Finger-gun families win small victory

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Doglips, May 30, 2002.

  1. Doglips

    Doglips Guest

    Finger-gun families win small victory
    By Valerie Richardson

    CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Children still aren't allowed to point their fingers like guns at Dry Creek Elementary School, but the principal can no longer quiz them about their family's firearms. Top Stories
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    In a partial victory for the seven boys punished for wielding finger-guns on the playground, the Cherry Creek school district in the suburbs of Denver last week reversed its stance, stating that any questions about a family's gun ownership should be directed to the parents, not the children.
    Dry Creek Principal Darci Mickle had asked the seven boys if their families owned guns after catching the boys playing army-and-aliens on the playground in March, prompting an outcry from some parents.
    "Criticism was directed at Mrs. Mickle for asking the students if there were guns in the home," said Cherry Creek Superintendent Monte Moses in a May 16 letter to Dry Creek parents. "We agree that in the future questions of this kind, when based on a legitimate safety concern, should be directed to the parents, respecting family privacy."
    But Mr. Moses said nothing about softening the school district's zero-tolerance policy, which was cited by the principal when she disciplined the boys. The seven fourth-graders were using their fingers to shoot each other in a game of army-and-aliens March 22 when they were pulled off the playground and taken to the principal's office.
    The principal asked the boys about their families' gun ownership and then called their parents to tell them to pick them up immediately.
    Parents later complained that the punishment was too severe for what they viewed as normal horseplay.
    The district, which defended the principal's actions as "well within the boundaries of district policy and common sense," became a target for criticism after a report on the incident appeared earlier this month in The Washington Times.
    The Denver Post awarded the school district its "Doofus of the Month" prize, while the Rocky Mountain News said that "it is simply none of a principal's business whether a family owns guns. And nothing we've heard about the game of army-and-aliens at Dry Creek school suggests it could pose any risk at all to anyone."
    In his letter Mr. Moses stressed the need for "a learning environment that is physically and psychologically safe for every child." But he also adopted a more conciliatory tone by noting that Mrs. Mickle was a first-year principal who had "good intentions in trying to handle a situation in which children were pretending to shoot one another."
    "Perhaps the consequence could have been a simple correction, but I support Mrs. Mickle in directing the students to stop pretending to shoot one another, particularly in view of the fact that all students had been instructed to refrain from this behavior at school," said Mr. Moses.
    His response left some Dry Creek parents disappointed, saying they had wanted the superintendent to call for a review of the district's zero-tolerance policy.
    "I think zero tolerance has its place, but the operative word is 'tolerance,'" said Charles Andrew, whose son Connor was one of the seven boys. "As shown in this case, we need to be much more tolerant of the individual student. Being 'psychologically safe' is fine, but how far do you carry that? Because the damage can be done on both ends here."
    Dave Kopel, research director at the Independence Institute in Golden, Colo., praised the superintendent for backing off of the guns-at-home inquiry, although he said he would have also liked to see the district distance itself from zero tolerance.
    "I think that's a wise step forward and a mature step by the school district to not keep defending its mistakes," said Mr. Kopel. "On the other hand, it's pretty clear they're still going to keep persecuting kids for finger guns. They were doing several things wrong, and now they've corrected one, which is good progress."
    The district's conduct code prohibits "violent and aggressive behavior," but parents said they were never told that finger-guns were forbidden. The principal later directed teachers to explain the finger-gun ban to students.
    Parents had also complained that their sons were shaken and humiliated by the episode. Mr. Andrew said that nearly two months later, Connor continues to dread school.

    SPOCAHP ANAR G&G Enthusiast

    I am a little concerned

    What concerns me more than the teacher suspending the kids for in appropriate play is that she failed to discipline them for their RACIAL behavior. These children are showing extreme intolerance for others who are different than they are. I mean come on; killing someone because they are a different species than you is just not acceptable in today's society. It also must stand to reason that these kids get this behavior from their parents and the appropriate action must be taken to intervene and put a stop to this neanderthal thinking.


    SPOCAHP ANAR G&G Enthusiast

    You won't EFFING believe what I found

    This is taken right from the Dry Creek Elm homepage. Its their philosophy on teaching.

    Dry Creek ElemDry Creek Elementary School---
    Where We Build Assets for Student Success

    Dry Creek Elementary School is an asset building school which aims to create a climate of safety and caring through proactive programs. Asset building teaches children social skills, helping them become more aware of themselves and their feelings and how to regulate them. We work hard to instill motivation and empathy and focus on strengths rather than weaknesses to reinforce resiliency. We ask "what is right about the child?" rather than "what is wrong?"

    During the Bully-Proofing program every fall, we go into each classroom for several sessions and teach students to recognize various kinds of bullying, why bullying is totally unacceptable, and strategies for dealing with bullies. Bully-Proofing is a comprehensive school-wide program that allows children to use their energy to learn instead of worrying that someone will hurt them physically, emotionally, or exclude them. Throughout the year, we focus on creating a "caring community" through presentations on what it means to be caring and how we can increase caring in the classroom and the school.

    Does this include emotionally bullying from teachers, and where wass this "What's right" attitude when she expelled the kids
  4. Doglips

    Doglips Guest

    Hummm guess they ment exit (the school) to the right.
  5. Klaus

    Klaus Guest

    Zero-tolorence of firearms in school is one thing, persecution of kids for pointing fingers or drawing pictures is something else, altogether. Some of these edu-crats should be beaten publicly, IMHO.
  6. tommy

    tommy G&G Enthusiast

    i have a first hand exsperiece the counsler started talkin to my kid at school and two days later me and my wife were called to a meeting at school.they said it was not a good idea to have an ak47 and other variuse guns in the housebecause my son did not like them .now this is a kid who loved to shoot guns before they talked to him. now he is scared or them. and he has no reason to be scared of them they are locked up in the closet and he can't get to them cause i have the only key to it and it is in my pocket 24/7/365. i think it is wronge for them to be able to brainwash little kids like that. but get this this is the best part i asked the lady if her husband has guns and she said yes but they are hunting riles and shot guns. now what is the diference i asked . she said they are for hunting now i don't know about yall but i would rather take a shot from an ak or sks oany one of my hand guns before i will take a shot from a 12 guage shot gun or a 30/06 but sinse they see the terrorist carring an ak they think it is a bad gun it has the famouse name of being an assult rifle