Comment of the Day: “More School Abuse of Students and Culture: The Deadly Cupcake Caper”

Not really  a comment but an open letter, this Comment of the Day is reader John Storer’s response to the principal who defended the decision to confiscate toy WWII soldiers from a child’s birthday cupcakes as the latest and one of the most offensive examples of Sandy Hook derangement syndrome. I believe this particular episode in the ongoing Sandy Hook Ethics Train Wreck is more sinister than most, and John’s letter eloquently explains why. I usually don’t publish addresses and e-mail addresses to encourage readers to deluge public officials, but in this case, I’ll make an exception. Her conduct and attitude has to be noted, condemned and discouraged, and letting her know what’s wrong with both is good way to start.

Here is John Storer’s Comment of the Day to the post, “More School Abuse of Students and Culture: The Deadly Cupcake Caper”:

“This is the letter I sent to Ms Wright in its’ entirety:”

"OH NO! TINY GREEN PLASTIC SOLDIERS!!!!"

“OH NO! TINY GREEN PLASTIC SOLDIERS!!!!”

Susan Wright, Principal
Schall Elementary School
325 E Frank St
Caro, MI 48723

Ms Wright,

I am a Grand Rapids resident and I read with great interest the recent story regarding the Fountain incident, where thirty (30) cupcakes were baked for a students’ class adorned with small, plastic, green soldiers on top. The student was subsequently admonished as “insensitive” and the soldiers removed and sent home in a bag. I have a question…… are you kidding me??? I cannot believe that you are using recent events at Sandy Hook to further your own politically correct and skewed beliefs. I am not a member of your school district, but I do have a 10 year old daughter and I can tell you if my daughter was a member of your school, I would pull her out and place her in another school immediately. Your attitude is dangerous as it demonstrates a lack of tolerance. It also shows you lack depth of thought/ analysis. No one believes that a toy soldier on a cupcake will inspire violence in a grade schooler.

I think I am qualified to comment on this as I am a parent, a veteran with multiple combat and peacekeeping tours, and in my civilian capacity as a security and emergency management consultant, I advise all types of learning institutions as well as small and large businesses regarding the management of workplace violence and emergency situations like Active Shooters. You say your actions were not motivated with the intent to disrespect. I can tell you without hesitation that it was completely disrespectful. As if a plastic representation of a soldier could somehow be equated to the motivations of an insane person who chose to inflict indiscriminate violence on our children. There is no way you can spin this action as anything but what it is—an anti-military and anti-gun bias that permeates today’s education system. Within mass media outlets, it is still appropriate to “support the troops” but the reality among our supposed “enlightened” educators is a clear contempt for those who deploy to far off lands to do the jobs people like you are unwilling or unable to do.

Your response said “living in a democratic society entails respect for opposing opinions.” It would seem that this is an appropriate statement only if those opinions fall in line with what you deem suitable and as long as that opinion is the same as yours. What about the views and opinions of the family that brought the soldier adorned cupcakes. Couldn’t you have just as easily defended the parents’ actions in bringing the cupcakes if some hyper sensitive parent complained about a plastic toy on a desert? Aren’t they entitled to your representation too? In the fairly recent past, any activity that has had even the most remote connection to firearms (ie the kid who was admonished and suspended for holding up a piece of pizza that was chewed into the shape of a crudely crafted pistol), the 2nd Amendment (ie the high school kid who was failed on a research paper regarding guns and the 2nd Amendment because it was about guns) or support for service members (ie the student who was suspended for wearing a US Marine Corps shirt to school because his brother was a Marine) is met with a virulent opposition under the umbrella of sensitivity to Sandy Hook or some other school tragedy. Educated people see through this every time and your argument is feeble at best.

We expect better from our enlightened educators and administrators. Your comments and actions were insensitive, condescending, hyperbolic, damaging and ill-placed as you clearly used your position of authority to interject your own political beliefs. Pathetic. Is this what you call progressive?

John D. Storer, MSIR
Major, US Army, ret.

4 thoughts on “Comment of the Day: “More School Abuse of Students and Culture: The Deadly Cupcake Caper”

  1. At least some legislator has decided this is type of abuse of our children needs to stop (and this is abuse). A Maryland legislator has introduced a bill to ban principals from disciplining students for having objects that may resemble guns, but aren’t.

    http://www.stardem.com/news/local_news/article_d0d2f350-8838-11e2-95c9-001a4bcf887a.html

    I highly suspect it is more of a protest bill than one that is expected to pass. I am not sure if that makes it more or less ethical than if it were written in a way that it might pass. I think such micromanaging of education does more harm but good, so I think the provision requiring ‘counseling’ for principals who can’t distinguish between a pop tart and an actual firearm (pretty much ensuring that it won’t pass) is a good thing. I think a general law against students being punished for thoughts, opinions, and expression that doesn’t present a direct threat should be passed. Maybe something similar to:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    I wish we had a law like this in the country to prevent such abuses. I wish that we had a education establishment that believed in such ideals. Sadly, we don’t have either in our schools.

    • I confess that I’d be far less tolerant of Idiots in charge of children.

      I come from a country with strict gun laws, strictly enforced. But we also don’t allow people who are out of a Kafka novel to have any responsibility.

      No, you cannot ban the capital letter L because if rotated,it looks like a gun. You can ban a replica or toy gun that could easily be mistaken for a real, genuine, can kill people gun. But such an incident means a talking to and confiscation, not suspension.

      A real gun on the other hand … police intervention, focussed on how a child got hold of one. A piece of pizza – not a real gun.

      A suitable punishment for a school administrator treating them both the same is to pay them henceforth in monopoly money. If they complain, tell them that they’re only being treated the way they think others should be. They do of course have the option to find another line of work more suited to their talents if they don’t like it, but they themselves made the rules.

  2. I live in an area where guns outnumber people 3:1. Gun crime is very rare here and almost always involves alcohol or drug use. School administrators, however, are the same. I worry about my son sneaking an army man or Lego Star Wars figure with a gun to school. There is no way at 5 he can truly understand why it is perfectly OK to have those items at home, with friends, in the car, and everywhere else but it is absolutely, positively not OK to have them or even discuss them at school. I really am beginning to think that the school administrators are more damaging overall than school shooters.

    I went to a school function the day after watching a “The Mentalist” episode about a high-school principal. I pointed out a man in the crowd and asked if he was the school superintendent. The person told me he was and asked how I knew that. I answered (as Patrick Jane) “he’s the one that looks like a petty dictator”.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter 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.