Public education’s long-running “zero tolerance” fight opposite anything that suggests a thought of a firearm (including, for example, clothing, gestures, toys, food, computer images, and favorable opinions of self-defense) has claimed another victim. This time it was 16-year-old Sarah Allena Nichols, before a tyro during Prattville High School in Autauga County, Alabama, and now portion a year’s exclusion from Autauga County schools, propagandize property, and any school-sponsored function.
Her “offense” arose from a eruption gun recovered from her car.
The girl’s mother, Tara Herring, told a Montgomery County Advertiser that “Laney” (as she’s famous to family and friends) had attended Autauga County Schools given second grade. The plan, Herring said, had been for Laney to “graduate from Prattville High and afterwards go to college.”
That devise became almost some-more difficult when a Autauga County Board of Education in Feb increasing what was primarily a 10-day cessation to a stream one-year expulsion. Laney is now being homeschooled and is seeking acceptance during a internal private academy. “We desired a schools in Prattville,” her mom said. “But we have mislaid all certainty in a propagandize complement after this.”
Autauga County Schools Superintendent Spence Agee told a Advertiser that he would not criticism on a case. Herring, however, told a paper a exclusion arose from a Jan. 27 occurrence in that a masculine tyro handed Laney a eruption gun after class, that she afterwards put in a trek and eventually changed to her car. Several days later, a tyro reported to propagandize officials that Laney had been in propagandize with a gun. Surveillance cameras from a propagandize suggested Laney in possession of a eruption gun though did not constraint a tyro who gave it to her. Laney certified a eruption gun was in her automobile when confronted by propagandize personnel.
Laney’s mom does not censure a tyro who reported a occurrence and pronounced she “did what she was ostensible to do” in alerting propagandize authorities. She also does not pardon her daughter of blame for her purpose in formulating a misunderstanding. “We acknowledge what she did was wrong,” Herring told a Advertiser. She added, “I was anticipating this could be a teachable impulse for her. We’re not observant she should not have been punished.”
But Herring also strongly believes a propagandize house overreacted by commanding a one-year expulsion, deliberation a harmlessness of a occurrence and a expulsion’s probable long-term material effects on Laney’s destiny educational and practice opportunities. “[A]fter a principal and propagandize officials knew it was a H2O gun, things should never have progressed this far,” Herring said.
Media reports do not advise that Laney intentionally threatened anyone with a eruption gun or brandished it in a ominous matter. Needless to say, no injuries were reported.
Laney’s relatives have hired authorised warn in an try to have a exclusion stricken from her record. The counsel claimed in a minute to a propagandize that a masculine tyro concerned in a eventuality had been trained for bringing a H2O gun to propagandize before, nonetheless he was never expelled.
As hapless as Laney’s conditions is, it is frequency unique. Water guns, no matter what their appearance, are customarily treated by open schools as if they were a defilement of propagandize policies creatively directed during tangible firearms. A seven-year-old second grader, for example, faced exclusion final year in Portsmouth, Virginia for carrying impractical and brightly colored Nerf and eruption guns in his pockets.
There is no critical evidence that incidents like this have anything to do with legitimate reserve concerns. And while schools have a management and avocation to say order, jeopardizing a student’s destiny over harmless, typical childhood function is counterproductive and requires students to heed to undiscerning standards some of them are simply too immature to comprehend. Meanwhile, those who are aged adequate to know what is approaching of them can usually courtesy a final as capricious and ridiculous.
It might be that that a Autauga County School Board has information that a internal press does not that paints a some-more finish design of what unequivocally occurred and that somehow justifies Laney’s expulsion.
But we doubt it. We’ve seen identical overreactions distant too many times to give propagandize officials a advantage of a doubt.
So unless and until serve contribution come to light, we’re assigning a propagandize house an “F” for common sense, an “F” for practice of discretion, and an “F” for transparency.