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Oklahoma teachers union seeks to keep zero tolerance rules banning imaginary guns

Oklahoma teachers union seeks to keep zero tolerance rules banning imaginary guns

“Common Sense Zero Tolerance Act” would stop punishment of children’s imagination and childhood play.

A legislator in Oklahoma has proposed legislation to ease the “zero tolerance” school policies that have created absurdities in which young children with toy or imaginary guns are punished.

We’re seen so many of these instances:

The legislator has an opponent, the Oklahoma Education Association, as explained in this report:

A proposed law that would ease school rules when it comes to fake weapons is causing a stir.

It’s called the “Common Sense Zero Tolerance Act” and the bill’s author says it will protect children in school.

“Real intent, real threats and real weapons should always be dealt with immediately. We need to stop criminalizing children’s imagination and childhood play,” explained Sally Kern, Republican from Oklahoma City.

“If there’s no real intent, there’s no real threat, no real weapon, no real harm is occurring or going to occur, why in the world are we in a sense abusing our children like this.” ….

It also prevents schools from punishing students “using a finger or hand to simulate at weapon,” “vocalizing imaginary firearms” or “drawing a picture of a firearm.” But the Oklahoma Education Association isn’t on board with Kern’s proposed law.

“I fully trust Oklahoma educators to handle student discipline in an appropriate case-by-case manner. The proposed legislation removes local control from teachers, counselors, administrators and local school boards. Educators are degreed professionals, trained and experienced in dealing with children,” explained O.E.A President Linda Hampton.

Of course, if individual teachers and schools acted appropriately on a case-by-case basis, we would not need such legislation.

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Comments

Agreed, we need them to act sensibly or be on the hook for their actions.

    dinker in reply to CREinstein. | January 27, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    The only reason “they” are doing this is to make children AFRAID OF GUNS SO THEY WON’T WANT ONE WHEN THEY GROW UP–hence gun control! This has gone SOOOO far from adult
    common sense as to be completely ABSURD!!
    EVERYONE needs to go to your school board meetings and let them know–in NO uncertain terms, politely, of course, but firm, that the residents who employ them will NOT tolerate
    these ridiculous punishments of children or you will start a petition to have them recalled–or voted out–PERIOD!
    Unless WE THE PEOPLE raise up against this Adms. out of control trampling of our Constitutional rights it will only get worse!
    MAKE SOME NOISE!!

We are living in the age of no responsibility. Rules that regulate the fringes absolve administrators from being responsible for anything. If it’s not in the rule book, then it’s someone else’s fault for having overlooked the possibility of some behavior that needs a rule.

Why not just pass a law that changes every kid’s name to David Gregory and give them a pass on gun law violations?

smalltownoklahoman | January 27, 2014 at 9:05 am

“Of course, if individual teachers and schools acted appropriately on a case-by-case basis, we would not need such legislation.”

Couldn’t say it better myself! Zero tolerance encourages punishment way out of proportion to the infraction. It’s a policy that needs to be minimized or done away with entirely, not promoted.

“Educators are degreed professionals, trained and experienced in dealing with children,” explained O.E.A President Linda Hampton.
———————–

Horsepucky. First, a lot of “teachers” are the furthest thing from and “educator”.

They MAY have a (pretty worthless) degree, but they are NOT professionals, as we see in daily news.

A government monopoly school is often a center for child abuse in various forms.

    NavyMustang in reply to Ragspierre. | January 27, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Hearing crap such as “Educators are degreed professionals, trained and experienced in dealing with children,” explained O.E.A President Linda Hampton.” always makes me cringe. Kind of like when I’m told that so and so is right cause they’re an “expert.”

great unknown | January 27, 2014 at 9:52 am

I agree wholeheartedly with the OEA. Teachers are professionals, and as such should benefit from all the privileges therewith associated. Such as lawsuits from their clients for malpractice. Including punitive damages.

Although just the compensatory damages for the destruction/corruption of a child’s psyche would be enough to bankrupt any city education system.

“Of course, if individual teachers and schools acted appropriately on a case-by-case basis, we would not need such legislation.”

