…And the warning is: the police and schools aren’t this crazy and irresponsible in the U.S. yet, but all the signs are present. From the news in Ontario:
Police arrested a Kitchener, Ont., father outside his daughter’s school because the four-year-old drew a picture of him holding a gun. Jessie Sansone told the Record newspaper that he was in shock when he was arrested Wednesday and taken to a police station for questioning over the drawing. He was also strip-searched.
“This is completely insane. My daughter drew a gun on a piece of paper at school,” he said.
Officials told the newspaper the move was necessary to ensure there were no guns accessible by children in the family’s home. They also said comments by Sansone’s daughter, Neaveh, that the man holding the gun in the picture was her dad and “he uses it to shoot bad guys and monsters,” was concerning.
Police also searched Sansone’s home while he was in custody. His wife and three children were taken to the police station, and the children were interviewed by Family and Children’s Services.
That any school administrators and police personnel would believe for a second that this cruel and hysterical conduct could possibly be in the best interest of a child is mind-shattering, yet this occurred in the alleged Mecca of reasonable government that has lured so many disillusioned Americans into moving north of the border. Could this happen here?
Not yet, perhaps, but this did: in Cumberland Elementary School in Sunnyvale, California, a third grader accidentally brought his pocket knife to school, having left it in his pants from the weekend. An hour after school was dismissed, he showed it to his friends while playing on school grounds. One of them told her mother. She reported it to the school, which reported it to the district, and the district dutifully called the police, one of whom allegedly told the boy that if the officer saw him with a knife again, he could shoot him. And the child is being expelled, despite the urging of the principal that the punishment is too harsh. Of course it’s too harsh; the kid is eight. This is no-tolerance however—fairness, rationality, responsibility, proportionality,kindness…none of these matter. No tolerance is about fear, not right and wrong.
If we want to know what fear can do to ethical reasoning, all we have to do is look to the north.
[Thanks to tgt for the second story.]