create an environment dedicated to the continuance of the state, with the ability to shape young minds in a desired direction, regardless of familial, local or regional influence.

            That’s pretty much what’s happening and “No Tolerance” is just a symptom, pretty scary huh?

          • Paul Hooson

            I just related above how private schools had far more fighting and violence than public schools, at least in the case of Catholic schools. Public schools are afraid of lawsuits and do far better at avoiding fights than Catholic schools. The biggest difference I noticed from going to public schools from Catholic schools is the near total absence of fights. – After one Catholic high school went coed in Portland, students were questioned by police for making and distributing an illegal pornography amateur film. In addition, there were sex scandals related to priests in the city as well. – Somehow you’d expect better of religious people than all of this.