Stop me if I repeat myself . . . but maybe we don’t need elaborate explanations for poor performance in America’s public schools.
Maybe it comes down to this: they are run by people as unhinged as the administrators of the Stacy Middle School in Middleford, Massachusetts.
Yes, it’s time again for American Play Gun Theater, in which children (usually boys) pretend to have toy guns in their empty hands, emit fake gun sounds from their mouths, and scare the living Horace Mann’s out of government employees.
The current case? That of Master Nickolas Taylor,. He formed his hand to vaguely resemble a revolver (index finger as barrel, thumb as hammer — don’t try this at home, kids!) and mimicked some ray gun sounds towards two girls in lunch line, and then blew his finger tip, as if smoke drifted up from firing.
I am not aware of ray guns needing this, but it does have panache.
His punishment? Suspension. The 10-year-old malefactor needed to be taught a lesson, by gum.
Had he done something truly dishonorable, like cut in line, some punishment was probably in order. But if all he did was pretend to have a toy gun (two layers of pretense here at least!), then the worst probably should have been to put him in Pretend Jail, with no bars and no irons and some irony.
The lad’s father and grandmother came to his defense; the local newspaper put him on the front page.
The lesson? For supporters of today’s abysmal public schools: Don’t reload. Rethink.
And if I’ve said this before, point a finger at me and make ray gun noises.
But hey: I may raise my special Deflect-o-shield.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.