« Teens Busted for “Hunting” Shoppers | Main | DU Needs Hunter’s Help to Save Native Grasslands »

August 24, 2007

This page has been moved to http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/field-notes

If your browser doesn’t redirect you to the new location, please visit The Field Notes at its new location: www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/field-notes.

Discussion Topic: Is Arizona School Being Proactive or Paranoid?

Nobody wants school kids packing. Everyone wants school administrators to take seriously any potential threat of violence for the safety of all students. But does a drawing that resembles a gun really call for a 5-day suspension?

From the East Valley Tribune:

An East Valley eighth-grader was suspended this week after he turned in homework with a sketch that school officials said resembled a gun and posed a threat to his classmates.

But parents of the 13-year-old, who attends Payne Junior High School in the Chandler Unified School District, said the drawing was a harmless doodle of a fake laser, and school officials overreacted.

“I just can’t believe that there wasn’t another way to resolve this,” said Paula Mosteller, the boy’s mother. “He’s so upset. The school made him feel like he committed a crime. They are doing more damage than good.”

What’s your reaction?

Comments

Mike Diehl

Chalk up another idiot move for nutty school administrators with a hyperactive pc gland.

Chris H.

Drawing guns in school is not a crime. Liking guns is not a crime. Wanting to have a gun is not a crime. A 13 year old using a gun while under adult supervision is not a crime. They said the said the drawing resembled a gun. I can make my hand resemble a gun but it is harmless. These paranoid liberal weenies need to relax.

Matt Mallery

At my old Kindergarten, the kids are told they cannot play "pow pow" which means making one's hand into a gun and playing cops and robbers, army, cowboys, or all those other things that boys were expected to do and were considered normal back in the late seventies. My how times have changed.

Black Rifle Addict

Yep..the Admin at that school over reacted, but lets face it when a idiot can spill coffee on themselves and get a $1million dollar judgement why question a 5 day suspension?

advocate of common sense

SO what happened 20 years ago in Arizona? Did parents forget to teach thier kids common sense? It seems to me those school administrators and teachers need a serious reality check.

Evan V

And next week, that school admin that suspended him will get shot.

Blue Ox

What did you want him to draw, a barbie doll? Boys will be boys, and there's nothing wrong with liking or drawing guns. Paranoid liberal weenies hits the nail on the head.

Now if this liberal thinking is true(?) 1)every child who had a Big Wheel in the '70s will join an outlaw biker gang? -2) every child in the '70s who pretended that they were firemen, will now be arsonists in their adult life? -3) every child who wanted to be a racecar driver(in the "70s) will steal a car sometime in their life? This liberal thinking today is such a waste of time for the rest of us! I knew a family in the '70s who would not let their child play with the rest of the children on our street when we would play(baseball, football, cops & robbers, etc...) He raped a girl and was later shot to death at a drug deal gone bad by his "friend" when he was in his 30's(we still thank GOD his parents' never let him draw any pictures!!!-sic)

mot

unfreaking believable.
if he'd drawn a pair of boobs would they have suspended him as rapist?

Why does everyone assume that the school officials are liberals? If you ask me, they're just covering their butts should this kid go nuts. I'm not saying that the suspension was appropriate, just another form of CYA, (which isn't unique to liberals). What if they did nothing? Imagine the outrage from the community had that kid brought a gun to school and killed his classmates. After the VT massacre, and other cases of senseless violence involving guns at school, of course there's going to be no tolerance. I live, work and play in Arizona and it's a very gun friendly state, and the 2nd amendment is valued on both sides of the isle. Western Democrats, like myself, would take issue with the assumption that liberalism is to blame for this. The fact is firearms play an important role in our culture at large, however they have no place in our junior high schools.

Why does everyone assume that the school officials are liberals? If you ask me, they're just covering their butts should this kid go nuts. I'm not saying that the suspension was appropriate, just another form of CYA, (which isn't unique to liberals). What if they did nothing? Imagine the outrage from the community had that kid brought a gun to school and killed his classmates. After the VT massacre, and other cases of senseless violence involving guns at school, of course there's going to be no tolerance. I live, work and play in Arizona and it's a very gun friendly state, and the 2nd amendment is valued on both sides of the isle. Western Democrats, like myself, would take issue with the assumption that liberalism is to blame for this. The fact is firearms play an important role in our culture at large, however they have no place in our junior high schools.

Chris H.

I disagree that firearms have no place in our junior high schools. I firmly believe that great benefits could be gained if students were offered a firearms safety and instructive shooting class. Both for students and the gun and hunting community as a whole. Of course it would have to be very closely monitored and firearms and ammunition would have to kept in a vault. Guns are not bad things. Bad people do bad things with guns. I read the document that just came out of Harvard and it shoots huge holes in every anti-gun argument. Based on this article there does not appear to be anything threatening. Which is why they need to relax. This is not like that VT tragedy. There was plenty of threatening background with that guy and not enough was done. Now everybody's knee jerks at every thing. Even a fake laser gun.

Ben North

They make laser guns? Because if they do I think we should really be alarmed about this. What if this kid has them stockpiled somewhere? What if he is plotting against school officials? What next, the Pentagon? Oh dear Lord, save us, save us from the 8th grader with the Laser guns!

Bob

Thank you Anon.

I live in Wisconsin, about as hunting and gun-friendly a state there is, but also one that votes majority democratic. (albeit by a slim majority.) While it's easy for the lazy to blame every attack on guns on "liberals" it's just not the reality; at least not up here. I know plenty of Republican Soccer Moms that are as anti-gun as the crunchiest of Madison, Wi's hippies.

