The Finger of Terror


One of the most chilling spectacles ever to confront a Houston middle school functionary recently turned the legs of Taylor Trostle’s math teacher to jelly.

And her heart to stone.

According to the unnamed teacher’s write-up of the incident, Taylor was caught “putting her hand in the shape of a gun, making the firing noise with her mouth and pointing it in my direction.”

Could the teacher honestly have perceived the gesture as a “terroristic threat”? Index fingers rarely fire; clipped fingernails contain no ammo clips.

Turns out, Taylor and a few classmates had been fooling around a few minutes before the bell, pretending to be police. Taylor says, “I was shooting the markers at the front of the board. . . . I was like ‘pow pow’ and then she just turned around.”

Others playing the game escaped penalty because they were facing another direction. But the school suspended Taylor for three days. Thus, even the unpremeditated restlessness endemic among those navigating their awkward years can get you labeled a terrorist, courtesy of the deliberately dumb “zero tolerance” policies of many schools.

Had this been an actual “terroristic threat,” more would presumably have been done to secure the premises, like calling in SWAT teams and violence consultants. But the school wasn’t countering a genuine threat. Just “following the rules.”

Maybe a spate of lawsuits against schools that mindlessly harass students would encourage educrats fearful of litigation to make a few concessions to common sense.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

10 Comments so far ↓

  1. Apr
    Lawrence Neumann

    Someone has removed the functionary;s write up. The presentation confirms how far into absurdity we have gone.

  2. Apr

    Need a concealed pointing permit. Saying ‘pow-pow’ is still ok.

  3. Apr
    Mark Read Pickens

    That’s the great thing about having a policy. You don’t need judgment.

  4. Apr
    John Ken

    If the teacher was truely frightend by the incident, punishment is warranted.

  5. Apr

    Not only should that IDIOTIC teacher’s name have been puplished, so should have been the principel’s and that of the school, where this took place. The world should know who the IDIOTS that practice this kind of NATZI like behavior are.

  6. Apr
    Paul Jacob

    John — Some punishment may be warranted simply for cutting up in class even if the teacher did not feel at all threatened. My sense is that the teacher could not have felt truly threatened for more than a split-second. How could she? The school’s overall response is incredibly over the top. When I was in school, we may have gotten in trouble for such fooling around but it would not have been blown out of all proportion. We fail the young and teach a very negative lesson when adults in authority act like badly programmed robots.

  7. Apr

    This is EXACTLY the type of idiotic policy that is promulgated when lawyers run the incarceration/babysitting program that was formerly known as “education.”

  8. Apr
    G Hadley

    I think Taylor’s parents should confess to being Muslim. Clearly that would then be religious profiling and totally unacceptable behavior on the part of teacher and the school. The lawsuit would probably be worth millions.

  9. Apr
    John Ken

    Paul, with the violence that we are seeing in the schools these day,the teacher should have been frightened and was right in her actions.

    We need to pay more attention to how students act in school. Many teachers are afraid to go to work due to the violence that we read about.

  10. Apr

    The girl’s right to play ‘finger guns’ should be protected by the 1st and 2nd Amendments.

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