Zero Tolerance

Kid Expelled over Novelty 'Bang Snap' Toys Is Your Stupid Zero Tolerance Story Du Jour

Your childhood is illegal now.


Bang snaps
Eagle novelties

When you look back at your childhood, you might have fond memories of throwing around little "Bang Snap" noisemakers with your friends. Or possibly at your friends, if you were that kind of kid. You might have even brought some to school to share and have fun with during recess. I know I did.

But now we live in a world of school panics. A 10-year-old fourth grader in the Henry County School District in Georgia bought a handful of these little noisemakers to his bus stop, then had three left over in his backpack when he entered Flippen Elementary School. Another student told the principal, who searched his backpack and found them.

They didn't suspend him, which itself would be absurd. They expelled the boy, permanently. Indeed, they expelled him from the entire school district, pointing to a zero tolerance rule "that permanent expulsion is the punishment when a student brings an explosive compound to school," according to Atlanta's WSBTV.

Let's be clear: These toys work by having tiny amounts of silver fulminate combined with gravel, which detonates when stepped on or thrown into a high surface. While it is true that silver fulminate is an explosive, the extremely small amounts of it within these toys are absolutely harmless.

Some of these bang snaps are marketed as being safe for children over the age of 8, so I understand that an elementary school with children as young as 5 or 6 might not want them on the premises. But to treat this boy as though he brought an actual "explosive compound" to school is embarrassingly stupid. His mother now has to try to convince the school board to show mercy and let her boy back in.

As an aside to all Atlanta-based media outlets: "Poppers" are a completely different thing that you should maybe know about. When I saw headlines saying a 10-year-old had been expelled for bringing "poppers" to school, my mind went to a very, very different place.

NEXT: Summer TV Season Launches with HBO's Murdoch-esque Succession

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  1. you might have fond memories of throwing around little “Bang Snap” noisemakers with your friends.

    I wouldn’t call them fond memories. Closer to bored memories.

    1. You need to turn up the nostalgia, dude.

      1. That was around the time of BUCS’ fourth circumcision, so anything else is going to be kind of dull by comparison.

  2. When I saw headlines saying a 10-year-old had been expelled for bringing “poppers” to school, my mind went to a very, very different place.

    I can’t figure out if the punishment for that would have been less or more than expulsion.

    1. Would have been more fun at least.

  3. Another student told the principal, …

    This is the little bastard that needs to be expelled.

    1. A few more grades and his fellow students will teach him the value of keeping your mouth shut.

    2. Why? That’s exactly the kind of behavior that public schooling was designed to promulgate.

      1. Just remember. If you pay property taxes, you are personally funding this nonsense.

        1. Thanks a lot for the reminder.

    3. This is the little bastard that needs a few pills slipped into his backpack.

    4. snitches get stitches.

  4. At least he didn’t bring a cap gun to school. They’d still be looking for the School Resource Officer.

    1. It’s not hard to look behind the dumpster.

    2. When I was in grade school, we took to school cap guns, real firecrackers powerful enough to split a water pipe along with matches to light them off, and pocketknives.

      1. real firecrackers powerful enough to split a water pipe

        When you say “water pipe” do you mean lead pipe, clay tile, or aquaduct?

        1. Galvanized rolled steel half inch pipes with a seam. The firecrackers(baby giants, cherry bombs, etc.) could break the seam.

  5. Time to institute a zero tolerance policy for zero tolerance policies.

    1. My favorites are the ‘Zero Tolerance’ policies that lead to school officials grabbing asthma inhalers. School staff that take an asthma inhaler away from any child for any reason whatsoever should be charged with reckless endangerment.

  6. At least they didn’t call them pop pops.

  7. Your childhood is illegal now.

    Forget now, parts of my childhood were illegal back then.

  8. I don’t understand why the mother wants them to reinstate her kid – wouldn’t knowingly sending your kid to a school run by these morons constitute child abuse?

    1. ^This. It’s a blessing not really even in disguise

    2. Exactly right.

  9. OT: Man, that latest episode of The Expanse sure was something. This show is just so good.

    1. As soon as Amazon Prime gets season 3 i’m’a block about 10 hours off my calendar and watch it all.

      1. I actually enjoy the week-long intervals between the episodes. It lets me savor each one and anticipate the next. Not that I am opposed to binge-watching. Just sayin’.

        1. The show is structured almost ideally for binge-watching, though. There are a ton of tiny references and foreshadowings that are really easy to forget about by the time they become important a few episodes later, and they ended both of the first two seasons right in the middle of the first and second books. Also, if you watch on Amazon, Avasarala is allowed to say a lot more cusses than basic cable can get away with (though still not as many as she does in the books).

          1. Ha I watched S01 and S02 on DVD. Somewhere in the first couple episodes of S03 I watched on SyFy, finally another character mentions something about “what a mouth you have” when she had just let loose a string of inanity profanity.

