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13-year old boy suspended for twirling pencil in “gun motion” manner

13-year old boy suspended for twirling pencil in “gun motion” manner

Then they came for the boys who twirl pencils

Add this to the very long list of zero tolerance insanity:

Via Jonathan Turley, a 13-year old New Jersey boy (doesn’t it always seem to be boys?) was summarily suspended when another student complained he was twirling a pencil in a weapons-like manner:

In New Jersey, Glen Meadow Middle School has added its own bizarre entry in the ever-lengthening list of zero tolerance insanity. According to Ethan Chaplin, he was suspended for twirling a pencil in math class. He says that a student, who have been allegedly bullying him, yelled to the teacher that “He’s making gun motions, send him to juvie.” The school responded by suspending Chaplin and the Vernon Schools Superintendent Charles Maranzano insists that it is the only appropriate response because he must investigate any time that a student claims to be uncomfortable or threatened by another student.

Chaplin’s father, Michael Chaplin, was so outraged that he took the step of recording a conversation between himself, the school’s principal and guidance counselor — and then posted it on YouTube. It is not clear from the article if this was done with consent but the absence of any allegation of unlawful recording suggests that it was a legal or consensual taping.

I haven’t been able to find that recording on YouTube, so if someone has a link, please post in comments. More at the News 12 website, including comments and updates by the father.


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This is obscene. That superintendent needs to lose his job. He obviously knows nothing about children and is unqualified for the position.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to janitor. | April 7, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    You would be surprised how often this is the case.

    Also, don’t you just love the fact that he seems to think that all kids are Violence just waiting to explode? “you never know what is percolating in the mind of a child!”

    Exiliado in reply to janitor. | April 7, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    These times we are living, knowing nothing about children seems to be the most important requirement for management or leadership positions within the education establishment.

Emperor Penguin | April 7, 2014 at 11:49 am

“who have been allegedly bullying him”

i remember doing this, asking the teacher to punish a student for something he “did” to me, and as their taking him to detention i laugh my head off. But now a days its just to easy, twirling a pencil in a “gun like” manner? Wow, who twirls a gun?

New Jersey is deep blue. You got wall-to-wall Democrats. Until parent/voters like Chaplin figure out the direct correlation between having all your government “servants” (cough – more like self-servants) from the Democrat Party and being plunged into full-fledged Big Government with all its Nanny components, these incidents will not only continue, they’ll worsen. (Chaplin hasn’t figured out the connection between really high property tax rates (and high NJ income tax rates) and having big Democrat government. I hold out little hope for his kid; Dad’s not a thinker.)

Just wondering. If a female student comes in wearing a hijab, and another claims being threatened by its presence, if the school would act similarly?

Lets see. Boys always bad; guns always bad; white boys doubly bad. White boys with imaginary gun; off the scale. But Muslims, angelic.

Well, what if she came in wearing the full uniform, including a niqab?

    9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to pfg. | April 7, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    This is an education/school issue as opposed to a Jersey/blue state issue. Vernon is in Sussex County, a very rural area. Sussex county went for Romney 60.1 percent to 37.8 percent for Obama. Jersey is like any big red state–the cities and population-dense areas are red and the rest of the state is very blue.

That’s clearly an Assault Pencil in the photograph. Notice the pistol-grip near the rear of the weapon, as well as the clear plastic shoulder rest that is clearly adjustable. And if you look at the front of this deadly weapon, you can see that one round has already been expended, the pointed payload of death obviously being embedded in some poor defenseless student whom the law has failed. It’s obvious that the evil Second Ammendment crowd has taken over the #2 pencil market in an attempt to push these cheap Saturday Night Special assault weapons on the young and mallable minds before a proper education in the dangers of Writing has been provided. After all, Writing is just a gateway to the most horrible of all offenses to Progressives.


Pencils are an obvious symbol of hetronormalpatriachial oppressive culture that has brought us war, disease and Justin Bieber.

First you have to kill our forests for the wood then fill them with graphite and create an obvious phallic symbol with the eraser on the far end.

Ralphie, those twirling motions will shoot your eye out!

Someone please do a 2 month psych exam on this Harry Reid-esque principal before any more miscreants like him point fingers at innocent boys.

These ‘type’ will be monitoring the boy’s bath room next.

So young children are being tought that it’s good to have a “no tolerance” policy against anything you don’t like, however remote the threat or strained the logic. It goes along with restrictions on speech and due prcess.

Interestingly, this research just out:

…Results indicate that, when considering the various dimensions of school climate, order, and justice, a student receiving a formal school sanction remains the strongest factor related to the likelihood of a student dropping out of school. These results underscore the importance of careful design and implementation of school discipline and safety policies.

This is about creating an aversion. Make kids recoil at the shape of a gun, the thought of a gun or anything remotely confused with a gun. The younger the better.

The next “Long March”. In a generation there will be no 2nd Amendment.

I found the Youtube channel of the father, Michael Chaplin, and it shows, at the time of this writing, two videos concerning the pencil twirling situation. Neither of these vids contain the recording of a conversation between himself, the school’s principal and guidance counselor.

