Thursday, September 17, 2015

Zero Tolerance

To any parent who has had to deal with the modern American school system, you'll know that it's become absurd.  Words and phrases like bomb and gun can land your perfectly innocent child in detention or worse.

I know this for a fact, as one of my own children, who mispronounced the word "grenade" was sent to detention.  Even though, he had no idea what a grenade actually was.

In fact, at the time, it was a popular word on the radio, and my belief is that the kids who thought they heard it, were making it up just to get him in trouble.

Oh well, we dealt with it as parents. My son, a proud GATE student, is doing just fine - and is at the top of his class.

But, some people can't understand that this is what we have gotten from years of Zero Tolerance Policies crammed down our throats.  It started innocently enough - an effort to protect our children.  But it has become carried away - and our children no longer have freedom of speech or innocents as a result.  Suddenly, a kid eats a Pop Tart in the wrong shape, and he's suspended. That's just too far.

In any case, the rules are the rules as they stand now.  While I disagree with the obsessiveness of them, there is no doubt that we have to all follow them until they are changed. No one should be immune to them. To not apply them just because someone is a particular ethnicity, culture or political bent - is to discriminate.

So when the case yesterday of Ahmed broke,  a 14 year old boy who decided to bring his "alarm clock" to school for a science project, it should be noted that he has no right to be treated special.

The people saying he was "discriminated against" are not only wrong- they are also saying he should be immune to questioning, which is bad for the future protection of our children. Which is in fact, discrimination against the other children in that classroom.  

And there is plenty of reason to question this device.

Here is the picture of what was originally reported as an "alarm clock" :

Even upon my first impression, I have to say, it looks highly suspicious.  As has been pointed out, it looks very similar to actual training materials.

I do not blame the staff at the school for taking precautions solely on the exterior look alone. Once you see the wires and large timer inside a box, as well as the ticking noises it made, one might think it needs review.

I for one, don't think it even looks like an alarm clock.  I personally, along with my oldest son previously mentioned, have built clocks and robots out of simple computing parts - but ours never looked like this. They were small, compact, and fit on a desk like a normal clock, something like this :

One of my problems is that it's very illogical to build a clock inside a case.  Once inside, one can't see the numbers on the clock. That's not really that smart - to be honest.  No one opens a case to look at a clock. After all, most people have clocks for convenience.  They carry them on their wrists, at the top of the screens on their phones, next to their beds at night.

The second problem is that this child, when questioned, resisted answering the police questions about it.

Police say Mohamed did not handle the interrogation well.
The 14-year-old boy’s attitude was “passive aggressive,” according to officers on the scene. The cops also said Mohamed failed to provide a “reasonable answer” for why he had shown up at a school with a homemade electrical clock in a pencil case.
Read more:

So, resisted answering police questions about it? No wonder they handcuffed him and took him away.

In any case, he didn't stay there long. He was released after the police inspected the actual device. So the whining and gnashing of teeth is ridiculous. What, is the DOJ going to investigate the teachers for violating the kid's civil rights to bring a bomb looking object into school? I wouldn't be surprised, no matter how hard it is to fathom this going over too well with the Teacher's Unions. But considering they are inline with the party - they might just sacrifice a few of their own.  Should be interesting to watch going forward.

Do I think this boy deserves to be rewarded with a trip to the White House? Of course not. But to not expect it - particularly after the kid resisted working with the police - would be naive.  This President is all for Americans being shamed into leaving themselves defenseless. And we can't let that happen - because schools have always been one of the juiciest targets of Terrorists.

So while I think it's important to note that this is an overreaction ingrained in the system, we can't just let our guard down. Not now. Not during the middle of a war with terrorists.

I would not be sorry to inconvenience a 14 year old student who made a bomb like object, for a measly few minutes, because I don't want to see something terribly tragic happening just because someone was too scared they might "discriminate."