Here we go again, folks, a bunch of school officials that have leaped far beyond the boundaries of legality.
The sixth grade son of Bruce Henkelman was on the school bus heading home and talking to his friends. The topic was Sandy Hook Elementary School and their own safety. Henkelman’s son told the other kids that he wished he had a gun so that he could make sure they were all safe. The bus driver overheard what he said and since he used the “G” word – GUN – the bus driver took the lad back to the school where he was grilled by the principal and a sheriff’s deputy.
Darrel Prioleau, principal of Northern Middle School in Owings, Maryland determined that the boy’s use of the “G” word was so heinous that he suspended him for 10 days. Then the deputy took the boy home and explained to Bruce what happened. At the insistence of Prioleau, the deputy tried to search the home for guns, but since he didn’t have a warrant, Bruce didn’t let the search take place.
Henkelman told a local radio reporter:
“The principal told me that with what happened at Sandy Hook if you say the word ‘gun’ in my school you are going to get suspended for 10 days.”
“He said, I wish I had a gun to protect everyone. He wanted to defeat the bad guys. That’s the context of what he said. He wanted to be the hero.”
“[My son] was very scared at the fact that he was interviewed by the principal and a sheriff’s deputy alone. He didn’t know where I was.”
Referring to the deputy, Henkleman added:
“He started asking me questions about if I have firearms, and [the deputy said] he’s going to have to search my house. Search my house? I just wanted to know what happened.”
Many schools have zero tolerance rules in place, but according to the Robin Welsh, deputy superintendent for the Calvert County School District, they do not have any zero tolerance rules in their district. However, when asked about the boy’s suspension she responded:
“There has to be some violation within the code of conduct that would trigger some type of consequence or intervention.”
After the story was made public, the school reduced the suspension to only 1 day, but it will still be on his school records. In a surprising turn of events, the ACLU got involved and commented on what happened and I have to say, as rare as it is, that I agree with the ACLU. Sonya Kumar, a staff attorney with the ACLU said:
“It’s appropriate for school officials to investigate when there is a concern about student safety. But based on what’s been described to us, once the school official concluded that all the young man wanted to do was to be safe at school and that he posed no risk to anyone, the suspension was really inappropriate.”
“The school should have been assuring him that they were going to take steps to keep all students safe, not punishing him.”
“Across the board, we are concerned about practices where we have these sort of knee-jerk reactions without really stopping to think and use our common sense about whether what a kid is doing or saying actually presents any sort of concern for the safety and well-being of others.”
Educators across the land have been irrationally reacting to the most innocent things of kids being kids. In the wake of liberal extremism, they expect kids as young as 5 years of age to think and act like adults and they’re not. They don’t process thoughts and ideas like an adult although some adults may be worse at processing thoughts than young kids, but they all vote Democrat.
In the case of Bruce Henkelman’s son, all he wanted to do was protect his friends and the school slams him into the ground as if he was pulling the trigger of an automatic rifle. What kind of message did that send to the boy? Do you think that would encourage him to be thoughtful of others and want to help, or did it send a message that you are better off keeping your mouth shut and not caring about others?
If I were Bruce Henkelman, I would be talking about legal action to get his son’s record completely expunged and seeing that school principal Darrel Prioleau is reprimanded and given mandatory training on how to deal with kids without violating their constitutional rights. Perhaps he also needs to take some classes in child development so that he learns the difference between kids and adults. I’d also demand some type of disciplinary action be taken against the bus driver for making an issue out of an innocent statement.