Zero Tolerance

School Will Not Expel 7-Year-Old Who Brought Nerf Guns to School

The school already gave him a 10-day suspension.


Wetter isn't better
Dean Hochman / Flickr

A 7-year-old will not be expelled after bringing two toy guns to his school.

Josiah Green was suspended for 10 days in May after he brought a small water gun and a small Nerf gun to Douglass Park Elementary School. According to Tim Anderson, the Green family's attorney, Josiah had the toys in his pocket when he was caught.

These toys obviously looked like toys, but it did not matter. Josiah found himself at home while his friends were in class.

Portsmouth Public Schools, where Douglass Park is located, has a zero tolerance policy for all weapons, putting toy guns in the same category as handguns, knives, and bombs. A 10-day suspension is mandatory, and can be followed by a long-term suspension or even expulsion.

Thankfully, Josiah was not given any further punishment. The board met with Josiah, his mother, and Anderson on Thursday to hear their argument on the matter, during which the superintendent withdrew the recommendation of expulsion after just 10 minutes.

But how ridiculous is it that Josiah was punished to this extent in the first place? He's only seven, and is still developing his understanding of what right and wrong means. If school officials wanted to help Josiah, they should have talked to him and his mom about the incident rather than treat him like a serious public menace.

On top of that, a new study found that zero tolerance policies do little to curb disruptive behavior. You can read more about it here.

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  1. Insanity.

    When I was a kid there were no suspensions at all in elementary school, only a handful in junior high, more in high school.

    1. Unless a kid is so disruptive that he just can't be in class with others, it really does seem nuts. And even then, isn't that what special ed. is for?

  2. the superintendent withdrew the recommendation

    So the superintendent recommended expelling him for bringing a water pistol and a nerf gun to school?

    Please tell me the next item on the agenda was terminating the superintendent.

  3. Zero tolerance is an excuse for zero thinking, amd for taking zero responsibility. The pillocks who want to control what and how children think simultaniously want to avoid all responsibility.

    They are underqualified to be McDonalds employees, much less role models.



  5. This is by design.

    If you can't win at gun control, brainwash the fuck out of the kids instead.

    1. It's the only remaining reason for public school, to brainwash the children into becoming helpless, defenseless, frightened little sheep.

      1. Which is why the government is the largest educator in the US. Indoctrination must begin at the earliest age possible.

        1. My granddaughter is going to be home schooled. If it become too much for my daughter, I'll pay for a private school for her. No way in hell she is ever exposed to public schooling. It's all I can do, but at least it's something.

        2. +1 universal pre-school. Want a soda with that?

          1. The government should just snatch the little biological resources at birth and put a chip in their little brain so they will be obedient little sheep.

      1. That brings back some memories. I can remember the little rap from the early 90s videos. "Stop, Don't touch, leave the area, tell an adult".

  6. It's good that ISIS is learning that all Americans are being turned into effiminate, pants shitting pussies who are afraid of the site of toy guns or even an image of a gun, or a pop tart that looks like a gun.

    Is it possible that freedom will crop up in another country sometime in the future? Maybe in one of the failed socialist countries? Because the USA is maybe too far gone. All of Europe is most definitely too far gone.

      1. No matter what the deficit or amount it takes, the first thing NASA will do is ship bureaucrats to Mars.

      2. Seriously, I think the asteroid miners and other space capitalists will be the ones with the most freedoms, just like it has been with all expansionists throughout history.

    1. Outside of the crazy urban progressive zones, it's hardly all Americans.

  7. They don't care if he goes to class and learns. Public schools are meant to turn you into an obedient worker. The fear of punishment for any violation of any rule is a means to this end. And if the teachers and administrators don't follow the rules to the letter they would be forced to use common sense, if you can even imagine such a horror.

    1. For those who don't know what timeconsumer is referencing, this is actually the stated goal of the public school system.

      It was created out of the industrial revolution, as the children of farmers began moving to cities to work in the factory. They had no notion of arriving at a set time, taking breaks at set times, eating at set times.... you get the idea. They also couldn't read simple instructions or safety signs.

      So public schools were developed to crank out workers for factories. This is why they work on a factory-like system. Bells sound to announce period changes - just like the factory whistle or bell did. You eat lunch when the bell says to. You ask permission for bathroom breaks - which you take according to the rhythm of the clock.

      Of course, this purpose meant that public school kids were to be educated... but only to a point. Private schools were for minting executives and leaders. Public schools were for drones.

      Inevitably, political activists saw the indoctrination system and wanted in on the action. So we get our civics lessons. So probably using the power for good. Sort of. But the people's party also wanted the power bent to their purposes. So did the progressives. So we get the sort of education we have.

      Indoctrination for worker bees, docile citizens and useful idiots serving the cause.

      And no this isn't tinfoil hat nuttery. This was their stated purpose as the public education system was created.

  8. Well i hope they sent letters to all the parents homes assuring them that they would be providing therapists and counselors for all the affected students, and had scheduled a school-wide hug-session after the mandatory 3-day campus lockdown.

    1. Well, I mean they say a toy gun, imagine the trauma they must have suffered. Cars kill far more people than guns, are toy cars banned too?

