The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Kindergartener Deemed “Terrorist Threat” and Suspended

A 5-yr-old at the Mount Carmel Area Elementary school was suspended for a “terrorist threat.” She apparently told a friend she was going to shoot her with a pink Hello Kitty bubble gun.

Hello Kitty Bubble Gun

Read the story here: Girl’s Bubble Gun Center of ‘Terrorist Threat’ at Pennsylvania’s Mount Carmel Area Elementary School.

The NRA has since begun a campaign to prevent the unconstitutional banning and confiscation of Hello Kitty bubble guns, while President Obama has  promised to sign all of the Executive Orders necessary to protect our children from bubble violence. The children are simply confused and want their toys back.

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

As a follow up to last week’s Princess Bride T-Shirt Debacle, Matthew J. Wright pointed me to The Tale of the Inconceivable T-Shirt, a New Zealander’s take on that absurd moment in the history of air travel.

Apparently, our Activity Logs on Facebook are going to be open to all comers. Thank you, Paige Kellerman, for directing me to this article. Thanks, Zuck: I’m So Excited to Spend My Weekend Sorting Out My Activity Log

The Chocolate Crisis Center now offers Couples Therapy.

Bond Quintessential with Gun

Sean Connery as James Bond

My Name is Fleming. Ian Fleming. 007 Things You Can Learn about Writing from James Bond by Colin Falconer.

From Historical Fiction Author and Publishing Attorney Susan Spann, TICK-TOCK: Timelines in the Author Business Plan. Look for Susan’s debut novel, CLAWS OF THE CAT, due to be released in July.

Also watch for Kerry Schafer’s debut novel, BETWEEN. Susan is having a big giveaway to help Kerry celebrate. With one “like” click, you can enter to win your own copy. The Big BETWEEN Giveaway Begins!

BETWEEN by Kerry Schafer

A beautiful story from Screenwriter, Best Selling Author, Bacon Connoisseur, and All Around Wonderful Person Ryne Douglas Pearson. Deformed Dolphin Accepted into New Family

Photos from the Up Helly Aa Viking Festival Celebrated in Shetland, Scotland.

Best Selling Author Kristen Lamb has been posting an outstanding series about the things that can destroy us in our careers. Enemies of the Art, Part 5 — Pride

This is a Budweiser commercial set to air during the Super Bowl. I think it’s my all-time favorite.

All the best to all of you for resisting the urge to over-react.

Piper Bayard–The Pale Writer of the Apocalypse

40 comments on “The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Kindergartener Deemed “Terrorist Threat” and Suspended

  1. Andrew says:

    Oy…the zero tolerance nonsense. Schools really make themselves look bad with that stuff. Honestly administrators probably think most of it is crap, but if that is part of the district policies, their hands are tied. I’m not defending it of course, but rather saying that this is an instance of a larger problem, which is namely a slavish devotion to policy that is detrimental to both the people who enforce the law (or rules) and those who fall victim to such enforcement. You see it with businesses all the time. What can I say? It’s easier to look to a policy book and base your decisions on that than to think for yourself. Although that’s not exactly fair to say, since probably half the time something like this happens, those in charge think it’s stupid to have to do things that way haha.

    • Piper Bayard says:

      You make a good point, Andrew. Policies are made by people who have litigation and public image upmost in their minds. Then it’s the teachers and administrators in the trenches who are left to try and salvage some modicum of functionality out of it. However, it does seem like they could have let this one go. For example, a child in my daughter’s kindergarten class threatened to cut off another kid’s head with a dancing sword. A perfectly natural reaction for a 5-yr-old girl who’s had enough of a boy pulling her hair. The teacher and principal discreetly talked to the parents, who emphasized to their child that teachers are no longer allowed to distinguish between truth and fiction, and that some adults can’t be trusted to behave sensibly in the face of such non-sensical utterances. To my knowledge, the girl learned her lesson without the benefit of psychological treatment, juvenile detention, or front page headlines.

    • Awesome, slavish devotion to policy! LOL!

  2. Gene Lempp says:

    Hello Kitty is also starting a compound for those wanting to live in a bubble. Love zero intelligence policies. Three hours of questioning, makes me wonder if they water boarded her to find the truth. Hope the parents fund their daughters college education with the results of the impending lawsuit. Ironic point, by the end of this a few pink slips will be handed out, Hello Kitty pink ones.

  3. Julie Glover says:

    Like Gene, I was especially bothered by the three hours of questioning. Many times when our kids get in trouble at school, it really is our kids getting in trouble and I try to instill respect for authority and the difficult job of teaching in my kids. But good heavens! Have that school completely lost it?!!! Saying “I’m not to shoot you with my bubble gun” is a throwaway comment to a five year old!!! We have a crazy world where kids are suspended for this but then exposed to the most heinous violence imaginable in movies and video games. What a mixed message our world is sending kids!

