School Insanity: A Warning From Canada…

Jessie Sansone and his trouble-making daughter

…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.]

11 Comments

Filed under Around the World, Education

11 responses to “School Insanity: A Warning From Canada…

  1. Jeff

    No-tolerance is practiced by countries where a certain religion holds sway, sending people to death for tweeting to a certain someone. How can we really object to what they do if we won’t decry this anti-intellectual anti-common sense barbarism?

    What can be done? Can we say we won’t vote for schools? For teachers? For what? How do we properly tell these schools that this is madness?

    I said it before, and I’ll say it again: no-tolerance should be added to Obsolete Theories with antiperistasis, tired light and the Firmament.

  2. Peter

    Give me a country with a disorganized and ineffectual government, and I will have freedom.
    “When government fears the people, there is liberty. When people fear the government, there is tyranny.” T. Jefferson

  3. brook

    Yes…the story gives new meaning to “it takes a village to raise a child.”

  4. I posted this story on my Facebook page yesterday, Jack. This is, I maintain, a frightening image of what has been come to be called “soft tyranny”. The police and the CPS mouthpieces issued the usual, prefab replies. But the fact remains that a man was accosted and arrested in front of his daughter in her own school for no other reason than she drew a picture of a gun. What kind of “apology” can suffice for this? (None was really offered, BTW.)

    That little girl will now consider herself responsible (and be held as such by her classmates) for having her father led away in handcuffs from the campus. Furthermore, the local government will have successfully achieved intimidation over the populace for the sake of political correctness. This sort of thing- long standing now in Canada- is not limited to that nation. We see it here, too. And we have every right to fear- given the present inclinations of the federal government- that it can go nation wide.

  5. Travis

    I initial came across Ethics Scoreboard from a post on zero intelligence.net. Wish that site was still around. This is not the worst incident occurring do to zero tolerance policies.

  6. I miss Zero Intelligence too. I gather there was so much material that the blogger, a dad whose kid had been victimized by such policies, just couldn’t spare the time. A terrific resource.

  7. Tim LeVier

    So, despite all of these schools making the news with their No-Tolerance stance, school shootings continue. No-Tolerance hurts the good people with well intentions and does nothing to sway or deter those on a mission of murder.

    How did No-Tolerance help yesterday? Anyone?

  8. tgt

    Follow up to the Cumberland knife incident:

    http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/justice-3rd-grader-with-cool-knife-no-longer-a-criminal/

    After much backlash, the school district became sane: “The boy’s record has been cleared and his expulsion repealed. He has been invited back to school and our superintendent will be calling the local police department to urge them to drop the charges.”

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