Quote of the Day: Slippery Slope Edition

“Though this seems minor, if we don’t handle the minor things, they can unfortunately escalate into major things down the road.” – Roger Feagan, superintendent of the Norborne R-VIII School District quoted in School tells Missouri boy his 9/11 souvenir violates school weapons policy [via foxnews.com]

comments

  1. avatar The PUN-isher says:

    I think these things should be handled on a case by case basis

    1. avatar Armchair Command'oh says:

      Ba-dum tss

    2. avatar SteveInCO says:

      You must have brass ball to make jokes like that.

      1. avatar Grindstone says:

        I really hope we don’t have to slug through a pun thread…

        1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          Well, given the caliber of the commenters here…

        2. avatar The PUN-isher says:

          I think these are just a primer of what’s to come

    3. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      Operating according to a near infinitely elastic standard such as “and the like”, trust me, these are being handled on a case by case basis (read: capricious, arbitrary, and common nonsensical).

  2. avatar pwrserge says:

    Yeah… Because the large collection of dummy rounds that I had as a kid totally messed me up. [/sarc] Somebody needs to get this superintendent a new pair of grownup underwear.

    1. avatar Craig says:

      To be fair, you are here. And to communists/progressives, the thought alone of reading TTAG for amusement (and not spying) is nauseating and life threatening.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        The hilarious part is that said collection was put together IN a communist country.

        http://youtu.be/LrxjYfl05ek

        1. avatar Anon in CT says:

          The first girl is an automatic fail for not dropping the mag immediately.

        2. avatar pwrserge says:

          That’s not the drill. If you notice all the participants follow the exact same procedure. The Russian Army AK manual of arms is a bit… Odd.

        3. avatar Chris says:

          Pretty cool except for the first girl who forgot to drop the mag. Clear safety issue.

  3. avatar ThomasR says:

    Public Schools should have two signs over the front entrance;

    “Study(work) will make you free”

    “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      #3 “Powered by estrogen not logic”.

  4. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Amazing. A piece of brass.
    Right up there with the pastry chewed into the shape of a gun.
    Where has common sense gone?

    1. avatar WRH says:

      Common Sense was reappropriated by the Civilian Disarmament Brigade (in all its guises). It has never been the same since.

    2. avatar Gene says:

      “Though this seems minor, if we don’t handle the minor things, they can unfortunately escalate into major things down the road.” – Roger Feagan, superintendent of the Norborne R-VIII School District

      I completely agree with what he said in his quote. Given is inability to discern prudent and non-prudent actions, he and the teacher should resign their positions immediately as it is clear they can not apply good judgement as is required in their positions of community trust. Over time, the decision making will only get worse. Being disciplined like that over inert brass lacks the necessary clarity of thought required by their positions.

    3. avatar Cody says:

      Into those new gun laws that moms demand.

    4. avatar dph says:

      From what I’ve seen “common sense” has never been very common.

    5. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      Common Sense was captured, tried and executed at dawn by hanging, for crimes against insanity. Lying in a shallow and unmarked grave so as to hasten the collective forgetting of its existence, the search is now on for its known accomplices: Reason and Conscience.

  5. avatar JR_in_NC says:

    Two quotes from the article illuminate the real problem here.

    “Falke said her son’s teacher seized the shell casing and took him to the principal’s office. “

    and

    “The school handbook specifically says weapons, firearms, knives and the like are not allowed on school grounds.”

    So, they hire teachers that are:

    (1) Too stupid to recognize that an EMPTY CASING is not a weapon, firearm or knife,

    (2) Overreact to the slightest thing they do not understand

    (3) Refuse to take any responsibility themselves (“oh noes, gotta go to the principal” vs just, “hey, what is that? It might be against school rules, so don’t bring it back”)

    And then…they wonder why so many people don’t want them anywhere NEAR their children?

    These people are not “teachers.”

    They are “institution minders.” They are there to protect and perpetuate the “institution” of education and they don’t care what child, or what child’s dreams, they crush in the process.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      These people are not “teachers.”

      They are “institution minders.”

      Wrong. They are the inmates, and they are running the asylum.

      1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

        “running the asylum.”

        😉

        Point is…what’s their priority? It sure is not the children. Gatto spoke eloquently about that in one of his Teacher of the Year speeches.

    2. avatar Delmarva Chip says:

      Yeah … seems to be that she might have a case for a lawsuit, since they apparently incorrectly interpreted their own policy.

  6. avatar John L. says:

    And this is why at least half of my friends who have kids, home-school them.

