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Monday, June 03, 2013


Fighting education fanatics (Glenn Reynolds)

Is sending your child to public school parental malpractice?

For a while, I've been wondering if it's parental malpractice to put your kids in public schools. More and more, it's gone beyond wondering. For example, last week the Washington Post reported a nasty case of abusive behavior by school officials in Calvert County, Maryland: A five-year-old who brought a cowboy-style cap pistol on a school bus -- orange-tipped, and something that no one could possibly mistake for a real gun -- was interrogated for two hours (an interrogation that was so long, or so stressful, that he wet his pants) and then suspended for 10 days. Who treats a five-year-old that way?
Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, another kindergartner was punished for bringing a tiny Lego gun -- the illustration in the Boston Herald places it next to a quarter coin -- with detention, and forced to write a letter of apology to the school bus driver. For bringing a tiny piece of plastic.

What's up with this? It's not based on any concern with safety. Lego guns, cap guns, bubble guns, nibbled Pop Tarts, and fingers are no threat to safety. And the wild overreaction in these cases says there's more going on here than simple school discipline. As I said, who treats a 5-year-old this way? It smacks of fanaticism.

In fact, it seems like a kind of quasi-religious fanaticism. I think it's about the administrative class -- which runs the schools with as little input from parents as possible -- doing its best to exterminate the very idea of guns. It's some sort of wacky moral-purity crusade. If a few toddlers have to suffer along the way, that's tough. You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.
Read the whole thing.

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