THE END OF CHILDHOOD IN THE ERA OF THE EMERGING AMERICAN POLICE STATE
BY JOHN W. WHITEHEAD
December 17, 2013
It wouldn’t be a week in America without another slew of children being punished for childish behavior under the regime of zero tolerance which plagues our nation’s schools. Here are some of the latest incidents.
In Pennsylvania, a ten-year-old boy was suspended for shooting an imaginary “arrow” at a fellow classmate, using nothing more than his hands and his imagination. Johnny Jones, a fifth grader at South Eastern Middle School, was suspended for a day and threatened with expulsion under the school’s weapons policy after playfully using his hands to draw the bowstrings on a pretend “bow” and “shoot” an arrow at a classmate who had held his folder like an imaginary gun and “shot” at Johnny. Principal John 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.
In Utah, a seven-year-old boy was arrested and berated by police because he ran away from school. The boy showed up at his mother’s house late in the afternoon, at which point he explained that he had left the school of his own accord. The mother called the school and explained what happened, at which point the principal decided to call the police, despite knowing the boy was in the protection of his mother. An officer arrived at the house, told the boy to “straighten up,” took him outside, handcuffed him, and yelled at him saying, “Is this the life you want?”
In Colorado, a six-year-old boy was suspended and accused of sexual harassment for kissing the hand of a girl in his class whom he had a crush on. Child psychologist Sandy Wurtele commented on the case noting that for first graders like Hunter Yelton things like kissing are a normal part of development, and that the school’s reaction sends mixed messages to developing minds. After a good deal of negative publicity, Canon City Schools Superintendent Robin Gooldy decided to alter the offense from “sexual harassment” to “misconduct.”