Dear Betsy DeVos: Can You Condemn This Pervasive Child Abuse And Anti-Gun Indoctrination In The Public Schools, Please? Thanks!

Caitlin Miller, 5, was playing with her best friends during recess at the Raeford, North Carolina school playground. Her two friends were pretending to be a king and queen, and Caitlin was in charge of protecting the kingdom. She picked up a small stick (above) and pretended to shoot imaginary intruders entering the kingdom.

The 5-year-old was sent to the principal’s office and suspended for one day for “turning a stick into a gun and threatening to shoot and kill other students,”  the school’s ridiculous assistant principal wrote in a note to Caitlin’s parents. Caitlin, says her mother, doesn’t understand why she was being punished. I don’t blame her. She may soon come to the conclusion that using one’s imagination is wrong, and that guns, even imaginary guns are evil. Or, in the alternative, she may decide that teachers and principals are fools, authority is abusive, and public school is a something to be feared and distrusted.

I would urge her toward the second conclusion rather than the  first.

The Hoke County School District issued a statement that “will not tolerate assaults, threats or harassment from any student.”

See what I mean, Caitlin? You didn’t do any of that, but you are being taught by lying, authoritarian jackasses.

“Any student engaging in such behavior will be removed from the classroom or school environment for as long as is necessary to provide a safe and orderly environment for learning,” the school system continued.  Hmmm. An environment in which a 5-year old is intimidated and abused for creative, harmless, age-appropriate play is not safe.

Caitlin’s mother told reporters that the girl returned to school  after her one-day suspension, and felt alienated from her friends and teachers as a result of the punishment. Of course she did. She was treated like a threat and a miscreant. She was used as a prop to indoctrinate her classmates.

“She feels like all the teachers hate her,” mom  wrote on Facebook. “I can’t imagine being five and feeling that way.”

She also said she felt Caitlin’s game at recess was “blown way out of proportion.”

STOP. This is how schools continue to get away with such crap. Don’t trivialize or equivocate by using phrases like “blown out of proportion.” Your daughter was traumatized. Your daughter was treated unfairly and cruelly. The school abused its authority, and the staff engaged in child abuse. Call it what it is, and don’t let them shrug this off as a “no-tolerance policy.” It is wrongful conduct. The school should be made accountable, and its attitude be made to change. If it doesn’t, it is negligent parenting for you to allow your daughter to be subjected to the risk of such treatment, or to be taught by those with such atrocious judgment. Fix this.

Secretary DeVos?

51 Comments

Filed under Childhood and children, Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Family, Government & Politics, U.S. Society

51 responses to “Dear Betsy DeVos: Can You Condemn This Pervasive Child Abuse And Anti-Gun Indoctrination In The Public Schools, Please? Thanks!

  1. Wayne

    Suspended for playing with a stick and pretending it’s a gun at age 5? The school district is obviously run by morons. Best to get the girl out of there and into a private academy.

  2. 1. Why do people question others wanting school choice when this kind of crap is going on in our public schools; this is not teaching, this is institutionalized psychological indoctrination in the negative form.

    2. Begin the brainwashing at the youngest possible age and the sheep will be easier to control when they become adults. Society will be assimilated, resistance is futile.

    Question: How do you fight public school systems that blindly use rationalizations like “It’s for a good cause”, “These are not ordinary times.”, “It’s for his own good”, “It’s The Right Thing To Do” to name a few, to justify institutionalized psychological indoctrination?

    • Let us take a look at this quote:

      “I hope people understand the asymmetry of the access to Free Speech between powerful groups and marginalized groups.

      The “Marketplace of Ideas” really means “If you have more money, you can buy more Free Speech”. All that remains for disenfranchised groups to exercise their Free Speech is through illegal means like vandalism. But then we’re told we’re ‘sinking to their level’.

      Never mind the fact that ‘Free Speech’ which consists of telling lies that cause direct harm to people is morally reprehensible… ”

      It appears, based on this quote, that vandalism and other illegal means are necessary to combat public schools.

    • dragin_dragon

      1) Yep. Exactly what it is.
      2) See my oft repeated quote from Adolph. He figured if he could get the children, the Reich would last for a thousand years.
      To answer your question, you don’t fight them, you by-pass them. Break their monopoly, allow education to take on elements of the free market and break the power of the various education unions. Having done all that, dissolve the Department Of Education, which is responsible for instigating and perpetuating most of the indoctrination.

      • We can start by encouraging kids to disregard school rules.

        A school that acts in this manner has lost respect, and as such its rules are void.

        • Michael Ejercito wrote, “We can start by encouraging kids to disregard school rules. A school that acts in this manner has lost respect, and as such its rules are void.”

