I cannot remain silent on this. The Story of Ahmed is simply the latest in a long chain of children being arrested at school for ridiculous reasons due to zero tolerance laws going awry. According to the Guardian, Texas alone issued 300 class C misdemeanors to children as young as age 6 in 2010. One to a young girl who simply sprayed perfume on herself after being teased by fellow students. http://www.theguardian.com/…/20…/jan/09/texas-police-schools
1) A child in NM was moved from school to a detention facility without the knowledge of his parents for burping in class.http://abcnews.go.com/m/blogEntry?id=15077292
2) A 12 year old was arrested and marched out of school for doodling “I love my friends…” on her desk. http://www.cnn.com/…/…/18/new.york.doodle.arrest/index.html…
3) a six year old was handcuffed and taken to a mental facility for a temper tantrum. http://www.tcpalm.com/…/port-st-lucie-schools-confines-6-y…/ another 8yr old autistic child was placed in a strait jacket. http://thefreethoughtproject.com/autistic-8-year-child-arrested-put-straight-jacket-school-outburst/
4) A 7yr old was hit with pepper spray because he wouldn’t come down from a bookshelf. http://www.sfgate.com/…/San-Mateo-pays-family-of-boy-pepper…
5) A 13yr old in FL was arrested for farting in class and turning off other students computers. http://www.viralfringe.com/you-will-never-believe-what-this-kid-was-arrested-for-in-school/
6) and who could forget the 7yr old who was suspended for eating his pop tart into the shape of a gun. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/student-suspended-for-pop-t…
There are even more stories like these and countless more of young boys and girls having sexual assault charges placed on their permanent record for kissing another child http://www.thesmokinggun.com/…/cops-called-for-school-kiss-… or playing simple games like tag.http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/…/hercules-family-battles…/
I understand that we all want to keep our kids safe but this is ridiculous. Ahmed is just another example of how our schools are not safe, and that our children are in danger of a faculty member freaking out and calling the cops for no reason other than they don’t seem to want to deal with everyday discipline problems. Problems that warrant a detention and a note home to the parents rather than a call to 911. And what is worse is the schools can hide behind “zero tolerance”. No common sense necessary.
Due process should apply to everybody, including children. Pepper spraying a 7yr old is cruel and unusual punishment. Putting a small child in hand cuffs because a teacher didn’t want to deal with a temper tantrum is NOT acceptable. Arresting a child for showing off a science experiment is NOT acceptable.
In the coming years where school boards and politicians are going to hold elections and PTA members will discuss the issues concerning their children, I hope that parents and non-parents everywhere will say they want reason back in their schools and to reform these extreme fascist zero tolerance rules.