Forget the old “hide your kids, hide your wife” from criminals line that went viral a few years back.
Parents, you may have to hide your kids’ toys from their own idiot teachers.
Isaiah Elliott attends Grand Mountain, a K-8 grade school in the Widefield District #3, just south of Colorado Springs.
On Thursday, Aug. 27, the seventh grader was attending on online art class when a teacher saw Isaiah flash a toy gun across his computer screen. The toy in question is a neon green and black handgun with an orange tip with the words “Zombie Hunter” printed on the side.
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The teacher notified the school principal who suspended Isaiah for five days and called the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office to conduct a welfare check on the boy without calling his parents first.
No consultation with the parents. Sentence first, verdict later. The Red Queen rules and may reach through your computer to break up your family.
This happened near Colorado Springs, where probably every single boy has paintball guns and multiple other toy guns. They probably also have BB or pellet guns and maybe junior hunting guns too.
Heck, I had my first BB gun when I was about 10. Today’s teachers would lock me and my parents up for that.
“For them to go as extreme as suspending him for five days, sending the police out, having the police threaten to press charges against him because they want to compare the virtual environment to the actual in-school environment is insane,” said Dani Elliott.
The Problem Solvers obtained the sheriff’s report and it confirms the teacher “said she assumed it was a toy gun but was not certain.”
Here’s a thought. How about conducting a five-second online search and figure out that it’s a harmless toy before you criminalize a young kid, waste the police’s time and threaten to take him away from his parents? Is this too much to ask?
Google “Zombie Hunter Nerf gun.” Photos abound. They’re not difficult to find at all — supposing it wasn’t obvious that it was a toy in the first place.
These obvious toys have been on the market for at least five years. The teacher never came across one in that time, ever? Neither did the principal?
How about the sheriff’s office? There are layers inside layers inside this onion of stupid.
None of them ever thought, “This is an obvious toy in the boy’s home. How about we do the reasonable thing, which is absolutely nothing at all?”
Read the entire story. It turns out the school was recording the online class. How long has that been going on, and how widespread is the practice of recording and then reporting on what kids are doing in their own homes?
My colleague Paula Boylard reported that it happened to a Maryland family back in June. That story was eerily similar to this one. The teacher then, as now, saw obviously non-lethal BB guns during online video class instruction and reported it up her chain of command. They were merely in the background. The principal, lacking leadership skills and basic common sense, called the cops. At least in the Maryland case, the police thought the whole thing was overblown and apologized to the family.
The obvious toy gun in this case was on screen for all of about two seconds, as the kid simply moved it from one side to the other on the couch he was sitting on during the class. It was never taken to school.
That was enough to cause this:
“He was in tears when the cops came. He was just in tears. He was scared. We all were scared. I literally was scared for his life,” said Curtis Elliot, fearful that deputies might overreact to having the school principal tell them a young Black boy was potentially armed with a gun.
Yeah, the kid is black. This is likely his very first interaction with school authority and law enforcement. You only get one chance to make a first impression.
The boy’s parents say they’re transferring him away from that school, to a charter school (which the teachers’ unions hate) or a private school (which the teachers’ unions hate even more).