American Elephants


Another Kind of Child Abuse! by The Elephant's Child

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There are many things wrong with our public schools, a good percentage can be traced to the fact that our school administrators—the principals — are idiots. The damage done to little kids in the name of “zero tolerance” policies mounts up.

A 5 year-old kindergartner in Surprise, Arizona was told to pull down his pants on the playground by another kindergartner. This is not a remarkable happening. The other kid told Eric Lopez that if he didn’t pull them down he would pull Lopez’ pants down for him.

Eric Lopez pulled his pants down, as instructed, and was hauled off to the principal’s office and forced to sign a “sexual misconduct” form. Eric, a bright little kid, knows his letters so he signed. So now he has a label and a file that will follow him for the next 12 years. Eric did not know, and nobody told him— was that he had a right to have his mom present.

His mother didn’t find out until after the forced confession. She has since filed significant paperwork to appeal the label attached to her son of “sexualized minor.” Oh please! These are some people that are supposed to have some familiarity with kindergartners. They’re only 5 years old! They don’t have any  idea what a “sexualized minor is.”

The Dysart Unified School District insists that it was simply following standard procedures in the case of “indecent exposure.”

Read that line again. This is “indecent bureaucratic behavior.” This is follow the rules, even when  you know that the rule is absurd, and makes no sense, and you are damaging a five-year-old child and his family.

How did we get to the point where bureaucrats are so fearful of unpleasant consequences for not following the rules exactly as stated, even when some tiny mote of reality must exist in the bureaucratic brain that this is really, truly, monumentally stupid?

In a world where a kid gets expelled from school for biting a pop-tart into a shape resembling a gun — or the State of Idaho, if you turn it barrel-up—it’s clear that we have slipped a cog.  Actually the pop-tart looked a lot more like the state than it did like a  gun. Similar educational bureaucratese pops up frequently. We have all seen way too many examples.

Lenore Skenazy has a blog about “Free Range Kids,” and has written a book by the same name.  I was a free range kid, as were my children. The nonsense is fairly new, and quite ‘progressive.’

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