Zero Tolerance

New Jersey Kid Almost Expelled for Bringing Foam Nerf Dart to School

'Self-constructed weapon'



Stop the madness: Atlantic City School District in New Jersey expelled a fifth-grade boy for having a foam Nerf dart in his pocket. Amid outrage, that punishment was reduced to a five-day suspension.

The dart fell out of Aarin Moody's pocket when he tried to present a late slip to a teacher. The fact that it had a toothpick wedged inside of it led the school to categorize it as a "self-constructed weapon," according to Fox News:

Aarin said that he places the toothpick in the foam bullets so they would stick to the ground when he fired them from his Nerf gun and that he accidentally brought it to school.

"They want me to like say that I did it on purpose, I put it in my pocket to hurt someone," he told one local paper.

According to the school's weapons policy, "Anything readily capable of lethal use or inflicting serious bodily injury" is prohibited on campus.

The Fox News article points out that Moody has minor behavioral issues, like ADHD and aggression. But he's clearly no threat to his classmates, or teachers—he didn't do anything wrong. Taking a slightly troubled kid and kicking him out of school is the surest possible way to set him on the path toward becoming a seriously troubled kid. Unfortunately, this is increasingly the route that schools take when forced to resolve minor disciplinary issues. Safety paranoia is as common inside the classroom as it is at the public park.

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  1. Anything readily capable of lethal use or inflicting serious bodily injury

    So, a toothpick counts as a weapon under this policy?

    I suggest going through every teacher’s pockets and bags. I bet every single one of them brings something at least as dangerous as a toothpick to school every day.

    And, yes, I would count any key as more dangerous than a toothpick.

    1. Keys?!?! What about pencils and pens?

    2. Black mechanical pencil = assault toothpick.

      1. No one NEEDS seven leads!!111!

        1. +0.7

      2. Oh, geez, is that a .9 mm mechanical pencil? Call in the SWAT team!

        1. Behold my 1.3mm pencils and weep.

          1. No one needs more than 0.5mm!

        2. 0.9 mm with the thing that goes up no less!

        3. The bayonet lug was the tipping point…

      3. Why are only the black mechanical pencils dangerous, racist?

    3. I can’t believe all of you are taking this matter so lightly… I mean, toothpicks are some of the most dangerous improvised weapons found in schools!

      Just last week, three teachers in a Bellvue, WI school suffered bleeding gums and tongue lacerations after a rather vicious cleaning by a student who suckered them in with a “You got some parsley in your teeth” ploy.

      And pencils?!? Don’t get me started on how fiendishly they are wielded by artists AND writers on a daily basis. Subtle jabs, overly-broad caricatures, incisive discourse, nude sketches, RAPIER-LIKE WIT!!!

      You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

      1. You’re not allowed to say rapier any more without a trigger warning.

  2. “Anything readily capable of lethal use or inflicting serious bodily injury”

    So, not a foam dart with maybe 1/4″ of toothpick sticking out the end.

    Especially without a launching device.

    1. They want me to like say that I did it on purpose

      Young Aarin has a lot to learn yet: obviously he haven’t heard about strict liability offenses which do not require mens rea, i.e. intent to commit the offense to be found guilty of it.

  3. Taking a slightly troubled kid and kicking him out of school is the *surest* possible way to set him on the path toward becoming a seriously troubled kid.

    Fail Soave!

    Force the kid to kill something with the infracting device against their will to prove your point, then kick them out.

    1. Force the kid to kill something

      Like his aspirations? This *is* a public school.

      1. This *is* a public school.

        Killing your own aspirations is too motivated, cosmopolitan, and artsy. Killing someone else’s motivations, OTOH, shows promise.

    2. Taking a slightly troubled kid and kicking him out of school

      Arguably, if the parents turned to homeschooling, it could be doing him a huge favor. I couldn’t in good conscience send my kids to a public school.

  4. People are smart. Groups are dumb. But in the case of school administrators I’m not certain about the first part.

    1. The group IQ of a school is determined by taking the highest IQ found in the staff (principal, assistant principal, teachers, secretary) and divide it by the number of staff.

  5. What is so sad is that we used to call “minor behavioral issues, like ADHD and aggression” NORMAL FIFTH GRADE LEVEL BEHAVIOR, and now it’s classified as a freaking disease.

    Oh well, it was a nice country.

    1. Well, Tman, those are normal behaviors for boys. Ergo, they are pathological and must be expunged by pharmaceuticals or, if necessary, expulsion.

      1. Pigeonholing this child into the lowest rung of society by arbitrarily denying him education ought to cool his jets. He’ll be chomping at the bit to conform to society’s expectations later in his life out of gratitude for that lesson taught. It’s fool-proof.

    2. Those classifications came about, more than anything, because lazy parents and teachers got sick of dealing with (normal) hyperactive kids and kept pushing for ways to not have to deal with them. Like drugging them to calm them down, or expelling them for having a toothpick.

      It’s just really lazy fucks finding the simplest, easiest way of dealing with something that takes more work than they’d like. And fuck the kids. I mean, they’re the problem in the first place, amirite?

