Ethics Quiz, Killer Pizza Edition: Can School “No-Tolerance” Be Dumber Than THIS?

I grant you: THIS is a scary pizza. What Nick Taylor had, however, was not.

Nicholas Taylor is 10-years-old and attends David Youree Elementary School in Smyrna, Tenn., 30 miles southeast of Nashville. He is currently serving a week-long sentence at “the quiet table” during lunch time and has had to endure gun safety lectures. What was his terrible offense?

He “threatened” other students at his lunch table with a piece of pizza that was shaped vaguely like a gun because of the bites that had been taken out of it. Yes, some pathetic, parent and culture-warped weenie of a fellow student complained to a teacher that Nick was making “threatening gestures” with his partially-eaten pizza-gun.  Taylor denied it. That meant he was lying. More punishment.

Your Ethics Quiz Question—and you better not get this one wrong!—is : Can political correctness “no-tolerance” idiocy in the schools get any worse than punishing a child for the shape of his pizza slice?

Hint: NO!

“I realize some might say we are going overboard,” said James Evans,  the Rutherford County School District rep, “but the principal is just trying to use an abundance of caution and send the message that we don’t play about guns and it’s not something we joke around about.”


1. Some might “say” you are going overboard? Punishing a child for the shape of his pizza slice is beyond overboard…it is outrageous irrational over-reaction unhinged to common sense and reality, combined with politically correct zealotry grafted to incompetence, stupidity and paranoia.

2. “An abundance of caution?” Caution about what? Pizza attacks? Nascent food fights? Fear that a student’s believe that school is run by respectable adults rather than fools, hysterics and dolts lasts past the 5th grade? I’ll say it’s an “abundance of caution”—caution about completely harmless behavior that is unrelated to any conceivable real world threat is always “an abundance”—in fact, it is called “excessive to the point of absurdity.”

3. Joke? Joke? Is anything more of a joke than behaving as if a pizza in the shape of a gun is a gun, emulates a gun, creates the threat of a gun or suggests that its user is likely to use a real gun? Is there anything sillier than being afraid of a pizza?  The notion of an offense is a joke; the principal is a joke; the school is a joke; the attempted justification is a joke.

Yes, this is worse that the student of a few years ago who was punished for making a “gun” with his fingers. This is the Apocalypse, the bottom of the barrel. This disgraces teachers, schools, administrators, the U.S. educational system, America and the human race. Incompetence, unfairness, abuse of power, irresponsible behavior and stupidity, all flowing from a system that has lost its way and is in despair. We are officially in the Twilight Zone, Bizarro World, Cloud Cuckoo Land, and Oz, all to the detriment of our poor students, needing an education, and encountering only rigidity, cowardice and foolishness.

OK, now THAT was overboard.

But not by much!


16 thoughts on “Ethics Quiz, Killer Pizza Edition: Can School “No-Tolerance” Be Dumber Than THIS?

  1. Obviously, you’re not considering the fate of the children with gluten allergies, to whom that pizza is just as deadly as any firearm.

  2. Obviously, you’re not considering how many poor animals had to work as slaves to harvest the grains for the bread, produce the milk for the cheese, and had to be innocently slaughtered to produce the delicious meat toppings.

  3. If you have lost the ability to distinguish between “real” and “pretend,” you have no business teaching of running a school. In fact, we put many of those people into institutions!

    • OK, you are obligated to accept my challenge to describe what would be “worse.” The point of the only partly tongue-in-cheek query is what can be more ridiculous than taking a pizza inadvertently bitten to (theoretically) resemble a gun by a kid as a threat of any kind, real, symbolic, or existential? I have a healthy imagination, and I read these stupid stories daily, and honestly—what could be worse? A male child was recently punished by a principal for referring to his teacher, a woman, as “cute,” this being seen as budding sexual harassment. (The principal was forced to resign over the uproar.) That was idiotic for sure, but at least I can see some reasoning there, if hopelessly flawed.

  4. I never took “Debate” as an acaemic subject, so correct me if I’m wrong. I think in Debate there is a ploy called the “reductio ad absurdum” (reduction to the absurd) argument, which has nothing to do with, logic, history or reality.

    Defense of “Zero Tolerance” in the case of a pizza gun is that kind of absurdity. If it’s hard to credit that any adult, educated human being could make such a defense, think again.

    I am about to repeat a wholly unfair, mean-spirited, bigoted, prejudicial stereotype-canard:

    “Those who can, do. Those who cannot, become teachers. Those who cannot teach, teach teachers. Those who cannot teach teachers, become school administrators.”

    On the other hand, maybe not so far off.

  5. It was good he was punished, who knows, next time it could be a real gun. Middle school is bad enough with real guns, the “caution” taken because of this pizza gun is reasonable to 100%. I thank the person that punished the boy.

Leave a Reply to Jeff Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.