Zero Tolerance

Crazy School Expels Little Boy for Holding Piece of Paper Like a Gun

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Paper
ABF / Wikimedia Commons

Thank goodness administrators at Manhattan's mega-fancy Lang School saw fit to expel would-be psychopath Asher Palmer, an 8-year-old with a deranged obsession: rolling pieces of paper into vaguely gun-like shapes.

The New York Post chronicled how Principal Micaela Bracamonte forestalled a kid with a completely harmless paper roll from mowing down his classmates in a hail of imaginary bullets:

As far as the toy gun is concerned, [Bracamonte] said Asher, a first-year student, made it out of a piece of paper after discussing military weapons with his dad. His teachers told him not to point it at anyone, and he obeyed for a while.

The school claimed Asher also said he'd "kill" a girl in a separate incident—a typical argument between youngsters. While her son may have made the threat, Spadone said, people use the word "kill" all the time, and it shouldn't be taken literally….

In her June 12 email to the boy's teachers and psychologist, obtained by The Post, Bracamonte said, "I don't see it tenable at this stage that Asher receive a warning for the specific behavior we've agreed on targeting—i.e. use of pretend guns on fellow students and mention of killing."

She added that the boy "had a concrete plan for killing [a female student] that he would not retract after discussion with our psych staff…that he was physically and verbally aggressive at a whole new level only last week…He might well present a risk to the emotional and possibly (though remotely so) physical safety and well-being of his classmates."

It's not clear whether his "concrete plan" was anything beyond jokingly threatening to kill the girl. In any case, the principal did invite Palmer to come back after taking a year off:

She recommended that Asher be home-schooled next year and expressed the hope that in the future, "he can return to school…I heartily hope that Lang will be one of the schools you consider at that point."

No doubt she does. Lang charges a steep tuition fee, and Palmer's parents have already shelled out $120,000 for his five-month education there.

On paper, the Lang School is equipped to deal with kids who have problems communicating appropriately. From its website:

The Lang School is a progressive, independent K-12 school for high potential and gifted children with ADHD, dyslexia, Asperger's Syndrome, anxiety, sensory processing challenges or, simply, underachievement. 

Palmer has ADHD. His parents enrolled him at Lang in hopes that the staff there would work on his issues. They even paid for one-on-one tutoring at the school.

Given all that, Lang seems like an ideal place for a kid like Palmer, rolled papers and all. Of course, Bracamonte had one other reason to boot him:

[Palmer's mother Melina Spadone] was incensed that Principal Micaela Bracamonte told other staffers in an email that Asher "had a model for physically aggressive behavior in his immediate family."

Spadone thinks Bracamonte was referring to her husband because he served in the military during the Kuwait war. If that was the reason for the comment, she said, "I find it offensive and inappropriate."

A paranoid lookalike weapons charge with some guilt-by-association thrown in? Imagine spending $120,000 on tuition for the privilege of having your kid endure that.

Er, lock him up and throw away the key—before he points the paper at anyone else!

Hat tip: The Daily Caller.

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  1. The Lang School is a progressive, independent K-12 school for high potential and gifted children with ADHD, dyslexia, Asperger’s Syndrome, anxiety, sensory processing challenges or, simply, underachievement.

    That’s impossible! The people who oppose school abortion say that private schools will not take those kids, which is why everyone should go to public schools! You’re just making stuff up!

  2. His teachers told him not to point it at anyone, and he obeyed for a while.

    The evil Gun Spirit conjured by the fetish soon took over his soul.

    1. Gun culture did this. God damn you Charleston Heston.

  3. I stopped reading at “The Lang School is a progressive,”

    1. That’s over halfway into the piece. If you’d kept going you might have been the first reason commenter to actually finish an article.

  4. sensory processing challenges or, simply, underachievement.

    What? I wasn’t listening to you. I was too busy folding this napkin into a nuclear warhead.

    1. What a crazy coincidence. I was folding mine into an ordnance delivery system.

  5. She added that the boy “had a concrete plan for killing [a female student] that he would not retract after discussion with our psych staff…that he was physically and verbally aggressive at a whole new level only last week…He might well present a risk to the emotional and possibly (though remotely so) physical safety and well-being of his classmates.”

    That actually sounds like something to be concerned about.

    However, we shouldn’t lose sight of the bigger picture, which a lot of people are missing.

    Zero tolerance of pop tart guns and the like isn’t crazy – it’s an ideological attack to delegitimize gun ownership. Indoctrinate children in schools that guns are simply outside the pale. Attack those children and their parents with *real* and not funny consequences for children as they try to move forward in life.

    It’s the same thing with the various indoctrination and legal harassment in colleges and universities. Indoctrination, enforced with consequences to the life path of a student.

    Can’t get away with the abuse in courts. Can get away with anything in schools.

    It’s not a mere coincidence that the schools are the power base for the Progressive Theocracy.

    1. Eight-year old boys with paper airplanes = concrete plan and threat.

      Fundy Muslims actually killing people we’re still on the fence about; they might wind up being good customers.

