Zombie Hunter Airsoft Pistol (WAVY.com)
In what is quite possibly the most egregious misapplication of zero tolerance policies in the history of public education, three Virginia Beach 7th-graders have been suspended, with two of them placed on long-term suspension through next June for playing with Airsoft guns on private property. The three suspended boys were playing with the guns while waiting for the school bus in one of the boys’ front yard. A neighbor called 911 and reported it, noting that the gun was a toy and that the boys were shooting toward a target in a tree with a net behind it to catch the pellets. Despite acknowledging that it was a toy, the neighbor told the 911 dispatcher that . . .

“it makes people uncomfortable. I know that it makes me (uncomfortable), as a mom, to see a boy pointing a gun.” There were as many as six boys engaging in an “airsoft war” at one point, including the son of the 911 caller.

Virginia Beach’s WAVY reports that the suspensions were handed down after an investigation found that “children were firing pellet guns at each other, and at people near the bus stop.” The letter from the boys’ middle school principal says one child “was only 10 feet from the bus stop, and ran from the shots being fired, but was still hit.” (Measured how? My bus stop growing up was “the corner of Sunrise and Pine.” It’d be impossible to give a location more specific in that case than “near the bus stop.”) In this case, no one disputes that the kids were on private property, but they were still suspended for “possession, handling and use of a firearm.”

The boys don’t deny they were shooting at each other, but said that no one involved complained. “He knew we had the airsoft gun. He knew we were playing. He knew people were getting shot. We were shooting at the tree, but he still came and even after he was shot he still played,” referring to the son of the 911 caller.

The suspensions take effect immediately, and extend through June of next year, though there will be a hearing in January to determine if they will be allowed back into school. Both kids were offered a spot in the county’s alternative school. One child’s parents said the student will be homeschooled, the other will be attending the alternative school.

One of the boys is crying foul: “Yes, it’s unfair because we were in our yard. This had nothing to do with school. I didn’t have anything at school at anytime.” He went on to express serious concerns for his future due to this incident, saying “It’s terrible. I won’t get the chance to go to a good college. It’s on your school record. The school said I had possession of a firearm. They aren’t going to ask me any questions. They are going to think it was a real gun, and I was trying to hurt someone. They will say ‘oh, we can’t accept you.'”

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95 Responses to Daily Digest: “It Makes Me Uncomfortable” Edition

  1. Earlier today,I had to kinetically engage the concrete security screen as I tactically transferred fiat currency to acquire an asset of localized strategic worth ,after which I dynamically exfiled the area-oh,sorry.I meant to say I bought lunch at the McDonalds drive through.

    Seriously,can we Dynamically Deactivate the Kinetic Lingo please?

  2. I see a major lawsuit here. The principal has no jurisdiction over what happens on private property. I would hope that some conservative public interest law group would take this case up. The school district should be on the hook for private school tuition. If I were an attorney I would take this up pro bono.

    • They’ll argue that the wait time at the bus stop is included in the definition “school activity” and they were fully in their rights…. Sorry Charlie, The bus wasn’t there yet AND it was on private property. That means the school had nothing to do with ownership of the property and is out of line. In fact, what was noted here says it was near the bus stop, not the bus stop itself. Zero Tolerance is an idiot move.

      • Even if they do argue that, it needs to be fought. What next, regulating ‘firearms’ in the home because the schools text book is there? No guns within 100 feet of school property…maybe I shouldn’t give them any ideas.

        • The “bus stop as school property” notion is patently ridiculous. What’s next, is someone going to get in trouble for CC’ing while walking past a school bus stop, which is several street corners in every single suburban neighborhood?

        • “maybe I shouldn’t give them any ideas.”
          They wouldn’t recognize an idea if you gift wrapped it and handed it to them.

      • This this was not at school and beyond their jurisdiction. This has gone beyond “zero tolerance.” They are now below zero and have gone into “negative tolerance.”

        • So if anyone is hurt at a bus stop, you can sue the school for not providing proper care and supervision. Sounds like it could get very expensive to put a supervisor at every bus stop. Hope the school realizes what they just signed up for.

    • I used to have fun at my bus stop. All those years my friends and I all spent smacking each other with sticks while ‘sword fighting’ at the bus stop? We laughed about it, and got on the damn bus. Our bus driver would tally up the hits she saw while approaching and judge the best swordsman among us each morning.

      Nobody batted an eye at our behavior. Additionally our bus stop was my driveway. Private property owned by our landlord. Are we to believe that the school should have jurisdiction over such property? Sure once you got o nthe bus you were to behave. But really?

  3. That should be considered a misuse of 911. Not an emergency. And if we lived in a just world she should be charged with being a freakin’ idiot!