      1. If it weren’t for the kids, teaching would be a much easier job.

        1. Precisely.

      2. Sounds like a combination of both the lazy teachers and the continued attempts to emasculate men.

        I wonder if this will ever create a backlash that will benefit society or are we just circling the drain at this point?

        1. Society? No, not hardly. The progressive cause? One Columbine/Sandy hook at a time..

  6. I may have mentioned this before, but if they catch a kid with a purely imaginary weapon, the kid should get a purely imaginary punishment.

    “You pointed your finger like a gun! As punishment, imagine yourself being sent to detention. There, go and don’t make me imaginarily-detain you again!”

    1. You jest about thought-crime, citizen? Hmmm….

    2. I am so friggin lucky I live on one of the few sane school disctricts left in the country.

      Last year my then 11 year old son did the finger gun at a teacher who reprimanded him for closing a door in another students face.

      Somehow this did not result in any police being called or even an expulsion. Just a polite call home and a nights detention

  7. This quote is even more relevant to this thread than to the P.M. links. Who do you think said it?

    “…the so-called “experts” have multiplied, who have taken the role of parents even in the most intimate aspects of education. On emotional life, on personality and on development, on rights and duties the “experts” know everything: objectives, motivations, techniques. And parents must only listen, learn and adapt themselves. Deprived of their role, they often become excessively apprehensive and possessive in dealing with their children, to the point of not correcting them ever: “You can’t correct your child.” They tend increasingly to entrust them to the “experts,” even for the most delicate and personal aspects of their life, putting themselves in the corner, and thus parents today run the risk of excluding themselves from the life of their children.”

    1. Hitler?

  8. OT: Drudge says the six Baltimore cops have all been indicted by a grand jury. Here’s my theory at the moment: Gray is put in the back of the van, but not sitting down. They laid him out on the floor, head forward. He’s handcuffed and shackled. The van leaves, and he kicks around and makes the noises the other prisoner heard. The driver pulls over and slams on the brakes, maybe thoughtlessly in irritation, maybe intentionally (“rough ride”). Gray slides forward on the floor, hitting his head on something that’s near the floor at the front of the compartment.

    1. I was listening to Prog Radio the other morning and all pants-shitters are bitchin about how now they don’t want to stop random citizens and shake them down. They are worried about getting indicted… More please.

      1. I want the cops to worry about getting indicted. It might save some innocent person’s life.

    2. At least it doesn’t involve paint chips leading to weak bones.

      And what about the crushed larynx? Debunked?

      1. As far as I know, some of the gruesome details have only come from the attorney for the family. I don’t think the medical examiner report has been released.

    3. Is there any evidence the crown of his had suffered traumatic injury?

      1. I think they said it was the back of his head. I’m thinking he might have been curled up on the floor, so it may not have been the very top of his head that hit something. I don’t know, just speculating based on what I’ve heard.

    4. Wow, you really want to go out of your way to make any fucking shit possible up to exonerate these cops. Like, really, really badly. I wonder why that is?

      1. Because we’ve been burned before on a bad call?

      2. Well I understand the desire to not immediately accept what the media says. It’s not like there’s been a bunch of hard-hitting investigations into the actual circumstances of Freddie Gray’s death (If there has been then it hasn’t been well publicized). Though I’m not to fond of the tendency to flat out make stuff up and the paint chips stuff was just plain silly.

        1. Oh I also understand the desire to dismiss whatever the cops say. Problem is both of these attitudes don’t involve actually trying to find what actually happened.

        2. The paint chips stuff wasn’t “silly.” He had won a settlement for injury from old lead paint, and lead is known to weaken bones.

      3. Dude, chill. I’m just trying to be objective, and not jump to conclusions about RACIST POLICE BRUTALITY. As we saw with Michael Brown, early reports and speculation are often wrong. I’ve never denied this case could well be police abuse, and in fact my first comment weeks ago was that this looked pretty bad for the police, and my latest theory still includes that possibility. I just don’t think it’s an obvious, slam-dunk certainty.

        For one thing, exactly when did it happen? If it was in the van, as far as we know, there was not a cop in the compartment with him. If it was a “rough ride,” why didn’t the other prisoner feel it, or say something? (Yes, the other prisoner could be bribed or coerced or afraid to tell the truth, but that’s just another variable indicating that we don’t know exactly what happened.)

        If you’d like, you could lay out your theory, and I’ll try to pick it apart. (But I’ll do that without casting doubt on your character or motives.)

    5. It’s hard out there for a Minister of Defence.

  9. You know who else hid a destructive weapon in his pocket?…

    1. You know who else asks questions around here?

      1. Your mother?…

    2. Cary Grant?

  10. “The dart fell out of Aarin Moody’s pocket when he tried to present a late slip to a teacher. ”

    Who’s the teacher that turned this kid in?

    1. You know what other demeaning letter started with a capital C?…

      1. Chitler?

      2. \C?

