A 5-year-old girl was suspended from school earlier this week after she made what the school called a “terrorist threat.”
Her weapon of choice? A small, Hello Kitty automatic bubble blower.
The kindergartner, who attends Mount Carmel Area Elementary School in Pennsylvania, caught administrators’ attention after suggesting she and a classmate should shoot each other with bubbles.
The kindergartner was ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation during her 10-day suspension, which was later reduced to two days. The evaluation deemed the girl normal and not a threat to others, Ficker said.
The Mount Carmel Area School District told ABC News, “We are confident that much of the information supplied to the media may not be consistent with the facts… The Mount Carmel Area School District takes the well-being and safety of students and staff very seriously.”
This is just one of a series of massive over-reactions we’ve seen in the wake of Sandy Hook.
Across the country, schools are locking doors that weren’t locked before, even though, at Sandy Hook, the door WAS locked. They are hiring guards, even though, at Sandy Hook, the gunman blasted anyone who got in his way. They are implementing voodoo-esque defenses, like making parents call 24 hours in advance of a visit to the school, or forcing parents to forfeit their car keys upon entering the school, or even just making everyone start signing in — as if a madman bent on mass murder would reconsider if he had to sign a piece of paper. “Oh, do I have a photo I.D. with me?…I guess, uh…never mind.”
Of course, the tragedy in Newtown shocks and dismays us. But it shouldn’t make us fundamentally change our schools, because nothing else has fundamentally changed — except our fear level. One mom wrote to me yesterday that her children’s school had scrapped its “Go inside a classroom if you hear gunfire” policy and was now telling students to run outside, or crawl into the drop-down ceiling (how???), or, if they are in the parking lot, to drive away (but not to any particular place) — in effect, endorsing panic. And a few posts below this one, a mom was protesting the $2.4 MILLION her school district is considering spending on school guards.
And, of course, they are stepped up zero-tolerance policies. Because you know if you let a kindergartner bring a bubble gun today, tomorrow it might be a bazooka.
What we have here is a group of panic-stricken people running wild embracing any policy that sounds like it might help. This, of course, delights the people who have long had a list of things they want to implement — gun control, locked down schools, video game censorship. It is time for people to stand up and say, “No, enough! Prove to me that X will save lives before we even consider it.”