This has very little to do politics, and everything to do with school administrators that have nightmares about being at the center of the next Columbine.

If we have any teachers on this board, I would very much like to hear thier input.

cd

Instead of suspending the child, maybe they should have talked to him first. No gun, much less a drawing of a gun or anything in the likeness has ever killed anyone. Careless people, criminals, and people who have made poor judgement calls with firearms are the ones that kill.

The school administration should have conducted an investigation first. Then if the investigation pointed to further action, then it should have been taken. In my opinion they reacted hastely.

Look before you leep!!!!!

teachingthefuture

As a teacher in today's world who is faced with the reality of school shootings being a frightening possibility, I am appalled at the reaction this story has received. Instead of backing the schools and teachers, many have TURNED their backs on them, insisting they are overreacting.

It is labeled as overreacting until another shooting occurs and more people die. If the teacher didn't report it or the administration didn't respond as strictly as they did (it was 3 days, not 5 -- check your facts!) and the kid was the gunman in another school shooting, people would wonder why it wasn't reported (and accuse those who didn't report it). We have a responsibility as administators and teachers to teach students right from wrong, what is acceptable and what isn't. Drawing guns on classwork is like yelling "bomb" or "gun" on a plane: it isn't appropriate and won't be accepted.

In the last eight years there have been 12 school shootings that have occurred, yet the reaction to this story is that drawing guns (an indirect threat) should be permissible? If a student is doing their school/class work, they should be focusing on the work and not on killing and guns. For anyone who thinks this is overreacting, talk to the families of Kyle Velasquez, Steven Curnow, or Cassie Bernall (all victims of the Columbine shooting in 1999) and see if they feel the way the administration and faculty handled this was inappropriate.

Chris H.

Hey, teachingthefuture, drawing a laser gun on classwork is not wrong. It might not be smart but it is not like yelling bomb or gun on a plane. Guns are not bad things and I am sick and tired of people treating them like they are. My ten year old son had to sing a contract at school that stated "He would never touch a gun". It said nothing about adult supervision or other circumstances. When I was going to take him shooting that weekend at the local skeet field he said he was worried about it because he signed that stupid contract. Let me say this loud and clear. YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO TELL MY CHILD HE CAN NEVER TOUCH A GUN. I shoot skeet and sporting clays and I hunt turkey, dove, and deer and my son can come along any time he wants. I would be willing to bet this could have been resolved if the teacher had told this student that it is a very bad idea in today's gun scared world to draw a gun, even a fake laser gun, on his classwork and it better not happen again. Drawing guns is no more an indirect threat of gun violence than drawing a car is an indirect threat that you are going to be run down. Stop freaking out about every damn thing that happens. 12 school shootings in eight years is tragic and I feel deeply for those families but how many millions of students walked in and out of schools that never did anything. I'd bet more than one drew a gun on thier paper at some point. Most people that like guns don't pose any threat to anyone. Blaming an inanimate object for anything is ignorant. This has been said before but guns are resonsible for violence in the same way that pencils are responsible for misspellings and cars are responsible for speeding and drunk driving. Did this student show any signs of violence? Drawing a laser gun is not a sign of violence!

Ricardo Rodríguez

Has somebody sued or taken any other action against Disney for the pistol draw scene in Toy Story? Woody never had a revolver in his holster but one was drawn on a magic-sketch, and in the second movie again he pretended (with his hand) to shoot the dog, who had already surrendered (gasp!). 15 seconds later the boy tried to do the same unsuccesfully.
I wonder if they got the attention of some parent assoc. of some sort or even HCI.

Evan V

Heck I'm planning my senior prank and am plotting out the security camera fields of view on a map and I told a teacher and what did I get?
"Good luck, make sure its worth it!"

Suspend me.

"Pat"

OK, did we lose track of "...WE THE PEOPLE"? If something happens that we don't like... school officials who use "ZERO TELLERANCE" instread of descretion, LIBERALS,CYA and a host of garbage can excuses isntead of taking action: write a letter, speak at a school board meeting (the 'freakiest'- allow a child to be intimidated into signing a pledge without complaining to the school board and bringing a group of like-minded people) and DO NOTHING... who is really to blame.

Noting has changed since "Let George do it" of the 1950's. We can write to Field & Stream and feel better (until next time) or we can DO something. It's kind of up to us.

P.S. I took an "assailt rifle" to school every day in December (deer season then).

"Pat", retired teacher

Will

What the crap?!! As a college student I regret the Va Tech massacre, but this is ridiculous! They should be worried less about the student who draws guns and worry more about the weirdos who draw dead bodies or people dying!

doug

I use to live in Chandler AZ and I cant believe this article. You can buy a pistol and walk out of the store the same day, you can carry that same pistol with an exposed holster just about anywhere in AZ without a permit or to register it with the police, but you cant draw a picture of it if you go to jr high? The laws in AZ for firearms are absurd enough but to have the Chandler school district to overreact like that is crazy, maybe sheriff joe will put him in tent city. its a different life out there in the desert, I spent 10 years there and I dont want to go back.

Todd Peterson

Thats obsurd!! I use to doodle all the time!!
hunting scenes guns with tons of space aged do-dads. Its not like the kid added to the picture the gun slaying all the kids on the school ground. I wouldn't let them get away with it thats for [email protected]#$ sure!

Todd Peterson

Why Did My post go under Dougs NAME!!

Butch

Why does everyone worry so much about guns when alcohol kills more students then guns ever will!!!




Our Blogs



Syndicate