  6. Sending your kid to public school is a form of child abuse.

    Public schools don’t need to be reformed; they need to be abolished.

    1. No doubt she does. Lang charges a steep tuition fee, and Palmer’s parents have already shelled out $120,000 for his five-month education there.

      1. Obama will give them their money back.

  7. $120K? Holy Rip-Offs Batman

    1. Maybe, maybe not. I bet the per-pupil cost for special needs public school students is comparable, once you factor in all the extra staff and record-keeping required by the federal government.

      But having said that, they have a psych staff, which implies more than one individual.

    2. Even in New York surely you could hire 2-3 people to tutor your child 24/7 for that kind of $. How the %#& does 1 year of third grade in manhattan = a freaking doctorate out west.

  8. My 2-year-old had a blast shooting me with a ‘gun’ he nibbled out of his toast. Patricide. On father’s day no less. Can’t decide if I’m supposed to report him or myself the the zero tolerence thought police first. Both i suppose…

    1. Wait, how are you not dead? This child of yours should clearly have murdered you in your sleep years ago!

  9. “She recommended that Asher be home-schooled next year…”

    As long as all the school systems are that screwed up, what other choice do they (we) have?

    1. Private school, bro.

      1. This was a private school bro.

  10. I did read the whole article, and it sounds like the principal is also demonizing the kid’s father for serving in the military.

    As for the kid’s “concrete plan” that sounds like the principal justifying herself by demonizing the kid. I hope the school’s board at least reprimands her for all the bad publicity she has caused, but the board is probably made up of bigger loons than even the principal.

    1. Thank you for braving the article and unearthing that fact. Sounds like the kid and his family were not the type of people the school wants to attract – you know, those icky military types.

  11. It looks like the school is a private non-profit in Manhattan that specializes in getting the board of education to pay a lot of money on behalf of parents to teach their bright kids with ADHD, etc. Basically if you have a lawyer who knows how to work the system and your kid is having trouble in regular school and you can get a diagnosis of one of the many conditions floating around, you get to have the taxpayers of NYC cover it.

    And they specifically say the school is not for those who are verbally or physically aggressive.

    So they decided the boy was more than they wanted to deal with, expelled him, and will have no trouble filling his spot with someone else. There’s probably even a waiting list.

  12. Could we just give all school teachers and administrators Rorschach Tests, and then confine them to protect themselves and others?
    Everything they see seems to be a gun, obviously they’re not just delusional, but over-the-top wacko.

  13. Did the kid threaten to kill the girl or not? I don’t think threatening to kill someone is something kids just do.

  14. I’ve been wondering about this for a while now.

    What do progressives do when they’re angry, and powerless to strike at the source of their anger?

    Do they just not get angry? At all? Are they emotionless robots?

    Do they vent and scream and shout, but only in the privacy of their own homes?

    Or, the more likely scenario, do they lash out exactly like a petulant child and then hide behind a shield of hypocrisy and stupidity?

  15. Sue to get the tuition back.

  16. My mind cannot fathom spending 120k for 5 months of education for an 8 year old… that’s insane. My bachelors set me back 25k which I’m struggling to pay off.

  17. Next week, some kid is going to chew a crayon into roughly the shape of an IED.

  18. It is not the school that is crazy. It is the society is sick. And it all happens due to the government remaining quite ignorant. Remember, the case when a 12-years old kid was shot by two policemen because he had a toy gun and when police officers told him to put it down, the boy did not listed to it, so they opened the fire. This case makes my hair shiver. I am really sick of this. Let’s focus on providing quality education for children, and, maybe, one day they will be more interested in writing a quality essay- apply to Essay Online Store – instead of shooting their classmates ( as this is obviously what makes us so disturbed over the toy guns)

  19. Our Son Was Also Dismissed From Lang Without Prior Warnings Or Due Process

    In the Fall & Winter 2012, we were told that our son was doing very well at the Lang School. In March 2013, the Board of Education (BOE) was ready to settle for the rest of Lang’s tuition. Soon after, Lang abruptly dismissed our son without prior warnings or due process. We were told (for the 1st time) that our child was not progressing well at Lang ? and they refused to provide solutions. We were advised to send our son to public school or to home school him. We begged the founder to let our son finish the last 3 months of the school year ? in fear that he would be devastated to be dismissed so abruptly from his school, teachers and friends. She declined in a disturbingly cold, heartless fashion. Weeks later, when the founder learned that if our son was dismissed, the BOE would not settle and pay the rest of the Lang tuition – the founder sent us a friendly e-mail welcoming our son back with open arms. Once we realized what her true intentions were, we declined. We told our son that Lang closed because they only had a few girls. By not returning, the BOE did not pay Lang the rest of the year’s tuition – nor reimburse us tens and thousands of dollars. We chose to lose our money than to entrust our child to the founder of Lang.
    PARENTS BEWARE. This new school obviously, lacks formal processes, stability, good judgement and leadership from its founder.

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