LukeHandCool | April 7, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Hey kid,

Yeah, you’re innocent … until you accidentally shoot an imaginary bullet and kill an imaginary classmate. What then?

Meanwhile, at my alma mater, Santa Monica High School, last week a student was openly selling drugs in class when the science teacher confronted him and asked him to turn over what he had. The student refused and attacked the teacher.

The teacher, Mark Black, is also known as Coach Black and coaches the wrestling team. He subdued the student without throwing a punch and told kids to summon security.

So what happened? A superintendent suspended Mr. Black and reached out to the delinquent’s family. A world upside down.

The story made the LA Times, complete with a student’s cell phone video of the incident. The story says the “Support Coach Black” Facebook page had over 3,000 likes. It’s now over 10,000 as parents and students are outraged. Students say he is a mensch who has been a second father to many, helping them avoid lives of crime and helping them get into college. No good deeds as a seemingly excellent person and teacher shall go unpunished by a cowardly administrator!!

Behold the incrementally ever perfect world of public education:

    Anchovy in reply to LukeHandCool. | April 7, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    As for the imaginary death of the imaginary student what would follow would be an imaginary funeral and imaginary grieving. Then real talk about the, like, total ickyness of guns and how the imaginary dead student should register and vote for democrats to help stop this imaginary national travesty.

The aristocrats and lesser nobles never did support the common man’s right to self defense. And perish the thought that the common man should be armed. The men and women of a lower station cannot be trusted with their own welfare and the means (e.g. capital, guns) to secure it.

Gremlin1974 | April 7, 2014 at 1:51 pm

I know the cure to this, I have it figured out. We get a huge game of “Cops and Robbers” and or “Cowboy’s and Indians” going at the school. My theory is that the event will be so disturbing to the liberal idio…I mean “educators” that they will most likely pop some major blood vessel right on the spot and problem solved.

Henry Hawkins | April 7, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Throwing a ball is just like lobbing a grenade: End of school Sports, Gym and Recess.

Manyburgers | April 7, 2014 at 2:30 pm

How about some disparate impact claims? Everyone knows boys play ‘guns’ more than girls, so wasn’t this a law created with the knowledge it would knowingly discriminate? Let the lawyers clean this one up! Where are all the trial lawyers….

DINORightMarie | April 7, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Went to the link you provided, then to the original source – the video has been “removed by the user” according to YouTube.

That would be on very interesting conversation to listen to……

I’m not sure what’s more shocking: the totalitarian mindset, or the abject stupidity of “educators,” or the fact that schools are run by people who appear to hate children.

DINORightMarie | April 7, 2014 at 3:46 pm

This is the kind of stuff that makes boy feel like they are being attacked, and drives them to the brink.

“I’m not doing anything wrong – why am I in trouble?” leads to “Why am I always the target, and why doesn’t anyone do something to stop them?” leads to: A) “I’m worthless, and nothing I do is ever acceptable, no matter how hard I try….so why bother?”; or: B) “I will show them………some day…..they will pay for what they did to me…..” It is the RARE boy (child) with a strong constitution who responds: C) “I will PROVE they are wrong! I will not let them stop me!!”

Both A and B appear to be the desired outcomes (directly or indirectly), given the increasing frequency of such nonsense, and how NONE of this is being addressed by these “zero tolerance” school policies, “get your mind right” programs masquerading as “awareness programs” and diversity awareness “training.”

As the Professor said, it is almost ALWAYS boys. And, it seems, overwhelmingly white boys (e.g see the examples the Professor lists). Why? Does this fit into the liberal leftist ideology? Think about that – whether you think the answer is yes or no……..why?!

This and similar have all happened in NJ with governor Chris Christie at the helm, …and who does he want to vote for him to be president?

stinaflowerss | April 7, 2014 at 9:29 pm

It’s insane. I go to Vernon myself, and went to glen meadow last year. I think the district is crazy considering they allow girls to twerk to talk dirty to me in a pep rally, and suspended a kid for just twirling a pencil.

Juba Doobai! | April 8, 2014 at 12:16 am

I remember my Education Law prof saying the question that we must constantly ask is this: “What does the law allow?”

The law does not allow what happened to this boy child. It is overzealous and illegal regulations that are killing schools, just as the regulatory state is stifling American business, creativity, and production.

The boy child is being bullied by the same little monster who makes the charges, and the school authorities doesn’t make the connect. Fire them all, and homeschool.

teapartydoc | April 8, 2014 at 7:41 am

Get your kids out of public school NOW!!!!!

This is so crazy.

The “twirler” should have told the superintendent that the “twirlee” twirled him first so he was just acting in self defense.

Child abuse to send that kid back to school on Monday. He was assaulted (oops, I mean examined), profiled, and not listened to. Oh geeze, schools are anti-bully now so it is not sending your kid back into the Land of Bullies (ie., the adults running the show). In this day and age of so many options to replace public school, there is no reason to send the kid back into a “bully free gun free god free” school zone. If this is about the kid to the parents, the last thing they would do is even entertain the thought of sending the kid back.

How long before the child who picks his nose is taken from his parents and locked away for attempting suicide? Ban assault fingers, prevent another Sandy Hook, right?