    • Piper Bayard says:

      Spot on, Julie. And yes. The schools have completely lost it on this issue. I hear stories like this all the time. Just up the road, a 10-yr-old accidentally picked up her mother’s lunch bag rather than her own. When she opened it and saw the paring knife inside, she immediately took it to the lunch monitor. The child was expelled from school. We’re raising our kids in a world that tells them it’s okay for the school — the front line representative of authority — to strip search them looking for ibuprophen and to expel them for contraband they didn’t even know was there. What sort of adults will they be? What will they rationalize doing to their children and each other in the name of safety? It’s a scary thought. I would so much rather have them in a system I can support.

  4. mairedubhtx says:

    We see to have lost our way. We want to ban bubble guns but the NRA wants it to be OK to carry REAL guns to school just in case the child has to use one. Me thinks we’re nuts.

    • Piper Bayard says:

      We’ve definitely lost our way. We have become a fear-based society rather than a courage-based society, and fear makes for bad law.

      • tedhenkle says:

        I love your fear-based vs. courage-based comparison. It encapsulates the differences in the gun control divide. I see the interrogation of the Hello Kitty Terrorist as an attempt of instilling fear in order to raise a generation of compliant subjects of the state.

        • Piper Bayard says:

          The worst part to me is that there is no conspiracy to do so. There’s been a slow eeking away of common sense combined with a litigation-based society that keeps school bureaucrats quivering in their Three R’s. Put that with media sensationalism that convinces its too-sheltered audience that every tragic event that happens in isolation in this nation is actually happening in every one of our 350 million back yards, and you’ve got a perfect storm for an entire society retreating into a bubble wrap cocoon.

          Sure, there are some folks who are all over the propaganda and who do have devious plots in mind. That’s true on both sides of the issue. But they are the minority. Society at large has grown so paranoid that our children don’t even play outside anymore due to parental fear that the random stranger will happen by and make their child the one child of millions who ends up on the evening news. Instead, our children have “playdates” inside houses and paid venues that are “child proofed.” I have personally watched a generation grow up that has exactly no physical confidence because they were never allowed to skin their knees and heal. A huge number of them are even too afraid to learn to drive–something that was an anomaly in my generation.

          American society is shifting from wanting its laws to provide a game preserve where we all accept responsibility for our welfare have a fighting chance at a good life, to providing a dog kennel where everyone has cradle-to-grave food, water, and veterinary service and a nice safe cage to grow fat in. What we are seeing is evidence of a widespread change in society’s values and the individual’s relationship to responsibility. I don’t know what it would take to turn the tide.

  5. mairedubhtx says:

    P.S. Love the commercial.

  6. Oh, man…I love the Budweiser Clydes hitch. 🙂
    I’m from SW Oklahoma where we love our guns, but the bubble guns aren’t very useful. I say that, but thinking about it, I can’t remember ever using one. Hmmm…look out rabbits in my garden 🙂
    Have been lurking around your blog for a long time and I enjoy it

    • Piper Bayard says:

      Thank you. So glad you decided to comment. 🙂

      I find that bubble guns are actually incredibly useful — for keeping kids entertained. I’m guessing you’re onto something with those rabbits, too.

  7. Susan Spann says:

    Need I say “this is one reason why we homeschool?” Sheesh. Just leaves me speechless.

    And … DARN YOU PIPER, the Clydesdale ad actually made me tear up. Big mean publishing lawyer, sitting at her desk, crying over a pony. Way to work that professional image…

    Thanks for including my post and the BETWEEN contest too!

    • Piper Bayard says:

      LOL. Dare I admit I sobbed? I had a horse once that I got when he was a baby. My family had him all his life. He died at 27. This commercial reminded me of what I’m missing. Glad to know I wasn’t the only one getting weepy over this.

      And I’ve already told my kids that I’ll homeschool my grandkids. As it is, my son has a history teacher who says things like, “Joseph Stalin and Fidel Castro were hot,” and who laughs about how she drinks while grading their papers. So I guess it’s okay to be groupie to a guy who butchered over 20 million people, but it’s not okay to threaten someone with soap bubble projectiles. My son will be spending his senior year at the local community college. He can’t wait.

  8. Wow so many interesting things to take in. Best “news digest” of the week! The beer commercial almost made my say “awwwwee” out loud. I’m pretty sure some horses do build bond with their “humans”. 🙂

  9. The insanity continues. (bubbles can burn eyes…and if a kid has an allergy…arrrrrgggghhhhh) And there’s a kid here who may be sent to an alternative school because he said “I hate you and you are on my list of people to kill”. (Is there anyone who didn’t say that at some point or another?Schools are scared stiff – but really?.
    Oh, love the horses! And the happy distractions.

