What are normal, reasonable people who are concerned about the shrinking liberties around them to do?
(I don’t have an answer right now, but that is the urgent question episodes like the ones described in this post raise.)
In 2020, I’ve written about two head-exploding stories involving innocent children forced by their school’s hysteria over the Wuhan virus to allow Big Brother’s eyes into their homes, and who found themselves being demonized and punished because of the completely legal and harmless items a teacher saw there.
First there was the asinine June incident in Baltimore County Maryland, where a 5th grade teacher at the Seneca School saw a BB gun hanging on the wall in an 11-year-old student’s bedroom. She took a screenshot of the child’s room, then notified the principal, who alerted the school safety officer, who called the police. They, in turn, made an unannounced visit to the student’s home.
At least they didn’t kneel on his neck. “I feel like parents need to be made aware of what the implications are, what the expectations are,” the child’s mother, a military veteran, told reporters. “No,” Ethics Alarms concluded, “Parents need to tell schools, administrators and teachers, what parents will tolerate, and the public education system needs a thorough upgrade and overhaul.”
Then, in September, we discussed an even more ridiculous episode. Colorado seventh grader Isaiah Elliott was attending on online art class when a teacher spied Isaiah’s toy gun, a neon green and black plastic “weapon” with an orange tip and the words “Zombie Hunter” printed on the side. The teacher notified the school principal, and the school called the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, which conducted a welfare check on the boy without calling his parents first. Isaiah, meanwhile, was suspended for five days. The conclusion here on that fiasco:
“The teacher should be fired and the principal should be fired. Isiah’s parents appear to be raising hell. Good. They would be terrible and irresponsible parents if they didn’t. There is an ethical duty to confront this creeping state child abuse and indoctrination.”
I wish I had the time to check on the final outcome of these stories.
We do know the outcome so far of this story, of the same revolting genre, that I missed in September. Louisiana’s Jefferson Parish Public Schools suspended Ka’Mauri Harrison, a 4th grader, for six days because he briefly allowed his BB gun to appear on his screen during a Zoom class. The boy explained that he was moving the BB gun so his brother didn’t trip on it when his teacher saw it on her screen. The school system refuses to remove the suspension from his record, even though a new law, named in Ka’Mauri’s honor, was passed to prevent such abuses by schools from happening to other students.
The absurd position of the school district remains that Ku’Mauri brought a real gun to school, because his teacher thought he had brought a gun to school, even though 1) the Harrison home is not “school,” and 2) thinking a BB gun is a real gun doesn’t make it one. During the hearing on the incident, school Board member Simeon Dickerson, a former teacher, asked Nyron Harrison, Ku’Mauri’s father, to “think of how the teacher felt” seeing a gun on her computer screen.
“I know what a BB gun looks like. And you know what it resembles? A real gun. OK? It resembles a real gun,” Dickerson said.
My response would have been a terse, “So what? I don’t care what it resembled: what is legally in my home is none of your teachers’ business. Did the teacher think my son was a threat to use his BB gun to attack the other students and the teacher right through the computer? Is that what she “felt”? The teacher is the one with the problem, and schools shouldn’t be hiring hysterics.”
At the time, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, a Republican, used the incident to condemn”blatant government overreach by the school system.”I have begun investigating this matter and plan to take action in defense of this young man and his family and all families who could suffer the same invasion of their homes and constitutional rights,” Landry announced. Good sound bite! It’s three months later, and nothing has happened to undo the damage to Ku’Mauri’ Harrison. Of course, the election is over, so there’s no rush.