    1. avatar TheBear says:

      ^ This

      I know I will piss a lot of people off by saying this, but in my experience most teachers are people who didn’t know what they wanted to do in college.

      1. avatar Todd S says:

        Actually, I have 2 master’s degrees. One is education (a joke if there ever was one) and the other in organic chemistry (a real man’s subject.) I knew exactly what I wanted to do when I was in college. I wanted to be a teacher because i had great teachers. Many, if not most, of us do this because we care and we’re good at it.

        Politicians, unfortunately, ruin it with cram-downs and mandates that do nothing except make them feel better about themselves because they did something. The best teachers are leaving education because political bullshit forces us to do something more fulfilling, like breaking our own fingers or washing down quaaludes with wood alcohol.

        1. avatar Rick3 says:

          ^^^^^ THIS!

        2. avatar Chris says:

          My kid has been back in school for a month (repeating math class) – and unless she’s lying to me, hasn’t had a drop of homework yet. She can’t bring her “school mandated USB drive” for computer class home to work on her papers, and her math “workbook” has to remain at school – she can’t bring it home so we can help her do better.

          Not quite an inner city, but definitely not upscale manhattan – no wonder why the city kids are getting left behind. You may be one in a million – but her teachers are completely fucking useless.

        3. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          “organic chemistry (a real man’s subject.)”

          P.Chemist here. Taught Organic a few times.

          You are by far in the minority: someone that wanted to teach a specific subject and gained expertise in that subject.

          Don’t know how these stats have changed, but in the early 1990’s, there were approximately 22,000 high schools in the US. There were less than 6,000 chemists teaching high school chemistry. Some of the rest had other science backgrounds.

          One of the biggest problems we have in education has been the take-over of thinking that one can “know how to teach” and that qualifies one to teach any subject. MAYBE that can work with first grade “Babysitting.” It absolutely does not work for specialized subjects from middle school and up…history needs a history lover teaching it, English Lit needs a literature lover teaching it, and chemistry, by golly, needs an actual chemist teaching it.

          In the late 90’s, the common middle school science text books were studied by a researcher, and he found something very interesting. One of his key conclusions was that the books were written for the teachers, NOT THE STUDENTS, as if the teachers had no knowledge of their own. These were books already in use, so they had been picked by School Boards (and teacher committees), and the meta-conclusion was that the teachers did not sufficiently know their subject matter to use the text as a supplement to delivery of their own knowledge.

          In the late 90’s, I had opportunity to interact with one of our local middle school high school teachers, and what she showed me then was appalling. The state (SC) had mandated what in practice amounted to ‘daily lesson plans’ to the degree that even if she was a bona fide expert, she would not have been allowed to teach outside those dictates. This predates Common Core, of course.

          “The best teachers are leaving education because political bullshit forces us to do something more fulfilling,”

          I don’t know when that trend really started, but I do know it has been going on at least 20 years.

          I went to graduate school with the plan of being a teacher. After, I specifically sought teaching jobs at smaller colleges so I could focus on “teaching” rather than “research.” A few years at that game had me looking elsewhere. I looked into HS (probably don’t have the personality for MS), but did not pursue jumping through the bureaucratic hoops.

          There’s a reason my children are homeschooled – that decision was solidified WHILE I WAS TEACHING. So, I am a teacher, of my own children. I give them everything I imagined being a teacher should be. And, I do it with no bureaucracy, because we chose a state that has “freedom” based homeschool laws.

        4. avatar TheBear says:

          I had 3 good teachers my entire time at highschool.

          One was my chemistry teacher. Go figure.

        5. avatar Anon in CT says:

          Bravo Zulu to you – really – it’s great when somoene who is really a SME wants to teach it. I was lucky enough to have had a few teachers like you in high school. My undergrad was history / poli sci, and I did consider teaching as a career, but was pretty sure that my politicially incorrect mouth would not have made it through the teaching certification.

        6. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          ChemE here. If I had ever become a teacher, it would have been high school chemistry (and I did give it consideration). One of my top-three most influential teachers in high school was my chemistry teacher.

      2. avatar ChuckN says:

        I agree. Many of the teachers candidates I’ve met go for
        an education degree for two reasons. It’s pretty much
        the easiest BA one can get; they literally couldn’t handle
        any other subject requiring any academic rigor. Seriously,
        look at any college’s requirement for a BA in education
        and you realize that a sizable chunk of today’s “teachers”
        should still be working their way up to asst. fry cook.
        The ones, such as Todd S, are few and far between and
        getting scarcer.