    • Piper Bayard says:

      I try to never bring people down with reality without cheering them up a bit after. 🙂

    • kadja1 says:

      But that’s nothing new! I got sent to the counselors office more than once because I was writing fiction in which the bullies were either villains or evil creatures I killed off, or they thought my poetry was a suicide note–especially after John Lennon’s death! THAT was in the 70’s and 80’s. I guess they have not learned there is a difference in playing with a toy, or writing fiction with a pen and actually carrying an AR-15 into a classroom or a .38 BTW, did you see where Kansas has armed security guards in schools now?

      • Piper Bayard says:

        The armed security guard issue is quite interesting to watch unfold. My kids have had an armed policewoman part time in their schools since middle school and it’s no big whoop. Also, the idea was originally Clinton’s. He asked for the money to do that back in the 90s, and the dems thought that was a great idea when it came from him. I guess political parties only like ideas they can say originated with them. How quickly we, as a society, forget, and therein lies the tragedy.

      • Kids have always reflected what they see their parents/media focusing on – for a while it was bullies, now it’s guns and mass murders. Schools are scared ( and have forgotten “play” is how kids try on roles, think through things, and internalize information about incidents?)
        A little commonsense and a little calming talk instead of hysteria would go a long way with kids.
        How do children acquire fear of water? They observe the panic and reaction of adults when a child goes underwater unexpectedly.
        Educators are supposed to understand that – they take courses in college about how children learn and acquire info.
        We have had armed guards in most of the schools in all surrounding districts here since Columbine – and before. Many had metal detectors long before that. But it’s one of the largest cities in the US
        (There have been shooting in schools for a long time – as far back as the 70’s) I don’t have a problem with trained personnel carrying a gun in schools (maybe use some of the military coming home?) I do not feel teachers should be charged with armed security – some don’t have enough sense, some would be careless and gun would get stolen – and stopping a person determined to kill kids is a skill many teachers don’t have – there’s very little time to hesitate. I do feel they should all have baseball bats – maybe a brick. And it would be nice if teachers took 6+ months of martial arts if they were interested…would help with their self esteem…some teachers need that. (Come from a big family who were all in education: teachers up to superintendents, and University Edu dept head)

  10. LOVE that ad! So cute.

  11. Dave says:

    Ever more draconian and nonsensical application of law undermines the very result being sought. Children are adaptive sponges and quickly grasp the the real lesson being (unintentionally) taught: the system is inherently unjust and authority can’t be trusted. Without the willing participation of the governed, the entire system will eventually collapse. With each successive generation, our overly litigious society becomes more and more divorced from a fundamental truth: the world isn’t completely safe and no amount of legislation can make it risk-free.

  12. Oh my. I just watched that commercial three times in a row. And I’m going back now…

  13. kadja1 says:

    I love the commercial but hate the way that school district is ran. It’s ridiculous–and like the other poster said “…a slavish devotion to policy…”

    • Piper Bayard says:

      I agree. I have already committed to home-schooling my grandchildren when the time comes. I just hope we’re still allowed to do so.

      • kadja1 says:

        In Texas they won’t do away with it because most won’t comply with it anyway since a lot of test scores are so low parents can transfer their kids to other schools/districts if necessary. They need to go back to the California Achievement Test which was used to determine what to teach for the next year and stop penalizing students and teachers with tests that have nothing to do with each state’s curriculum. The only ones making money off of the tests are NES–the ones who publish them in NY. For every kid per semester they keep in a classroom in TX they are getting $1500 a semester (at least) and that is why they like giving these tests–to keep them at the same grade another year to get more $. I certainly support home schooling wherever and whenever one can do it since the NEA has jacked up the system for too many years now with all this junk. They shouldn’t even support it!

        • Piper Bayard says:

          “…tests that have nothing to do with each state’s curriculum. The only ones making money off of the tests are NES …” Education has become an industry, not a service profession. As long as these companies perpetuate their own income, they couldn’t care less about the kids.

          Here, grades and ACT/SAT scores are pretty much in line, but then the state standardized test indicates these kids who are doing so well in the areas that count are substandard. And it takes two weeks to administer. How crazy is that?

          • kadja1 says:

            The total education system needs to be revamped and as long as people who are part of the problem keep getting put into admin positions and on school boards it is doomed to continue, Piper.

  14. […]…   Whether weird stories like this interest you, or historical fact, OR the impending Zombie Apocalypse–this is one cool blog! […]

  15. […] As a child, I used to feel so sorry for Ol’ Dan, but now I realize Mary Ann was probably the one cooped up in the cabin with the kids and my heart bleeds for her. Especially after several days of Ladybug pistol whipping her older brother with the bubble gun and once coming out of the kitchen wielding the 16″ bread knife. (These bubble guns have become a real problem. See Piper Bayard’s post.) […]

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