          That’s a bad idea; is has obvious consequences outside this particular institutionalized psychological indoctrination abuse.

            • Michael Ejercito asked, “Like what?”

              You’re kidding, right?

              • Wayne

                Like clocking the smaller kid in your class on the playground. Or telling a teacher in class to “f@&k off!!”

                • When a teachers loses the presumption of respect, they should be told to “f@&k off!!” .

                  • Michael Ejercito wrote, “When a teachers loses the presumption of respect, they should be told to “f@&k off!!” .”

                    Now you using Animal House School of Thought.

                  • …but the consequences for that child can be catastrophic. Children are not mature enough nor in a position to tell a teacher off.

                    I agree that the social compact means the teacher and school have responsibilities that may be ignored on their part until adults call them on it.

                    For example, my grade school son was being physically bullied by a teacher’s child. He reported it, then told his parents when nothing was done. We went to the teacher, who had no intention of alienating another teacher by criticizing her offspring. We went to the school counselor, with no effective action taken (he told the child he should not pick on others.)

                    We went to the principal. Promises were made, by all involved, to stop the bullying. Nothing changed. When we pointed out the bullying, we were made to feel that we were the problem (after all, we ‘fixed’ the problem by addressing it and deciding it would go away without actually doing anything to offend the little darling’s mother, a teacher).

                    My next step was to take the documentation from the principal meeting, add our further incidents, and inform the school that our son was a karate student who we told not to retaliate. The next time my child was tripped, or punched, I instructed him to defend himself, since the school had broken the social compact to defend him. I also let it be know that a lawyer would be contacted should my child be punished for what they were allowing the bully to get away with.

                    Next time the bully began threatening, my son dropped into ‘ready stance’ and the teacher in the area immediately intervened, taking the bully to the office. The bullying stopped, and my son did not have to hit back.

                    An adult handled the situation in a calm, rational manner, using tools that the administration understood (threatened their jobs by documenting and contacting a lawyer, then setting up the situation under which they had no choice but deal with the bully)

                    But had my son simply hit back, he would have been labeled the aggressor in order to placate a teacher. This was the school’s preferred method of dealing with the situation: blame and punish the victim. Until the stage was set, he could not defend himself without worse consequences.

                    Telling a teacher off is the job of adults, and the apathy rotting American society is what allows this to continue. Get involved if it is wrong, and start correcting things.

      • dragin_dragon wrote, “Yep. Exactly what it is.”

        It’s too bad that others don’t see it for what it truly is and are able to communicate what it is and the dangers of it to the public in a manner that the common person can understand. I’ve found that people know that something like this is terribly wrong but they lack the education to identify the problem and communicate the problem so they just sit it out thinking that they’ll look foolish facing down the school board who are “obviously” more intelligent – they go with the flow. Dumbing down creates ignorance and an unwillingness to confront pompous intellectual bureaucrats.

        dragin_dragon wrote, “dissolve the Department Of Education, which is responsible for instigating and perpetuating most of the indoctrination.”

        That’s the same conclusion that was discussed in “the dumbing down of america”.

    • Alex

      In my experience the way you fight back is by picking a trivial and on its face simple request that will be backed by parents all over the district (e.g. inconvenient school bus times). Get involved in the PTA and become a constant pain in the ass to the administration. Fight all the trivial and stupid battles as they’re the hill you’re willing to die on. Then when something really important happens, these folks will give you whatever you want just to avoid one more fight.

      I do not advocate this, but I’ve seen it happen… and it disheartens me.

      • dragin_dragon

        This is pretty much the same philosophy used by the leftists who find fault with spelling and grammar errors from people who disagree with them. Unfortunately, it is backfiring on them in this age of touch-screen phones utilizing auto-complete, and, I think will backfire on folks trying it with a school board. Little-boy-who-cried-wolf-syndrome is the obvious result.

      • The trouble is that these actions will only fix the current problem, maybe. It won’t fix the actual problem which is the thought process that drives them to these idiotic decisions. They are stupid and held in a higher esteem than they deserve.

  3. Other Bill

    So, kids can’t play cops and robbers or army on the playground?

    • Other Bill

      Or Starwars?

      • Glenn Logan

        Oh, hell no! Especially not Star Wars!

        You can’t even get a concealed carry permit for a blaster here in Kentucky, and we let you carry almost anything you can get your hands on concealed. 🙂

        • J Lo

          I think we have an enlightened child who saw the stick for what it really is, not a gun or Star Wars blaster but a Series 1 Star Trek Phaser: http://www.thinkgeek.com/images/products/zoom/star_trek_phaser.jpg

          There are such strong parallels to recent topic postings here. What would be worse, a teacher’s judgment or that of a TSA employee in this situation?