  7. avatar JoshtheViking says:

    When I have kids, they will not be sent to an institute of public indoctrination if at all possible. The only good thing about this is that even kids can tell how stupid some of their teachers are, I certainly remember that I could at that age. I know it is off topic, but I was about seven when one of my teachers told me that the sun isn’t a star. After that, I knew not to trust their opinions. I followed the rules, but I knew that the people making them weren’t exactly rocket scientists.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      “When I have kids, they will not be sent to an institute of public indoctrination if at all possible.”

      +10000000

      Homeschool. Often challenging but always incredibly rewarding. Also, intensely liberating.

    2. avatar Luciferian says:

      When I was in college one of my professors told me, “You’re a thinker, and I can’t have thinkers in my class.”

  8. avatar Shire-man says:

    It’d be multitudes easier to kill a classmate with a pencil or scissors than spent brass.

    Rules, regulations, laws and penalties at all levels are not about solving any real problems.

  9. avatar Bob72 says:

    A few of my friends are teachers. They told me that principled teachers will never last. The stories I heard were astonishing. I do not have kids, but if I did, home school. Besides, the smartest kids I have met are home schooled.

  10. avatar Mediocrates says:

    send you kids to government schools, win stupid prizes.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      “win stupid prizes”

      What a delightful ambiguity here. Is the prize stupid? Or is it a prize for being stupid?

      🙂

      1. avatar Nick D says:

        Or maybe the prize is stupidity. Like a Jack-in-the-box, only it lobotomizes you.

  11. avatar Jay-El says:

    “Though this seems minor, if we don’t handle the minor things, they can unfortunately escalate into major things down the road.”

    Translation: “Though you didn’t do anything wrong, if we don’t punish you, you might do something wrong down the road.”

    How did we reach the point where people in positions of authority can behave like this?

    By the way, let me point out some slippery language on the part of the school official: This incident does not “seem” minor; it is minor. Actually, it doesn’t even reach the threshold of minor, because an empty blank casing is not a weapon.

    I would also note the groundless logic in the “can escalate down the road” reasoning. “Can” does not indicate increased risk or likeliness; it simply indicates possibility. In this country, we do not mete out justice or intercede based on what someone can do down the road. If that were the case, why not charge all 7-year-old boys with rape?

    Here’s the real reason for the school’s actions, by the way: They are consumed with fear and are uninformed, and accustomed to taking action that provably accomplishes little (anyone who is familiar with the education system knows what I’m talking about). Moreover, although they don’t know anything useful about guns, they do know plenty about 7-year-old boys. And the 7-year-old boys in the “offender’s” class will almost certainly think an empty rifle casing is cool, thereby undermining the whole “firearms are evil” dogma.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      “How did we reach the point where people in positions of authority can behave like this?”

      Whoa, ho, slow down there, fella. You are not supposed to question those in “authority” at all.

      What you ask is a BIG question. PART of the answer is that like many bureaucracies, academia in general and “education” in particular has become somewhat of a self perpetuating ‘closed loop.’

      People go to college to become “teachers” and get trained into a system thinking a certain way and believing certain things. For example, students go through college learning that college is the place to “become enlightened.” Notice now how so many people think “college” is what everyone “should do?”

      Some of those students go to grad school to extend their education. When they finish, a lot of them are trained for nothing else but academia. It’s a socialization process that perpetuates itself…not unlike a cult in some ways.

      This “academic” thinking, this mindset, exists very heavy in educational “administration” positions. The front line teacher with remaining passion for teaching (a declining class, I fear) may not fully subscribe to the “teaching is everything” rah rah shouts, but the admins? Yeah. They are authoritarian, self-important Peter Principle stand-outs.

      It’s a big question, with a lot of nuanced angles.

      1. avatar Grindstone says:

        “Whoa, ho, slow down there, fella. You are not supposed to question those in “authority” at all.”

        Isn’t that part of the new school standards in Colorado? Set up by the conservatives?

  12. avatar Matt says:

    My son entered sixth grade this year and, the way schools are structured here in Montgomery County, MD began at a new school. At the start of the school year my son was asked to bring in three things that mean a lot to him as a way of getting to know his new classmates (conversation starters of a sort). His birthday happens to fall on the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address and this past year it was the 150th Anniversary so my wife took him out of school and they road-tripped up to Gettysburg to see the reenactments, tour the battlefields and get a taste of history close up. He met some re-enactors and when they learned it was his birthday he was presented with a special gift – a piece of history. One of the re-enactors gave him a minie-ball that was found on the battlefield. It is a real treasure for my son and this summer he and his grandfather made a special oak and glass display case for it in my father-in-law’s woodshop.

