Friday, March 05, 2010


Idiots in Education

Trying to come up with subjects about which to blog, I often think I should simply focus on schools because there's no shortage of idiocy in our "vaunted" public school system. Almost daily we hear of stupidity on the part of teachers, administrators and school boards. We often wonder how such people manage to educate anybody. We all also know that they are notoriously poor at their jobs.

From Ionia, Michigan comes today's example of idiocy in education. A six year old kindergarten student for pointing his finger like a gun at other students.

A 6 year old kindergarten student in Ionia Public Schools was suspended for using his hands to mimic a gun, while playing with other students at Jefferson Elementary School. The boy had no weapon, just his hands.

Mason Jammer was suspended for two days, after he was caught using his hands to make the shape of a gun, and pretend-shooting with other children. Jammer's mother, Erin Jammer, received a warning about it Friday, and spoke with him about it. When he did it again Tuesday, someone from the school called his mother to say he was being suspended.

Today, Mason's mother Erin met with Superintendent Patricia Batista, and the two agreed that the situation would be handled differently in the future.
Booys being boys and pretend shooting seems to be a major problem for educators.
“Bang, bang, you’re dead!” For most of us, hearing such threats from a preschool boy is unsettling to say the least.
In the world of hot parenting topics, boys and imaginary gunplay ranks at the top. In a culture already filled with violent video games, TV programs and images of a real war, it can be unnerving to see an innocent child pretending to kill someone. Yet no study has yet linked pretend gunplay to future violent behavior, and most child experts agree that by forbidding gunplay entirely, parents give it far more power and will probably drive it underground.

Assuming you’re willing to take their word for it, what should you do? How can you allow your kids to “experiment” and use their imagination, guns blazing, without losing your cool?
While the article recommends more restraint than the school in Michigan took, boys playing with toy guns or shooting with fingers never came close to the top of any parenting topic I've ever heard discussed amongst parents I've known. Although the author of the article admits that "no study has yet linked pretend gunplay to future violent behavior, and most child experts agree that by forbidding gunplay entirely, parents give it far more power and will probably drive it underground," she follows that up with "Assuming you're willing to take their word for it..... Hahahaha!!!

If I had a nickel for every time a teacher assumed I should take their word for something, I'd make Bill Gates jealous.

This is another sign of the ever increasing intolerance in our society of everything male. While growing up, all the boys in my neighborhood owned numerous toy guns. Cap guns, squirt guns, pop rifles, etc. We played army, cowboys and Indians, cops and robber a lot. During early adolescence we quit because we realized fully on our own that it was childish. No parents fretted or complained. My father, a clinical psychologist with a Phd in child psychology bought me toy guns (and later a real shotgun). How did we ever survive?

My mother still lives in the same neighborhood. I've yet to hear of any of those boys shooting someone or otherwise committing violent acts. Indeed, they all grew up to be, like their parents, successful professionals and such.

Ironically, one of those boys was the intended victim of a murder plot by his wife and her lover. While one of the girls from the neighborhood became a lawyer, fell in love with a convicted murderer, smuggled a gun into a psychological evaluation session and ran off with the murderer. I don't know if the murderer played with toy guns as a kid.

How many boys will have to suffer through evaluations, therapy, medication, suspensions for innocent, normal boy acts before the grown-ups come to there senses?

You might check the spam trap over at Alexandria, accessible via the Dashboard - a number of comments on the version of this post over there have vanished, accessible only by you and moderator Stuart.
You would have been a great homeschool dad.
Thanks, Marbel. I do a fair amount as it is.
Dadvocate, I share your childhood experiences...this is just as you say, another example of an attack on maleness.

I have four sons, 29, 27, 20, and 13. They have all played with toy guns, and now the older three have the real thing. They are all fine Americans (two in the US military), with no violent tendencies at all.

I think the teacher made a good point about playing along with them..."Ya' got me! I'm dead!" That's what we always did. As you said, the grow tired of it soon enough.

Crazy people! Good post.
Thanks, Andy. Congrats on 4 great sons. I'm sure you deserve a lot of credit.
I encourage every person I know, conservative and liberal, to get involved with cleaning up their local school system. What you find happening will shock you no matter what your political sensibility, often for the same reasons.

And I discovered back in Georgia, and here in New Orleans, that if you only focused on school issues, you would never want for material to write about.
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