    • She should have talked to the parents and the kids if it made her so uncomfortable. Why do people go straight to the police instead of putting in an ounce of effort?

      • Because most people don’t have the stones for confrontation. It all goes back to the lessons to tell the teacher when someone is picking on you rather than doing something about it.

        • Or sheer laziness. Why would you go have an uncomfortable conversation with someone when you can get them in trouble without even getting up off the couch?

      • We used bb guns when I was a kid. Rule was no more than 3 pumps if you had a diasy 880 or something similar.

        The level of hysteria has reached almost critical levels. If I were the parents, I would sue the school, at least. I don’t think the school has a leg to stand on.

    • I agree this sh1t is gettin fvckin ridiculous suspended for air soft in someone’s yard before school… seriously when i was in high school we smoked dipped played basketball at our bus stop and had hunting rifles in our cars and never got in trouble what has the world come to?

    • She should be made to pay restitution to the kids she demeaned as well as their school tuition. Aft thatconsider letting her have supervised visits with her own kid. maybe once a month…

  4. This is why we (my state forum) suggest only using Airsoft guns at sanctioned events that adhere to our safety guidelines held on private property out of public view. There’s nothing wrong with shooting each other with Airsoft guns, that’s kind of the point of them, but eye protection and safety measures (such as being out of view) are a must. If you or your children want to get involved with Airsoft look for a state forum to connect with other players to keep yourself safe and within city ordinances. Also, “airsoft war” is code for irresponsible use of an Airsoft gun. It’s like a watergun fight with airsoft guns and gives the game a bad name.

    On another note, that sweep the leg drill is pretty entertaining.

    • Just as open carry is a necessary step in normalizing “uncomfortable” people in their acceptance that their neighbors legally and safely carry firearms we should not be required, nor should we require our children, to play airsoft “in the closet”.

      I don’t know what you are afraid or ashamed of, but I played all through my childhood, all over the neighborhood, with a military surplus Springfield ’03, complete with a ceramic bayonet (training rifle/non functional). When I got a BB pistol that looked like a Colt 1911 I carried that as well in a military surplus holster. This was in Chicago in the ’50s and ’60s and for some reason the police never showed at our address. I once carried that rifle on a city bus to demonstrate the manual of arms at our weekly Boy Scout meeting. No SWAT team.

      There is absolutely no reason we should hide our weapons just because they make some pvssie uncomfortable (other than tactical considerations). I don’t recall anything in the Second Amendment adding the proviso, “unless the arms make your neighbors or the mayor of Chicago uncomfortable.”

  5. That video was freakin’ hilarious…

    Oh, and the mother and the school admin are idiots. And yes, this opinion is coming from a public school teacher.

  6. I was tempted to go for the govt overreach angle here on those boys, but when you dig into the details, one of the suspended kids had shot the son of the mom who dialed 911. At least one of the boys had prior discipline problems. They were not just target shooting, but running around shooting each other. This smells like the Hatfields and McCoys, and there are a lot of details I bet are being held back about these kids. A suspension for the whole year makes no sense for the good of the kids, at the same time I have a feeling the school decided to strongly encourage them to go to different schools because this was the last straw. Who knows, but this story sounded fishy to me.

    • Nah, it’s government overreach. Even if there was some inter-family stuff going on, from reading a half dozen different versions of this story that were emailed in by a dozen different people, it sure sounds like the 911 call was placed prior to the “airsoft war” and the 911 caller’s son getting shot. That part of the story seems to be something that came along after the fact. She specifically noted to the 911 operator that it was a toy, and that they were shooting at a target in the tree. It really didn’t sound to me like it was a retaliatory call. You can listen to the 911 call at the WAVY link in the post, if you care to.

      I’m sorta of the opinion that she was looking for a little cop intervention, like “settle the boys down” not like “arrest them.” It seems to me like this went way beyond anything she expected to happen. Of course, stupidity is not an excuse, because if that’s what she wanted, she was naive as hell. You call the cops, they’re gonna act like cops, not like hall monitors.

      • It’s a shame that someone can’t take a page from that idiot New York Newspaper last year and start a website where the full name and address of moronic busybodies like this 911 caller are posted for all the world to see. In Colonial days, punishment included public shaming and we need to get back to that.

        • Public shaming only works on people who are capable of feeling shame. Sadly, I think the majority of people in our society today are past that.

    • Whatever history, disciplinary or otherwise, that these boys may or may not have, it is FAR outside the jurisdiction of the school to penalize them for something they were doing on private property. If this stands as a legal precedent, where will the school’s jurisdiction end? What behavior will they not be able to regulate through the school board and enforce on the students and their families?