    He wanted to bring this into school as one of the three special items but was told “no” by his teacher. He could bring in a photograph of it but he could not bring in the actual minie-ball. I called the school and asked to speak with an administrator to get some clarification. I tried explaining that this inert hunk of lead poses no threat. There is no case. There is no gunpowder. Nothing is going to accidentally “go off” and hurt someone. There is simply a lump of lead and the only way it is going to hurt anyone is if a kid tosses it at another child. I was told that the school community would have a hard time if a child brought a bullet to school. Again, I explained it poses no hazard and wouldn’t it be nice for kids in school to see an actual historical artifact? No, I was told, despite the historical provenance it could not come to school. “Imagine the phone calls the front office would get if kids went home and told their parents that a classmate brought a bullet to school,” I was told. I resisted the urge that the front office grow a spine and tell parents exactly what I had explained – there is no safety hazard posed by an inert hunk of lead.

    I gave up the fight and said that I would instead have my son bring in a photograph of the minie-ball per his teacher’s suggestion. “Um, yes, that would be a problem too. We cannot have anything related to bullets or guns come into the school. Can’t you just come up with something else?” Apparently a photograph of a lump of lead, despite the historical significance, is too much for Montgomery County Maryland schools to handle. When I explained all of this to my son he asked me “How are we supposed to learn about history when we cannot even look at pictures that might have guns and bullets in them?” How indeed?

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      And you want those people “teaching” your son?

      One has to wonder…What are they teaching him? Because yes, they are teaching him something.

      1. avatar Matt says:

        Believe me, his education is supplemented by both my wife and me.

    2. avatar Sergio says:

      Call The Blaze. Call Fox News. Call your local media. Stories like this need to be shared so parents can see the kind of ridiculousness our children are being taught, and the administators need to be shamed and fired.

      1. avatar Scott P says:

        Won’t happen in MoCo. If anything the teachers will be “celebrated” for keeping those evil conservatives and their guns at bay. Never mind the fact the county is overwhelmingly a democrat one party county in a one party state.

    3. avatar Jay-El says:

      Interesting and sad story; thanks for sharing. The part that stands out most to me is the comment about “We cannot have anything related to guns or bullets come into the school.”

      That restriction, apparently, includes even the idea of guns. They want to pretend guns don’t exist, because to them, guns are evil. And these folks are really good at pretending evil doesn’t exist, or that you can ban evil by banning guns.

      These are the same people who believe that DGUs don’t happen and never will. It’s inconceivable to them, because guns are evil. Even in the face of obvious evidence to the contrary (e.g., a good guy with a gun stopping a bad guy) these folks’ response will be something along the lines of “two wrongs don’t make a right.”

      I wonder if your son’s school would ban the academic exploration of one of history’s most iconic symbols of evil, the Swastika, along with everything it stood for (and still does, in some instances). Or would they rather pretend that it never existed?

      At the risk of a too-long post, I’d also like to note my disgust at the school’s reasoning about parents calling the office to complain if your son were allowed to being an encased, harmless Civil War artifact to class to accompany his narrative about the Gettysburg Address. YOU were a parent calling the office to complain. What gives the school the authority to dismiss a real, live parent with a valid complaint in favor of other parents who might call with an unfounded complaint?

      (Apologies to @JR_in_NC — I know I’m not supposed to question those in authority, but rational thought keeps distracting me from my duty to mindlessly submit.)

    4. avatar Gary in GA says:

      So sorry to hear that. My 17 year old daughter did the 150th anniversary of Picketts’ Charge at Gettysburg and again this year. She was the only girl in the Modern Military History class. The guys would always hit on her especially after I posted a picture of her shooting an AR15 at the range on her FaceBook page. Instant street cred. She has a silver plated minie ball on a necklace and wears it to school saying she won’t go out with a guy unless he can tell her what the necklace is. The guys in the class never got it. The teacher walks up, takes a look and snickers as he walks away. Love my Outside-The-Perimeter Atlanta conservative county!

    5. avatar Scott P says:

      I grew up in Montgomery County myself I know exactly how you feel. The same county that has spearheaded the FSA of 2013 and a whole bunch of other stupid laws from a NIMBY, elitist, arrogant, county because it has the population, money, and tax base it thinks it can dictate to the rest of Maryland what it should do. It is a county that will never change its ways.