  11. As a wise man once said, fuck you, New Jersey.

    1. George Carlin?

      1. No, Chitler. Jeez, crack a history book why don’t you.

  12. I say stick the nerf dart, toothpick and all up an administrator’s ass and call it a training aid.

    1. His ass may be too wide. Shove it up his penis like a catheter.

  13. OT: I’ve read the Wikipedia article on Will Rogers. Hmm a Democrat FDR-Lover who turned from comedian to syndicated newspaper columnist and often liked to joke that politicians all suck. So the supposedly rebellious comedians since the 1950s aren’t that much different from him. And he was an Okie with actual Indian descent, unlike Warren.

  14. In sixth grade I stabbed a girl in the hand with a pencil. In High School she still had a scar.

    I have no idea how I was never suspended or expelled or anything like that. Oh, thats right, it was the 80s.

    1. it was the 80s.

      I got stabbed in the wrist with a pencil during a fight in third (?) grade. The lead broke off inside and is still there and visible under my skin to this day. I consider it my one and only tattoo.

      As I vaguely recall, quiet time in the corner was the teacher’s reaction.

      1. If that had happened today they’d re-enact the post-lobotomy scene from Cuckoo’s Nest, but pharmacologically.

        1. Funny thing about that fight was… it was about a pair of scissors that would have sent the Atlantic City School District to the Panic Room.

          My mother was a dressmaker at the time. I borrowed a pair of her cool scissors because it was cutup construction-paper for edumacation day. Damned if was not getting that pointy-as-fuck chrome-plated badass of scissordom back from that klepto punk.

    2. I recall sometime around 7th or 8th grade some dick sitting in front of me kept swinging his arm back from his chair to hit my knee.

      I got tired of it and held a pencil on my leg so his arm would hit the tip.

      It drew blood, he yelped, and was too embarrassed to say what happened.

      He stopped hitting my knees after that.

    3. I think it was in seventh grade, there was jerk/bully who, at lunch, would stick his finger into someone else’s desert and say: “Do you want that?” They would say: “Ick, no” and he’d take it. When he tried that with me, I said “Yes” and stabbed him in the back of his hand with my fork. It left four little punctures. What I remember was the look he gave me. Not only was he physically hurt, but it seemed like his feelings were hurt, too: “How could you be so mean to me??” Was I wrong?

    4. In the 70’s I cracked a kid’s skull with a metal lunch box on the way home from school (he was a bully 3 grades above me and I had anger issues.) No cops were ever called and the school was never involved.

      Today I’d be arrested, expelled and drugged.

    1. Because of Google…? I don’t think that link works as intended….

      1. Honestly, though. A lot of my bad news is discovered via google. Fuck google.

  15. He said there was a “massive police presence” with more than 15 police vehicles, a helicopter hovering overhead, and three or four officers in sniper gear.

    He originally thought it could have been terrorist-related, rather than, as he then realised, a “docile little cow standing in a field”.

    1. “A memorial vigil will be held for a cow that was shot dead by police marksmen.”

      The vigil will be held at McDonald’s. Refreshments will be served.

      Alternate joke: This is nae ordinary cow…it’s mad! And it has big…sharp…teeth…

    2. I question the presence of testicles in UK law enforcement.

      1. Testicles are illegal for UK police these days. Police banned from climbing a 3ft ladder without training

  16. Testing 123

  17. Pencils. Sharp, pointy pencils. That is what they should be panicking over.

  18. Any number 2 pencil that is sharp enough to write with is a much more dangerous weapon than a toothpick.

    If simple possession of something that could be used as a weapon but has not been used as one justifies suspension or even expulsion, then the rules as written would mandate the removal of every child in the school!

  19. As a 68 year old white male the biggest problem I see with America is education. Social engineering educators are foregoing the basics of schooling to teach some socialist utopian garbage. It has always amazed me that people can take the most flawed idea and think that only they can make it work. Get government out of schools and our lives. There is no such thing as good government only not as bad government. The Constitution was a great document not worth the paper it was written on. Originally voting was only for landowners. Senators were suppose to be appointed by the states from the ruling class. That way the rural landowners and city kingpins could both have a say. The supreme court was established to make sure that laws fit into the framework of the Constitution. The President was suppose to be the person elected by everyone to run military and enforce the Constitution. Who in there right mind could possible walk the streets of America and think everyone should have the right to vote. Who could possible believe that any form of government is good. Freedom is an illusion in country. It died when dropped a federation of states and became a constitutional republic. When someone wants to be your leader he is basically saying you are to stupid to lead yourself. Are you

    1. We elect people to govern for us. Thus government is the collective irresponsibility of the power.

  20. Have they been vigilant about the danger of fresh fruit, including passionfruit, oranges, apples, grapefruit (whole and segmented), pomegranates, greengages, grapes, lemons, plums, mangoes in syrup, and cherries (red and black)?


  21. I used to bring immature oranges to school so that my paper wads had some more impetus when I threw them. I would probably be imprisoned for life if I were in school today.

  22. I got written up in college for being in the same room as a nerf gun. The RA who wrote us up hosted a “nerf gun war” on his floor the next year.

    If it wasn’t for the RA on my floor literally tearing up and destroying the writeup, I would have a reprimand on my college record for having a weapon in the dorm.

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