If we could fire teachers that exercised poor judgement then we wouldn’t even have this problem. But we can’t. Because, unions.

And, of course, it was the alleged inflexibility of the laws and rules that force the teachers to overreact in these senseless disciplinary decisions in the first place, or so we were told. Now they’re telling us there’s some miraculous flexibility in the current system that must be preserved? So it was your professional training and advance decision making that led to pop-tart boy being handed over to the cops?

The OEA has a problem with the “Common Sense Zero Tolerance Act”? “ Wah, Wah, Wah.
The proposed legislation removes local control from teachers, counselors, administrators and local school boards”? Aren’t these people under the control of the community? And, aren’t their imaginations under control?

No problem. Imagine the OEA peeps w/o jobs next fall. Pass a law that kicks them in the ass and then imagine charter schools where kids can be kids and not imagined criminals.

You have to ask yourself “Is the problem with the teacher or with the child? “ The teacher’s extensive professional training must include timidity in the face of a five-year-old’s finger.

And why doesn’t the intelligentsia of the OEA post a security guard at the school. You know. Someone who could educate the OEA teacher about the difference between a real gun and a finger pointed in the air.

Give me a break.

This dispute over imaginary play makes far more sense when we recognize how much K-12 and higher ed classroom ‘reforms’ involve role playing in imaginary situations or envisioning what it would be like to be regarded as a monster or the victim of racism or living in a high rise tenement with no hope. The Common Core and related reforms targets the Whole Child and wants emotions of empathy actively cultivated in the classroom.

Having made role playing a major tool in the arsenal of techniques of how to change the child’s values, attitudes, and beliefs to create desired Dispositions, the union cannot turn around and say imaginary play does not count. It does count as a means to alter outcomes.

The focus should be on the unacceptability of political power seeking to use education to transform personalities and limit knowledge. That’s the real essence of what is actually at issue here. In the evolved future society, there will be no second amendment because political power has no intention of sharing any means of coercion or protection.

Other practitioners of zero tolerance: radical islamists, obama. Maybe that is redundant.

TrooperJohnSmith | January 27, 2014 at 3:25 pm

While we’re at it, let’s change the borders of the aforementioned state, Oklahoma, and also of Idaho, because their shapes can be vaguely construed as “gun-like”. I mean, hell, we don’t want New Mexico and Canada to feel as if they are being threatened or anything. Imagine how that feels.

It’s bad when feelings take precedence over reality and common sense.

I fully trust Oklahoma educators to handle student discipline in an appropriate case-by-case manner.

Duh!
Then just do away with any and all zero-tolerance protocols.

If they really wanted to “handle student discipline in an appropriate case-by-case manner” then they would welcome the new legislative effort.

Hmmm…

“I fully trust Oklahoma educators to handle student discipline in an appropriate case-by-case manner. The proposed legislation removes local control from teachers, counselors, administrators and local school boards,” explained O.E.A President Linda Hampton.

And here I thought the original “Zero Tolerance Act” was responsible for … how did she put it? … “remov[ing] local control” by forcing administrators to punish what should be considered normal, harmless behavior. Sorry, but when the law says that any infraction must be harshly punished – which any surface reading of the phrase “Zero Tolerance” would conclude – it utterly removes appropriate case-by-case discretion.

It’s the schoolyard version of “mandatory minimum sentences,” but I’d argue it makes even less sense.

The “Common Sense Zero Tolerance Act” doesn’t “remove local control.” Rather, it returns control to the local teachers and administrators, who would be free to use their judgment “in an appropriate case-by-case manner” and issue a warning to a seven-year-old with a half-eaten toaster pastry or a six-year-old with a plastic Lego gun or a teenager with a NRA shirt, and save the full-on suspensions and expulsions for actual threats and dangers.

If the Oklahoma Education Association continues to oppose such common sense restriction, perhaps the bill should be expanded to include things such as forbidding the school districts to withhold union dues from pay checks. Let’s see how well the member appreciate the Oklahoma Education Association.

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