      I thankfully got out of there and now am in Florida. For people who think for themselves and question the dogma of that county you really need to get out. You will not change a damn thing there. I left my family and friends but I have one life to live and I would rather be free(er) with peace of mind than stuck under a tyrannical boot of NIMBYness.

      Just got back from a visit to Maryland a few weeks back the whole time I was there I was just pissed, I was not happy at all. When I got back to Florida my mood changed and I felt so much happier.

  13. avatar DetroitMan says:

    “Though this seems minor, if we don’t handle the minor things, they can unfortunately escalate into major things down the road.”

    Exactly right. It used to be that kids could take firearms to school for legitimate purposes of show and tell or participation in school rifle teams. Then we started to allow minor infringements on our rights. Down the road, this escalated into a situation where we are so terrified of guns that we punish kids for bringing empty brass to school.

    I’m sure this isn’t what the principal meant, but it is an ironic statement in this context.

    1. avatar Jay-El says:

      @DetroitMan nails it. Well said.

  14. avatar TwinReverb says:

    Totally dumb of the school administration to act in this manner. It’s just a shell casing.

    I wish the school admin would (puts on sunglasses) get off his case….. (queue music)

  15. avatar Anonymous says:

    Yep. This is what happens when irrational brain-dead individuals are placed in managerial positions overseeing beaurecratic red tape nonsense.

  16. avatar Anthony says:

    When I was in 5th grade (2001) we went to a Veteran’s Day ceremony where a 21 gun salute was performed. I picked up one of the spent casings and the teacher said I would just have to ask my parents before taking it home. When I was in 7th grade we went to a Civil War reenactment where us, the students, fired 1861 Springfield rifles in a volley. When I was in 9th grade we were studying WWI. Another student (with permission) made a replica 1903 Springfield out of wood and metal and brought it in for a final project. I made a display with pictures and information about WWI small arms. This would probably blow the minds of some school administrators now but not a single person was hurt in any of these situations. As a result of all of this I have a love of firearms, especially historical ones, which is probably worse in their eyes than any number of injuries.

  17. avatar Scrubula says:

    empty case=weapon. water gun=weapon. Tiny, less than a gram Lego gun=weapon. Poptart=weapon. I don’t think these schools are teaching children anything logical anymore…

  18. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    To be far: isn’t the way that these braindead school administrators have treated a seven-year-old exactly the same way that the District of Columbia treats everyone? At least he just missed a couple recesses. Mark Witashek was convicted of a felony for exactly the same thing.

    1. avatar Jay-El says:

      Dang, Chip — that is an eerily precise comparison. Both instances reveal the true message: Nonconformity, even with silly rules or applications never intended by the drafters of the rules, will not be tolerated. Submissive obedience trumps all.

      And that, by the way, is what is being taught.

  19. avatar Ralph says:

    Congratulations to Herr Feagan for rogering (see what I did there?) young Zane Falke. Feagan unintentionally taught the lad an important lesson, namely that authority can never be trusted. The Founders knew this, but the lesson seems to have been forgotten along the way. This was a great reminder.

    In the end, it may be that all Feagan has done is to create a future recruit for the militia.

  20. avatar Ing says:

    “Though this seems minor, if we don’t handle the minor things, they can unfortunately escalate into major things down the road.”

    Stupidity escalates, too, Mr. Feagan. Consider that next time you’re considering how to enforce your school’s no-weapons policy.

  21. avatar Henry Bowman says:

    If only we had stop this insanity at Miller vs United States…Would be freer…

    If only we had stopped it…

  22. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    This is why we need a pooled, 2A legal fund. We won’t all have a case. (See what I did there?) But when someone has a case they’ll be up against infinitely-provisioned slug-brained (See what I did there?) recalcitrance.

    So, parent-guy needs a place to have us take his case – lawyers, administrators, press releases and a media strategy, plus creating collateral to be used in every campaign for the rest of time involving any of the knuckleheads involved in this “decision” of the knuckleheads who appointed and support them.

    By the way, the simple question is this: “In what sense is an empty, previously-fired shell casing a “weapon?” Even a live cartridge isn’t a “weapon.” Or is this disallowed under some other provision? If so, what?”

    We need to help the parents here prep, so they can bring it up successfully to the school board, and in the next school board election, and feed it to the state and federal edu-tools who sponsor people who do such things, and ….

  23. avatar tk says:

    “and the like”
    -Pretty much a catch-all. So he must be “publicly shamed” to appease the liberal gods.

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