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KTAR Middays

Time to press reset on education

I'm ready to give up on America's education system. Not because of declining standards. Not because America is falling behind the rest of the world. No, I'm giving up because the lack of common sense in the education system has spread faster than the common cold.

A few students in Washington State were suspended this week for bringing NERF guns to school after the teacher requested them for an experiment. Yes, NERF guns.

An 8-year old in Maryland was suspended from school because he dared to shape his Pop Tart into a gun. Which, I guess I have to point this out to school administrators, can't shoot.

In Massachusetts, a 6-year old was almost suspended because he brought a Lego toy gun on to the school bus.

Of course, in each one of these stories the schools' ‘zero-tolerance' policies are cited as the reasons for the punishments. What the schools are really saying is no one is brave enough to risk scrutiny.

I can imagine the conversation going something like this: "Well, we have to suspend him because that's what the rule says." Even if the rule is meant to be applied to real weapons that may pose an actual threat.

Schools are supposed to be places where students learn about common sense and reasoning, among other things. Unfortunately, that's not happening.

Here's another example.

In Tampa, Wharton High School salutatorian Harold Shaw was giving his speech at graduation. He was about halfway through when Principal Brad Woods stood and made a slashing motion across his throat to have the microphone shut off.

The official reason the school is giving is because Shaw was going off-script. To make matters worse, the teenager was asked to leave the ceremony and was escorted by two officers to his car. Shaw, despite being second in his class, had to pick up his diploma two days later.

There's more to this story.

Shaw took issue with the condition of the boys' bathrooms at school. He said they were unsanitary and some had missing toilet seats. Shaw initially wanted to put this in his graduation speech, but the school, obviously afraid of criticism, said no.

Instead, Shaw produced a short video showing how bad the bathrooms were. He posted it to his Facebook page. Needless to say, Woods didn't like it, so he bullied a high school student during the graduation ceremony.

This is the current state of America's schools. Anyone else think it's time to press reset and start all over?

About the Author


Rob spent his formative years growing up in Massachusetts, but after graduating from Emerson College in Boston, he's had the privilege of living in Florida, New Orleans and New Mexico. Rob & his wife Amy have lived in Phoenix since 2006 when he joined KTAR. Rob is passionate about our freedom and rights -- something he learned to love while growing up in the Boston area.

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