      2. I stopped watching about 4 episodes into season 3, since knowing that Amazon taking over means there will never be a chance to own the thing from season 4 on as opposed to paying Amazon a monthly ransom to watch them.

        1. Amazon to my knowledge won’t stop you from purchasing one of their shows just because you don’t have prime.

          1. I didn’t see any option to purchase any of their shows other than signing up for Prime. If I can purchse individual shows for download – at a reasonable price – well that changes everything.

    2. Need to check that show out.

      Waiting for season six of The Americans to appear on Amazon Prime here.

  10. mmmm popplers. this story is a total lie, right?

  11. Yet another excuse to post the Sixfinger commercial.


  12. In 3rd grade, at recess, I crushed a whole roll of caps with a boulder.

    No expulsion, but my ears did ring for 20 minutes. Good times, good times.

    1. We’d smack rolls with a hammer to see how big a bang we could get. Good times.

  13. So I’m wondering what you would get now for taking some homemade touch explosive to school an’ it going off in class?

    1. Rendered to a CIA black site?

      1. Rendered to a CIA black site?

        Given the choice I might actually have chosen that option instead of being rendered unto the Principal’s office an’ leaving with a smarting rear.

        I really had the firework and bomb-making thing down pat.

        1. You may be right. Being rendered to the principal’s office usually culminated with being rendered over to your parents afterwards.

  14. “When I saw headlines saying a 10-year-old had been expelled for bringing “poppers” to school, my mind went to a very, very different place.”

    Of course you would, Scott.

  15. It’s times like these I’m reminded of ‘clock boy’ and how some segments of the media were so certain that nothing but anti-muslim sentiment could be to blame for the schools over reaction.

  16. Zero tolerance makes zero sense.

  17. I had the same reaction when I saw the article on the AJC website about a kid bringing “poppers” to school.

    I thought 10 was awfully young to be into poppers, and the Poster Hut had closed anyway, so where can you get them in the ATL now?

  18. I got suspended in the sixth grade along with 12 other guys because none of us would tell them who brought the firecrackers to school.

    To stand like that up against authority and win at that age? It was liberating. It was frightening. It was epic.

    When we got back, the teacher called us, “The Dirty Dozen”.

    1. along with 12 other guys

      the teacher called us, “The Dirty Dozen”.

      Did this teacher earn their credentials from a bakery?

      12+1 != dozen

      1. Do you do punctuation too?



      2. Where are you from?

        This is a TEACHER. It’s not like he/she has an actual education!

  19. Did you know that if you got 100,000 used smoke detectors you could scrape together enough Americium to create a dirty bomb?

    Think about *that* the next time you want to whine about ‘zero tolerance’.

  20. So…get out of school forever? Wow.

  21. What kind of evil bastards run this place?

  22. I am one lucky guy! In 10th grade Chem class back in the ’60s, we secreted Test tubes of white phosphorous, sulfur, etc to make a stink bomb that could burn through a wall and not be extinguished by normal means. Being A+ students we were cut some slack and didn’t even get detention – considered adventurous! Whew!

  23. Aren’t most aerosols “explosive”? If a kid brought in a can of Lysol would it be an explosive? Why not try it and see?

    If I were a kid at this school I would get all my school mates to bring in a box of these harmless poppers and put the zero tolerance idea to the test. Would the school throw every student out? I seriously doubt it. Then the one they did throw out could sue the shit out of them for discrimination!

    Problem solved.

  24. Back when I had chalk on my coat I used to pop those same noisemakers in the classroom to wake up drowsy students or interrupt off-topic conversations.

  25. Butane is also an explosive, by the standards that silver fulminate in those quantities is. So are matches. I wonder how many of the faculty of the school smoke, and bring the means to light their tobacco onto school grounds?

  26. In high school chemistry we made small amounts of a similar compound as an excercise.

  27. Meanwhile a federal agent has a bang up time at a local night club:…..tclub.html

  28. “Your childhood is illegal now.”
    You think? I brought what was left of grandpa’s gov’t issue FN 1922 to show and tell in second grade. Even though it was non-functional and just a frame, slide, and barrel it would be more than enough to lock down any school today and have me expelled with extreme prejudice. Fortunately in my day my teacher was a history buff and his biggest disappointment was the pitting from rust and all the missing parts.

  29. I agree with a suspension, but expulsion is too much.

    1. How about 2 hours of detention and a note to the parents.

  30. When I was a kid we all played with cap guns. Kids would probably get shot on sight for those now. Recently one did.

  31. I remember in my Spanish class my junior year, 1978, having one of these on my desk. At one point, while everyone was working and it was very quiet, I pushed it off of my desk and onto the floor. The concrete floor. Surrounded by cinder-block walls. 🙂 My teacher, Mr. Kelker, could tell who had done it, as I was the only one who kept working! He just looked at me, said “oopsie” as he often did when we got a question wrong, marked a minus next to my name, and that was the end of it.

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