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Off the Editor’s Desk – 7-3-2013


We are a country that is governed by the people we elect to serve, “We the People.”

Is it such a chore that we ask our elected officials to do just that, serve us? Or is it now that we are the ones serving our elected officials. In Washington they pass laws and exempt themselves from those laws.

I was reading a piece written by Rick Manning, vice president, Public Policy and Communication for Americans for Limited Government.

His piece told a story of two separate gun incidents in Calvert County, Maryland, a community near Washington, D.C. that features a tobacco leaf on the county flag.

Apparently, a five-year-old kindergartner, a boy, was held for two hours, questioned intensively by his school principal because he brought a toy gun to school. The principal later was reported to have said that if the boy had brought caps for the gun he would have been punished all the more severely.

The follow-up news, according to Manning, is that the “child’s ten day suspension was not being lift by the school district administrators at a time when cooler heads should have prevailed, has put the issue in the laps of the elected school board.” If you were on the school board how would you have dealt with this issue?

Another similar issue erupted at the same time, as a fifth grader in Calvert County was suspended because he said that, “if someone were to attack his school, he would like to have a gun with him so he could save everyone.”

Manning says that the five-year-old were so terrorized by the principal that he peed his pants. I forgot to say that during those two hours that the five-year-old was being held by the principal, the parents were not notified.

Manning questions: “How did a small, rural community where hunting and fishing are common, and motorcycles and tattoos are even more common, end up with school administrators who are so far out of touch?”

What do we expect from our kids? They are subjected to a constant barrage of violence in video games, and television. A night hardly goes by that on television, some cop and robber show features a blood covered dead person on the street in the opening scene.

Did the school over react, I think they did, but then the school board probably passed a zero tolerance rule. Gun safety and appreciation should be taught, not fear.

Manning concluded: “If someone believes in local school control, it becomes all the more important that they focus their efforts on making certain that the control in their localities reflect their own beliefs and standards.”

He continues, “The cruel lesson being taught through the tears of a five-year-old, and the fear imposed on an idealistic fifth grader is that eternal vigilance must start with city hall, the county administration building and yes, the local board of education. Otherwise, you might find that one day you wake up, and no longer recognize the place you call home.”

— Carlton