          The challenge with zero tolerance policies, like “3 strikes” sentencing or anti-bullying/anti-violence safe space zones is that the world is not black and white. Simple hard and fast rules dispense simple and rough justice in hard cases. Proponents of these policies don’t care so much about outcomes or the trivialities of administration. They just point to the problem and say something had to be done.

    • Jeff

      No, Bill, they can’t. But they are encouraged to play “Gender-Neutral Marxist”, a game in which all the players sit idly, waiting for some other children to do all the playing for them.

  4. Was this a straightforward application of an unreasonable rule, or an unreasonable application of a facially reasonable rule.

  5. Other Bill

    Maybe the school administrators were pissed at her for having the nerve to purport to defend the patriarchy/oligarchy by force. Intersectionality, you know. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSbl16vTovU

  6. Jeanne Poole

    Here’s a mnemonic: the PrinciPAL is your pal. Principle’s office is where I imagine you would like to envision yourself.

    • That’s some pal! “You picked up a little stick: I am now forced to shame, humiliate and abuse you!”

      With pals like that, who needs alligators?

      • Jeanne Poole

        It was actually a mnemonic to help you remember how to spell it correctly. Still, far be it from me to interrupt your rant.

        • You’re obnoxious.It’s called a typo. I make them constantly. Nice people flag them straighworwardly, so I can fix the errors. I also write deciet for deceit, recieve for receive, write for right, fot for for, teh for the, and more, including never spelling Jason Veritek’s name right. Have cute mnemonics for those, too? I do not, however, mix up ensure, assure and insure, or use which and that incorrectly, like virtually everyone else. Go figure. I know how to spell “principal,” as you could have told by the fact that I spelled it correctly as well as incorrectly, and I damn well know how to spell “principle,” it being one of the 100 most used words here. This post wasn’t a rant, (you’ll know when I write a rant) and you can either add something constructive, make a substantive critique, or bite me.

          Pedantic and insulting comments like that are just trolling. It was so off the wall that I had no idea what you were doing. Now that I know, it’s even more annoying.

          • Jeanne Poole

            Well, for a start, there’s always “i before e except after c, and in sounds of a, as in neighbor and weigh.” And, truth to tell, I have, in the past, flagged them in a straightforward manner.

            I did not suggest that your post was a rant. I thought your response to me was a rant. If I was incorrect, I apologize. Is this response of yours to me a rant?

            And it most certainly was not my intention to engage in a battle of pedantic and insulting comments with you.

        • It’s nice of Jeanne, a fully licensed official of the local grammar police to join us.

          Jeanne, there are some things in life that make a person look pompous and petty, acting like the grammar police in the manner in which you choose to do it is one of them.

          P.S. Jeanne, what is this “rant” you speak of that you were so pompously interrupting.

  7. Matthew B

    What hasn’t been mentioned yet is the failure of the school board to govern.

    I looked at the quick stats online, and this isn’t a big school district. 8 elementary schools, 4 middle and 3 high schools. Nor is this a urban area. This is a rural area in a red leaning state. Politically, this crap should be costly to school board members who don’t deal with it appropriately. Having attended school board meetings in a small town after this type of event, I can tell you it won’t be nice if they don’t call out the school administrators.

    • Emily

      The depends on how the school board is selected. Just this past election I learned that our local school board had been appointed by the governor of Maryland– which is ridiculous to start with, and especially because I’m on the eastern shore: a red, rural part of a very blue state. (I moved here as an adult and my daughter isn’t school-aged yet, so I had no idea.)

      Luckily, I learned about this because we had a vote on voting in our own school board, which passed easily. But it just goes to show that you can’t assume who the school board is answering to.

    • Isaac

      I attended grade school in a red state too. I can tell you, the teaching and administrative jobs there attract a lot of hardcore liberals, even if they aren’t the majority outside of school. If you’re 8 years old, you’re going to spend half your day being enlightened by progressives, even if you live in Mule’s Butt Nebraska.

  8. John Billingsley

    Seems like this heinous crime of shooting imaginary people with an imaginary gun would rank about a 4 on the no-tolerance insanity scale. Looks like the only real danger was that the ‘shooter’ could have gotten a nasty splinter.

  9. John Billingsley

    My grandson lives in Austen. Don’t know if he has a good stick but I did give him a dinosaur bubble gun to get in trouble with at preschool.

  10. Isaac

    A girl pretending to have a gun is obviously being corrupted by the patriarchy, so the school had to act in defense of their values. Maybe she can atone for it by teaching the boys to play with dolls.

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