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A school in Pennsylvania has figured out that an imaginary arrow poses little danger to students and has rescinded a suspension imposed against a 10-year-old student, according to the Rutherford Institute.
The decision was made by school officials at the South Eastern School District in Fawn Grove, Pa.
WND reported in December Rutherford protested to the school over the suspension of student Johnny Jones.
“We request that you rescind the suspension and immediately remove all reference to it from Johnny’s permanent school record,” said the letter, signed by Rutherford Senior Staff Attorney Douglas R. McKusick.
“There is no reason that Johnny should be stigmatized and branded a miscreant due to the school’s unreasonable application of its zero tolerance policy against him,” he said.
WND has reported cases in which students were punished for an image of a gun on a T-shirt, bringing an image of a gun maker’s logo to school and eating a piece of pizza into the shape of a gun.
In one case, a father was arrested and strip-searched when he arrived at school to pick up his 4-year-old daughter after she had drawn a picture of a gun. Authorities wanted to know if the daughter drew the picture because he had a gun in his home.
“The Rutherford Institute has been called on to intervene in hundreds of cases like this involving young people who were suspended, expelled, and even arrested for conduct no matter how minor or non-threatening the so-called infraction may have been,” said John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute and author of “A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State.”
“We are gratified that the district recognized that allowing the suspension to remain on this student’s record was a senseless targeting of imaginary horseplay.”
The decision came after a face-to-face meeting with the student’s mother, set up by attorneys on both sides.
Rutherford reported the case developed in October, when Johnny Jones asked his teacher for a pencil during class.
“Jones walked to the front of the classroom to retrieve the pencil, and during his walk back to his seat, a classmate and friend of Johnny’s held his folder like an imaginary gun and ‘shot’ at Johnny. Johnny playfully used his hands to draw the bowstrings on a completely imaginary ‘bow’ and ‘shot’ an arrow back. Seeing this, another girl in the class reported to the teacher that the boys were shooting at each other.”
The report continued: “The teacher took both Johnny and the other boy into the hall and lectured them about disruption. The teacher then contacted Johnny’s mother, Beverly Jones, alerting her to the ‘seriousness’ of the violation because the children were using ‘firearms’ in their horseplay, and informing her that the matter had been referred to the principal. Principal John Horton contacted Ms. Jones soon thereafter in order to inform her that Johnny’s behavior was a serious offense that could result in expulsion under the school’s weapons policy. Horton characterized Johnny’s transgression as ‘making a threat’ to another student using a ‘replica or representation of a firearm’ through the use of an imaginary bow and arrow.”
Rutherford reported the school policy prohibits the possession of “weapons,” defined as including any “knife, cutting instrument, cutting tool, nunchaku, firearm, shotgun, rifle and any other tool, instrument or implement capable of inflicting serious bodily injury.”
Replicas and look-alikes also are banned.