A Virginia based civil liberties organization comes to the defense of a York County 5th grader at South Eastern Middle School handed a suspension for shooting an imaginary “arrow” at a fellow classmate. The 10 year old boy was suspended for a day and threatened with explusion under the school’s weapons policy after playfully using his hands to the draw the bowstrings on a pretend “bow” and “shoot” an arrow at a classmate who had held his folder and pretended to shoot an imaginary gun.
The Rutherford Institute has asked Rona Kaufmann, Superintendent of the South Eastern School District in Fawn Grove, to rescind the suspension and remove all references to the incident from Jones’ permanent school record.
“The Rutherford Institute has been called on to intervene in hundreds of cases like this involving young people who were suspended, expelled, and even arrested for violating school zero tolerance policies that criminalize childish behavior and punish all offenses severely, no matter how minor or non-threatening the so-called infraction may have been,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State. “We all want to keep the schools safe, but I’d far prefer to see something credible done about actual threats, rather than this ongoing, senseless targeting of imaginary horseplay.”
The Rutherford Institute has given the school until the close of business this Friday, November 13, to respond before it advises the child’s parents how to proceed.