      1. This being Portsmouth, those kids have seen plenty of real guns, i guarantee.

        1. The only fix then is to repeal the 2nd amendment.


    2. If I were the principal, I'd schedule a school-wide water pistol fight, with super soakers.

      1. This being Portsmouth, the police would show up and shoot everybody.

  9. has a zero tolerance policy for all weapons


    Nerf "guns" and water "guns" aren't "weapons". Period. But this is how fucking STUPID the world has become - esp public bureaucrats. "Well, it says weapons, and these are weapons, so..." NO, they're NOT WEAPONS. They're TOYS. "But they look like weapons - they're toys of weapons" - "WHICH DOESN'T MAKE IT A WEAPON - IT'S A FUCKING TOY!"

    for fuck's sake

    But they're throwing kids out of school for shit on t-shirts and pictures, so - same diff. "He had a picture of an AR on his tshirt ZOMFG!one!!!1" I am SO glad my kids are long out of school. Wayne Brady might have to choke a bitch if a situation like this ever arose with one of my kids. Thankfully, it never did...

    1. I would not raise a child in this country today. I would rather the kid be exposed to the conditions in a 3rd world country than have to experience the mind and spirit killing stupidity that is going on today in the USA. This country is going to fall apart, there is no way any society survives this level of pure stupidity and ignorance for long.

    2. Plenty of things that have "gun" in their names aren't weapons at all. And a water gun isn't even really a toy version of a weapon. It just is what it is. A means to quirt water over a distance. It's no more a weapon than a caulk gun.

      1. I've got to send one of my kids to school with a caulk gun in their backpack just to see what happens.

        1. Of course, after my wife has to go to the school to deal with this, I'm a dead man.

    3. They want to condition kids to have the same primal fear of guns that they do. When just the sight of something that in any way resembles a gun, sends the adults in the room into a panic-shut-down-everything shitfit, that fear rubs off on the kids. By design.

      Thank god for video games doing the opposite.

  10. Speaking of guns, I've found my next car:

    1. How could I not link to the video?

      1. You're going to give the snowflakes and pantshitters a massive heart attack.

  11. Audreyann Davis says she usually checks her son's backpack before he heads off to school.

    "I blame myself," Davis added. "The one day I didn't think about making sure he left his toys in the house."

    "He's small and he made a mistake," Davis said. "He didn't know what he was doing. He doesn't even understand what's going on and why he can't bring his toy guns to school."

    You are obviously a terrible mother and a failure at parenting. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    "The School Board feels the community deserves their attention on matters involving weapons and look-alike guns in schools," Ari Durall with the Portsmouth School System said. "There are a wide-range of options available in addition to expulsion for the School Board to take appropriate action."

    Hey, horrible people on Twitter: you should say horrible things to Ari Durall.

    1. horrible people on Twitter

      Redundant phrase is redundant.

    2. No, he didn't make any mistake, he did nothing wrong. He is obviously smarter than the mom, since any ordinary kid would not think it's wrong to take a toy to school. And let's be clear, it's a fucking harmless toy. The harm that is being done to this kid is coming from public schooling and his brainless mom.

    3. the community deserves their attention on matters involving weapons and look-alike guns in schools

      Yeah, sure. Of course neither a weapon nor a look-alike gun was involved in this incident, so its kind of a non sequitur.

  12. Out of an abundance of caution, to make sure no student is ever stressed like this again, shouldn't the school be shut down indefinitely?

  13. This would possibly appear to be a happy ending but it isn't. The parents had to go to the expense of hiring a lawyer. The process has become the punishment.

  14. So this is yet another example of "Cyto just doesn't understand human behavior at all." And I don't mean the zero tolerance drones, the parents or the kid.

    I'm talking about the folks that keep putting up with this nonsense. There is never any support voiced for these idiots. Not in the media, not in the comments, not around the water cooler. Everyone expresses outrage at the stupidity of zero tolerance policies.

    Yet here we are, some 20-30 years down the road... and they've only become more pervasive and more well-entrenched. Why do we keep re-electing board members who don't fire these idiots? We loudly and clearly voice our rejection of these policies, yet we do not vote accordingly. Not even a little bit.

    I don't understand people at all. Not even a little bit. There has to be some psychology at play here, but I can't put my finger on it.

    1. Democracy doesn't work.

      1. That sort of depends on what results you are expecting.

    2. Part of it is that people probably don't vote based on their outrage about incidents like this. They vote based on money most often I'd guess. And most people who aren't involved parents of students probably have little idea who the hell school board candidates are anyway, but feel obliged to vote for someone as long as they are at the poll.

      1. That's sort of what I had bopping around in my head. I never have a clue who the school board candidates are.... there usually aren't even voter forums. They work their way up through the local PTA or other youth/school group and get that endorsement and a yard sign campaign and that's all it takes. It isn't like it is a hotly contested position.

        Still, you'd think that at least in these locations a cadre of candidates would emerge on a "I'm going to fire that idiot and change this stupid policy" platform. But it doesn't happen.

      2. So don't bother electing them. Wait until after the election, then lobby them.

    3. Elected officials want contributions from public sector unions more than they want votes from their victims.

  15. When gun-shaped pop tarts are outlawed, only outlaws will have gun-shaped pop tarts.

  16. Of course a pencil is much more of a weapon than a water gun.

    What they are really trying to do is program a taboo into the kids, to instill the idea that guns are the most socially unacceptable things imaginable.

  17. So use disposable syringes as squirt guns. They don't even look like guns. My sister & I used to play w them in the bathtub courtesy of Daddy.

    1. You mean "drug paraphernalia look alikes"?!?!???!

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