Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Rutherford Institute Defends 10-Year-Old Suspended for Shooting Imaginary Arrow, Threatened with Expulsion Under Weapons Policy

The Rutherford Institute has come to the defense of a 10-year-old boy who was suspended under a school zero tolerance policy for shooting an imaginary “arrow” at a fellow classmate, using nothing more than his hands and his imagination. Johnny Jones, a fifth grader at South Eastern Middle School, was suspended for a day and threatened with expulsion under the school’s weapons policy after playfully using his hands to draw the bowstrings on a pretend “bow” and “shoot” an arrow at a classmate who had held his folder like an imaginary gun and “shot” at Johnny. In coming to Jones’ defense, Rutherford Institute attorneys have asked Rona Kaufmann, Superintendent of the South Eastern School District in Fawn Grove, Pennsylvania, to rescind the suspension and remove all references to the incident from Jones’ permanent school record.

 “The Rutherford Institute has been called on to intervene in hundreds of cases like this involving young people who were suspended, expelled, and even arrested for violating school zero tolerance policies that criminalize childish behavior and punish all offenses severely, no matter how minor or non-threatening the so-called infraction may have been,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State. “We all want to keep the schools safe, but I’d far prefer to see something credible done about actual threats, rather than this ongoing, senseless targeting of imaginary horseplay.”

 The incident took place the week of October 14th, when fifth grader Johnny Jones asked his teacher for a pencil during class. Jones walked to the front of the classroom to retrieve the pencil, and during his walk back to his seat, a classmate and friend of Johnny’s held his folder like an imaginary gun and “shot” at Johnny. Johnny playfully used his hands to draw the bowstrings on a completely imaginary “bow” and “shot” an arrow back. Seeing this, another girl in the class reported to the teacher that the boys were shooting at each other. The teacher took both Johnny and the other boy into the hall and lectured them about disruption. The teacher then contacted Johnny’s mother, Beverly Jones, alerting her to the “seriousness” of the violation because the children were using “firearms” in their horseplay, and informing her that the matter had been referred to the Principal. Principal John Horton contacted Ms. Jones soon thereafter in order to inform her that Johnny’s behavior was a serious offense that could result in expulsion under the school’s weapons policy. Horton characterized Johnny’s transgression as “making a threat” to another student using a “replica or representation of a firearm” through the use of an imaginary bow and arrow.

 According to the South Eastern School District’s Zero Tolerance policy for “Weapons, Ammunition and other Hazardous Items,” the district prohibits the possession of “weapons,” defined as including any “knife, cutting instrument, cutting tool, nunchaku, firearm, shotgun, rifle and any other tool, instrument or implement capable of inflicting serious bodily injury.” The Student Code further prohibits any “replica” or “look-alike” weapon, and requires that the school Principal immediately contact the appropriate police department, complete an incident report to file with the school Superintendent, and begin the process of mandatory expulsion immediately. In coming to Johnny Jones’ defense, Rutherford Institute attorneys point out the absurdity of threatening a child with expulsion for using an “imaginary” weapon and urge school officials to exercise restraint and common sense in their well-meaning, albeit misguided, efforts to secure the schools against potential dangers.


  1. Zero tolerance policies are the current name for Thought Crime. A child showing the wrong thoughts is treated as a criminal, ridiculed in class by the teacher, called names by the other students, and suspended while he changes his beliefs. It is a "two minute hate".

    It appears ridiculous, that school administrators would confuse the picture of a weapon or an imaginary weapon with an actual weapon. Those administrators see the thought as being close to the act. They want to stamp out the thought, and terrorize children into never even thinking about edicts passed down from their rulers.

    To me, this is child abuse under the color of office. When will parents realize that these are sadistic displays of power against children? There is no judgment or mercy in these officials to stop them from imposing cruel and sudden mental anguish upon the children in their care. No child is safe from emotional abuse under such management.

    Parents would demonstrate in crowds if their schools failed to promote entire classes of their children. In a different sense, their schools are indeed failing entire classes of children. Why are such teachers, principals, and school boards allowed to keep their power and position?

    The idea of Thought Crime and the "two minute hate" was explained in George Orwell's novel "1984" published in 1949. It is a fictional warning about a future under complete government control. The novel was informed by Orwell's experiences in the British Communist party. He awoke to write a warning.

    Wags have noted that "1984" was a warning, but Progressives have used it as an instruction manual.

    See the full text of George Orwell's "1984" here with more about Orwell at MSXNet


    1. "child abuse under the color of office" - That seems to describe it perfectly.

      I wonder why he wasn't charged with possessing a weapon when he carried that pencil?

      After all, the district prohibits the possession of “weapons,” defined as ... any other tool, instrument or implement capable of inflicting serious bodily injury.

      They've thrown away all their scissors, too, haven't they?

      It appears that most americans have gone stark raving mad.
      It's as simple as that.

  2. This poor boy would be better off escaping the clutches of a school administration so lacking in judgment or common sense. His parents should take this as a sign and withdraw consent.

  3. Poor kid is surrounded by fucking idiots. RUN, FORREST, RUN!!!

  4. Any parent that reads this and keeps their child in school is a child abuser.

  5. "Seeing this, another girl in the class reported to the teacher that the boys were shooting at each other"

    Nice to see that government schools are turning little girls in to snitch bitches.

  6. Anybody keeping their child in this or any other government school after something like this is a bad parent. Good parents protect their children from pure intimidation tactics or heavy handed indoctrination methods by non-parental authority figures, such as displayed here.

  7. Was it a recurve or compound bow?

  8. And these fucking imbeciles are the ones who are supposed to be educating our children? Good lord, we are doomed.

  9. Enter charter schools, the new and more efficient education. Where there is no imagination at all.