A Suffolk, Virginia high school student has been suspended and is facing permanent expulsion after an empty magazine from a BB gun was found in his backpack at school. In another example of zero-intelligence policies gone amok, the mere possession of harmless (air)gun related accessories on a school campus is treated as though it were actually dangerous or threatening . . .
On Monday, a parent contacted high school officials to say his son had seen a student with a gun in a locker room Friday afternoon. After learning of the incident, officials called police and removed the student from class, according to a letter from principal Thomas McLemore Jr.
A search of the student’s bookbag also was conducted, with the unloaded magazine clip found. Possession of such an item is a violation of school board policy.
No one was threatened and there were no injuries from the incident. Charges were not filed against the student, city spokeswoman Diana Klink said in an email.
A ‘violation of school board policy?’ I read the Suffolk School Board policies, as published online here. Weapons are clearly prohibited on school grounds, and the school board’s definition of ‘weapon’ is fairly broad. It includes knives longer than three inches, guns, air guns, replica guns, toy guns, martial-arts weapons and explosives.
But it doesn’t include mere parts of such items. Every student could be expelled within the week, if ‘weapon’ included ‘any part of a weapon’ because Allen-head screws are used in lots of firearms. If you’ve got one in your bag, your iPhone case, or your car in the parking lot, you’re busted.
But the Suffolk School Board and Nansemond River principal Thomas McLemore have taken this already-broad definition and stretched it beyond any comprehensible English definition. Under their all-inclusive definition of ‘weapon’ I probably would have been expelled from school if the Drivers Ed teacher had found an empty shotgun shell on the floor of my car after a duck-hunting weekend. If he’d even noticed the smell of Hoppe’s No. 9, but only found the empty bottle, I would have been suspended.
It’s time to start pushing back against this stupidity and Principal McLemore needs a reality check. If he thinks an empty BB gun magazine is a ‘weapon’ then we think he’s no better than a petty tyrant, unfit to supervise the education of our children.