Downtrend has covered numerous cases of zero tolerance run amok. Take this case of two students who were suspended for playing with toy guns while waiting for a bus. And remember this story about a student who was suspended for making a finger gun? Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, there comes another bizarre story about a student who has been suspended for bringing a water gun to school.
According to the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal, a 10th-grader at Lewiston High School in Lewiston, Maine has been suspended for 10 days for allegedly bringing a water gun to school.
Was it a lifelike toy gun? No. Based on the picture in the article, it is yellow and does not resemble a real firearm.
“Would anybody actually mistake this for a real weapon?” the father of another student asked. “Time to get real.”
But the Lewiston School Superintendent Bill Webster defended the school’s actions.
“Without comments on the specifics of this case, I can say that a student bringing a water pistol to school will, at first, be told that they are being suspended from school for 10 days,” he told the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal. “We then work to get more facts and complete a review that often results in a reduction of the suspension period. Also, it is not uncommon for other factors to enter into the suspension decision, including the level of student cooperation.”
In other words, punish first, ask questions later seems to be the policy.
Webster also reportedly warned that the toy gun in question “certainly looks innocent enough on one hand, but can be used in a disruptive way and lead, perhaps, to students bringing other water pistols that may not look so benign.”
What kind of disruptive manner could the student have used the water pistol in that calls for a 10-day suspension? And how many kids are interested in bringing water pistols to school in a cold state like Maine?
But don’t worry. Thanks to the school’s actions, students should now be safe from wet shirts.