Guns, public education, and stupidity

Stupid is as stupid does. Schools are banning all mention or expression of guns. Photo: PV Bella: The feared inanimate object.

CHICAGO, June 18, 2013 — Josh Welch is a normal eight-year-old boy. One day in school he bit a Pop Tart into the shape of a gun. “It was already a rectangle and I just kept on biting it and biting it and tore off the top and it kinda looked like a gun but it wasn’t … All I was trying to do was turn it into a mountain but, it didn’t look like a mountain really and it turned out to be a gun kinda.”  

According to the Baltimore Sun, “Josh’s March 1 suspension from Park Elementary School for chewing a pastry into the shape of a firearm captured national attention over how seriously students should be punished for such threats.” (Emphasis added.

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All hell broke loose in Arundel County, Maryland. The youngster was suspended from school. The incident made national headlines. A politician presented him with an NRA membership. Josh Welch does not even know or care what that is. He just likes to play games on his cell phone. 

What is dumber than bureaucratic buffoons and bumbling teachers? Newspapers, like the Baltimore Sun, whose reporters and editors consider biting pastry into the shape of a gun being a “threat.” They must sit on their cranial cavities. 

But wait, there’s more. In Calvert County Maryland, the son of Bruce Henkelman, of Huntingtown (an appropriate name) was suspended for talking about guns on a school bus. “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,” Henkelman said. “He wanted to be the hero.” 

The bus driver took the 11-year-old back to school, where the principal and a sheriff’s deputy questioned him. It gets worse. The deputy wanted to search the Henkelman residence for firearms without a warrant. 

SEE RELATED: Court correct to permit digital tracking of students on campus

“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,” Henkelman said in an interview with 

It only gets worse. There is this enlightening story from the annals of public education. Jared Marcum was an eighth grader at Logan Middle School, in Logan West Virginia. He wore an NRA tee shirt to school. The shirt had the NRA logo and a hunting rifle emblazoned on it. A teacher told him to turn the shirt inside out. Young Marcum refused. 

Marcum was sent to the principal, who also ordered him to turn the shirt inside out or wear something else. The young man refused again. And so the police were called. Jared Marcum was arrested. He faces up to a year in jail and a $500 dollar fine. He was charged with obstructing an officer. That had to be one violent dangerous inanimate tee shirt. Is there is such a thing as tee shirt violence? 

It appears the glorified clerks who run public schools and the sensitive souls who teach in them are turning into silly geese. How else does one describe punishing students, calling the police, or having students arrested for wearing tee shirts, creating Pop Tart art, or talking about going after the bad guys? 

SEE RELATED: Curbing violence in America: Heeding our Founders or Big Brother

Speaking of Pop Tart art, young Henkelman could be the next Andy Warhol. 

All this witless behavior over guns, inanimate objects that are harmless in and of them selves, is beyond imbecilic. It appears public school systems are being run by pea brained dolts. Our children are being taught by people who have no sense of judgement, no sense of proportion, no sense of justice, and absolutely no compassion for or understanding of children. The behavior that they’re modeling is arbitrary, irrational panic.

One could make a good argument that the actions of these bureaucratic buffoons are child abuse. If the administrators and teachers who teach in our schools started acting like adults and devoted themselves to educating children with the same zeal that they tyrannize them with their own prejudices, our nation would be producing intellectuals instead of mediocrities. 

Can you picture the next bird-brained outrage? Some kid talks about his mother using a pressure cooker to make dinner. Police are called. The school is locked down. Federal swat teams and bomb squads invade their home. The pressure cooker is confiscated, the parents arrested. Eric Holder holds a press conference touting another terrorist act was stopped. “Pressure cooker terrorism must end.” 

If some poor kid mentions God, possesses a Bible, or wears a piece of religious jewelry in public school, the result is likely to be an inquisition. 

Biting a Pop Tart into the shape of a gun is not a threat, no matter what the Baltimore Sun says. Wearing a tee shirt is not a crime, no matter what a hysterical principle says. Talking about guns to use against bad guys is not dangerous, no matter what a terrified teacher thinks. 

It appears that the adults who work in our schools are more concerned with indoctrination than with education. 

These people, like the threat-hunting reporters at the Baltimore Sun, do not even know the definition “threat” or “threatening”. They call the police at the drop of a hat for the most inane, silly, and foolish things. Worse, the police actually take some kind of action. That is totally embarrassing to those of us who have been police officers. 

When my daughter was nine or ten, she was taking her first plane trip alone. Her mother was concerned about what she should do or say if some beast tried to do something on the plane. After some discussion we came upon the perfect solution. If someone made her feel uncomfortable or unsafe, she was to calmly tell them that her father “is old and crazy and carries guns, and all his friends are old and crazy and carry guns”.

She has used that phrase on occasion. She was never arrested. No one came ripping my door off its hinges. No black clad special ops teams surrounded my home. When she said that to a high school teacher who was intimidating her in a joshing manner he smiled. He asked, “Is your father a cop?” That was the end of it.

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Peter Bella

Peter Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance photographer, freelance writer, budding videographer, and passionate cook.  He aims to be the sharp stick that pokes and annoys.  The Middle Class Guy is a political column written from a center-right point of view.  While concentrating mainly on politics he will stray into culture, entertainment, sports, cooking, and humor from time to time, along with Memories of things Pabst.  All from a middle class perspective.

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