Guns and School

School is back in session and so is the nonsense.

Liberty school in Louisville, KY was in the news today. Police have charged and 18-year-old student with gun possession. You might say, “Well good for them.” But before you start cheering about police protecting students, you should know the rest of the story.

This young man (and I do mean young MAN) is being punished for doing the right thing, something that any parent would proud of their son for.

His younger brother had taken an unloaded gun to school on the bus with him, when he discovered the gun, he did the responsible thing and took it away from him, like any good brother would.

Since the gun wasn’t loaded, it didn’t pose a threat to anyone. I’m certain he didn’t want to have to answer for how the gun came to be at the school and get his brother into trouble. Since the gun posed no threat to anyone there was really no reason to alert the authorities.

Apparently, the police didn’t see it that way. Not only did they suspend the younger lad but they charged his older brother with gun possession. I certainly hope there is more to this story than what the news is reporting because I’d hate to think that a young man is being charged with one crime, when his only crime was trying to do the right and protect his brother from criminal charges. Something anyone would do.

The article doesn’t tell us what kind of a gun the boy was carrying. It doesn’t tell us why the younger sibling brought the gun to school in the first place or even how old he was.

The “Zero Tolerance” policies that schools have been operating under for the past few years, do not promote policies of honesty, they do not promote taking personal responsibility for your actions or teach children the value of doing the right thing.

Life if full of circumstances and while the boy did have a gun in his possession. It should factor into the equation as to why and how he came to possess the weapon. Should he have turned his brother in? We can’t say because we don’t have all the details. There could have been any number of reasons for the younger boys actions.

As is often the case, the media have given us a bare minimum of facts and not enough information to judge what actions would have been appropriate responses. Personally, I think the 18-year-old acted responsibly and should have been commended for his actions, not charged with a crime.

As school gets underway again this year, we must ask ourselves, “Exactly what are we teaching children?” Are we promoting the qualities we hope to see in our youth? Do Honesty, Integrity, Loyalty and Honor have any meaning to our students or their educators? What are the long term effects of “Zero Tolerance?” Can we live with the consequences of such policies?

Those are tough questions that deserve some answers.