October 29, 2015 - 8:01 AM
The outlaw Aliya Nigro - a.k.a. the Carrot Kid - is the latest victim of crime and punishment in a school system.
In the annals of school kids run amok, 14-year-old Aliya may be the first student ever charged with criminal assault by a small vegetable, to wit, as her prosecutor might say: a weaponized baby carrot.
Aliya has been suspended indefinitely (so far for a month) and faces assault and battery charges for throwing the baby carrot at her French teacher, the completely uninjured, but no doubt terrorized and traumatized, Ms. Michele Crowley.
The baby carrot hit her in the head. Can you imagine the pain?
Says Aliya: "I was having a good day, and I was walking from math to art, and I had a bag of baby carrots in my pocket from lunch. I thought as a simple prank, I'd toss the carrot over. The reason I threw the carrot was for a joke, not for any harmful reason."
A school counsellor noted that "Aliya is a great student" who "has not received teacher reports of behaviour."
And a healthy eater, too.
This kind of bizarre over-reaction by timid teachers and administrators is becoming common.
Coghlan Elementary in Langley, B.C. banned kindergarten students from touching each other at recess, no exceptions.
The brutal game of tag was included. So was hugging, because you know what hugging can lead to with five-year-olds.
A Delaware Grade 3 was expelled for a year because her grandmother sent a birthday cake to school, and a knife for cutting the cake. The teacher used the knife to cut the cake, and then reported the student to the authorities as having a dangerous weapon. A year!
An Eagle Scout in New York was suspended for having an emergency kit that included a pocket knife. Not in the school. The kit was in his car.
A kindergartner in Michigan was suspended for making a finger gun.
Another kindergartner, in Pennsylvania, was suspended for "shooting" a friend with a Hello Kitty bubble-making toy.
A Grade 2 in Baltimore was suspended for biting a Pop-Tart into the shape of a mountain, which school officials mistook for a gun.
These actions are taken in the name of "zero-tolerance."
More aptly defined, it would be "zero-logic," no thinking allowed.
A zero-tolerance policy in schools punishes any infraction of a rule, regardless of accidental infringements, ignorance of the rule, or any extenuating circumstances.
Kids can do dumb things.
So do many teachers and administrators who have been thinking in zero-tolerance black and white, lumping in good kids who make a mistake with the little criminals-in-the-making who really deserve serious attention.
There is an irony in some teachers' support of zero-tolerance.
Many teachers are ardent lefties and expressed the usual "shock and dismay" over what they saw as Stephen Harpers' draconian measures to suppress the rights and freedoms of Canadians.
Not acceptable to them, but just fine for their students.
— Chuck Poulsen can be reached at email@example.com.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015