      In the meantime they are busy teaching ALL of their students that the Second Amendment to The Constitution of the United States of America has no legal standing in their opinion and that the school and therefore any level of government authority is free to infringe on that natural, civil and constitutionally protected right up to and including the front door of your house if they can find even the remotest, most tortured justification for that intrusion. What sort of message is this sending to their students?

      • I agree with your contention that the school has no jurisdiction over what happens on private property. It sounds though like at least some of the airsoft rounds were directed at a person waiting at the designated school bus stop. I don’t know how Virginia Beach is set up, but I actually bothered to read the code of conduct for kids sent out by my school and it specifically addresses misbehavior at school, on the school bus, and at the bus stop. Kids are told in the book, (which parents are required to electronically sign acknowledging their receipt and understanding of the rules) that misbehavior at the bus stop is within the school’s purview to address.

        Had the airsoft “battle” happened completely within private property and no rounds had struck a kid waiting at the bus stop, the school would have little recourse. In this case, as wrong as it is, it would appear that the school may have legitimate ground to take action. It will come down to what the written rules say.

        I suspect as one other commenter noted that the degree of punishment may be based upon prior disciplinary issues. The article did not discuss whether we were talking Dean’s list students here or the local troublemakers.

        • Sorry Jimbo, there is such a thing as bogus rules. The community I live in as a bunch of rules enforced by code enforcement people (not certified police) and these jerks keep expanding their reach without any additional action by the city council. Example: they claim it is unlawful to change one’s oil in an area behind a privacy fence. They say you can change your oil but only if you do it inside a garage. Even if the school makes a rule and writes it down does not mean it is within their legitimate prevue to enforce.

  7. All 2A supporters should band together and campaign to not pass educational levies in this school district until they change this policy.

    this is the way old folks and advocates can have a voice in this sort of thing. A no vote on a levy is a serious thing, bout the only thing liberal educators understand. Shut off their money!

  8. Hey, that one boy might be Obama’s son, if he had one, oh nevermind. I suppose if the boys were exchanging dresses and high heels in the front yard, the neighBOT would think its cute, natural and would have ignored the whole thing. Thank the gods they weren’t playing dodgeball. That might be considered terrorism and may require SWAT, child protective services and a year’s worth of therapy all at tax payer’s expense. Phew … those kids really dodged an airsoft pellet there.

  9. Bored, nosy, got to nag at someone or something, drama queen….WOMAN…sticking her nose is where it does belong.

    I am sure she had a shirt to iron or a dish to wash. Her son will grow up to be a real man.

    • Seriously. These women with their “jobs” and their “voting” it’s like they think they’re real people or something.

      • Well this one proved in spades that she can’t be left alone around a telephone. Maybe a job and voting are activities outside her critical thinking level. God help us if she actually engages in the latter, we’re trying to keep scum in Bloomberg’s pocket from becoming governor.

  10. “In what is quite possibly the most egregious misapplication of zero tolerance policies in the history of public education…”

    That’s a joke, right? Because there have been worse examples.

    • There have? Give me an example. Since this one didn’t even take place on school property or at a school sponsored event, I kinda feel this one resets the bar.

      • I don’t know, I got an ISS back in middle school for hitting a kid that was stealing my bike. The whole incident happened outside school grounds and I’ve got no clue how the hell the school even knew about it since I’d never seen the kid–it’s not like he could have told his mom who I was.

  11. I’m local to the Virginia Beach story. Yes they were shooting other kids but as I understand it, everybody was “playing” and there was no “assault.” The PD flat out washed their hands of the matter – no crime committed. I smell a fat lawsuit. This has hit the national news like wildfire. I think every school official who holds responsibility for fanning this fire should be relieved of their responsibilities immediately.

  12. Epic overreaction regarding the air soft incident. It’s quite a stretch that the school would have any authority to suspend the boys. Even if the school did have the legal authority, they damn well shouldn’t.

    The one boy made some very good points about his future school records. The BS charges may very well affect his future in college. I hope he successfully sues the living day lights out of the school, and that the supervisor responsible for the suspensions / expulsions pays dearly. I’m very tired of nanny-style moms, teachers, and administrators *teaching* our children that firearms have no place in modern society.

    • School transcripts (“permanent record”) that are sent to colleges do not contain such information. Just courses taken, grades, honors and degree (in College transcripts). Maybe total number of students and class rank. Identifying information

      Disciplinary actions do go on a record (as does things like medical info, e.g. allergic to broccolli), but not one sent to colleges. At least that is the case in my home state (California) and was the case when I worked for a graduate school.

      • ETA: FERPA restricts the release of some records. Just quickly glancing over the laws and policies, as a general rule high schools do NOT send disciplinary records to colleges. In some states it is, in fact, illegal except in certain narrow cases. Most do not as a matter of course though they may if requested.

