Monday, December 18, 2006

Oh Horrors: Another Kindergartner with a Knife

Only in a Sissy Pants Nation do we read such headlines as the following:

Kindergartner Accused of Knife Threat in Joliet

It was just four weeks ago that we read another story about a kindergartner and a knife. In that case, a five-year-old boy carried a pocket knife to school. He did not threaten anyone with it, he only used it to open his sealed lunch. And yet he was suspended.

In this latest story, “threatening language” (whatever that means) did occur when the kindergartner displayed a penknife to his classmates. One of the classmates received a minor cut on the finger when he touched the knife.

Certainly, in this situation, some sort of disciplinary action was appropriate, such as taking the knife away from the child, lecturing him on his behavior, and telling his parents about the incident. But, in the Sissy Pants Nation, all infractions are equal. A minor cut to the finger is as dire as a cut to the jugular. The boy was removed from school, and now school officials are considering whether or not to give him a two-year suspension or place him in an “alternative” school.

A five-year-old boy waving a penknife around and using “threatening language” is not necessarily a future homicidal maniac, and sending him to alternative school may do more harm than good to the child. For all we know, he was simply playing. At that age, children are unable to fully discern the difference between fantasy and reality, or the consequences of certain actions. This is not abnormal; this is a normal part of growing up.

When I was a kindergartner, I did a very foolish thing. One morning, before class, I walked up behind two boys who were talking and thought it would be humorous if I knocked their heads together, as I had seen Moe of the Three Stooges do. I wanted to hear the funny “bonk” sound. So, without thinking the matter through for more than one second, I put my plan into action. But, to my surprise, there was no "bonk" sound. Instead, there was a sickening thud. Then the boys began crying and one began bleeding profusely from the mouth.

I ran away in terror. The kindergarten was housed in a big old house with many rooms and closets. I found a closet and hid there, crying. I could hear the boys back in the school room screaming and wailing that Mack had done it. I knew I was in bad trouble, the worst I had ever been in. I fully expected the cops to be called. And, had this been a Sissy Pants Nation, the cops most certainly would have been called and I would have a criminal record to this day.

But this had not become a Sissy Pants Nation yet. When the teacher found me, she lectured me and warned me never to do it again, and when my mother picked me up in the afternoon she was told about the incident and she lectured me too. Then, that evening, my father lectured me and explained that the Three Stooges were actors whose antics were carefully coordinated, with the sound effects added later. That was the day I learned the difference between movies and real life, and to this day I have not knocked any more heads together.

Later, as a boy, I sometimes got into fights. Most boys did, and if it happened on school property we were punished. But one thing that never happened, and would have been unthinkable, was to be arrested. But, in the Sissy Pants Nation, even schoolboy scuffles are matters for the police and headline news:

Boy Arrested in After-School Fight

"Model Pupil" Ends Up with Criminal Record for a Push in the Playground

The second story linked above happened in the UK. It seems that the UK is also a Sissy Pants Nation.

Sissy Pants Nation, Sissy Pants Nation, schoolyard scuffles and cut fingers are headline news in the Sissy Pants, Sissy Pants, Sissy Pants Nation …