        FWIW, I was suspended. Heck even arrested in school. No record ever made it to my college. I know, because I saw all the records that my college had.

      • What might be reflected is the time one spends in home schooling and the time the other spends in the “alternative school”. A college may well ask why the kids have this gap in their academic transcripts.

    • I suggest he apply to Hillsdale College. Fine conservative school. If any record of this incident does reach them they might consider it as an advantage on his admissions qualifications.

  13. Let me get this straight. She called 911because it made her “feel uncomfortable” and they took her seriously? She was uncomfortable. That’s it?

    Lots of things make me uncomfortable. High on that list are busybodies who think they can control my life and infringe on my rights for their own comfort/sense of superiority.

    Can I call 911 and have her removed?

    • It’s the liberal bill of rights.

      We have the right to free speech, as long as it doesn’t offend anyone.

      We have the right to peaceable assembly, as long it’s a cause everyone agrees with.

      We have the right to keep and bear arms, as long no one is uncomfortable.

    • Maybe the responding office should have just taken her into “protective custody” for her own “comfort”. Everybody wins!

  14. Just when you think the hoplophobes have reached the limit of stupidity, they reach way down deep, and outdo themselves.

  15. A recent post illustrated how school textbooks and test guides are re-writing the Second Amendment and misrepresenting its meaning. I suggested, as a response, that we stage open carry demonstrations in front of schools to show students in no uncertain terms that their textbooks and test guides are wrong.

    I think these baseless suspensions are another reason to exercise our First and Second Amendment rights in front of schools. I cannot begin to imagine how many staff would go berserk at the sight of responsible citizens exercising their rights in full view of the students. The horror! Ahh! Cover the childrens’ eyes! We must not let them see!

    • stage open carry demonstrations in front of schools

      Better be sure to stay 1000 feet away from school property, or have a permit to carry issued by the state where the school is located.

    • ” I suggested, as a response, that we stage open carry demonstrations in front of schools to show students in no uncertain terms that their textbooks and test guides are wrong.”

      Understand where you are coming from.

      Bad idea, though. Very bad idea.

  16. How about this: Reinstate the kid and wipe his record clean; suspend the Principal without pay until September; and make the whiny pantywaist mommy-child pay the administrative processing costs for the whole thing.

  17. When I was in 5th Grade, in the Pleistocene Era, we farm boys spent most of a very hot summer pulling on two pair of jeans, four shirts, and standing 50 yards apart shooting each other with our Red Ryders. No eye pro. Flinch and you were a pansy. That’s the crap kids do without belt-on adult supervision, I guess. On the other hand, every last one of us had a .22 rifle, we hunted rabbits and squirrels in season, mostly with no supervision there, either, and I never even heard rumors of any of us not practicing top-notch gun safety. So when I jined up in the Marine Corps, I already knew how to shoot, as did most other guys in Boot Camp. Occurs to me that in about 15 years, if we have a war to fight, God help us. The military won’t just have to teach shooting, it will have to break through the mindset that guns are evil creatures with minds of their own, etc. etc.

  18. The bus stop for my 2nd and 4th graders is, literally, at the end of my driveway (the district’s bus route lists the stop as “StreetName @ HouseNumber”).

    I’m tempted to take them near the end of the driveway tomorrow morning and let them do a little .22 target practice in our front yard while they wait for the bus.

    Of course, nobody around here would care – it’s pretty common to hear gunfire on any weekend afternoon (a little hobby of mine is trying to figure out what people are shooting… my 11-year-old figured out “revolver” pretty quickly).

  19. When I was back in High School, I played Airsoft with a buddy of mine on his yard. We were 17 year old kids shooting at each other. I had an Airsoft MP5 and he had an M4. Nobody called the cops on us and we were living in Suburbia

  20. I remember a law in Калифорния a while back that permitted the summary discharge of any teacher for stating in their own home, with no children present, that what two adults did in the bedroom was their own business.

    This is similar; thought-crime on private property shall be punishable.

    Welcome to the Fourth Reich.

    On the lighter side, ordinances are usually not deliverable; ordnance, on the other hand…

    • What I sent, submitted for your amusement:

      [Greeting omitted] –

      Perhaps you can follow up your opening salvo in the War on Thought Crime (and sanity) by expelling any students who say “gun,” “knife” or other Evil Words of Power while visiting relatives out of state during winter break.

      That’s about the only way in which to get any lower, as seems to be your goal.

      With all due disrespect,

      Russ Bixby, geek in Kansas

      Power without wisdom is akin to an adze with a ruined edge, and is suited more to the vandal than the builder.

      P.S. My children are grown, married and living in other states, so don’t bother calling SRS to report me as a danger to them.

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